Cries of victory blare through your headset. D.V.A. fires a torrent of rockets into the sky. Genji repeatedly crouches over the corpse of the enemy Junkrat, yelling “Mata mata! Mata mata! Mata mata!”
You tense in anticipation for the sweet words you’d been hoping for. “TEAM KILL”
THE TEAM KILL PROBLEM
A TEAM KILL is when an Overwatch team is completely wiped out in quick succession before any revive timers finish ticking. These words bring happiness to near all Overwatch players, but often bring an unforeseen storm to the still-jubilating team.
One of the well-known facts about solo queing is the lack of communication that permeates the latter. With half the team with no microphone, it can be a great challenge to group for a push after the loss of a team fight, but after a team kill, that problem is nullified. The nature of a team kill is ironically productive for the team on the receiving end in many instances. Team kills usually constitute a quick sweep and a rush of ultimate abilities that combo together. When the enemy team is wiped, this forces a hard reset that assists in coordinating a full group push, and maybe your loss.
Team kills tend to utilize crowd control such as a Graviton ultimate in tangent with a damage ultimate like a Tactical Visor, bolstered by a defensive ultimate like a Sound Barrier. Depending on the sense of urgency and level of communication with teammates, the aggressive team can throw out more ultimate combos than necessary to take the point. This leaves the new owners of the capture point increasingly vulnerable to the newly organized enemy team. Furthermore, the team that just got trampled most likely held onto their ultimates either in preparation, or just because they were unprepared for the rush from the enemy team. In either case, this team will most likely have the upper hand in ultimate count.
PREVENTION – ULTIMATE CONSERVATION AND DEATH SPREADS
Making sure to hold on to ultimates at the correct time can win the game. Before using your ultimate, there are many things to consider. Has your team already won the fight? Will your ultimate change the flow of the battle in your favor? Which ultimates have the other team already used? When the win of a team fight grows closer, it can be increasingly tempting to throw out your ultimate to quickly finish off the remaining enemies, especially with the low amount of communication with others on the ladder, but doing so only adds to the other team’s advantage, whilst spreading out the deaths of the enemy by conserving ultimates, only adds to your benefits. The opposing team may start to trickle, never grouping for a push, and dying easily to your fortified team on the point. This is a common occurrence on the ladder and forcing it to come about can be extremely beneficial. Conversely, if the enemy team takes the time to group after an intentional kill spread, it takes longer for them to completely regroup and gives you more time on the objective. Either outcome comes about through personal ultimate management and can be the deciding factor for winning an Overwatch match. Failing to do so leaves you the victim to a Genji’s manic corpse crouching abilities and the sweaty taste of defeat.