7 Plays to enjoy on your Saturday: Top Play Breakdowns from CaptainPlanet
What’s up guys and gals, CaptainPlanet here to present a not-so-quick rundown of some of the plays you might have missed during the Overwatch Monthly Melee last weekend, and one from the Apex semifinals during the week. For those who were not able to tune into the late-night Apex matches, they were especially hype due to the cinderella story of RunAway – the Season 1 challenger team and crowd favorite eliminating LuxuryWatch Blue, a favorite to reach the finals. For those who were also unable to tune into OMM, the March edition of the Melee attracted an unusually strong lineup of NA’s top talent, culminating in a Rogue-Selfless grand final rematch after the two juggernauts met in the semifinals. Hype matches mean hype plays, so strap right in and let me be your guide: 7 plays to enjoy on your Saturday.
1: Reminder that Buds is good at hitscan
After all of the joking on social media at Fnatic’s expense thanks to a certain possibly-too-confident player, Fnatic really needed to give their fans a reminder of why they succeeded in the first place. Lucky for them, Buds decided it was time to show just how powerful a Widowmaker can be when you hit your shots. Brazil Gaming House performed admirably in the tournament at large considering their huge ping differential, but as soon as Buds hits his first shot in this Hanamura clip, it seems like he doesn’t miss until the fight ends. Just getting one pick on Widowmaker fundamentally changes how the enemy team positions themselves, but BGH had to brave Buds’ line of sight in order to contest the wide-open point. Unfortunately, this meant they did not have the time or the resources to put any pressure on the red-hot sniper. The rest of the clip writes itself - death, after death, after death until Fnatic put BGH out of their misery.
2: Have you ever seen a Genji reflect to save his teammate?
Nico demonstrates one of the more underrated – and more difficult to execute – functions of Genji’s Deflect ability: saving teammates. At the beginning of the clip, Emongg comes into view and the telltale “click” of a Hook latching onto KnoxXx can be heard. Nico picks up on KnoxXx’s predicament and gets right up inside his character model to Deflect the upcoming Hog meat-shot. What happens next is a bit of luck combined with a bit of skill. First, uNKOE hits the mass of bodies with a Biotic Grenade, debuffing Emongg and buffing Nico and KnoxXx
Then, notice that Nico starts deflecting shots before Emongg’s Hook animation even ends. Where could these shots be coming from? He’s only visible for a few frames, but Sinatraa had actually jumped in on the action as well to try to help Emongg finish off KnoxXx, with SoOn chasing close behind.
Unfortunately for Sinatraa, he contributes to his own team-member’s demise. Also unfortunately for Sinatraa, Nico Swift Strikes as soon as his Deflect completes – either having realized that Sinatraa was behind Emongg or just to ensure that he completed the kill, catching Sinatraa for 50 damage. He then pulls out his Dragonblade and proceeds to wipe the team. Now consider this, the sequence of events of:
- Nico notices Emongg
- Emongg hooks Knoxxx
- Nico gets in front of Knoxxx and Deflects
- Unkoe throws Biotic Grenade
- Sinatraa gets behind Emongg and starts shooting
- SoOn follows Sinatraa
- Nico Swift Strikes and pulls out Dragonblade
occurred during a 2 second time span. What looked like a sure-fire pick by Emongg turned into a full team wipe in such a short amount of time, confirming that I’ll never understand how the pros keep up with Overwatch’s frenetic pace.
3: You’re killing me Voll(s)
And here, we can see the precise moment Voll’s heart got ripped out.
As ZP’s casting suggests, Voll had had a bit of an issue with getting his Graviton Surges eaten by D.Va Defense Matrices throughout the Melee, and this particular incidence sealed LG Evil’s fate against Selfless here on Temple of Anubis. Shoutout to Dafran, however, who played Soldier 76 for nearly all of Selfless’ time in the tournament except in a few key moments, like this one where his D.Va made the difference.
4: Wait, what? How did Sinatraa die?
In this clip, not all is what it seems to be. Selfless and Rogue are gearing up for an all-out brawl on the payload with four ultimates a piece burning holes in their pockets, but Sinatraa gets picked off very early on in the fight. The kill feed says aKm’s Soldier kills him, but how? It’s time to put on our hats and play Overwatch detective:
First, notice how Sinatraa’s body flies to the left due to a very visible explosion to the right. Seems like aKm hit a clutch Helix Rocket right? But, if we fast forward a couple of seconds this doesn’t seem to be the case:
Only four seconds later, the camera swaps to aKm’s perspective where we can see that his Helix Rocket is not on cooldown. Since Helix Rocket has a cooldown of eight seconds, not less than four, we know that while aKm may have finished off Sinatraa with his main fire, he wasn’t the one who fired the rocket. Let’s roll the clip back a bit:
Boom, there’s the origin of the rocket. Noticing that Rogue was clumped up on the elevator, Dafran made the (admittedly good) decision to fire a Helix Rocket directly into their center. He wasn’t expecting this, however:
It’s extremely hard to see in a still image (Twitch/Blizzard, can you work together to improve Overwatch stream encoding please??), but NiCOgdh has Deflect up the whole time Rogue is on the elevator. Whether by luck or by skill – probably the latter – Nico nails Sinatraa with the Dafran’s deflected Helix and aKm finishes him off, giving them the 1-man advantage in what was geared up to be a battle of many ultimates.
5: SoOn brought a pea-shooter to a rocket fight
Earlier this week I wrote about what I dubbed Selfless’ “battle buddy” system, where none of their players seem to ever be alone to have to take 1v1s. In this clip, Michael3D’s Ana seems caught out by SoOn’s Tracer on Hollywood, a 1v1 you never want to have to take as a support. To his credit, Michael3D performs admirably: healing himself with a Biotic Grenade and left-right strafing to stay alive. Just as SoOn is about to finish him off, the camera suddenly zooms out: SoOn is dead to a timely Helix Rocket from Michael3D’s battle buddy, Dafran. Turning 1v1s into 2v1s, the Selfless way.
#6: How the hell did Selfless pull out this hold on Temple of Anubis?
Fights on Temple of Anubis’ second point are notoriously lengthy and it is often difficult to keep track of all that is happening at once. This hold by Selfless is another in a long list of such engagements. Rather than break down every single movement and action in this ~44 second brawl, I’ll condense it to the pivotal moments that lead to Sefless’ full-holding against Rogue:
- 00:00: SoOn dodges Emongg’s hook
- 00:05: Kresnik turns his shield at just the right time to block SoOn’s Sticky
- 00:05: While SoOn is Stickying shields, Sinatraa hacks aKm mid-Barrage
- 00:07: SoOn ends up killing Kresnik anyway, and Sinatraa takes out Akm
- 00:00->00:21: dHaK all the while is being a slippery Lucio, preventing Rogue from making any capture point progress
- 00:25: Right on time, Selfless returns from spawn
- 00:34: uNKOE is on the bridge, with Transcendence nearly charged
- 00:38: Emongg, Sinatraa, and Dafran burst out of the opposite spawn door, and dive onto uNKOE
- 00:39: Emongg gets the killing blow on uNKOE milliseconds after Transcendence comes online
- 00:43: Nico gets Death Blossom, and uses it on top of three Selfless players
- 00:44: Michael3D sleeps Nico, saving the team
And that’s it.
Just kidding! As it turns out, no one from Rogue was even on the point:
SoOn was off in the back room chasing Emongg, and Nico was moving away from the point as he Death Blossomed. Even if SoOn had killed Emongg and Nico had wiped Michael3D, dhaK, and Kresnik, overtime would have expired anyway!
#7: Eye of the Kaiser
Now this is a play everyone has probably seen at this point, but it would be a dishonor to Kaiser to not break it down anyway. At this point in the map, LuxuryWatch Blue knows Kaiser has Earthshatter, and RunAway knows they know. RunAway, has to look for an opening so that their Earthshatter King can drop the hammer. As the clip begins, Mek0 from LW Blue manages to take out Bumper, creating a 6v5 against RunAway. However, in the process Mek0’s D.Va Mech health drops very low, and stays low thanks to Runner, Stitch, and HaksaL’s Lucio, Tracer, and Genji spam respectively. Luna, LW Blue’s Ana, can barely keep up with the incoming damage, so decides to toss a Biotic Grenade to heal up Mek0.
And that’s when everything goes wrong.
A split-second before Luna threw his grenade, Janus eats a Flame Strike from Kaiser.
Through a bit of bad luck – and a nerf some time ago – the radius of Biotic Grenade barely doesn’t reach Janus.
RunAway sees Janus at low health and despite being down a man, goes for the jugular:
Quite literally, in HaksaL’s case. HaksaL Genji-dashes in, nailing Janus with a Swift Strike and forcing him to turn his shield or be killed by the close-range threat:
Here’s where mistake #2 happens: Mek0 body-blocks Luna from having line of sight on Janus, preventing him from getting any healing support besides Gambler’s Lucio aura. Janus has no choice but to continue facing Haksal with his shield, which means Kaiser has his window of opportunity:
And the rest was history.
That’s it from me everybody, 7 plays to enjoy on your Saturday.
Until next time,