Sp0h's Map Callouts: King's Row
Starting Time: 4:00
Capture A: +2:30
Checkpoint 1: +1:30
Total Time: 8:00
Welcome back to another edition of Sp0h’s map callouts! In the last feature, we visited Volskaya Industries, but this week we’re taking a look at the granddaddy of all Overwatch maps: King’s Row. King’s Row has a reputation of being one of the most popular, if not the most popular map in Overwatch, our very own Dust2 from Counter-Strike. Overall, King’s Row is not intricate as other Overwatch maps and its streamlined design lends itself to less flanking and more direct conflict between teams, making it slightly less complex for teams to play. Due to its simplicity, newly created competitive teams prioritize learning King’s Row right out of the gate. And at Overbuff we’re here to help.
King’s Row is a hybrid escort map, which means that it features a capture point which opens up the door to the clocktower, from which the payload will then exit. For attacking teams, the first thing to establish is whether or not the enemy team is running Mei. Defensive Meis are always hunting for an Ice Wall in the choke point before “statue” which can split apart attacking teams for easy kills, so you should try to bait out this Wall safely. If the team has a Mei or if your attacking team wants to avoid a sizable amount of poke damage, going up through “movie” and out the side door into “alley” is a good alternative to get into the site. From here, teams can choose to push from “statue” or go to top “alley” for access to more of the site.
The first point of King’s Row features many high ground areas that ranged classes such as Soldier, McCree, and Hanzo can use for good sight lines. Ranged heroes on defense may choose to play either “halls” or top “clock” in order to gain a vertical advantage on opponents and make these flank routes harder to access for less mobile attacking teams. Ranged heroes on offense may choose to try in contest that high ground by going through “alley” and jumping over “closet” to get access to the rest of the high ground around the plaza. Heroes without mobility such as McCree, will not be able to cross “closet” without assistance from classes such as Lucio and Mei, or by taking extra time to go through the bottom of “clock”.
The core of the attacking team will often choose to assault the point by either going around “statue”, up “mid”, or through “hotel”. The differences can often depend on the composition the attacking team is running. If the attackers have a long-ranged “pick-off” composition, “statue” can give the team additional time to engage the enemy team while maintaining good sight-lines and distance, since most defensive teams tend to hold anywhere from between “arch” and “hotel” to the middle of the “point”. Attacking teams with a hard-engage setup with heroes such as Reaper, D.Va, and Winston, may choose to go straight up mid or through hotel to get to the defending team quicker – drawing their attention while taking minimum amounts of poke damage.
Second Point View
The streets phase of King’s Row is full of narrow areas that constrict movement and make it difficult to dodge abilities. Depending on when the defending team wiped, it can be possible for the next fight after capping the point to occur near “arch” as it makes for a solid chokepoint for things like Mei’s Ice Wall and Zarya’s Graviton Surge. If Rogue’s decision to run extensive Pharah in Apex foreshadows the new Meta, Pharah can be a strong pick here as she can float on and around the roofs of “pub” to use them as cover in between assaults on the enemy team. Pharah players also often come paired with a Mercy, and the pub is a popular Mercy hiding spot to get off huge Resurrects. Pub also happens to be the location of the only Mega health pack in the streets phase and should be a priority for Sombra players to hack to prevent their opponents from accessing it.
Attacking teams sometimes stall near the checkpoint because the run from attacking spawn is relatively the same as the defender’s spawn. “Brew” and “catwalk” are two areas for attacking teams to watch out for when attempting to cap the second checkpoint as flanks from these areas are common. This checkpoint can also be more difficult to take as the defending team has access to two Mini health packs (“long” and “connector”) and a Mega health pack (“storage”), which can be used to supplement team healing and are prime Hack targets.
Final Point View
The factory phase is the final stretch of the map and has areas where gaining verticality can be crucial to successfully completing the map. Areas like “window” and upper “horseshoe” can be advantageous for heroes like Hanzo, Pharah, and especially Nanoboost-seeking Reapers. Matches can be won based on players’ positioning in these areas – pressuring the enemy team by either picking players off or threaten an impactful ultimate with minimal distance to cover. If one of the teams is able to take control of one of the upper areas, generally its a good idea to be able to have a hero that can respond and counter that threat. For example, if the attacking team has a Pharah there is a good chance that she will try to utilize upper “horseshoe” as a perch to spam rockets from relative safety. This is where the opposing team needs to have an answer such as Winston, D.Va, or Genji to contest the high ground to zone Pharah out. Failure to do so can result in the Pharah getting free rockets on the defense, increasing the chance of getting picks and snowballing into a team fight victory.
The lower areas of the map such as “storage” and “access” are not as impactful for flanking as similar areas in other Overwatch maps because of the openness and accessibility of alternate routes, which makes controlling high ground that much more important. A player positioning themselves in “access” in the factory phase of the map won’t have the same impact and defensive positioning as a player in “halls” in the plaza phase.
Here are some helpful tips to 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.