During a match between the Overwatch League’s New York Excelsior and Chengdu Hunters, observant fans discovered a crafty trick that Mercy players can use to avoid headshots.
Overwatch is full of clever mechanics and tricks, so it should be no surprise that there’s always new tips to learn. With the Overwatch League’s 2021 season in full swing ahead of the May Melee, viewers are picking up on tricks from the game’s best players.
During an April 30 matchup between the Excelsior and Dynasty, New York’s main support, Jo ‘Friday’ Min-jae was able to avoid being killed by a Widowmaker headshot. Eagle-eyed fans rewound the tape and discovered why the exposed Mercy was able to avoid being downed in one shot.
While this trick is likely known to many advanced Mercy players, the responses on Reddit indicate that it’s new to a lot of people. Posted to the Overwatch subreddit by the fittingly named ‘overawtch,’ the mechanic — in which you quickly turn your back to the enemies — is gaining traction among inquisitive fans.
Dubbing the mechanic “hitbox manipulation,” overawtch replays the brief moment in slow motion — and from both players’ POVs — to demonstrate how it is pulled off. As seen from Friday’s perspective, the hero flies toward a teammate, turns briefly and takes 120 damage, before getting ahead to their Echo.
From the perspective of Chengdu’s sniper, Xin ‘Leave’ Huang, you can see a crosshair perfectly aimed at Mercy’s head get turned into a body shot as the hero turns away and is protected by their back.
With a fully powered sniper shot, Widow is typically able to kill a Mercy with one headshot — which receives a 2.5x damage multiplier. Therefore, by blocking the insta-kill with your body, Mercy can live to fight another day.
At the time of writing, this clip has dozens of comments on Reddit, showing that fans are very happy to learn about a new trick. And one such fan, ‘adrianwarp,’ explains why players should be able to learn similar survivability mechanics from OWL pros: “Great clip. I think one of the things people miss about playing against the best players in the world is how slippery they are.”