Analysis of the “Overtime Meta” and its uses




Disclaimer: This article contains curated tips, guides, other useful information posted on Inven KR by the users. Please note that such guides and information are not objective truths and may not reflect the latest patch or meta changes.


 *Source guide from Overwatch Inven KR by Horaengi-haneuli[호랭이하늘이] [Korean]



Today’s guide is about the "overtime meta". You may have often had a game where you capture the points on or make it to the payload during overtime. Ever wondered why? I’m putting this as the overtime meta here, but this is in fact a result of some situational factors. Today, we’re going to look at why we end up having this overtime meta in the actual games, and think about what lessons we can take from it.



Intro: Why do we have the “overtime” meta?


To put it simply, the overtime meta is the case where the attacking team makes their last attempt successful during overtime, after a series of failures to take the capture point or moving the payload. Now here’s the thing. How could they succeed in their last assault, even though they were losing all the fights before? Let’s take a different point of view now. Couldn’t they have won within the given time? And as for the defending team, why did they end up letting their opponents capture the point despite their successful defense before? If they could defend it for four minutes, then it would surely be easy for them to keep the point till the last minute. Why did this happen? These questions are the basis for today’s guide.


Reason 1: We immediately jump into the team fight, skipping the regular exchange of fire.


The biggest reason is that overtime is the time when a team attempts to move as a team. One of the most common scenarios of getting into overtime goes like this. Both teams exchange fire. While they’re at it, one player on the attacking team gets picked off. This happens to the attacking side over and over, and at last they decide to use all their ults that are ready, which will only fail because the defending side will use their ults to counter theirs. Here, the attackers were just trying to pick off one of their opponents, but as a matter of fact, this exchange of shots is always in favor of the defenders, no matter which mode it is. Statistically speaking, it is more likely that the confrontation will end up being disadvantageous to the attackers. As they get picked off and waste their ults continually, they will have almost no time left.


When the game gets to this point, one of them will tell his or her team that they must form up and go through a certain point together, saying there is very little time left. And this strategy is quite likely to be successful— they’re skipping the exchange of fire and jumping right into the fight. When the attackers, who were barely cooperating a minute ago, all of a sudden start to move as a team, it will frighten the defenders and thus increase their chance of taking the point. In other words, this move worked out because it was a wholly different picture from the previous one where the confrontation was solely advantageous to the defending side.


▲ Meta Athena's overtime rush(APEX S2 quarterfinal)


Solution: Make the exchange worthwhile to have, or take bolder action.


The reason the exchange often turns out ineffective for the attackers is that they don’t have a specific objective. We very well know that we have to break the enemy Reinhardt’s shield first, but what should be the next step? Briefing such as “enemy Rein’s shield’s broken” only provides a small piece of information and does not state any further instructions. If you want to make the confrontation worth trying, you also need to think of how you will beat your opponents. Some possible next steps for the attacking team after breaking the enemy Rein’s shield can be focusing on the enemy Reinhardt, using Zarya’s ult to drag and hold the enemies, knocking down the enemies with Rein’s ult, or hook an enemy before the shield regenerates. Your team may also want to consider using specialist heroes such as Pharah, Widowmaker, or Genji to pick off an enemy target with high priority. That is, understanding why you need a confrontation phase and what roles you should play afterwards is the most decisive factor to defeat the defending team before getting into overtime.


Secondly, you must take bold actions. If you are choosing a spot for an attack, get in there as a team at once. If there is hesitation during the action, there could be a straggler, and a scattered group will be wiped out more easily. The reason we end up having the “overtime meta” is that during overtime, the attackers boldly push through the defenders—there’s no turning back. The defenders have the upper hand because they can preoccupy the better spots. But once the attackers get in, they successfully mark their priority targets. This makes the battle less organized for the defending side, and it becomes hard to say one team has more advantages than the other. There are even cases where the attacking side gains the upper hand as they focus their targets well. Don’t mull over too many things to take down an enemy before you get in. Be bold. The defenders assign themselves different positions, so they’ll be frightened when the attackers hit a single target at once. But if the attackers just dawdle about here and there, the situation will inevitably be more favorable for the defenders. Get moving as if every second were overtime. That’s what the attackers should do. Picking off an enemy is indeed a nice strategy, but you can’t always do that. You should not rely too much on plays that require great mechanics.




Reason 2: As overtime draws near, the attacking team will naturally get to wait until all their team members respawn.


In low ranked games, people barely understand that they have to wait for their team members to respawn. The attacking team recklessly splits up and gets defeated one by one, and a feud will likely arise in the team as one of them starts blaming the whole team for letting him or her just die there with no backup. If this happens over and over, time will pass with nothing much done as a team. But there are magic words that unite these people, and they are "thirty seconds left." As soon as they hear "thirty seconds," they will wait for their teammates as if hypnotized, and will realize the miraculous moment when every one of them has already formed up.



Solution: Always keep the basic rules in mind to turn the respawn system to your advantage.


The art of controlling your team's and even your enemy team's respawn cannot be overemphasized. I am going to do a follow-up on this afterwards, but I will briefly explain some of the points in this guide. The basis of controlling the respawn is having more people on your side and less people on your enemy side. When your team is outnumbered, retreat and wait. When your team outnumbers the enemy team, then chase the remaining enemies and take them down. In the former case, carrying on the confrontation will only be disadvantageous to your team. For instance, while your team is outnumbered, a team fight may begin which will make you lose more allies. Or you may end up letting your opponents get their ults ready faster during the confrontation. So in this situation, I highly recommend making a quick retreat and getting prepared for the next fight. In the latter case, keep chasing your enemies as far as you can to kill them. The "overtime" meta occurs when not all members are present and they don't carry out a proper attack. So what is important here is to make sure that every one of your team has formed up. For the defending team, however, their core objective will be preventing that happening until the last second, right?



Reason 3: The defending team probably has already overused their ults.


When there are less than 60 seconds left, the defending team tends to overuse their ults. I guess this is because people feel they almost made it by then and now it is their turn to use their ults. I’m just making a guess here based on my experiences, and there’s no statistics to back it up. Regardless of your rating, the defending team does overuse their ults during this time. In low ranked games in particular, you will sometimes see everyone on the defending team using their ults at the same time, while no one on the attacking side are using their ults. This means that the attacking team are getting a great chance of winning the next fight. This is one of the biggest reasons why their next attack during overtime proves successful.



Solution: Take overtime into account and save up some ults.


Again, in so many games, the defending team “overuses” the ults they’ve got when there’s less than a minute left. The same goes for almost everyone except those with super high ratings in general. You should keep in mind that the last battle doesn’t take place until overtime. The battle that starts when about thirty seconds are left is the real last battle. Thus, the defending team, especially when they’re on Assault, must take this last battle into overtime as well and carefully consider saving some of their ults. That fight when there is about sixty seconds left won’t be the last fight, so arranging the order for the ults in advance is necessary to make sure no ult is getting wasted. Plan an effective combination of the minimum number of ults for defense. This should be the defending team’s top priority: always be mindful of this until overtime.



Reason 4: The defending team position themselves forward too much.


Sometimes, the defending team moves forward and maintains their lines there to prevent their opponents from stepping on the objective area. This positioning provides the biggest chance for the attacking side. Overtime is given when one of the attackers touch the objective five seconds before the timer hits zero. This means if a Tracer, Winston, D.Va, or anyone who was lurking near the objective touches the area, there will be an additional all-out, which will bring back the defenders to the objective, giving up on their previous positional advantages. What’s even worse, there are times when one uses his or her ult at zero to celebrate their victory, but at those moments, one of the attackers might flank in and get overtime.



Solution: Moving your lines forward when you’re not completely sure of winning is like throwing away your positional advantages.


Whether it is Assault or Escort, the defenders tend to move their lines forward to keep the attackers away from the payload when time is running out in their favor. But this order should be made carefully. This is a reasonable order if it was made just to ensure victory a little more, though it may be obvious that the attackers won’t be able to touch the payload anyway within the given time. But if there are still ten to twenty seconds left, it can be very risky. Moving forward toward the enemy spawn zone means you are giving up all the positional advantages allowed for the defending side. No matter which mode it is, the defending team can maximize their own benefits when they have preoccupied the high places. Those high places on Escort maps and those objective areas on Assault maps weren’t just randomly designed. Only when you are one hundred percent sure that none of your enemies can touch the objective, move forward. Otherwise, it is better to get yourself positioned and take down your opponents as they come in. Again, overtime is given when any of the attackers get in within the last five seconds. Refrain from staying ahead when you’re not one hundred percent sure.





To wrap up, the “overtime meta” is a result of many psychological factors in most cases. That is, you’re either failing to counter what you could have defended or losing a team fight that you could have won in normal situations. And from this, we can say the factor that all those four reasons above have in common is “lack of caution.” So, instead of saying “It’s overtime meta,” and liking it, why don’t we get introspective for a while and think about how we can win from now on?


Thank you for reading this long post again.
Have a nice day :)


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