Hammer Down! Analyzing Plays from COWLeague Open

Dec 15, 2016

This week’s Competitive Overwatch Open ended with a 2-1 victory for Rubicon over Lucky 7. This second week of competitive play drew to a close with a match on King’s Row after pitting 32 participating teams through five rounds of carnage before a final victor emerged.

So what can we learn from the grand masters at the end of this Darwinian gauntlet? What made the survivors so fit? Let’s analyze the tactics used in the last round and see what we can glean.

Highlights included a badass Play of the Game from Lucky 7’s Inorashi as McCree.

Inorashi first cancels Reinhardt’s shield with an expertly placed flashbang. He then exploits as much damage as possible by fanning the hammer into a crowded hall of enemy heroes before rolling back to reload and take advantage of the cover provided by his advancing team. Lucky 7’s Reinhardt used his Earth Shatter to let Inorashi set up his Deadeye and wipe the team of all but a tricky Mei, which the team quickly focused down after she emerged from her Cryo-Freeze.

Mei later avenges her team under the steady hand of Rubicon’s Prismah.

Prismah starts by taunting the enemy tanks with Mei’s icicles, firing directly at Rein’s shield, baiting them into the path of her own Reinhardt, who skulks with all the stealth and cunning that an eight foot tall armored German shouldn’t possess. When her Rein brings the hammer down to incapacitate the enemy tanks, Mei rushes in to throw a Blizzard directly onto the payload. By the time the enemy team realizes Al Gore was right, Mei’s team has already wiped them off the map like our diminishing ozone layer.

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Just some primo Genji work.

Rubicon’s Grandeur demonstrates the power of a well-played Genji with high flying acrobatics, precision with projectiles that borders on clairvoyance, and Swift Strikes that drop the enemy team faster than they can spawn. He makes pushing the payload down that last stretch look like pushing a hot katana through butter.

The operative ability in most clips available seems to be Reinhardt’s Earth Shatter, and that’s not just because the editor of the footage was into Grandpas and knockwurst.

Reinhardt’s ability to shield his team from damage, swoop in and snatch up prey like a majestic Prussian eagle, and floor an enemy team faster than Oktoberfest without carbs is something that is nigh irreplaceable, especially on the competitive level. The Reinhardt meta is very real and here to stay for a long time.

The next COWLeague Open will take place Sunday, December 18th. Bring your war face and some snacks.

Reinhardt's shield is conspicuously absent.Screenshot of Oasis map by Blizzard
Dec 8, 2016
"There is a crack, a crack in everything. / That's how the light gets in." - Leonard Cohen
Dec 7, 2016
Symmetra Screenshot
Dec 1, 2016
Nov 29, 2016
Nate Russell
Nate is a freelance writer and journalist from Fort Worth, Texas. Thrilled by adventure and humanitarian efforts, Nate has written for federal and non-profit relief agencies alike, and many others, but that's just the side-gig that supports his gaming addiction.
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