My Amateur Team: What Works

written by Athena



Practice Practice Practice! My team officially meets twice a week for 3 hours. However, we are often on several times throughout the week for fun. During practice time, we focus on learning individual hero mechanics, map routes, and compositions. This is a long process that we are still working on, but it helped in our tournament and competitive games immensely.


We’ve discussed what practice is vs what it is not. Practice is the time to improve as a team. It is not the time to learn a new hero. Go to the practice range or quick play for personal improvement. It is a time to focus on compositions, comms, and strategies. It is not the time to argue about past failures.


Practice is a good time to learn specific hero mechanics that benefit the whole team.

For example, we practiced watching for Reinhardt cues for Shatter and Shatter cancels. It is very helpful to know what the Hammer Down cue looks like so that we can try to shield/dodge the move.

Practice is a good time to share new techniques you have learned on common heroes. We have a very flexible team that can play many roles. For that reason, we practiced rollouts for the more mobile characters like: Wall Riding from spawn to the point as Lucio on all maps as quickly as possible, finding the best positions for Soldier  76 using Helix Rockets, using Rising Uppercut to dive into and escape tricky battles on Doomfist, utilizing’s Boosters to throw her Self-Destruct from unlikely locations to catch the enemy off guard, etc.

We practiced certain compositions such as Dive and worked on jumping in together on one target with Winston and D.VA and getting out together, Deathball with Lucio’s Speed Boost to charge in, and Pulled Pork with Orisa’s Halt and Roadhog’s Hook to disrupt and destroy the enemy.


Dive – A composition meant to single out and swiftly hit a target from close range, burn them down, then move on to the next with Winston, D.VA, Genji, Tracer, Lucio, Zen

Deathball A tight formation composed of Reinhardt, Zarya, Roadhog, Mei/Reaper, Ana, Lucio

Pulled Pork –  A composition meant to disrupt the enemy with Halt from Orisa and Hook one of those disrupted targets in with Roadhog for an easy pick. Orisa, Roadhog, 2 DPS, 2 Healers

strat_map.png(Playbook created by UnluckyPaladin)


We also practiced paths for each individual map on both offense and defense, where we should hold our ground, and which directions we should rotate based on the enemy’s location. There are a lot of variables to take into account that could change as the fight progresses. This is why it is important to have a strategist to help everyone understand possible gameplays and then to have a tactical strategist to make those difficult mid-game call outs.


Stay United

One of the main rules our Captain has is for us to stay united always. If a call is made, stick with it. We go in together, we survive together. Sometimes we die together. Above all, we learn together. To keep a united front, and intimidate the enemy team, we have matching icons and skins of the LA Gladiators.


VOD Reviews

As a team, we watch replays of our offensive attacks and defensive strategies. Our strategist will pause fights to show us what we did really well and review what we need to work on. We also watch VODS like: The 4 Steps Of A Team Fight That You Need To Know | Overwatch Team Fight Guide and put those strategies to use.


It is important to have some flexibility or at least a willingness to learn new characters. There are plenty of times we’ve had a player lose internet or have scheduling conflicts {real life beckons!}. Our Hero Comfortability Roster is a spreadsheet to easily see where we are compatible and what we need to work on. We often discuss running the current meta, OWL (Overwatch League) compositions, and our personal comfortability heroes. We talk about flexing to the meta vs sticking to what you know you are a solid player on. Sometimes the “meta” isn’t always betta.  
Find out more about my amateur team experience here: Playing for an Amateur Overwatch Team

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