If you’ve ever encountered a term while watching an Overwatch League match or simply playing the game on your own, and you didn’t know what it meant, we’re here for you! Behold—the Overwatch League glossary loaded with good-time learning. Bookmark this page and come back for updates, and check out our Intel Insights collection for more content to help you learn about the Overwatch League!
A team made up of two tanks, two supports, and two damage dealers. Though some specific strategies deviate away from 2-2-2, it has been considered the default team composition throughout Overwatch’s history.
A common nickname for pilot D.Va, the 150-health hero known in the lore as Hana Song. “Baby” relates to her small size and relative weakness compared to when she’s in mech. Often staggered significantly due to her low damage output and mobility.
Pushing the payload or capturing an objective behind the backs of the defending team. Defenders will often push aggressively to get themselves in the best position for teamfights, allowing attackers to sneak behind and contest the objective for free. It often causes defenders to run back to the objective and give up their favorable position.
A very popular and powerful composition from mid-2016, which saw Mei and Reaper being used together with Ana. Whenever ultimates were online for one team, they would attack with a Nano-Boosted Death Blossom, leading to easy kills. This composition earned the “Beyblade” nickname due to Reaper’s spinning motion during his ultimate.
Pushing enemies or knocking them back with an ability is known as booping them. Lúcio’s Soundwave, D.Va’s Boosters, Pharah’s Concussive Blast, and Winston’s Jump Pack are all examples of abilities that can boop enemies. While they are often used just to reposition an enemy, it is possible to get instant kills by booping opponents off the map.
A Nano-Boosted Lúcio is given the affectionate nickname Boostio! It is almost never a good idea to give your Lúcio the Nano-Boost, as there are usually better targets to power up; for this reason it is a comedic mistake that often gets highlighted and enjoyed by viewers.
Failing to touch the objective and losing a round or map as a result is known as a C9, named after the esports organization Cloud9, whose Overwatch roster made many such errors in a tournament in early 2017.
- More: C9, Explained
Performing at a much higher level than one’s teammates is known as carrying. Originating from the idea of literally carrying dead weight, it is used to describe situations in which one player is performing so well that they outshine the rest of their team, or to describe players who are the most important on the team.
CC (crowd control)
Abilities that stop an opponent’s movement are considered crowd control. Orisa’s Halt!, McCree’s Flashbang, Brigitte’s Shield Bash, and Roadhog’s Chain Hook are all examples of crowd control abilities. Some ultimates such as Reinhardt’s Earthshatter and Zarya’s Graviton Surge also have built-in CC.
The time it takes for an ability to be able to be used again. Most abilities have some form of cooldown that stops players from using them repeatedly. Managing these timers is key to being an effective player, to make sure that abilities are used at the best possible opportunity.
A unique or curveball strategy that relies on catching the opposition unaware or ill-prepared. It describes strategies that would not normally be considered effective but work because of their unusual nature. Cheese strategies often fail to work in consecutive attempts but can be extremely powerful when used at important moments.
A player who is removed or released from a roster has been cut. Note that this is different than when a player is not used in the starting roster, which is referred to as being benched.
Team compositions that involve players moving together in close proximity. Often lacking vertical mobility and revolving around a Reinhardt and other tanks, these compositions rely on overwhelming by force of numbers.
A team composition revolving around the use of Winston, D.Va, and two flankers—traditionally Genji and Tracer. The aim of the composition is to aggressively dive the enemy supports and eliminate them. Coordination is key between the Winston and at least one flanker.
- More: Dive, Explained
A team composition utilizing two snipers, most often Hanzo and Widowmaker. The aim of the composition is to take different angles with the two snipers and set up cross-fires, forcing the opponents into predictable locations or eliminating them from range.
A push in which attackers do not use ultimates. At the beginning of each round, a dry fight happens with no ultimates available for either team. Later on in the round, when one team either has no ultimates or chooses to save them, other dry pushes may be used. While they can be winnable, dry pushes are often used to force ultimates out of the enemy team.
A composition—also known as 3-3, or triple-triple—with a set playstyle that features three tanks and three supports: Reinhardt, D.Va, Zarya, Brigitte, Lucio, and Zenyatta. The Zenyatta can be exchanged for an Ana or Moira depending on the strategy. Other variations include Winston Goats (with a Winston rather than Reinhardt for more mobility) and Sombra Goats (with a Sombra rather than a D.Va for added utility and the EMP). These are considered accepted variations of Goats, as the playstyle is broadly similar despite hero changes.
- More: Stats in the Age of 3-3
GG (good game)
Phrase used to express enjoyment or polite acknowledgement of the opponent at the end of a game. Broadly used as a sign that a match is over.
Damage which requires no travel time before registering on an opponent. McCree’s Peacemaker, Soldier: 76’s Heavy Pulse Rifle, and Widowmaker’s Widow’s Kiss are all examples of hitscan weapons. Also used to identify a DPS player on a team, i.e. a hitscan DPS player is the one tasked to play heroes such as Tracer, McCree, Widowmaker, etc.
The compositions that are acknowledged as the best in any patch are known as the meta. Also used as a descriptor to mean “strong (and therefore popular) in this patch,” e.g. the high-ground hold on Anubis A is currently meta.
A common nickname for Winston due to his gorilla genetics. Though commonly used by players, this nickname is factually incorrect as Winston is an ape (and more importantly a scientist).
A nickname for the combination of Nano-Boost and Tactical Visor (Ana and Soldier: 76’s ultimates). Very effective at eliminating the enemy team if they do not have shields or Defense Matrix available. Similar to Nano-Blade, the Genji alternative.
A player who can only play one hero at the necessary level. This may be due to their lack of comfort on other heroes, specialization on one hero, or a recent patch adjusting the strength of previously useful heroes. Can also be used to describe a player who is known for one particular hero above all others.
Helping teammates escape from danger by using shields, healing, or tanking is known as peeling for them. Peeling is most notable when using abilities such as D.Va’s Defense Matrix or Zarya’s Projected Barrier, but helping supports survive by eliminating the opponents attacking them is also a valid example of peeling.
- More: Peel, Explained
Common nickname for the combination of Pharah and Mercy. When used together, Pharah benefits from healing and damage boost, while Mercy benefits from the added movement opportunities and is able to stay in the air away from the action.
An elimination that opens up a fight is known as a pick. Often the first kill in an engagement or a sudden elimination due to burst damage, picks are key in certain compositions, including double sniper. Getting a pick allows teams to play more aggressively and commit to the fight, as they have an increased chance of victory.
- More: Pick, Explained
Strategy revolving around Bastion, most notably seen on escort map Junkertown. Bastion is placed on the payload in Sentry form and protected by the other five players while the payload advances. Orisa’s shields are key to this composition, which often features a Mercy to damage-boost the Bastion.
Playing alongside one player, particularly to support them with heals or damage boost, is known as pocketing them. Frequently used in reference to Pharmercy, where a Mercy is dedicated to healing and damage-boosting the Pharah rather than the rest of the team.
Poke refers to damage done before a fight, designed to weaken opponents, damage shields, and force abilities out of opponents. Heroes such as Soldier: 76, Hanzo, and Pharah are able to output a large amount of damage over time, even across long distances, making them useful in a poke composition.
- More: Poke, Explained
Opposite of hitscan. Damage which requires travel time before registering on an opponent. Genji’s Shurikens, Hanzo’s Storm Arrows, and Pharah’s rockets are all types of projectile damage. Also used to identify a DPS player on a team, i.e. a projectile DPS player is the one tasked to play heroes such as Genji, Pharah, and Junkrat.
Common description for opponents who are hit by Ana’s Biotic Grenade. These players cannot be healed for four seconds and their health bar shows up as purple in the user interface, hence the name.
When a fight is clearly not winnable, players will deliberately seek to die in order to all group up in spawn together. This may mean running into the enemy team or throwing themselves off the map. The aim is to reset as quickly as possible so that time is not wasted before the next fight.
On maps where the objective is in motion or changes location, the distance between the spawn rooms and the objective will also change. The team with spawn advantage is whichever team spawns closer to the objective. On assault maps, for example, Point A always gives attackers the spawn advantage, while Point B always gives defenders the spawn advantage.
Taking fights just outside the opponent’s spawn is known as spawn-camping. The spawning team has a huge spawn advantage and should be favored in the fight, but sometimes circumstances will allow attackers or defenders to spawn-camp their opponents for a significant amount of time. Considered a very aggressive strategy.
Delaying an opponent’s ability to reset at the end of a fight is known as staggering them. Teams will do this by deliberately trying to keep weak heroes alive and only eliminating them after a long delay. This staggers the spawn timers of opponents, preventing them from regrouping immediately for the next fight.
- More: Stagger, Explained
Tank: off vs. main vs. flex
In 2-2-2 compositions, teams have one main tank and one off-tank (also known as flex-tank). The off-tank’s role is to support the main tank and to peel for the rest of the team. The main tank’s primary role is to make space for their team and hold the frontline. Common main tank heroes are Winston and Reinhardt, while common off-tank heroes are D.Va and Zarya.
A teamfight is where two teams come together and exchange damage, healing, final blows, ultimates, and crowd-control abilities with the goal of eliminating the opposition and preserving their control of an objective.
- More: What is a teamfight?
If one team gets a pick or an elimination in a teamfight but their opponents get an elimination immediately afterwards or as a result, this is known as a trade. If these are the same heroes (i.e. both Reinhardts) then it is often even for both teams, not giving an advantage either way, but trading different heroes can impact the result of a teamfight one way or the other.
Pushing onto the objective one player at a time, rather than grouping up for a teamfight, is known as trickling. This is usually done to keep an overtime going or to keep contesting a point when there is no time to regroup. It usually leads to a loss for the team that is trickling because it becomes easy for the opposition to eliminate players one by one, but trickling can sometimes lead to a win if spawn advantage comes into play.
Ult economy is a generic term for how well teams use ultimates over the course of a round. Using too many ultimates at the same time will make them unavailable for the next fight, but using too few will reduce a team’s chances of winning the current fight. Finding the correct balance of this is a very important skill for teams to master.
This is a frequent call from professional players in matches, indicating that a teamfight can still be won. This is important for players still involved in the fight as it advises them to invest ultimates, play aggressively, or focus different targets to win the teamfight. If players hear “winnable!” from one of their teammates, they will commit to winning the fight rather than resetting or saving ultimates.