If you’re interested in entering competitive Overwatch, then we’ve designed a series of articles just for you. We’ll be covering everything, from which heroes make the best choices in different roles, to how to maximize damage as a team. We’ll start with the basics, and the articles will increase in complexity, as we cover every aspect of the game, including how best to play specific heroes and maps.
We recommend mastering one hero for each role
Ultimately, the focus of Overwatch is being able to change heroes. You should be able to merge your choice with that of your team–mates, and be adaptable to what roles and heroes they ultimately pick. If you’re going into a game where you’ll have to play defense against strong opponents, you need to be able to move to heroes who specialize in support or defense. Similarly, if a team you’re playing on lacks armor or the ability to deal damage, you might wish to move to fill that lack.
Mercy or Reinhardt can actually reclaim the game for a team that has taken heavy damage. These heroes can turn a potential loss into a win. Look at a hero’s abilities and capabilities, and weigh them carefully against the choices of the rest of the team before you make your pick.
Don’t focus on the kills, in competitive Overwatch – focus on the goals
The whole focus of competitive Overwatch is achieving certain goals. These are different depending on the mode you’re playing. Each mode has a limited number of maps. These are…
You have to conquer a number of sections one after another. The attacking team moves to dominate these areas. The defending team tries to prevent them from doing so. The maps for this mode are Horizon Lunar Colony, Volskaya Industries, Temple of Anubis, and Hanamura.
One team plays escort to an object that moves through the map. Their goal is to enable the object to reach its goal. The focus of the other team, obviously, is to prevent the object from getting there. The object will tend to accelerate if it is under attack. The maps for this mode are Junkertown, Dorado, Watchpoint: Gibraltar, and Route 66.
Here, both teams vie with each other to control a designated area on the map. The maps for this mode are Nepal, Oasis, Ilios, and Lijiang Tower.
Assault / Escort
This mode is a hybrid of two other modes. One team has to ‘conquer’ a certain area. Then a moving object is launched, which they have to escort to a destination. The maps for this mode are Blizzard World, Hollywood, Eichenwalde, Numbani, and King’s Row.
The key to Victory in competitive Overwatch is to focus on the right things
Too many teams focus on killing off members of the enemy team. Yes, that might interfere with the plans of the enemy team. However, in Overwatch, what you should really focus on are your goals for that map. In Escort, for example your goal is to make sure the moving object reaches its destination. You should have no other goal when playing Escort.
Sure, if you crush the opposing team, you’ll get a commendation. However, if you fail in ‘escort duty’, you still lose the map. Your job is to win the map. The same applies in Assault. If you’re capturing an area, capture the area. Don’t go running off chasing fleeing, wounded, members of the enemy team. Focus on the goal, because the goal is victory.
In competitive Overwatch, the team is all
Correctly assess your own skill. Competitive Overwatch demands that you rely upon your team–mates. You don’t have to be the world’s most optimal player. A player can still contribute extremely well by being utterly reliable as the team goes into action. Brilliant players are rare, but utterly reliable team members, that are always around when their team needs their skills, and who put their team’s goals above personal scores – these are equally rare. This means that even if you don’t have the skills to be brilliant, you can be reliable. So long as you’re reasonably competent, it’s virtually as good.
Don’t freelance, or try to take on the opposing team at once
You need to move in on the enemy as a team. Above all, don’t move at the enemy one team member at a time. If you do that, you’ll become ‘easy meat’ for the enemy team. They will simply kill you one team member at a time. Victory in Overwatch comes from Unity. All the roles need to move as one, and support each other. You need to have the tanks taking damage, while the offensives deal it out. Meanwhile, the defense and supporting members must also fulfill their roles to make sure the team lasts as long as possible.
Remember, if you do not move together, you will be isolated
This is dangerous. As escort or assault maps progress, in competitive Overwatch, it takes some time to spawn after you die. This means that dying one after another could well be catastrophic. The result will be that your team spawns separately, rather than together, and thus cannot fight together. This is something any competitive Overwatch player absolutely must avoid. Do not try to take any objective singly or even in pairs. Players that arrive before the others must hide or move to cover. Individuals must wait for the team to arrive and take the objective as a single unit. Never forget this, my young padawans.
Ultimate Abilities – making or breaking the game
The Ultimate Ability charges with time. It is also charged by kills, or by meeting mission objectives. It goes without saying that using Ultimates correctly – or incorrectly – can win or lose a game for your team in competitive Overwatch. If a team dies while conquering or warding off the enemy from a target area, Mercy’s resurrection can bring them to life again to smash an already–weakened enemy. McCree’s Ultimate Ability, Deadeye, could decimate an entire team that happens to clump together in a limited area.
Do not ‘hoard’ a loaded Ultimate Ability, either
Competitive Overwatch encounters are fast paced and short lived. You need to make sure that you trigger your ultimate several times per match. This is crucial. Unused Ultimates lose matches as surely as well–used Ultimates win them. Don’t hoard an Ultimate waiting for the ‘absolutely best’ moment to use it, which may never arrive.
Memorise the sound cues for every Ultimate
This is quite crucial in Overwatch. Memorizing the sound cues for every Ultimate gives you the opportunity to dodge Ultimates used by the opposition. It also allows you to benefit when a member of your team uses theirs.
Massacre the support
Don’t focus on the damagers or the tanks when you attack an enemy team. Decimate the support heroes instead. They are far more important to the longevity and fighting capability of a team. This includes heroes like Symmetra and Mercy, or Zenyatta and Lucio.
You should never target Reinhardt, for example, if you have the opportunity to target Mercy instead. This is because the former’s shield can absorb large amounts of damage, while Mercy is likely to go down before you fairly easily. Not only that, but Reinhardt will miss her when your damagers get to work on him. Torbjorn is another character to put down quickly. He creates irritating towers that cause immense damage to your team at extended range. Worse, he can keep upgrading those towers if you don’t put him under the turf quickly.
Your crosshairs tell you your damage spead
This is actually very important. The larger the spread of your attack, the bigger your crosshair. A small crosshair means your damage is focused on a single target. A larger one means the weapon has AoE – an ‘Area of Effect’. This means that it will spread damage over a larger area. The Shuriken attack of Genji’s hits a single target, while the Shotguns used by the Reaper spread over a considerable area. Use this to understand how to use your attack.
You’ll find that most players haven’t trained for the close combat mode. This means that adding this quirk to your gameplay will help you to put down the opposition every time. Working as a team, use your Ultimates and weapons to put down the opposing team. That’s when you deliver the ‘coup de grace’ with melee attacks. Meanwhile, your main weapons reload. Competitive Overwatch is all about making the most of what you are given with a particular hero.
Refine, refine, refine
Search for ways to make a playing style with a particular hero more efficient. Use everything that hero can do – weapons, reload times, focused damage or AoE, melee attacks, Ultimates, everything. On a basic level of competitive Overwatch, getting the utmost out of a hero is the key to winning. So this should be your focus at this level.
Your goal is to get more from your hero, pound for pound, than the opposing team-member gets from his hero. That’s the secret of winning at Overwatch at the entry level of competitive play. We’ll be back soon, with more strategies and tips for more advanced levels of play.
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