Unfair Advantages in Overwatch: How to Apply Them

written by Disco


No, still not cheating.


In Overwatch, unfair advantages are the result of teams either misplaying a situation or playing well enough to create said advantages. These advantages are what allow for snowball situations to occur; teams that make the most of unfair advantages gained from the previous team fight will often win the following fight as well. Especially in lower ranks, being able to make the fights unfair is often what helps teams win the game even from the first or second team fight, as it is very difficult to come back from those situations.


Two weeks prior to the posting of this article, the article “Unfair Advantages in Overwatch: How to Recognize Them” discussed the different ways to recognize unfair advantages within the scope of an Overwatch match. This article, in comparison, will discuss the different ways to make the most of these unfair advantages. There are some common links between the different types of advantages, since the generic summary of this article is to “just play well”, but the categorization of these advantages helps to build an overall understanding of what to focus on to play well. In particular, the idea of ultimate rotation is a concept that many amateur Overwatch teams can recognize but fail to apply to their games. By applying ideas like this to games, the overall improvement of a team will rise as a result.


Ultimate Economy

If a team has an ultimate advantage, the main way to consistently win fights is to use some of those ultimates to win the fight and consistently have enough ultimates for each following fight. Using all ultimates in one fight and not having any other ultimates for the fight after is a recipe for disaster. The alternative approach is to rotate ultimates – that is, use some ultimates one fight, use other ultimates the next fight, use the remaining ults the following fight, and by the fourth fight, the original ultimates used should be back online. Especially for powerful ultimates like Sombra’s EMP, it is perfectly acceptable to use a single ultimate to win the fight, allowing for a more consistent ultimate rotation. The below video is a vod review with Jayne and Aero, now both coaches for Dallas Fuel, discussing this idea of ultimate rotations in the context of a contenders match from earlier in 2018.



Uneven Matchups

This advantage is an advantage that often snowballs into one of the other advantages on this list. When an uneven matchup comes up, putting pressure on the enemy team and looking for ways to create more unfair advantages is the correct strategy. Though a player may return or the remaining players may start performing better, the damage is already done.



The team with the counter-ultimate needs to keep the related hero alive to counter the enemy ultimate; in comparison, the other team needs to make the counter-ultimate a non-issue. This results in a double edged sword – one team wants to prevent the counter-ultimate from being used, and the other team should use this as an advantage to predict what the enemy team wants to do.

An example of this idea is that one team wants to use a Genji Dragonblade to win a fight, but the other team has a Zenyatta with Transcendence. The team with the Genji should be looking to remove this advantage by either eliminating the Zenyatta, making the Zenyatta use his ultimate early, or to simply win the fight despite the Transcendence. The other team can thus use this information to their advantage by either putting the Zenyatta in a place not accessible to the enemy team or to bait the enemy team into pushing into the Zenyatta and getting caught in a crossfire.


Vulnerable Heroes

Coordination and mechanics are the two main skills needed to take advantage of a vulnerable hero. Dive compositions use coordination and good mechanical play to cause a vulnerable hero to be eliminated within seconds of a fight starting, creating an uneven matchup and resulting in an opportunity to create more unfair advantages.


Hero Counters

Especially in solo queue, players can be reticent to swap heroes even if the enemy team has a counter to them. Having a large hero pool is important for this reason, as being able to adapt to the enemy team’s composition is very important. By making a hero on the enemy team useless helps create an uneven matchup.


The Clock

Time is a resource, and as such can be turned into an advantage. This is where preventing a baby D.Va from resetting comes from, as it wastes time and limits the amount of fights the enemy team can have. Forcing the enemy team to reset before they even start a fight on their terms is another way to make the most of a time advantage. A team will likely win if they can restrict the number of fights against the other team and can win the smaller number of fights.



Tilt often occurs from a team having a bad situation and not processing it properly. When it is evident that the enemy team is tilting, continuing to apply pressure to the team and preventing them from having time to cool down and reset is very important. Tilt often results in the other team making mistakes, so recognition of those mistakes and the advantages they create is crucial as well – for example, a team with tilt may split up, resulting in several vulnerable heroes to focus.

Note that this is not the same as harassing the enemy team in match chat to tilt them – harassment is definitely not something that should happen in a competitive environment and should be avoided as much as possible.


Using these unfair advantages to win Overwatch matches is a very important part of improving as an Overwatch player and for doing better in both solo queue and team play. Because these are also advantages that the enemy team can use, it is also helpful to recognize when the enemy team has these unfair advantages and how they intend to use them. These ideas should help in applying to concept of unfair advantages to Overwatch matches, particularly in low rank competitive games or in amateur team matches.

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