It’s Endgame Moves Week for Overwatch, wrapping up the cross-franchise educational content series that previously featured Opening Moves Week and Midgame Moves Week. This time we’re focusing on the all-important final stages of each map or match that often mean the difference between victory and defeat. After explaining C9 and looking at overtime numbers, today we’re breaking down a chaotic final teamfight.

Teamfights in Overwatch are naturally chaotic, an unpredictable dance of damage dealing, shields of all shapes and sizes, and waves of healing that can spin any encounter in different directions. With the big ultimate mudfights that have become increasingly common in the triple-tank, triple-support meta, it can sometimes be difficult to identify exactly how a team won a fight.

Endgame Moves: Working Overtime

Charting overtime teamfights to find out which Overwatch League players and teams stand out in the endgame.

These cataclysmic battles become even more tense at the end of a map, where small details and snap decisions often tip the balance. One recent example of this was the semifinal match between South Korea and the United Kingdom at the 2018 Overwatch World Cup. It was a tightly contested affair that ended 2-0, with some excellent sustained defenses on Rialto that proved decisive. Team UK managed to halt Korea’s offensive push just before Point B, giving themselves a fighting chance on their own offensive round to win the map and extend the match.

What happened next was a textbook illustration of how important timing and team coordination can be in late-game situations, especially when it comes to building and using ultimates in triple-triple compositions.

Here’s the full fight, starting with Team UK’s approach with around 30 seconds left:

Pan-Seung “Fate” Koo and Seong-Hyun “Jjonak” Bang gained the final percentages needed for their ultimates during the first 20 seconds with a long-range Fire Strike and simple left-clicks, respectively. Entering the final teamfight, these were the ultimates available for both teams:

  • UK: Graviton Surge, Earthshatter, Transcendence
  • Korea: Earthshatter, Transcendence

The initial engagement—at around the 11-second mark—started well for Team UK, as Fate’s Earthshatter was interrupted by Finley “Kyb” Adisi’s Shield Bash. However, Isaac “Boombox” Charles popped his Transcendence almost immediately, perhaps expecting the Earthshatter to land. Meanwhile, Michael “MikeyA” Adams immediately used Graviton Surge to trap Korea at the top of the staircase, drawing out Jjonak’s Transcendence. No deaths, lots of ults used; such is the way of triple-triple.

With both teams trading healing ults, for a few seconds Cameron “Fusions” Bosworth had Earthshatter up with no countering Sound Barrier—but he was pushed off the staircase early and didn’t get a chance to use it. Instead, Korea became the aggressors, pressuring the Brits once the fight moved to the low ground and hard-focusing Fusions. When he finally used his Earthshatter, he was already low on health, and Jjonak—uncontested on high ground—finished him off.

The screenshot above gives you a clear picture of Fusions being eliminated a split second before Harrison “Kruise” Pond was able to complete his Sound Barrier. Things got messy from there, but crucially, Fate gained another Earthshatter extremely quickly, aided by a well-aimed Charge onto Kyb, and ended up trading his life for MikeyA’s. Jae-Hyeok “Carpe” Lee, meanwhile, had patiently built his own Grav, and it ended up being the finishing move for Korea. Boombox was caught in it—with Zenyatta sitting on 96% of Transcendence.

Rewind the tape, and you’ll see that that’s exactly how the previous teamfight went: Carpe building and using Grav a split-second before Boombox (his Philadelphia teammate) could get his healing ult online. Ouch.

Reviewing the sequence of events, three things stand out:

  • Korea forced Team UK to either use their ults in suboptimal conditions (Boombox) or hold onto them for too long (Fusions).
  • Korea recognized that they had to eliminate Reinhardt while keeping their own Lúcio safe in order to cast Sound Barrier, and they executed that pick perfectly while the UK seemed scattered in their target selection.
  • Jjonak smartly stayed behind on high ground when the fight shifted to the payload in overtime, and Team UK failed to deal with the threat.

In the whirlwind of a final teamfight, it’s the smallest details that make all the difference, as Korea showed en route to completing their three-peat.