Sp0h's Map Callouts: Route 66
Starting Time: 4:00
Checkpoint #1: +1:30
Checkpoint #2: +1:30
Total Time: 7:00
Route 66 is the first of the updated map callouts to be released, part of a thirteen article series featured here on Overbuff. This map has an interesting layout, featuring two wide open sections of the map with the final portion located in an enclosed area, forcing the teams to play a bit more close quarters. The map also includes the shortest completion time of all escort maps, which does not help its pick rate in tournaments. Route 66 also happens to be the least popular of the payload and hybrid maps, due to its short completion time among other reasons.
First Escort Leg
The first section of the map is fairly exposed, allowing for classes with good range and/or mobility to take advantage of superior lines of sight and Z-axis movement. When Route 66 first debuted as the final pure payload map added back in closed beta, picks like Pharah, Widow, and Soldier were common as they allowed teams to take control of the extra space present in the first escort leg. Offensive Widowmaker players could often be seen using “long”, “path”, and upper “caves” into “catwalk” as good spots to get potential picks. The gas station (“gas”) has traditionally been a good initial area for defense to set up for most (if not all) of the team, unless the team plans for some kind of early cheese rush out of the lower/upper “caves”.
These caves also happen function as effective flanking routes for both offense and defense. Generally heroes that excel in close quarters combat (i.e. Roadhog, Reaper, McCree) can often be seen utilizing upper and lower “caves” as a way to secure a pick when the core of the teams are focused on each other in “mid”. If the offense has a more dive-oriented composition they may opt for picks like Winston and Genji as it allows them easy access to harass the defense on top of the gas station. This does not mean that these two characters need to all out dive the enemy team together, however. They can still hold the front of gas station to create some space for their team to push the payload while staying in line of sight for heals and being a constant threat to the enemy team.
Second Escort Leg
The second section of the map is wide open, much like first, however one of the major differences is in the lack of available health packs. The second portion of Route 66 features only two mega health packs featured in “zed” and “hotel”. While the scarcity of health packs could have a small impact on the composition choices that team makes, teams generally will not change their entire setup for a few missing health packs. There is a small possibility that teams may opt for a character or lineup that involves a bit more self-sustain to account for this variable, if it fits into the team’s overall strategy.
Most teams that defend this map will hold the second story of “pub” near “bridge”, on “bridge”, or possibly even on “zed”, depending on what route the core of attacking team is taking. Generally on the first push, attacking teams will still be pushing the payload, which allows the defending team to have a better chance to set up. In this case, most teams set up their defense by taking the second story of “pub” looking towards “mid”. Characters that are able to move vertically like Hanzo, Genji, and Winston, are often favored in this section to take control of the pub’s roof, however ranged classes can clear them off if positioned on the back “catwalk”.
This section of the map can be tougher to defend because the fastest route back from defensive spawn is through “access” which, due to its single doorway to file through, makes it an excellent choke point. If the defending team chooses to take the long way around through the side doors by the point, it will take valuable time that the team may not have to make a second stand on defense.
Third Escort Leg
The last part of the map, while enclosed, still contains good sightlines for heroes like Hanzo, Widowmaker, and Soldier 76 to utilize, but also includes areas that close range heroes like Roadhog, Reaper, and McCree can take advantage of alike “access” and “office”. It often becomes incredibly important to maintain control of “access” as it allows either side to flank each other and mobile classes on the offense may take control of the alternate entrance located within.
Although the “lift” platform on Volskaya Industries may be used to enter the second area of the map or to pull off the occasional surprise McCree high noon (and to a lesser extent Bastion and Torbjorn’s turret), the “lift” platform on Route 66 is seldom used. Unlike Volskaya, vision of the “lift” is quite easy to maintain, and players using it will often be picked off.
One thing to note about the defender’s spawn here is that the right spawn door has a quicker route to the final checkpoint, so players will want to use this door when they respawn more often than not. Additionally, characters such as Winston may leap as soon as he spawns through the first door on the right allowing him to get back to the point even quicker. Attacking teams should therefore focus more on that door, but especially those players using heroes like Mei or Winston on offense as Mei can wall the door off and Winston can use his ult to delay the team from returning to the fight.
Another thing to always consider is that though some characters may be stronger at some maps than others by themselves, this does not necessarily mean that you should always choose them. Widowmaker is a great example of this as the exposed in Route 66 can be great for her, however she is seldom played in the current meta [Link to Cpt’s Meta Report]. Until changes to hero balance are made, or the meta shifts back towards Widowmaker, keep in mind that there may be better character choices until she and other heroes are viewed as favorable again.
Tips and Tricks
Here are some helpful tips for using the map overviews:
The shorter name or less syllables a map callout has, the less you will have say. This will make the communication on your team more efficient, reducing the amount of chat needed to relay important information. A good example of this would be abbreviating “apartments” to “aps”.
Buildings/areas with more than one level can be referred to upper/lower (i.e. “lower aps”)
Some of the callouts use the same name, sometimes even in the same map, to reduce the amount of memorization on the player’s part.
Medpacks are also included on the map and the color of the arrow will indicate the area that is located in. To differentiate between the two they can be called mega and mini, big and small, etc.
If you’d like to download the map callouts images for your own references, please follow this link