Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up with duels and poking in Overwatch. Apart from “everyone go right,” there often isn’t too much team cohesion on the ladder. Having a plan of attack beyond the initial spawn is crucial to your team’s success and your precious SR. Map knowledge feels like an afterthought a lot of the time, with players not thinking about how group composition and positioning might change from one map to the next. I spoke with former DPS flex player, , earlier this week to see what his thoughts were on the various maps of Nepal.
Of the three stages on Nepal, Sanctum is the one where fighting can get the most hectic. It’s a great map to get creative on as you can net yourself some important kills with a variety of heroes. Far elaborates: “Sanctum is one of the best maps in the game for environmental kills, right behind certain Ilios maps. You always have to be on alert for Lucio boops and Roadhog hooks. There is also room here for some interesting hero picks, as this is the one map that we sometimes see Junkrat in professional play.”
Esca from Lunatic-Hai is a DPS player that goes with Junkrat on Sanctum from time to time:
Grenade/rocket spam in tight spaces has been an FPS strategy for a very long time. The idea, in case you’re wondering, is that you’ll maximize the damage of every shot since your targets are clustered together. In Overwatch, this also means making short work of tank shields and possible deployables in the area. If your team agrees to take the fight down either hallway on Sanctum, picking Junkrat could give your composition the necessary firepower to win that first fight.
Roadhog is a very sneaky hero on Sanctum in that he can hook you from across the pit and drop you to your death. That’s part of the reason why it’s better to fight in the halls until the control point opens. Why give the other team a fast numbers advantage? But there’s also something cool you can do with Roadhog later on if your team pushes forward. Let’s just say there’s more than one way to get an environmental kill:
Sanctum offers a lot if you know what to look for and how to press your advantage. Remember to play smarter, not harder on this map.
Like Garden on Lijiang Tower, Shrine’s capture point is in a building that has a roof and center obstacle. Here’s what Far has to say about it: “Shrine is probably the most standard map. The fighting almost always goes onto the point. Pharah is effective due to the giant skybox and ability to break lines of sight with the center structure.”
When you look at the space you’re dealing with on Shrine, Pharah almost becomes a no-brainer. She’s a very popular pick at both the pro and ladder levels because of how much area she can cover, and, as Far says, you can use line of sight to your advantage. Not only is there the structure over the point, but there are rooms, overhangs and columns you can dance around to give the enemy fits. Here’s that phenomenal play again from LG Evil’s at Carbon Series:
Pay attention to his movement and positioning here. He utilizes just enough of the vertical plane, all while weaving around the elephant statue and center columns. That’s what you have to do on Shrine if you want to help your team as Pharah. Not abusing line of sight is one-way ticket to the spawn room.
Shrine’s setup can also offer a number of ambush opportunities if you’re guarding the point. Since most teams run with either a Genji or Tracer these days, it may be worth your time to investigate how the map layout can be used to surprise your opponents. We’ll look to Jake once more to show us a sneaky setup with Genji, this time from the :
That’s one way to kill a push! And they say camping takes no skill.
The reasoning behind this can be looked at as two sides of the same coin. For starters, uprooting a defense on Village can often feel like the ultimate exercise in futility. The best way to deal with that is to group up, call out your targets and try to steamroll by piggybacking off of each other’s damage. On the flip side, there are only a couple of paths you can take to get to the point, so the best way to defend is to—you guessed it—ball up and react. Take a look at the following clip to see how Selfless attacks the point:
They all take the high ground and jump down at once, leaving Dafran to dominate the high ground (big props for that hook read). Even if there’s a Pharah in play, the 76 option up top should cancel out that pick if nothing else. If you’re on defense, your group’s initial positioning should be that same high ground. It’s much easier to react to surprise picks and see where the enemy is coming from. Here’s that killer Immortals defense from Carbon Series once more:
It doesn’t get prettier than that. They deny LG Evil the high ground with some teamwork and well-timed ultimates, never straying too far from each other at any time.
Knowing what to do in every situation will help you improve in any game you play. Map knowledge isn’t just some tertiary skill in Overwatch: it’s something that could possibly save you a few invaluable seconds. On Nepal, that means looking for environmental hazards, using structures to disrupt lines of sight and knowing when to stick together. If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out some pro replays on YouTube or Twitch. You might learn another clutch trick or two that you can put in your back pocket.