I'm not sure what's more exciting: The Overwatch League roster drama happening before the 2021 season begins or the fast-paced, ability-driven action we will see when the tournaments finally begin.
Despite all of the backlash the Overwatch League faces — from how Blizzard handled the pandemic last year or the frustration of seeing talented players do poorly when their mains are banned that week — there is no denying that it's one of the most exhilarating games to watch at a high level. A blend of big brain starts and mechanical mayhem, every Overwatch League match results in a highlight reel full of impressive headshots and mindblowing plays.
One thing is for sure: the Overwatch League pros play by their own rules. They have such a mastery of the game that they are always bending the definition of strategy. I mean, did you see Boston Uprising's Sang-min "Myunb0ng" Seo use Ana to outplay the enemy's dive comp? If not, please watch. And then continue below when you're done screaming.
Sweet, you're back. One thing that Overwatch League pros seem to always be ahead of the curve with is combining ultimates. Overwatch is a game all about utilizing each heroes' abilities to outmaneuver the enemy team — which takes a lot more skill and communication than that Genji on your team rushing down opponents with his Dragonblade without letting anyone know.
The key to game-changing ultimate usage is often combing two ultimates that overpower the enemy team. And the pros know some surprising ultimate combos all of us plebs should take into consideration next time we finally come across a team who utilizes their mic.
Mei's Blizzard & D.Va's Self Destruct
Honestly didn't think I'd find a photo this perfect. But here's the perfect photo for the perfect ultimate combo. For a while, D.Va's Self Destruct was thought to be a bit underwhelming. Most skilled players can see it coming and clear out before D.Va can get any eliminations. Meanwhile, lower-ranked players would often use the ultimate in hopes of scoring some KOs instead of using it to strategically clear out areas for a team push. But Mei's ultimate, Blizzard, changes all of that.
During a match against the Dallas Fuel, the Los Angeles Valiant pulled off this ultimate combo gloriously. Kyle "KSF" Frandanisa blocked off the Fuel's path with an Ice Wall and then followed it up with a Blizzard while they were caught off guard. Cornered and unable to find an escape route, Caleb "McGravy" McGarvey sent his mech flying to secure an impressive collection of kills. This proved that you don't have to necessarily freeze other players to trap them in a Self Destruct. It's all about giving them no way to run.
How to pull it off:
- Make sure the enemy team is somewhat grouped up and in a spot on the map where there aren't multiple ways to scatter.
- Mei should throw up an Ice Wall in an area that further prevents the opponents from having an escape route. Think: blocking a choke point or popping it up behind them unexpectedly.
- Toss Mei's Blizzard in their direction while they are trapped and thrown off guard.
- Rush in with D.Va's Self Destruct to get some easy KOs. Just make sure you don't get trapped behind Mei's Ice Wall.
Sombra's EMP & Reinhardt's Earthshatter
Sombra became one of the DPS heroes to watch in Overwatch's 2020 season thanks to her ultimate, EMP. Being able to shut off the other team's abilities is a game-changing opportunity for teams that communicate properly and have a strategy ready to deploy. But the first step is getting Sombra's EMP.
Philadelphia Fusion's Hee-su "Heesu" Jeong was able to get Sombra's overpowered ultimate in under a minute during his match against the Los Angeles Valiant during the 2020 North America Winners Semifinals Playoffs. How? While many Sombra players are quick to teleport the moment they sense danger, Heesu often held his ground, racking up 56 eliminations in those three maps. Sometimes Heesu would even have 10 HP left (or less) before finally bolting away from a fight.
When you always have an EMP on hand, it's easier to coordinate with other players on the team. Sombra's ultimate is the perfect combo to pair with Reinhard's Earthshatter. A perfectly placed EMP will render the opposing team vulnerable without shields, barriers, or Zenyatta's Transcendence. At that moment, Reinhardt can rush in and stun the helpless enemies. This will allow your team to grab some KOs and push forward with no resistance.
How to pull it off:
- Build up Sombra's EMP ultimate by engaging in fights and not teleporting until the very last moment.
- Once you have the EMP, put down a Translocator out of harm's way.
- Rush up to the enemy team while they are grouped up while invisible. Use the EMP while they are together, making sure to get Zenyatta and any heroes with barriers.
- Reinhardt can then release his Earthshatter straight at the vulnerable group of heroes, stunning the majority of the team.
Genji's Dragonblade & Ana's Nano Boost
Ana's ultimate is a popular one for combos in the pro scene. By targeting a teammate, the sniper's Nano Boost provides a 50% damage boost and 50% damage resistance to that hero. Those strong effects last eight seconds. While this can elevate any ultimate, the pros love nothing more than to boost a Genji that's ready to pop off a Dragonblade. That's the origin story of the Nanoblade.
One memorable Nanoblade came from Kim "Haksal" Hyo-jong and Ryu "Ryujehong" Je-hong, considered the Overwatch League's best Ana. The two Overwatch veterans combined their ultimates to score over 5,000 in damage against the Los Angeles Gladiators.
This is a powerful ultimate combo because it makes the Genji nearly invincible as he slices through his opponents without hesitation. In the right hands, this ultimate combo can wipe out entire enemy teams in eight seconds or less.
How to pull it off:
- Make sure the teammate on Genji is actually good at the hero.
- Ask them, "Are you sure you can pull this off? Are you sure you have quick enough mechanical skills to make this happen?"
- While remaining safely in the back of your team, have Ana shoot a Nano Boost at the Genji. At this point they're powered up and ready to unleash Dragonblade.
Reaper's Death Blossom, Orisa's Supercharger & Ana's Nano
While the previous ultimate combo is quite common (although not usually perfected by most that attempt it), this combo is nearly unheard of. The coordination, strategy, and teamwork required for such an ultimate combo is higher IQ than the test can even register.
The Atlanta Reign's Tae-hoon "Edison" Kim decided to end a skirmish on Oasis by dropping in with Reaper's Death Blossom at the ready. But he wasn't dropping in alone. Edison was boosted by Dusttin "Dogman" Bowerman's Nano and Blake "Gator" Scott's Supercharger. The "devastating AOE combo" did an incredible 3,000 in damage. It also wiped out the Boston Uprising's Immortality Field, leaving the enemy team in shambles.
This type of ultimate combo requires the utmost coordination. Three players on the team have to be ready to bank it all on this risky move. But if you can pull it off, enemies won't be able to kill Reaper fast enough and will get eliminated before they can react to such a shocking turn of events.
How to pull it off:
- Get to high ground as Reaper and wait for a good moment to drop in and wreak havoc before you're detected by the team. This most likely means aiming for the back of the team as they pass.
- Orisa should be in a position where her Supercharger will reach the Reaper once the player drops.
- When Reaper makes his move, Ana and Orisa should pop their ultimates and let Reaper loose before he's detected.
Doomfist's Meteor Strike & Orisa's Supercharger
Who can forget Jay "sinatraa" Won's crazy skills on Doomfist? And who can forgive him for joining VALORANT and leaving Overwatch fans with one less source of crazy DPS play material in 2021? I can't and I won't.
Back in 2019, sinatraa showed off some insane ultimate combo action when he eliminated three Hangzhou Spark players with the help of his team's Orisa. This took such precise timing that the OWL had to slow down the action in a replay video so fans could grasp what just went down. While this isn't a true ultimate combo, it has that same energy and required just as much teamwork for just as much impact.
sinatraa found his way to the Spark's backline and then activated his Meteor Strike. He called for Myeong-hwan "Smurf" Yoo to use Orisa's Halt ability. This pulls enemies towards the spot the gravitation surge was released. After Smurf quickly used that ability to pull a trio of Shock players together, sinatraa landed down right on top of them.
How to pull this off:
- Be sinatraa on Doomfist.
- If not, proceed to the following step.
- Use Doomfist's abilities, like Rocket Punch, Rising Uppercut, and Seismic Slam, to make your way to the enemy backlines.
- Release your ultimate to fly into the air.
- At this point, the Orisa should locate a group of enemies that are close together. Use Halt to pull them together and stun them. Keep in mind that this ability has a slight delay.
- Doomfist should keep an eye on this happening and then choose to slam down on the grouped up enemies that can't escape thanks to Orisa's Halt.
- This will take a lot of well-timed decisions, so it may require some practice beforehand to get used to the delay of each ability once it's released.
Overwatch pros are constantly pushing the boundaries of what an ultimate combo is and are always steps ahead in terms of strategy and innovation. That's why it's always so fun to watch them in action. The amount of coordination, teamwork, and quick reaction times the pros have is unmatched. This makes the Overwatch League a great source of inspiration for players looking to overpower opponents in unexpected ways that leave them unable to react.
So next time you want to mock Blizzard for all their bad choices, remember how many hype clips 2021's competitive season will create. We'll most likely see new comps, strategies, and ultimate combos we can utilize in our own games. Well, if our teammates even knew how to stay on the payload.
Esports writer and editor with a passion for creating unique content for the gaming community.