|"Our world is worth fighting for."|
|Mei-Ling Zhou (周美灵)|
approx. 40 (chronological)
|Xi’an, China (formerly)|
|Elise Zhang (English and Mandarin(China))
Adeline Chetail (French)
- 1 Overview
- 2 Abilities
- 3 Strategy
- 4 Match-Ups and Team Synergy
- 5 Story
- 6 Achievements
- 7 Trivia
- 8 Videos
- 9 Balance Change Log
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Mei’s weather-altering devices slow opponents and protect locations. Her Endothermic Blaster unleashes damaging icicles and frost streams, and she can Cryo-Freeze herself to guard against counterattacks, or obstruct the opposing team's movements with an Ice Wall.
2.75 per round
1.3 seconds (frozen)
- The first tick results in a 20% progress towards the freeze (also inflicts a 20% slow effect), then each subsequent tick increases this by 2.85% (also inflicts a 2.85% slow effect). (The slow effect is capped at 70%.) At 100% or higher freeze progress, the very next tick freezes the target; therefore, it takes a total of
in order to freeze.
- Despite being changed to 20% in patch 1.44, Mei's weapon settings in custom games still say the minimum freeze is 30%.
- The slow effect lasts for 1 second after the last tick of damage was dealt.
- Pierces enemies.
- The blaster no longer freezes enemies in Overwatch 2.
- Endothermic Blaster's alternate fire is also called "Icicle."
Up to 200 overall
- Restores 15 ammo per second (max. 60).
- The cooldown starts only after the effect wears off.
- The ability can be cancelled prematurely.
- Mei becomes completely invincible and is cleansed of all status effects.
- Blocks line-of-sight and collisions.
- Can be manually destroyed by pressing the ability key again, including while dead.
- Before casting, the Ice Wall's placement from the player's line of sight can be toggled from perpendicular to parallel by pressing the hotkey.
- The cooldown starts immediately, not when the ability ends/is cancelled.
Up to 85 over the duration
- The first tick results in a 50% progress towards the freeze (also inflicts a 50% slow effect), then it continues at a rate of 20% per second (also slows at a rate of 20% per second). (The slow effect is capped at 70%.) At 100% or higher freeze progress, the very next tick freezes the target; therefore, it takes about 2.5 seconds in order to freeze.
- Using Endothermic Blaster's primary fire greatly speeds up the freezing process.
- Pierces barriers, payloads, and Ice Wall.
Mei is a strong fighter who excels in 1-on-1 fights. Her freezing effect from Endothermic Blaster will let her win over most heroes. Icicle deals heavy damage when used correctly, making her a threat at both short and long ranges. Ice Wall can be used to trap or distract the enemy, as it can completely block the enemy's vision, or split some of the enemies from the others. Mei's Cryo-Freeze creates thick ice around herself, restoring her health and rendering her invulnerable, allowing her to play like a semi-tank. Blizzard is a very strong Ultimate, able to turn the tide of battle when used correctly. Not being a true tank, Mei can still be outdamaged and killed easily. Her primary fire deals little damage and needs to land several hits to fully freeze the target. Due to lacking raw killing power and mobility tools, playing Mei well is challenging.
Weapons & Abilities
- Endothermic Blaster: Mei's primary weapon. The primary fire, when held down, launches a beam that will deal continuous damage on the enemy. Affected targets will gradually move slower, eventually being completely frozen for 1.5 seconds after taking 30 shots. The secondary fire will launch an icicle-projectile on a linear trajectory, consuming more ammo than primary fire but dealing heavy damage. Icicle has a short cast time, during which Mei's movement speed is slowed.
- The Endothermic Blaster's two firing modes make a simple combo. Freeze the target with primary fire at close-range, then launch an Icicle at the frozen enemy's head. This combo will kill most non-tank heroes.
- The primary fire deals little damage per second compared to other stream-type weapons. Sticking to Icicle is a better option to deal damage.
- The primary fire pierces enemies.
- The primary fire of Mei's weapon has travel time, meaning that she has to lead the target when firing on a moving enemy.
- The first hit will create an initial slowing effect on the enemy, which is useful to slow a mobile hero.
- The slowing effect only influences standard movement speed, not movement abilities. Enemies like Tracer, Genji, Junkrat, or Pharah will be able to quickly escape Mei's attack unless their movement ability is on cooldown.
- While Icicle no longer has a damage falloff restriction, keep in mind that fighting mid- to long-range hitscan heroes is unfavorable due to their high damage at maximum range.
- Cryo-Freeze: Mei's personal defensive ability. She will create a thick ice coating around herself which makes her invulnerable, but immobile for 4 seconds. She will ignore most debuffs and recover health while the skill is active (150 total if the full duration is used), and the ice will disappear after the end of the duration. Mei can manually cancel this ability early.
- Cooldown triggers after the Cryo-Freeze ends.
- Mei acts as an obstacle during Cryo-Freeze, which can prevent some abilities from going through her to affect her allies, such as Reinhardt's Earth Shatter, Roadhog's Hook, or D.Va's Self-Destruct.
- Instead of using the full duration, it can be useful to use Cryo-Freeze in a short burst to avoid damage (like from D.Va's self-destruct) and then cancel it. It's also useful to cancel Cryo-Freeze early if you want to only heal a small amount of damage and start your cooldown timer or rejoin a fight as soon as possible.
- Combined with Ice Wall, good timing can allow Mei to survive in many situations, even when outnumbered.
- Ice Wall: When activated, Mei will create a wall of five ice pillars at the targeted location. By re-pressing the ability button, she can switch the wall's orientation between side-to-side and front-to-back. The wall will be generated upon pressing normal attack, becoming an obstructing object which can block all line of sight for allies and enemies alike. Ice Wall can be ended several ways; it can be destroyed by enemies or a moving payload, its duration can expire, and Mei can melt it herself with the ability button.
- Use Ice Wall with care, the downside is that it completely blocks Mei's allies as well as her enemies. Beware of cutting your own allies off from support or retreat.
- Each pillar has its own health. While most heroes can fit between them when only 1 is destroyed, some (like Reinhardt or D.Va's mech) are too big to fit.
- Mei cannot cancel her Ice Wall while stunned.
- Blizzard (Ultimate): Mei's Ultimate ability. Mei deploys her drone at the targeted point. The drone will travel toward the point as a slow projectile with a small arc. After the drone is on the ground, it will unleash the frostbite and wind in a wide area. The storm will deal some damage and slow the enemy's movement speed. If the enemy lingers in the area for 2.5 seconds, they will become frozen solid for some time.
- As a projectile, Blizzard can be countered by D.Va's Defense Matrix and Genji's Deflect.
- The drone can go through an enemy's Barrier.
- While the Blizzard has very large area, it doesn't go through environment objects. It still goes through the enemy's obstructing abilities, like Mei's Ice Wall.
- The storm has a surprisingly high vertical area, so even heroes like Pharah will have trouble escaping vertically.
- Mei is a great fighter in 1-on-1 match-ups. Her Endothermic Blaster can freeze the enemy and finish it with an Icicle projectile. She can block the enemy's attempt to escape by placing Ice Wall to block the escape route. However, she has low killing power against groups of enemies, since her Icicle has a cast time. When fighting in groups, take advantage of the piercing freeze effect to incapacitate as many enemies as possible.
- If you are surrounded, a Cryo-Freeze and/or a well-placed Ice Wall can get you out of many sticky situations. Placing an ice wall beneath yourself allows you to quickly dodge an attack, or retreat to cover while the enemy navigates around the new obstacle.
- Icicle's long cast time can make it difficult to hit moving opponents, though as a projectile, it can be used as suppressing fire against targets in cover.
- Mei's Icicle projectile is a viable long-range weapon, and can be used in combination with Ice Wall to disable or distract snipers. Previously, the Icicle was the only projectile that suffered from damage falloff at long range. Although the falloff damage restriction was removed in a patch, fights against heroes with accurate long-ranged attacks still won't be in her favor.
- Mei's Ice Wall is her key ability. It can be dangerous to the enemy team when used correctly. It's most effective when she communicates with her teammates before setting up her Ice Wall, as it can backfire on her team when used in the wrong time or place.
- Mei can use the Ice Wall to block off enemies from leaving spawn at the beginning of the game, giving some extra time to hold them away from objectives. It can also be used to split the enemy team in half, ideally allowing your team to fight two consecutive 6 versus 3 fights, rather than engage in a 6 versus 6.
- A well placed Ice Wall can be used to disable or block certain Ultimates, such as Reinhardt's Earthshatter, which will not contact the ground when Reinhardt is on top of the Ice Wall.
- Since Ice Wall and Cryo-Freeze's cooldown timers start after the effect ends, Mei can shield herself with Cryo-Freeze to stay safe while Ice Wall's timer counts down.
- Be ready to melt your Ice Wall if it becomes a disadvantage to your team.
- Mei can afford to be more aggressive than other Damage heroes due to her higher hit points and defensive abilities. She excels at pushing payloads, since the payload can carry an ice wall with it.
- If Mei is guaranteed to die soon and only has Cryo-Freeze to defend herself, don't use it. You'll only give the enemy more Ultimate charge with those extra hit points, and delay your own respawn by a few seconds.
- Blizzard is a powerful Ultimate that can freeze enemies in very large area. However, it needs 2.5 seconds to successfully freeze the enemy, which won't be enough against enemies with good movement abilities or who are near the edge of the AoE. Try to combo with more immediately-effective movement-impairing Ultimates from teammates such as Zarya's Graviton Surge or Reinhardt's Earthshatter, so she can guarantee a successful freeze more easily. You can also use Ice Wall to block an enemy from escaping in one direction.
- You should mainly use Mei’s Cryo-Freeze to bait enemy abilities, such as Cassidy’s flashbang, Ana’s sleep dart or biotic grenade or Roadhog’s hook. This gives Mei the upper advantage in 1v1 fights, as many heroes are reliant on their abilities to defend themselves from Mei, usually giving Mei an easy kill. You should only use Cryo-Freeze to heal yourself when absolutely necessary.
Match-Ups and Team Synergy
|D.Va's Defense Matrix can't block your Endothermic Blaster's freezing, but at the same time it will usually take freezing D.Va more than once to kill her, often resulting in a stalemate. If a D.Va does try to approach you or your team, you should make her a freezing priority while also positioning yourself to shoot her cockpit, which serves as her critical hit area while in her Mech. Be ready for D.Va to use her Boosters to attempt to flee from you; if you can hit her with an Icicle or two while she's flying off, you might be able to destroy her Mech before she can regroup with her team. You can also use your Ice Wall to block off her retreat and force her to keep fighting you. If D.Va uses Self-Destruct, you can use Cryo-Freeze to protect yourself, or you can use Ice Wall to protect your team (and yourself if you're with them). Watch out for D.Va when getting ready to use Blizzard, as that's one of the few things her Defense Matrix can negate from you.||(To be added)|
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|Reinhardt's high health will allow him to survive multiple Icicle headshots. Both of you will struggle to kill each other due to your respective survival abilities. Although you can't attack Reinhardt through his barrier, you can still throw Blizzard behind it; as his team will often be hiding behind him, this could result in you freezing a good bulk of his team at once. Splitting him from his team with Ice Wall is also an option if you're trying to kill him. Be ready to quickly use either Cryo-Freeze or Ice Wall to defend yourself and your team from his Charge or Earthshatter.||(To be added)|
|Should you and Roadhog end up in a fight with no team assistance, it will often result in a stalemate. Your Cryo-Freeze will help you withstand his Chain Hook combo and your Ice Walls can keep you safe from his attacks; meanwhile, he can use Take a Breather to restore any damage he takes from your Icicle headshots. You should try to smartly use Cryo-Freeze and Ice Wall to gradually disengage from Roadhog and regroup with your team. If you can freeze Roadhog during Whole Hog, his Ultimate will be cut short. Roadhog's low mobility also makes him an easy target to get stuck in your Blizzard.||(To be added)|
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|Winston's Tesla Cannon will barely chip away at your higher than average health. While it's hard to escape from him, he'll have difficulty killing you if you use your abilities wisely. As long as you make sure he isn't protected by his Barrier Projector, his large size makes him an easy target for your Endothermic Blaster. Be careful of his Primal Rage Ultimate, though; if you're knocked off a cliff, you'll have no way to save yourself.||(To be added)|
|Zarya's Particle Barrier will completely blocks the freezing effect and damage of Endothermic blaster while increasing her own damage output. A fully charged Zarya can chase you down and kill you very quickly, especially if you are alone, as the cooldown for Particle Barrier is shorter than that of Cryo-Freeze. Use smart Ice Wall deployments to keep Zarya at a distance while retreating or waiting for backup to arrive. When Zarya's barrier is on cooldown, you can frustrate and weaken her by freezing her; you should still be using this opportunity to retreat, though, as it will be difficult to kill her before she thaws out.||(To be added)|
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|While Ice Wall can be quickly destroyed by Bastion's massive fire rate, it provides plenty enough time for you and your team to advance and flank Bastion around the wall. With the right distractions, you can easily freeze Bastion before he can deal enough damage to kill in either Sentry or Recon Configuration, and a single critical Icicle is enough to put it at dangerously low health, nearly enough to melee it to death. Despite this, Bastion can still overpower you if you are its sole focus, or if you gives it a chance to heal by entering Cryo-Freeze yourself, so never engage Bastion alone. If Bastion is set up in a hunkered-down position, a Blizzard can easily ensnare him and any nearby allies, rendering them easy pickings.||(To be added)|
|While you and Cassidy have similar, adaptable styles of play, your focus on close range anti-mobility makes you a liability against Cassidy's long-range shots, stunning Flashbangs, and higher damage. In open skirmishes, the travel time and damage falloff of your Icicle shots will put you at a disadvantage, and while you dominate at short range, a Flashbang into a Fan the Hammer can bring you to the brink of death, if not kill you. If Cassidy gets you with his combo, be ready to quickly use Cryo-Freeze to heal the damage you've taken and to stop him from following up and quickly killing you. Once you're at higher health, if Cassidy is alone, you may be able to freeze and headshot him before he can kill you or get his Flashbang back. You can harass Cassidy with ice walls, limiting his range and potentially wasting his Deadeye Ultimate if it's in use, but this is rarely effective in the long run.||(To be added)|
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|Genji's greatest strengths are his mobility and close range damage, both of which fall apart due to Mei's freezing ability at close range. While both your Icicle and Blizzard Ultimate can be Deflected, your Endothermic Blaster's primary fire and area of effect damage cannot, and your Ice Wall can be used to trap Genji in small rooms where he can't dodge effectively. Genji's only advantage is his ability to use Swift Strike or Cyber-Agility to quickly escape from Blizzard or being blocked in larger passages. If Genji is heckling you or your teammates, make him a priority to freeze and kill.||(To be added)|
|Hanzo's range advantage and vertical mobility allows him to avoid you entirely by setting up on high roofs or overhangs and firing at you from a distance that your Icicles won't be able to accurately reach. On the other hand, Ice Wall can allow you and your team to approach Hanzo, and though it gives him a clear idea of where to place a Sonic Arrow, it can still give you enough time to close and execute him. Be ready for Hanzo to attempt a Lunge to escape your range; so long as you keep your Endothermic Blaster on him, you should be able to finish the freeze.||(To be added)|
|Junkrat's Frag Grenades are deadly as you have no evasive ability or ability to move to higher ground other than placing an Ice Wall under your feet. Ice Wall can block his grenades, but he can easily destroy it or choose to fire grenades in another direction (such as over the wall). While immobile in Cryo-Freeze, Junkrat is capable of placing his Concussion Mine and/or a Steel Trap right next to you, allowing for easy damage or immobilization. If you attempt to freeze Junkrat in close-range combat, his Frag Grenades can make short work of you before he's frozen, or conversely he can use Concussion Mine to make a quick getaway. Try to deal with Junkrat in long-range combat if you can, since your long-range capabilities are far stronger than his. If you must fight him in close-quarters, stick to your team and let them take the lead against him.||(To be added)|
|Cryo-Freeze plays a large role when engaging Mei in close-range. Which Cryo-Freeze can gradually nullify the freezing effect from the enemy Mei, the fight will be decided by who gets frozen or who is using Cryo-Freeze. After Cryo-Freeze ends, Mei can be easily killed if her Ice Wall is on cooldown. In long range, a headshot from Icicle is deadly; act evasive while shooting Icicles at the enemy, bobbing and weaving out of cover to avoid the enemy Mei's shots. If the fight is turning in her favor, use Ice Wall to block her field of vision and flee.||(To be added)|
|Pharah is a strong counter to Mei because of her long-range, high damage rockets and aerial mobility, with allow her to utilize hit-and-run tactics, peaking above buildings or other obstacles to fire and returning to cover to avoid your Icicles. Pharah is also usually too high or far away to touch with Endothermic Blaster; given the chance, if you can lead your shot well, you can snipe Pharah out of the air, but with your poor firing rate, this will often leave you vulnerable in the open for Pharah's rockets and Concussive Blasts. An Ice Wall is all but completely useless against your flying opponent, potentially even granting Pharah further cover if used poorly. Blizzard will only be useful if Pharah is somehow grounded while she's waiting for Jump Jet to cool down; while this is unlikely to happen, you should take advantage of the occasion should it arise.||(To be added)|
|Because of his brutally strong close-range damage, Reaper will often consider you easy prey. However, in practice, Reaper will rarely be able to finish you prior to being frozen, and his lack of mobility makes him easily trapped by Ice Walls. While he can use Wraith Form to escape your freezing effect, you can go right back to freezing him once he materializes, and you can take that time to heal yourself with Cryo-Freeze if you wish, or create an Ice Wall to block him off from you and your team. Furthermore, your Icicles grant you a much higher damage output at any other range, and good flanking tactics will often cause Reaper to waste Wraith Form prematurely. Ultimately, while Reaper can rush you for a quick kill, you can easily counter most of Reaper's combat and escape tactics.||(To be added)|
|By nullifying his mobility and overpowering him at most ranges, you will typically find Soldier: 76 to be an easy target. However, he can easily Sprint out of your Endothermic Blaster's range if he hasn't been hit by it yet, and while your Icicles are powerful at a distance, his Heavy Pulse Rifle is far more consistent at dealing damage to you. If at any point you use Cryo-Freeze, Soldier: 76 will be able to escape to his ideal range or heal up with Biotic Field to continue the chase. Always try to finish off Soldier: 76 if he enters your range, otherwise use Ice Walls and cover to avoid his attacks.||(To be added)|
|You'll be in trouble if Hacked by a Sombra, losing both your Cryo-Freeze and Ice Wall defensive tools. While you tend to have the advantage at close range due to your Endothermic Blaster's freezing, with proper timing, Sombra can usually escape being frozen with her Translocator. While your high fire-rate may make you ideal for canceling Sombra's Stealth, you'll never hit her unless she's invisible directly in front of you. Your best bet to stop Sombra from Hacking you is to either quickly enter Cryo-Freeze or deploy an Ice Wall to cut off her view of you.||(To be added)|
|Symmetra's Sentry Turrets can be deadly, as your only means of killing them are with Icicles one at a time, and if you're caught by a cluster of them, you could end up dead before you destroy them all, let alone if Symmetra shows up to check on her nest. If you catch Symmetra without her Sentry Turrets, though, you'll have the upper hand with your Endothermic Blaster so long as you weave in and out of her Photon Projector. If Symmetra drops a Teleporter behind you, you won't be able to destroy it before an entire enemy team comes out; instead, drop an Ice Wall so you can retreat and group up with your team or, if you're feeling extra devious, drop a Blizzard as soon as her whole team emerges.||(To be added)|
|Blocking Torbjörn's Turret with Ice Wall can allow your team to safely move forward without worrying about it. You can also pelt the Turret from a distance with Icicles while hiding behind cover to avoid the Turret's counterattack. If you run into Torbjörn himself, don't underestimate his Rivet Gun. If you can't freeze him in time, his shotgun fire will tear you apart and force you to use Cryo-Freeze, especially when he has Overload active. Should you freeze Torbjörn while he's using Overload, he will most likely survive the following Icicle headshot, so be ready to either freeze him again, heal yourself, or drop an Ice Wall and escape./small>||(To be added)|
|Between Tracer's low health, very close effective range, and mobility-dependent play, most of her tactics when fighting you will revolve around running away and hoping she doesn't get an Icicle through the brain. Though she has a small hitbox, flicking your view her way will often land an Icicle hit, instantly killing her if it's a headshot. You may have some trouble landing consistent Endothermic Blaster hits, but once you start effecting her with your freezing, you should have no trouble keeping Tracer under control unless she has a Blink ready. Even if she escapes you, though, Tracer will almost never be able to kill you without being frozen first. If Tracer hits you with her Pulse Bomb, quickly go into Cryo-Freeze to survive its explosion.||(To be added)|
|As Widowmaker usually remains well out of the range of your Endothermic Blaster, Widowmaker can pick you off in relative safety. However, your Ice Wall can annoy Widowmaker by blocking off her sights, forcing her to either wait it out or move to another sniping location. When Ice Wall is on cooldown, always hide in corridors and behind cover to avoid Widowmaker's fire. If you catch Widowmaker at close-range when her Grappling Hook is on cooldown, you can easily freeze and kill her..
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|Ana will usually stay behind the enemy lines and far out of your effective range. Her Biotic Grenade will nullify your Cryo-Freeze's healing; if you're hit by it, use Ice Walls to protect yourself instead until the effect wars off. When Ana Nano-Boosts an opponent try to use Ice Wall to block the Nano-Boosted hero from attacking your team, potentially wasting a good amount of Nano-Boost's duration. Ice Wall can also split the enemy team from Ana, making her or her team easy targets. If you can sneak up on Ana at close-range, if she fails to hit you with Sleep Dart, you can easily freeze and headshot her.||(To be added)|
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|Lúcio can keep you away from his team and himself with Soundwave. Other than that, Lúcio will have a lot of difficulty killing you outside of pushing you into an environmental kill. His speed will be negated by Endothermic Blaster's freezing effect, making him a prime target to slow down and kill. His Amp It Up can sometimes help his teammate survive from your headshots or help them escape you with a speed boost. Don't worry too much if Lúcio uses Sound Barrier in response to Blizzard; any frozen enemies will still be easy targets regardless of how much health they have.||(To be added)|
|If you catch Mercy out on her own, consider her a primary target, as she is practically defenseless against you. Mercy will try to use Guardian Angel to flee from you before being frozen; while her flying speed with Guardian Angel won't be slowed by your freezing, as long as you keep tabs on where she's flying, you should have little difficulty finishing freezing her. You have few means of pursuing or flanking Mercy, though, meaning unless Mercy is out of position, you'll need to ambush her from side routes or by getting above her/blocking her escape route with Ice Wall. Keep in mind that the healing from Mercy's Caduceus Staff will outheal her ally from Mei's Icicle headshot, so targeting Mercy should always be prioritized over her patient.||(To be added)|
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|Even with his low mobility, don't underestimate Zenyatta. His Orb of Discord can help him or an ally kill you before you can finish freezing him. If you're careful, though, you should be able to finish your freezing before shooting him in the head. Both of you have long range projectiles, but your Icicles suffer more from damage falloff. Fighting Zenyatta in long range will usually end in Zenyatta's favor due to his incredible fire power and Orb of Discord. Try to kill Zenyatta before using Blizzard, otherwise he can simply use Trancendence to protect his team while they are vulnerable.||(To be added)|
Cheerful, creative, and optimistic, even in the face of overwhelming odds, Mei is a world-renowned climatologist who has taken the fight to preserve the environment into her own hands. She specializes in the study of abnormal climate phenomena and their effects on different ecosystems around the world. She strongly believes in preserving the world for future generations, and is determined to fight for a better future. While originally just a scientist, Winston's recall order has inspired her to heroism.
|“||Studying climate phenomena, I've run into some pretty obstinate anti-intellectualists, but you might be the worst. You can argue with me, but you can't argue with data! And the data says...you're incredibly annoying!||„|
|~ Mei loses her 'cool'|
During her years in climatology, Dr. Mei-Ling Zhou encountered a number of "obstinate anti-intellectualists." At some point, she attended a climatology conference. She introduced cutting-edge innovations in the field of climate manipulation that protected at-risk areas in Asia and beyond.
|“||A little bit about me: my name is Mei (yes, that Mei!), and I specialize in abnormal climate phenomena and their effects on different ecosystems around the world. I know that sounds really boring, but I'll do my best to make it entertaining!||„|
|~ Mei in her journal|
Though many blamed the planet's escalating, unexplained climate phenomena on the advent of new technologies, the rapidly growing omnic population, and drastically increased consumption of resources, the true cause remained unknown. To find a solution, Overwatch established a series of eco-Watchpoints at remote, critical locations worldwide.
Mei was a member of this multi-year initiative. A peerless climatologist, she was assigned to the program's monitoring station at Watchpoint: Antarctica. An atmospheric anomaly above Antarctica was the basis of the base's research, but then, disaster struck: a sudden, catastrophic polar storm battered the installation and cut it off from the outside world, leaving the facility damaged and the scientists stranded. As their supplies dwindled, they entered cryostasis in a last-ditch effort to survive until a rescue attempt could be made. Before entering cryo, Mei made a recording, anticipating waking up and finding a wealth of data to examine (as she left the sensors on).
Rise and Shine
Nine years passed before Mei woke up, not a physical day older due to being in cryo. Her cryo pod was reactivated once the base received an external message, albeit too weak to properly display on the base's terminals. Alongside Snowball (the base's droid), she got dressed, made tea, and looked at the data she'd collected, discovering that the anomaly was much worse than predicted. Snowball revealed that she'd been in stasis for nine years, much to her horror; surely Overwatch would have come for them in that time. She tried to communicate with the outside world, but the comms were down. The base however, had accumulated news reports over the years the comms were active, which revealed that in the interim, the Ecopoint had been considered lost in the ice storm, and Overwatch had been shut down. No one knew they were here. It was at this point that she began to wonder where her fellow researchers were, and rushed back to the cryo-chamber. She discovered that all of the pods bar her own had malfunctioned, and as a result, they had perished. She broke down crying, alone in the base, with only Snowball for company. She promised to get the data they'd collected to the world. Or at least try.
Mei headed outside. However, the dish was broken (which prevented any outgoing transmissions), the base's vehicles were incapacitated, and looking out across the vast Antarctic landscape quickly discouraged any thoughts of hiking out. She went back inside, faced with isolation (bar Snowball), and the knowledge that the base's power wouldn't last indefinitely. She noticed the transmission that had been sent earlier, one that was being sent over Overwatch's emergency frequency. Perhaps someone knew they were here, but to find out, they'd need to reinforce the radio tower so she could climb it and access the dish. Over the next several days, Mei scavenged material to build an endothermic blaster and a makeshift antenna. She nearly completed it, but it was at this point that the base's last battery gave out. Snowball sacrificed his own power to recharge Mei's workstation, and as such, she was able to finish the blaster. Through it, she was able to use its ice properties to climb the tower and get to the dish. Using her antenna, she discovered that the message had been sent from Winston, urging Overwatch's former agents to get back together to face the troubles facing their world. Mei decided to answer the call. Before leaving, she paid her final respects to her friends before taking a sled of supplies, and hiked across the Antarctic landscape with confidence. To her joy, she found that Snowball (whom she'd taken with her) had regained his power, thanks to a portable solar panel she had taken with her.
A New World
|“||People look at me like I'm crazy when I say I miss Antarctica. Yes, it was cold. Yes, it was lonely. But the scenery... I've never seen anything like it! There's a mountain range called Wolf's Jaw, in Queen Maud Land...Stone spikes, thousands of feet high, jutting from that featureless white expanse...That was Captain Opara's favorite place. Some day, when this is all over, I want to go back.||„|
|~ Mei reflecting on her time in Antarctica|
Mei found herself awakened to a world that had undergone considerable changes. Not only was Overwatch no more, but the serious climate issues had worsened, and none of the eco-watchpoints were in operation. Any clues that they had uncovered were lost. Mei decided to continue her work on her own. Equipped with a portable version of her climate-manipulation technology, she traveled around the world, hoping to re-establish the eco-network and track down the causes of the threats to the planet's ecosystem.
Despite her ordeal in Antarctica, she still missed the continent, and hoped to return to it someday.
Note: The following events aren't necessarily in chronological order.
|“||So I'm starting this journal. Honestly, I'm not sure who's going to want to read this. It was the idea of my colleague, Winston. He thinks that people will find my "unique" perspective interesting. (We'll see if he's right!) At the very least, it'll help me pass the time, and believe me, when you're huddled in a shelter and it's -20° C outside (brrrr!), you have a lot of time to kill. (And 雪球 (Snowball) isn't the greatest conversationalist.)||„|
|~ Mei's first journal entry|
At some point after this, Mei got in touch with Winston. He suggested she start writing a journal, telling her that people would find her "unique" perspective interesting. She made her first journal entry and made it available to the public while in the Yukon near Mount Logan, while testing her new gear. She concluded that it was in working order (a step up from a few days ago, when she'd accidentally frozen her arm), and began studying the local wildlife. Six days later, she decided to head to Asia, to investigate the abandoned Overwatch stations there. Before doing so, she took a break by flying into Los Angeles to see Six-Gun Killer. Two days after that, she was in Asia, investigating a mountain ecosystem (possibly the Himalayas).
|“||White Christmas! Massive winter storm hits England!||„|
|~ Mei, in a television interview with Atlas News|
What's on your mind, Mei?
Do...do we have enough people for this mission?
As long as we stick together, we'll be fine.
|~ Mei and Winston before landing|
When Null Sector attacked Paris, Mei teamed up with Winston and Lena Oxton, as they flew in the Orca to engage the attacking omnics. Mei expressed doubt that the three of them would be enough to defend the city. Winston told her that as long as they stuck together, they'd be fine. Landing, they engaged the omnics. Winston told Mei to get the civilians to the Orca, but before she could do that, a Titan made its presence known. It fired missiles followed by a laser, the latter of which destroyed the Orca and ruptured the utilities beneath the street, causing a chain reaction of explosions. Mei used her blaster to create an ice wall, protecting the civilians, but was left exposed herself and injured in the resulting blast. Out of options, Winston told Oxton to get Mei out of there, while he held the omnics off, despite Mei's weak protest that Winston had earlier said that they'd stick together.
As it turned out, Winston didn't need to sacrifice himself, as other Overwatch members joined the fight. One of them was Angela Ziegler, who healed Mei's injuries, getting her on her feet again. That said, there was still the matter of the Titan. At Winston's suggestion, Mei's backpack (the one which powered her blaster) was combined with one of Oxton's pulse bombs. Oxton was able to get inside the Titan to deliver the combined explosive, freezing the Titan, which subsequently shattered under its own brittle weight. The battle won, Oxton introduced Mei to the newly arrived Overwatch members. Winston declared that Overwatch had indeed returned.
|“||You're with me. We're getting aboard that ship.||„|
|~ Reinhardt to Tracer and Mei|
As it turned out, Paris was the first of numerous locations attacked by Null Sector. One of them was Rio de Janeiro. Alongside Oxton, Reinhardt Wilhelm, and Lúcio, Mei fought her way through the city streets to the omnics' command ship.
|Block 1200 damage with a single use of Mei's Ice Wall in Quick or Competitive play.|
|Freeze 4 enemies at once with Mei in Quick or Competitive play.|
- Mei's placeholder name during development was Frostbite. Early versions of the character were an explorer outfitted with climbing gear and bounty hunter who used an ice gun to freeze captured bounties in cryostasis.
- Earlier ideas for ice-based characters were included in an early pitch for the game: Frost, a man with a white fur-lined jacket and a visored helmet, envisioned as using an Ice Axe and abilities named Ice Patch and Ice Wall; another yeti-themed character named Yetzi was envisioned as having an Ice Storm ability.
- Early concepts for Mei were revised as they were too close to Zarya.
- The name Mei-Ling translates to "beautiful" and "spirit" in Chinese, and thus together "beautiful spirit".
- "Mei-Ling" is Mei's actual given name, not "Mei"; there is no middle name convention in traditional Chinese names. (The layout of 周美灵 in English is 'Zhou, Mei-Ling'.) One can imagine her saying, "Hi, I'm Mei-Ling, but you can just call me Mei!"
- One of her sprays reveals her drone's name to be Snowball.
- Mei's biological age, 31, does not include her time spent in cryostasis. Her chronological age is roughly 40.
- Mei's favourite drink is tea (also with boba [the tapioca pearls in bubble tea]).
- Mei is the ninth playable Overwatch character in Heroes of the Storm. She is also a purchasable announcer. Additionally, an image of Mei appears on the shoulderpad of Rexxar when using his Fire Raider skin.
- From a development standpoint, Mei is more of a "normal" hero, designed to show that anyone can rise to be a hero. Michael Chu has joked that her 'superpower' is being optimistic in the face of overwhelming odds.
- Mei has became a symbol of the 2019 Hong Kong protests. She was chosen ironically, being a Blizzard character, following the suspension and penalization of a Hearthstone e-Sports player blitzchung (Wai Chung Ng), after he publicly advocated for the Free Hong Kong movement. Fans of Blizzard and Overwatch have produced numerous images of Mei depicting her protesting the Hong Kong government or advocating for human rights, in the hopes that the Chinese version of Overwatch would be banned from the market.
Balance Change Log
For more information, see Patch Notes
- 2016-11-11, "Mei's age on the website (31) is her apparent/biological age, not chronological. It does not include the amount of time she spent in cryostasis." Michael Chu, Overwatch Forums.
- 2016-11-07, "Running out of options and low on supplies, the team decided to cryogenically freeze themselves until the storm passed. They believed that it would only be for a few months, but Mei awoke nearly a decade later." Play Overwatch.
- 2017-09-05, The Making of "Rise and Shine" | Overwatch. YouTube, accessed on 2017-09-13
- 2020-06-15, Mei Spotlight. YouTube, accessed on 2020-06-21
- Mei, Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed on 2015-11-07
- 2015-11-02, Mei's Adventures. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2016-06-09
- 2019-11-07, BlizzCon 2019 Overwatch 2 Panel Transcript. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2020-07-19
- Heroes of the Storm
- Rise and Shine
- Overwatch, Mei Quotes
- 2015-05-27, Overwatch is Back: Uncertainty and Hope After UN Confirms Vigilante Activity. Blizzard Entertainment., accessed on 2016-5-27
- 2016-10-25, Lijiang Tower. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2016-10-26
- Overwatch, D.Va Quotes
- Tracer: Reflections
- Zero Hour
- 2019-11-01, Overwatch 2 Gameplay Trailer. YouTube, accessed on 2019-11-08
- Overwatch: How A Hero is Mei'd
- Blizzcon 2017, Overwatch: Archives
- 2015-11-07, Overwatch: What’s New | Summary. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2015-11-10
- 2018-08-31, Michael Chu's Twitter, Accessed on 2018-09-02.
- 2019-10-09, Protestors are trying to get Overwatch banned in China, using memes of popular hero Mei. Polygon, accessed on 2020-06-21