Overwatch Team Fight Dynamics – Engage and Disengage
Engages and disengages are the core dynamics of Overwatch. If you want to be able to win with your team either in solo or in a premade, you need to understand how these work. Learn when and how to group and when to fall back to safety for a stronger comeback. You are going to be able to identify situations where you must attack or fall back in order to win the longer battle!
Hey there. Have you ever experienced a teamfight where you had no clue about what is happening? Teammates throw themselves into the enemy one-by-one? Is there hardly a single engage that you can win? We are going to show you how team dynamics can win you games! Stay with us!
Hello guys, welcome to the dojo. Let’s cut to the case, what is an engagement? An engagement is a teamfight where both teams are facing each other at their full potential (6v6). Teams usually want to group up and attack together to have the highest chance to take the objective. We are going to dissect the dynamics, and show you what is happening. Pay attention, as a good engagement is made of a lot of tiny variables.
This guide is dependent on our video about good communication. If you really want to make good engages happen, you need to be able to talk to and with your teammates. By understanding the concepts we are going to draft up, you will have an easy time coordinating your team. Click on the card to watch that video now.
Let’s talk about what leads to an engagement. Before they begin, the attackers must evaluate the enemy forces:
First of all, check their team composition and decide if you have a solid counter to their team. If not, are you safe to ignore this fact? In most cases you want to be on the safe side, except when you are doing some cheesy thing yourself.
You should always prepare for possible threats in the enemy team, like a Hanzo, who can pick you before you get in position and draw shields, Mei who can cut you in half, etc.
The next thing to check is their team position compared to yours. Who has the advantage of high ground, covers and chokes? Are you safe to engage, if so, how? If you are not safe to attack them directly, what route can you take?
For example, if the enemy team takes the high ground on Holywood defense, you can either try to fight them there or just go to the right side behind shields and force them to come to you.
Then you need to consider target priority. Try to decide who to eliminate first in order to maximize your chances of winning the fight.
For example a Mercy with ult should always be your first target, as she can just res anyone you killed with a single ultimate.
- What are the main threats to a successful engagement ? => Discuss a priority list of targets before the engagement! It’s important to stick to the same targets and kill them more quickly than they kill your team.
- How can we deal with their setup ? => Decide what is going to be the most effective way to counter the enemy team. Which routes are the best to take or guard. Positional advantage can win you games, as you can split the enemy team with a good engage, making it hard for them to focus.
- Do they have ultimates ? => If yes, which ones ? Can they do a wombo-combo?
- Do we have ultimates ? => Which ones ? Can we do a wombo-combo?
Once the required data has been gathered, it’s time to establish a plan of action. Let’s see a hands on example on Numbani attack.
The opponent’s team composition is the following:
Your team composition is tank heavy diving comp.
Let’s say the first engagement is happening. After a few seconds of recon, you know that Ana and Soldier are on the right side of the point up top, the rest of the team is guarding the main entrance on the high ground.
After a few seconds, your IGL decides that your team can take on theirs as is. He positions Genji and Winston on main to dive on Soldier and Ana, focusing Ana first. The rest of the team will break the choke and face the other team head on. This is an example engagement, but you should get the idea.
Before we continue, we would like to invite you to our Discord server, where a lot of players from all over the world are helping each other on a daily basis. Join us and let’s improve together!
We are going to dissect the phases of engagement, so you get a really solid idea of the thought process behind these.
During the engagement
First of all, a good team always has someone who coordinates their movements. This person is always present in competitive games, and you can see someone taking the lead in solo q too. We are calling this role the in game leader.
So, let’ get back to our example. Your IGL gives the signal to go, Winston and Genji jump on Soldier and Ana. Meanwhile Roadhog and Zarya start to work on Reinhardt’s shield.
The situation plays out like this: Winston and Genji die from the cross fire of their DPS. Your Hog dies to Zarya before he could flee. Zarya, Lucio and Ana back off thanks to speed boost with a sliver of health.
What enables a successful engagement ?
So this thing failed, but how can we make it work? An engagement is a fluid set up, what to do can change from seconds to seconds depending on the opponent response to your engagement.
Engaging first forces the opponent to react to your push, it puts your team in a favorable position. This is the advantage of the initiative. If they do not have a strategy or tactic in place for this specific engagement, they’ll lose some players.
Thus, the best way to engage is to engage quickly and decisively. Follow through the priority list as fast as you can to give your opponent less time to react and adjust. Never second guess during the actual engagement, as this will cause delay and therefore a lost engagement. Following a bad decision together as a team is better than everyone doing what they think is best.
In our previous example, a good decision would have been to commit the whole team to just one side, or to switch roles before the first engagement. You know that their weak point is the isolated duo Soldier/Ana. They do not have speed boost to move their team in response to your engagement out of harm’s way.
One solution could be to switch the Winston to a DVa because the Soldier and Ana move away from the diving tank, focus the Soldier with Genji while DVa uses her Defense Matrix to protect the diving duo from McCree, Soldier and Ana while your Ana support the duo from the low ground.
Hog could be switched to a sniper to force the shield in a certain position and get a pick on the second support or McCree if they turn the shield away.
Yes, switching takes time, but jumping into really bad engages takes a lot more time, plus you are giving ultimate charge to the enemy. If you see the situation is really not in your favor (for example someone gets picked really quickly and then you would just wither away) just fall back and swap.
When to disengage ?
Speaking about falling back, let’s discuss when and how to disengage properly. Disengaging is the most complicated thing to determine in a push.
To recognize when an engagement failed can be an arduous task, it relies heavily on your IGL to identify the situation and give the correct call.
From our previous example, the main disengage occurred when Genji and Winston died. This is the time when Lucio should have used his Amped Up speed to get out of the situation before losing the Roadhog and giving away ultimate charge.
Recognizing when to disengage can be hard, and this skill is mostly honed by experience. You can always watch how pro players do these, analyzing their games when the tides of battle turn against them. They are rarely wiped, always managing to get away with some players.
Some examples when to disengaging is heavily recommended :
- You’re more than 1 teammate down and you can’t make it an equal fight
- Losing a big tactical advantage like your Reinhardt at the start of a push or your main healer
- Your team composition is heavily countered by theirs
- Several of your teammates are affected by statuses like heal ban or hack ( in this situation it’s best to disengage until there’s a cleanse ability in the game beside Zarya’s bubble)
- They’re using an ultimate like Blizzard or Tactical Visor. Just backpedal, hide and wait until it is over.
- You have several low health teammates and the enemy team is less damaged and abilities are not immediately on the ready.
How to use this as a solo player?
Applying this knowledge is a lot easier with a premade team. But what can you do when you are playing in solo? Overwatch is a team game, and you need to play with 5 strangers in your ranked matches. If you are willing to climb, you need to use all the tools there are to achieve victory. By understanding the dynamics of Overwatch, you are going to be able to help your team moving and acting together.
On lower levels, your best bet is to use the in-game-chat or voice to prepare for engagements. People can be hard to deal with, but everyone wants to win, even Hanzo mains. By giving them directions and a path of engagement, you can help the team win fights.
On higher levels this knowledge is supposed to be common. However drafting up a plan for engagement will still help you a lot in your teamfights, so don’t be shy to do it.
How to learn even more in this topic
If you want to improve this knowledge besides the basics, and want to understand how to react to any situation, the best thing to do is to play matches, record them and analyze the team engagements. You need to consider if you had every piece of information you needed before the team engaged. See if the targets go down in priority order, if any positional mistakes were made or someone not followed the directions. By analysing these engages step-by-step from your perspective, you can understand how a certain engage can go wrong and you are going to be able to react to these situations in your future games.
Thank you for taking your time to improve. Start practicing good engagements, and your rank and your team’s skill will get better. If you like this video, subscribe, give us a thumbs up and share it now! Your friends may need this knowledge too. Support us on Patreon so we can keep producing high quality Overwatch guides! See you guys next time!