Every day, there are dozens — perhaps hundreds — of highlight clips and Plays of the Game submitted to Reddit’s Overwatch subreddit. The subreddit, one of the site’s most popular, is stuffed with clutch plays, hilarious highlights and against-all-odds comebacks. There are so many impressive examples of great gameplay it’s often hard to keep up. And often, we struggle with what to highlight on this website.
Normally, we don’t spend the effort to recycle a five-second clip or GIF that you can easily see sitting at the top of r/Overwatch. Just go to Reddit if you want to see that.
But today is different. This play is different. This play is special.
Here’s the situation: A lone, Diamond-tier Reinhardt player is approaching the first capture point on Anubis. The opposing team is in the process of locking down the objective during overtime when the Reinhardt pops his ult and, against impossible odds, somehow manages to secure victory for his team.
If you haven’t already seen the clip, here it is, via gfycat. Watch it a few times.
When I first watched this highlight, submitted by Reddit user pina250 under the title “When they say you can't take on 1v6...” it wasn’t immediately clear what happened, since it ends with “Match Complete” and not a “Victory” or “Defeat” notification. I initially thought the title was presented ironically, that the Reinhardt player was showing off their wholly ineffective ult and looking for a bit of sympathy (or a stab at upvotes).
Then I realized that pina250 snatched victory from the jaws of certain defeat thanks to an highly concentrated amount of stupid from the other team. And there’s an important lesson to be reminded of here, one that I’ll take with me into future Overwatch matches.
If it’s not clear what happens in this clip, I’ll try to break it down. Reinhardt player pina250’s team is up 2-0, having already captured both points on Anubis in the previous round. The opposing team is sitting on what appears to be a guaranteed capture of the map’s first point. They’re in overtime, meaning the game clock has run out, but they’re sitting on the point and as long as someone — anyone — is on it, the overtime period will continue.
Reinhardt moves in, seemingly attempting to hold off the capture all by himself. His teammates Lucio and Pharah have just been eliminated by the opposing team, so Reinhardt goes in, ultimate ability at the ready in a last ditch attempt to stun the other team and hold them off just a little longer. The ult is completely blocked by the opposing team’s Reinhardt — and to add insult to injury, the opposing Zarya just popped a bubble on Reinhardt, giving her a power boost from Reinhardt’s misfired ult. Reinhardt moves in, shield up, likely resigned to his fate as he faces the full strength of his enemies.
The opposing team’s Reinhardt charges pina250 pinning him against the wall, and the enemy Genji gets the killing blow. In a surprise twist, pina250’s team wins the round because the entire enemy team has moved off the capture point, either in an attempt to kill pina250 or because they’re completely convinced they’ve got the point locked down. (Narrator: “They didn’t have it locked down.”)
This play is illustrative of one of the most common frustrations of any Overwatch player. Your teammates, consumed by bloodlust reinforced by the focus on KDR in other multiplayer shooters, have completely neglected the entire objective of the game. The ultimate goal is not to get kills, but to secure the point (or move the goddamn payload, come on why am I the only one on this thing?). Outside of taking Reinhardt, a single, slow-moving character, out of play, there’s no other benefit to focusing the entire team’s efforts on killing him. He no longer has his ultimate, he’s approaching the capture point slowly, shield up, and the combined firepower of the team would quickly nullify an attempt at a charge. And the capture indicator is mere pixels away from being filled!
In the losing team’s defense, we only see four of the six members of that team (Reinhardt, Zarya, Soldier: 76 and Genji) in this highlight. The other two were probably en route to the point or otherwise occupied screaming at their teammates to just, please, stay on the point.
And we’re watching this moment play out in the context of a seconds-long, repeatable GIF. It’s easy to pick apart and blame everyone for losing sight of the objective, but that’s kind of the whole point.
I tend to solo queue in Overwatch, and I’ve been guilty of bloodlusting and overextending myself, too, but this is maybe the worst visible example of two-thirds of a team doing the same thing all at once. But here’s the takeaway and my pledge to you: The next time I think about leaving the capture point that I should be defending in an attempt to take the last 20 HP off an opposing team’s Reaper or Tracer, I’m going to pause, reflect on this highlight clip and get back to the objective. Join me, won’t you?