THE THREE PILLARS OF TEAM STRATEGY
GO TEAM! (INTRO)
With this article we are going to change a formless group into an OWL worthy competitor! So, what is the diffrence with a pick-up stack and all those OWL Teams (exluding time spend in game and mechanical ability)? The answer is rather short yet so huge: Strategy.
- Rules of Movement
- Rules of Engagement
- Communication discipline
We’ll be discussing these each seperately since there is quite some stuff to cover. GO TEAM!
Every good team has discipline in movement, engagement, and communication. But the expectations and mechanisms differ. Depending on your team composition, your role, the team's goal (attack versus defend), the map (payload, king of the hill, hybrid), you'll have different ways to do these three things. But to win you have to do these three things well.
RULES OF MOVEMENT
These govern the basics of team and hero movement
Reassembling all players, outside the effective area of the opposing team, to not trigger damage, or worse, get killed. Most of the time this happens close to spawn, or after a Reset Back call (see below for Reset rules). To get everybody in position for an effective and coordinated push.
Take advantage of the agreed composition (use of barriers for example) so we can enter the battlefield in the right order and play our positions effectively.
The most basic formation puts Tanks in front, DPS in the middle, and Supports on rear guard.
Which way do we take to get in position, for the Poke phase, without facing, or facing the other team as little as possible? This is the agreed upon route the formation will take into the fight. We strive to make this route the one with the most cover into the engagement zone, but it also must account for our awareness of enemy postions.
Taking alternate positiong, away from the team formation, to create an engagement opportunity (with a kill or distracting attention).
RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
These govern the timing and triggers for initiating team fights.
The first stage of attacking the other team, searching for openings and opportunity ( for example shieldbreaking, anti-nades, or an effective discord). This highest priority during Poke is DON'T DIE! A single death during Poke often unravels the entire engagement. Being patient, scouting the opposition, identifying priority targets, and farming Ultimates are other important priorities during Poke phase.
A hole is found in the defense where we take immediate action. Could be an opposing team-member that dies (aka 'a pick'), or moves out of position; we break enemy shields, a Flanker calls for a push on a priority target, our Ult combos (or other win conditions) become available, etc. Ults should be used in this phase. Time to get aggressive!
The fight is tipped in our favor, SAVE ULTS, and stagger enemies if possible. Pushing the opposing team back to spawn is encourged. A spawn camp that chips away at least 30 seconds off the clock is worth it. Don't overstay. Reset quickly.
Setup for the next engagement, either forward or back. Going back resets to Group Up, and resetting forward to Form Up but in a forward position (usually just beyond the objective, to take advantage of any natural choke points, or cut off a specific Approach by the other team. This is also tiem to lay ambushes and coordinate Ults for the upcoming engagement (restarting Poke phase).
Governs the efficient use of voice comms
Following the active hero count, of both teams, to determine the balance of power, at any point during an engagement. Certain strategies require the presense of certain heroes, so, knowing the count is often critical to understanding what needs to happen at any point in time.
Asking for follow up on an important enemy, who is low, or vital, to the opposing comp. Open for anyone with good reason, but usually the designated Shotcaller has priority.
Keeping everyone aware of which ults to potentially expect the enemy team to have ready in the upcoming engagement. We expect our team members to track their counters and mirrors, at least. Shotcaller strives to consolidate and communicate this information.
Deciding out who is going to use which ults in the next fight. Maintaining situational awareness of important cooldown combos is a priority for comms. Plenty of specfic comp strategies rely on abilities being available at the right time, and used in the right sequence. Help keep your teammates aware of the status of your important cooldowns.
Do's and Dont's on Comm Discipline
✓ Do what the shotcaller says. One team member holds the designation of "Shotcaller" for a given match. Everyone will get a chance at this. The Shotcaller is in charge of comms.
✓ Use the present and future tense; Don't talk about what 'just happened' to you.
✓ Use the chatwheel or tab for what’s possible (ult ecomy, healing,...)
❌ Don’t read the screen info to the team (know and USE your H.U.D.!!); If it's on the screen (i.e. Kill Feed) everyone SHOULD KNOW IT without having to be told.
✓ Clear comms when the match starts. Once entering the comp queue, finish the chatter and get in the right mindset for good, clean, efficient communication.