The Reaper buff along with the barrage of Brigitte nerfs is definitely a reaction to the highest level of play (Grandmaster and the pro scene) being 95% GOATS, which is 3 tanks and 3 supports. Rein, Zarya, D.Va with Lucio, Zen, and Brig, swapping out Rein with Winston if it’s a map with a lot of verticality. Most any other comp gets steamrolled by all that HP, damage nullification, and healing, so both teams just run the exact same setup, and whoever plays it better wins. It can work in lower ranks, but it does require coordination in the sense that the whole team has to stick together all the time and stagger ult usage, so it’s not as popular in Diamond and below.
But yeah, if you’ve been following any of the big streamers and the Contenders league, GOATS is what everyone’s been playing for months and months, and a lot of the pros are sick of it.
I don’t think this big Reaper buff is going to put an end to it nor will it make him super viable in GM and above because his range and mobility sucks, and those top tier players CC his relatively big hitbox instantly to oblivion and very rarely have bad positioning that Reaper punishes immensely in lower ranks.
It’s really more the armor and Rally nerfs if anything that would stop GOATS dominance, but that remains to be seen.
McCree’s still a good counter to Reaper, especially since Fan the Hammer got buffed not too long ago. Flashbang and FTH stops Reaper dead in his tracks consistently. Brig’s Shield Bash and Whip Shot are also good. Same with Lucio boops to keep him at a distance. With fast reflexes and solid aim, Ana’s sleep dart is another answer.
Personally, I’m very excited to for OWL S2 and how the meta will shake out by then. Maybe I’ll be totally wrong and we’ll see everyone’s favorite edgelord Gabby Reyes fuck shit up in the pro scene.
As for my actual experience playing Ranked, it’s been more or less the same sometimes fun, sometimes awful time swinging between high Plat and low Diamond! Trying to learn Ashe, and… she’s good.