Doomfist, the pawn in Overwatch
On the 10 January, the Los Angeles Gladiators “Hydration” played the character Doomfist which isn’t a hero that we see often in competition because of his close-contact playstyle. It is a character that is used in very special situations and requires a player with exceptional skill to know when to hide and when to come out and attack an opponent.
In this match, the Los Angeles Gladiators were playing against the Shanghai Dragons. Admittedly, Shanghai Dragons are not a top of the Overwatch League team (to put it politely), nevertheless, for the Gladiators to choose Doomfist requires exceptional skill and strategy.
The strategy worked on the premise that if Doomfist could get close enough to cause some damage or distraction for a sustainable length of time, the other players in the Gladiators would be able to position themselves to attack the Shanghai Dragons with no room to escape. Essentially Doomfist was being sacrificed, like a pawn in chess, to win the match.
In the game, Hydration (Doomfist) cleverly hid behind each chokepoint, then surreptitiously snuck behind the Dragon’s backline via a building. Thus gaining the opportunity to attack at close range at the front line of the Dragon’s. The close range attack, plus the strength of Doomfist meant that the Shanghai Dragons had to focus all their attention on Hydration.
As a bonus, Hydration was able to take out the Shanghai Dragon’s Mercy and Winston whilst his team mates positioned themselves.
Hydration was soon taken down by the Dragons, however this left them exposed, confused and disjointed. The Gladiators then picked them apart with a 3 pronged attack of different ranges, without giving the Dragons an opportunity to regroup or escape.
Now, the Shanghai Dragons aren’t that bad, that the Gladiators could have conjured up this strategy on the day. It would have taken, quite a few scrimmages for the Gladiators to gain comfort in executing the plan and I’m sure there would have been some small doubt of failure in considering attempting this strategy.
Perhaps, with against a better opponent, Doomfist would not have been used… who knows. But unfortunately against the Shanghai Dragons, the LA Gladiators used it and it worked!