A nifty Overwatch play is reminding the game’s player-base just how useful Winston can be as a main tank, showcasing how clever bubble placement can completely negate a D.Va ultimate.
Winston has long been one of Overwatch’s most unique, big-brain heroes. In the olden days, he was the professional scene’s most popular tank, particularly following exposure of his innovative suite of abilities by South Korean main tank Gong ‘Miro’ Jin-hyuk. Now, with nerfs to Orisa, Winston may regain some prominence and this trick shows precisely why.
Although he has one of the weakest shields and lowest DPS among tanks, his Tesla Cannon’s capacity to bypass shields and damage multiple heroes at once is very unique. More importantly for a quasi-main tank, his bubble (or, formally, Barrier Projector) only has 700 health and lasts for just nine seconds, but exists as a complete sphere, granting interesting potential when combined with the six-second cooldown of his Jump Pack.
Although this trick, using Winston’s bubble to deny a D.Va bomb, has been available since Overwatch’s debut in May 2016, it may be unfamiliar to newer players or those who never got the chance to watch the professional scene in its early years.
As shown by ‘TypeMoney’ on Reddit, a perfectly timed jump and barrier deployment from Overwatch’s largest scientist can completely contain catastrophe. With the enemy D.Va’s Self-Destruct set to explode mid-air, TypeMoney is able to predict the exact time of detonation (which takes three seconds, for reference), jump to it at the right moment, drop the bubble exactly around it, and escape unharmed.
Since this is entirely mid-air, the D.Va bomb, winston, and his bubble all drop toward the ground, making calculated timing a true necessity to pull it off. It’s a very different experience than deploying Orisa’s shield on the ground and hoping your team scurries behind it in time to avoid the explosion’s damage (which ranges from 100 to 1000).
This may be comfortable for those with Winston and dive-comp experience, but it’s worth practicing for tanks who want to have the flexibility to adapt when metas shift. It’s nice when you can protect some teammates with a shield, but being able to completely render an opposing ultimate useless is a potential game-changer.