Work that Body: A Guide to Body Blocking in Overwatch
What’s up guys and gals, CaptainPlanet here to talk about a clever Overwatch technique that will help you win games, and make you laugh in the process. This is a technique that you have seen pros use before to bully Baby D.Vas, but its true potential is rarely caught on camera. This is a method by which a single player can solo kill an enemy, or even prevent multiple ultimates at once – without using an ultimate of their own. This one simple trick is called Body Blocking.
What is Body Blocking?
Analysts and casters often laud the power of tanks in Overwatch for their ability to create space and disrupt their enemies. Some do it by knocking players back with D.Va Rockets, others do it by leaping in and applying pressure with Winston, but given the right circumstances a tank divide a team in half while only using their character model and map geometry. This action is what we call Body Blocking. In Overwatch friendly players can pass through each other but enemies cannot, which makes for some interesting and abusable interactions. Some heroes work better than others – like our aforementioned tanks – and with plenty of doorways and choke-points on all variations of Overwatch maps this is a technique that I’m surprised has not received more love until now. To fully grasp the power of body blocking, let’s look at some clips in order of increasing impact to the games they occurred in – starting with the most recognizable: Baby D.Va Bullying
D.Va Bullying. Impact Level: Annoyance
In this clip, we see Danii of Singularity fast asleep on the ground in baby D.Va form on Hanamura Point B. Knowing they have a bit of time to act, players from 123 assemble themselves in a line to prevent Danii from tasting the sweet, sweet release of a cliff-diving death, heavily disrupting the spawning of Singularity. What’s impressive about this particular instance of baby D.Va bullying is that 123 was able to body-block an area much larger than what a single character model can prevent. Body blocking is generally performed by a single individual as we’ll see in the next two examples, but 123 shows us that it can be a team activity as well. Ultimately, this delay of spawn is a minor annoyance for the enemy team – no ultimates are consumed and a mech-less Danii is essentially a dead Danii. However, there are ways to use body blocking to get easy, risk free solo kills. To demonstrate, I will invoke the king of body blocking: Coolmatt69.
Body Blocking Picks with Coolmatt69. Impact Level: Push Disruption
Coolmatt69 and his team are on the attack when they catch Clockwork slightly out of position on Soldier 76. Good Soldier 76’s are often slippery and easily escape with their Sprint (Dafran was the king of this), but Coolmatt is no ordinary D.Va player. Watch as he beelines for a specific point in the doorway, one he’s scouted out over the course of many scrims:
Flying to this corner simultaneously bumped Clockwork back and set up Coolmatt in a position that prevented Clockwork from scooting by. D.Va’s character model is one of the largest in the game, so Coolmatt simply had to stand still and mow down Clockwork while Stoop provided backup on Winston. Later, the enemy D.Va attacks as well – only to find Coolmatt bee-lining back to his favorite body blocking spot once more, an action that leads to her eventual de-mech. Coolmatt and Stoop’s tag team was an example of reactionary body blocking, but what happens when a team develops a pre-planned strategy around it? Let’s look at a different area of Numbani, where EnVyUs demonstrated a deadly body blocking strategy.
The LG Evil Strat: Springing the Trap
The LG Evil Numbani strat is as simple as it is deadly. Developed during the height of LGE’s powers, it can be run on defense an offense as well, as demonstrated by EnVyUs in the clip above. It works like this:
A common dive initiation involves diving the right-side catwalk on offense, or diving the left-side catwalk on defense. EnVy was on attack, knew Rogue would dive them, and planned accordingly. They split their offense, sending the tanks and Harryhook lower, and the rest of the team upper, baiting aKm and KnoxXx into diving onto the seemingly out of position squishy members above. Then, Mickie sprang the trap:
Like Coolmatt, Mickie zoomed to the doorway, bumping aKm into the kill room and almost catching KnoxXx as well. He then set up shop in the doorway, Defense Matrix-ing to keep himself alive and body blocking the whole of Rogue from aKm and prevent aKm from escaping himself. You can even see as Mickie glances back to make sure aKm is finished on EnVy’s way to turning their 6v5 into a 6v0.
Many love EnVyUs for their flashy individual plays, but the depth of their strategy and ability to work as a team is what has kept them on top for so long. I was glad we caught such a good example of body blocking on camera and thanks to Super who tracked down this clip I was able to share it with you! This was a very elaborate setup to just to get a (ultimately, very valuable) first pick in an engagement. Body-blocking is only limited by a player’s own creativity; the best players can even use it to prevent multiple ultimates at once. Once again, I call upon Coolmatt69 to show us the way:
Body Blocking Ultimates. Impact Level: Complete Demoralization
In this clip Kungarna is on offense and looking to make progress on the payload. Dogman and Babybay have flanked up the catwalk to contest FNRGFE’s high ground, and iRemiix has his Primal Rage ready to knock people off. Kungarna is set up to succeed under Dogman’s healing Transcendence, except for one
small big problem: Coolmatt69
At this point we should not be surprised that Coolmatt seems to have a body blocking spot on every map. Is there anything sadder than watching the Transcendence-ing Dogman stare at Coolmatt, who’s staring at Babybay, who’s staring back at Coolmatt, who’s probably doing a crossword puzzle with one hand while he holds Defense Matrix with the other? I keep watching the clip and laughing, so probably (I still love you Dogman).
Body Blocking and You
Thanks to some help from EU Contenders, EnVyUs, and Coolmatt69, you all should have a pretty good idea what body blocking is and what it can do for you. If you’re a D.Va player, a Winston player, play any hero with a large character model, or have friends who do any of the above: give body blocking a shot! Seek out spots on maps where you can trap unsuspecting players and gain a surprise advantage. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference even a split second of blocking can do for you as a solo, duo, or even stacked group of players. While you hunt for map spots to pull off some good blocks, be sure to check out the Contenders Finals this weekend where Coolmatt and others will be on display. Maybe we’ll catch some fresh new body blocking clips to enjoy!
Until next time,