How to defend against Tracer and Genji in Overwatch's new meta

As fast skirmishers make a return, it's time to roll out the defense.

Tracer and Genji have been tearing it up at the pro level after the last patch, with teams using them on almost every map. This goes double when maps like Oasis are drawn, since they have plenty of obstacles to dart around and climb on. Both of these characters can be annoying in the hands of a capable ladder warrior, so it’s important to make some adjustments to your composition if they’re keeping your team scattered. In particular, you’re going to want sufficient crowd control and some heavy hitters.

McCree

The cowboy is an excellent choice for keeping those gnats out of your face. Being one of the best damage dealers in the game, McCree can take squishy targets out before they’re able to become threats. He also has the good ol’ Flashbang and Fan the Hammer combo for insta-kills on any flankers who are up to no good.

It won’t be a cakewalk, though. McCree requires quite a bit of skill and patience to be effective with, as even on the ladder you’re going to want to be landing a lot of headshots and eliminating injured targets to give your team the advantage. But once you get to a point where your shots are landing and you’re able to control space with authority, it will take a lot for Tracer and Genji to be as effective. Watch as we revisit Surefour’s superb execution at MLG Las Vegas, as he takes down both of NRG’s DPS in the span of a few seconds: 

McCree’s ultimate, Deadeye, cannot be overlooked when discussing ways to stop heroes that are constantly skipping around the screen. If you know that the enemy flankers are respawning, get yourself into position to send them right back to the graveyard with a well-timed Deadeye. It needs very little aiming and should result in multiple kills if you set it up properly.

At the very least, McCree will announce what time it is and probably force people out of position for the rest of his team to deal with. Check out this play by Sayaplayer from Apex season 2. All of MVP Infinity is funneling through to the payload on Route 66, and he doesn’t miss his high-ground opportunity, sending four players with loaded ultimates to the respawn screen:

Zarya

Killing enemies is one thing, but learning how to mitigate their damage efficiently is an entirely different story. When you’re having issues with Genji or Tracer, sometimes having the option to cast a shield on a teammate can be a godsend. Not only does it help keep them in the fight, but it will more than likely change the enemy’s target prioritization as well, creating a window to burn them down or chase them away.

In lower leagues, it’s safe to bank on the fact that the opposing team isn’t exactly 'heads up' with their shot-calling, making Zarya’s skill set even more of a pain to deal with. Speaking of painful skills, Graviton Surge is one of the best ultimates in the game for crowd control and setups. Unlike Earthshatter, GS drags Zarya’s targets to one point, leaving them vulnerable to everything you can throw at them. Is there really a more satisfying way to dispose of speedy DPS? Watch Hoon and Libero from Meta Athena team up for a monster play that starts with a perfect Graviton Surge:

Roadhog

Hooks have long been a favorite weapon for dealing with Tracer and Genji, and after the last patch, they’ve become even strong. Now that targets are guaranteed to land in front of Hog, there is little chance of escape. Not only is he key to securing your team’s flanks with precision hooks, but his ultimate, Whole Hog, has a knockback effect that can keep points and payloads clear of any would-be assassins. Here’s a perfect example of how this can all play out:

OneFact catches an enemy Tracer trying to sneak up from behind, then immediately triggers his ultimate to give MVP Infinity some breathing room on the payload. Playing Roadhog can lead to many cathartic experiences like this, and he’s quite easy to learn. If you’re looking for a way to get into the game and earn some quick ladder points, Hog is a great choice. You’ll help your team by eliminating DPS threats, and you have a self-heal that will keep you on your feet. 

Widowmaker

Yes, you read that correctly. If you’re up for a challenge, Widow can keep Tracer and Genji pinned down from a safe distance and vantage point. This will require pinpoint sniper aim and some very, very thick skin to pull off, but you should be able to shut some of your louder teammates up if you do. It’s helpful to have some knowledge of typical DPS routes before attempting any lengthy Widow stint. Knowing where the flankers might be coming from is just as important as tagging enemies who are already in front of you. Watch how Mannetens flinches to the right of the bunker on Volskaya and manages to pick up a Tracer kill:

Widow is the embodiment of 'luck is preparation meeting opportunity'. Once you get comfortable with the maps and know what your capabilities are with her grappling hook, you can do some pretty amazing things so long as you can stay alive. Look at this awesome shot by Sayaplayer as he grapples away from Easybro who slipped around the billboard on Route 66: 

If you’re picking up important kills and doing the right things, feel free to shrug off any shade being thrown your way for playing a sniper. Just remember: unintentional griefing is still griefing. Know when to switch characters.

Overwatch is a game of chess, not checkers. Each character brings something unique to the table, and both Tracer and Genji are capable of oppressive harassment. If you don’t deal with them quickly, they have the potential to cause organizational disasters for your team.