You know, that part I bolded in your statement made me think…
Symmetra, Mei, Bastion and Torb are all “useless” heroes that have one common characteristic, that goes against that statement. All of them forces either the enemy or their team to slow down a bit. And that may be the problem here, the conflicting points of view of those players.
When people pick Genji or Tracer, they don’t want to sit down and wait until Bastion is moved into position. They want to rush in as fast as possible, and that her team setup in the same speed, so they all can jump at the enemy team at the first possible moment.
However, when people pick Symmetra, they are looking at the long term game. Her orbs chip the enemy away. Her turrets hold the enemy at bay, which minimizes “unexpected” (aka, “exciting”) flankers jumping into the back for a surprise attack. And she only really start bringing her top game when she earns her ultimate and place it down. Granted, she earns it really fast if that Sym player knows what they are doing, but usually it take around 20~40 seconds to earn it. And that is a long time for a Winston to hold up on his desire to jump into the enemy team and wreck havoc.
It’s like comparing tournament chess with speed chess. Technically, they are the same game, but the way to approach both rulesets are different.
Some players want Overwatch to be a very fast-paced game (and OWL seems to follow that line). Some players want to play the strategic aspect of the game, and work with the ability match-ups, mind games, team strategy in general, and don’t mind taking their sweet time to study the situation and playing a patience game to win in the long run.
Heck, yesterday I was playing with my friend attacking Volskaya, and I asked them to regroup and actually said “wait until Soldier appear in the high ground to shoot at us, and let’s pick him”. And just as predicted, the enemy Soldier overextended, got picked, and we took the point after that. Had the Soldier stick with his team looking over the point, it would be harder for us to jump at the point and take it. We predicted that because he did the exact same thing the last time we regrouped to attack instead of trickling in.
Symmetra is a character that highly punishes when the enemy team play as a bunch of lone wolves, but suffer when there is enough coordination to focus targets. That is the main reason why she don’t see OWL time.
It have nothing to do with her turrets. It have nothing to do with her gun. It have nothing to do with her ults. It’s because once people get coordinated and play together, Sym’s kit is easily avoidable.
And the saving grace of the character for the people who play her for the last two years is that ladder is a wrecking mess, and will always be, if Blizzard don’t create incentives for people to form actual teams. That’s why she works on ladder. That’s why people hate her (usually those “lone wolf” type of players). And that’s also why I love playing her, because of all the shutdown potential she have when I win by outsmarting them instead of trying to win in the crosshair battle that I never will have hope of winning.