Overwatch League Team’s Approach to Blizzard World
Blizzard World is the newest map to be inserted into the Overwatch League map pool, and the hybrid map early on has facilitated strong defensive play and made it tough on attacking teams. Seven games have been played on Blizzard World and only three teams have reached the third point. Each team has similar strategies with slight differences, here’s how each team plays this map.
The first Point
The first point on Blizzard World is a long run for the attacking team, with many open sightlines and back alleys to avoid them. The majority of teams in the Overwatch League started off positioning themselves on the backside of the dock building, towards the mini health pack. Similarly to Hanamura, Kings Row, and Eichenwalde, teams will play near the back of each point.
One reason is to go anti-dive and make getting onto the backline a journey just to get into a position to dive that far. Secondly, it makes the attacking team come to them and stay organized. An attacking team lacking cohesion on the first point of Blizzard World will come to a swift and brutal end. Lastly, it makes healing easier, especially on this map where there are more doors and buildings to enter than just about any map.
As for how pro teams play this first point, it depends on the team, we will use a couple of teams as examples. On attack, the strongest strategy so far has been the triple-tank composition that pushes up through the right or left buildings and slow pushes aggressively onto the point. The Seoul Dynasty are the only team to run this, but unlike other strategies that rely on a Sombra hack or Widowmaker pick, the tank composition has more room for error.
Moving closer to the standard, the three characters that often get picked on this long stretch of a first point is the best mobility characters (Sombra and Tracer) and the character that covers the most ground (Widowmaker). The San Francisco Shock ran Sombra throughout the entire map but were hard countered in some instances by the Dynasty’s tank lineup.
As for the most forward-thinking setup, that belongs to the Dynasty on defense as well. It was the same tank composition but switching Jin-hyuk “Miro” Gong from Winston to Orissa and shielding the small pathway on the attacking right side. On the attacking left side, Byung-sun “Fleta” Kim on Sombra hacked the big health pack and with Jin-mo “Tobi” Yang on Tracer forcing the attacking team to the attacking right side, right into Seong-beom “Munchkin” Byun waiting behind the Orissa shield with Roadhog’s hook.
The most efficient team throughout week two on the first point was, you guessed it, the New York Excelsior. Facing the London Spitfire, who sat behind the dock building, Jun-hwa “Janus” Song forced them off with direct dives, leaving Do-hyeon “Pine” Kim free shots on retreating support players. Widowmaker is not a must-pick on Blizzard World, but the tight shots with heavy cover make it hard to pass up.
The second point on Blizzard World was the doom bringer for offenses in week one. It’s a long point, with many doors to escape and a giant wall that helps defenses set up on the high ground with cover. The Pylon Terrace section is a great section for defenses and five of eight teams were stranded in this middle section.
Why is it so difficult? First off, it gives the close quarter heroes a serious advantage. The D.Va players last week tore up the second point. Matt “Coolmatt” Lorio used D.Va’s vertical maneuverability to control the against the dive and counter-dive while still maintaining the high ground advantage. That’s not to mention the success D.Va’s have found with angled self-destructs in week one. Coolmatt had couple play of the game plays, but he wasn’t the only one, Tae-hong “Meko” Kim and Gael “Poko” Gouzerch also landed major self-destruct multi-kills.
Additionally, Tracer and Junkrat can play a significant role in this section. Heroes like Tracer and Sombra work well because it’s easy to get to the backline considering all the passageways. Junkrat is great because all those passageways allow for Junkrat to send easy body shots onto anyone he catches. Jun-young “Profit” Park played this role as it should be played, but Jong-ryeol “Saebyeolbe” Park did a great job trying to counter the Pylon Terrace setup.
Five out of fourteen rounds ended in three points. It’s incredibly difficult to push into that final point and takes a well-concentrated ultimate fight win to take the point entirely. Heavy tanks have been one of the best strategies because they have the necessary help to power through. However, Junkrat’s proven to be a nuisance for attacking teams, as there are many paths for a rogue junktire to connect.
In essence, it’s about outlasting opponents and getting strong ultimates to end fights. It’s arguably the most difficult point to take in the map pool, but that will change over time. With only five rounds finishing on the last point, there’s not enough data to get a clear understanding of what teams are looking to run at this point. From the few games last week, it took a skill shot and recognizing a retreating defense from Kim “Zunba” Joon-hyuk to finally take the point with a triple-kill self-destruct.
It’s safe to assume more strategies will be introduced this week. It’s nice to see the compositional picks are spread out amongst a large number of heroes. Sombra has been shown to work on both offenses and defenses. Same goes for Widowmaker and the tank-compositions. Those three have taken the spotlight, but expect more drastic changes to be implemented this week.
Feature photo via Overwatch Wiki