On Incursion, it feels like that damn bird is in every single game, and he’s all over Meltdown as well. It reminds me of the Great Alani Proliferation, which lasted from her introduction until her nerf - there was never a question of whether there would be an Alani, only if someone would disconnect when they didn’t get her.
Putting aside my selfish Mellka-related reasons to fret over Benedict, Hawkeye just feels really gross on certain maps. On Paradise, for example, Benedict feels far more like an opportunistic and lethal menace than Pendles ever did - the perches allow him to terrorize both lanes. And maybe this is a phenomenon of the small player pool that inhabits Australian evenings, but it seems like there’s a ton of very kill-focused players that exclusively main Benedict, and whose strategy is to fly in, Hawkeye a support or a squishy target 100-0, and then fly back to perch. Even if someone CCs or snipes him at that point, it’s still incredibly frustrating for whichever squishy target he’s repeatedly sending back to spawn.
And on a selfish Mellka-related note… (everything below this is a vent: feel free to skip it haha)
After seventh months of sticking it out with Mell, watching her accuracy and health get hacked away while Caldarius, Benedict, etc. enjoy buffs, I think the ubiquitous presence of Hawkeye is finally what is going to make me put down the claw. Four seconds of homing rockets is a death sentence, and Benedict only has to splash Mell while she’s hindered by the immortal minion wave, any of the other four enemies on the field, or the cruel and unloving red bar. Because Mell has such poor accuracy at range, she can’t really compete against him until she reaches level 8 - and even at level 10, her homing blade launcher pales against Hawkeye + full homing clip. It’s not necessarily a “hard” counter, because a good Mellka will beat a bad Benedict, but it’s a dramatically unfavorable matchup. A good Benedict should crush a good Mellka every time.
This wouldn’t necessarily matter if Benedict were more niche, but he’s strong across the board and effective against all the cast, so he’s pretty much an inevitable enemy pick. The other skirmisher, Caldarius puts up a better fight against the bird, thanks to pinpoint accuracy, flashbangs, shield, higher HP… (why is his accuracy so much better than Mellka’s, anyway?)