Hey there! We are going to talk about predictive positioning in this video, and advanced game-sense and positioning related topic that will allow you to outsmart your enemies and stay alive longer, do your job better and up your game-sense. Hello guys and welcome to the dojo! Positioning is one of the most important things in Overwatch, because it will help you stay alive, and staying alive IS the single most important thing in the game. Apart from staying alive, a good position can give you different advantages over the enemy team, allowing you to do your job well, farm your ultimate quicker, and so on.
This guide will not talk about basic positioning concepts, for that, see your basic positioning video, click the card right now. What we are going to talk about is how to use your game-sense and prediction to try to figure out the foreseeable future in a match and adjust your positioning accordingly. While basic positioning concepts are good, they are static. They usually don’t help you in dynamically adjusting to the enemy team’s team formations, just tell you best practices, for example to contest the high ground if you can do so.
Alright, let’s briefly talk about prediction in Overwatch and then we can get back to the topic at hand. When we are thinking about prediction, we mean the act of trying to tell what the players will do in the match in the next few seconds. If you are able to deduct what is going to happen up until the next teamfight, you will have a lot easier time doing your job (for example: getting to better positions to kill from as a DPS or a safer position to heal from as a support).
Let’s see and example before we talk about the topic in more depth: I am playing Soldier76 on Numbani defense, setting up on the left side high ground (from the defender’s perspective). I push out a bit to do some safe poke damage and to get information about the enemy team and their movement. I hear a Winston landing the jump and see the D.Va boosting by the bus. They are heading towards the ledge area. This is the information I have right now. The enemy is running a dive comp and they want to come from the ledge area. I call this for my teammates. Then I think about my positioning (am I safe, am I going to be able to do my job)? Well if they come from the ledge, they are going to be contested by my teammates. This means that they either dive the high ground there, giving me free damage opportunities while they are fighting, or come below the bridge and jump me on the other high ground. This would expose them to a lot of damage from my teammates on the high ground, and I am okay with that.
I position in a way to allow me to drop down towards the defender spawn if needed, but I predict that I am in a good position. When we are talking about prediction, we need two things: game sense, aka: knowledge about the game to make educated guesses and information that we can use as a foundation for these guesses. It is really important that you know how to extract the most information from the game. We have a video about that topic, giving you a mental checklist to stay on top of your game, watch it now. Okay, so we came up with different prediction categories, let’s go over these, so you will have full understanding of the topic. In case you have any more questions, post them in the comment section, so we can explain them to you in more detail. In the next part of this video, we are going to talk about what you can pay attention to that enemies do, and then what your teammates do. We have a checklist in the description of the video, you can download this to make it easier if you want to practice your predictions and predictive positioning.
The most common prediction that should make is enemy path prediction. When you are playing a match in Overwatch, the game has a rhythm that keeps repeating, which is: group, move towards the objective (or wait for the enemy to do so), fight, and repeat. We are not going to talk about trickling here (when players in a team keep dying one-by-one), because that can be handled with ease. When enemies are the ones approaching the objective, path predictions are really important. If you are able to tell where they are most likely to try coming in, you can effectively halt their push by getting important picks before they are ready to fight. Position in a way that makes it the easiest for you to do your job. The next one is enemy team formation prediction. Basically looking at what they have and figuring out how they are going to approach the objective.
You can exploit mistakes in their dynamics if you pay attention. For example: enemy runs dive, but the tanks are jumping early and far. If you are a tank yourself, you can body block or shield block the divers, denying all heals from them. Or you can jump the backline supports with a DPS. Find holes in their formation and use prediction to punish them for the mistakes. You can position in a way to be able to get a pick and get back to safety without the enemy noticing, or stay away from potential ‘danger-zones’. Following with enemy ability usage prediction, this can be an important tool in your game-sense kit, as it allows to dodge important abilities and deny some that would give ult charge to the enemies. Try to think what characters they have and what they want to throw at you.
You can expect a Reaper to stay around tanks and wraith form away to safety if the shields are breaking. If you are prepared for this, you can get an easy pick when the wraith form is on cooldown. Another example might be seeing a Moira or Rein in the enemy team as D.Va. If you time the shield matrix well, and don’t use it blindly, you can eat most of their abilities, denying ult charge. Try to predict how the enemy will act when they reach your team, and what will they use. Position yourself in a way that allows you to dodge our counter these abilities. The next one is enemy target focus prediction. If you see a dive comp, you can be certain that they are not going to just stand and fight shields, rather dive the backline.
If you are the backline, pull closer to your tanks. Figure out how the enemy team fights and predict their target focuses. This way you can help saving an ally or yourself just by reading the enemy comp. When looking for a good position, use this knowledge to either setup to save someone or to disrupt enemies from their goals. Lastly, enemy ultimate prediction. This is a really important part of teamfights, not just because it is easier to win fights with ult, but you can gain an ultimate advantage if you use the ults wisely, instead of throwing them all at the enemies. When predicting enemy ultimates, the rule of thumb is that every character will have her ult in every second fight, and if someone appears a lot on the kill feed (kills or assists), you should expect them to have it in the next fight.
Using prediction you can position yourself in a way to stay hidden from a lot of ults, or you can get aggressive and force enemy ultimates that they don’t want to use yet. A good example is Genji having the blade, but if you predict that the enemy Zenyatta has ult as well, you should not use it. Instead of that, try to force the Zen ult, then use yours when it ends. Okay, so there are allied team predictions as well that you can use to predict how your team will act.
Even if you don’t communicate, these can come in handy. Predicting paths of your teammates is most helpful for support and tank players. Look at how your teammate is using it’s hero. Is she aggressive, or passive? Can you help her in any way? Use these predictions to position yourself in a way that helps teammates, or allows you to use your teammates for your own benefits. Next up is allied target focus prediction. This is not an issue when you are communicating, but that’s rare in soloQ. Try to predict what a hero will shoot at and try to work together.
Even if only the two of you are doing this, you have better chances at getting kills and locking down enemies. Position in a way that allows you to react to the target focus of your teammate you are watching. Lastly: allied ult prediction. You can hit tab and see if the ult will come up. You can predict players using their ultimate in certain situations. For example, you can see your Zarya pushing up for a grav, then you can get more aggressive to do damage to the grav ball as well. You can use prediction to set up to a position that allows you to benefit the most from a given ultimate. We used a lot of examples in this guide, but is is usually not this clear and you need to pay attention to a lot of other things. Start doing predictions and you will see and improvement in your positioning and game-sense. We must say however, that predictions can fail in a lot of cases, where other players are not acting according to how they usually do.
Exceptions will happen, but even in cases like this, preparation can go a long way. Don’t trust your predictions 100%, always be ready that things go unexpected. The Overwatchdojo team is working hard to research and produce videos likes these for you. If you want to support us and get coached by professional coaches in the same time, head over to our Patreon page. We also have a really nice community with free coaching opportunities, so if you feel stuck, join our Discord server. We thank all our Patrons for helping us, and you can pitch as well, by sharing this video on social media, liking the vid and leaving a comment below. See you guys in the next one!.
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