Overwatch pro Daniel ‘Dafran’ Francesca demonstrated a Zarya tactic so powerful that he used it to pull off one of the biggest plays of Overwatch League Season Two so far.
Zarya’s ultimate is one of the most powerful ultimates in Overwatch when it lands, but managing to catch a large number of players with it can be easier said than done. If the enemy team has a D.Va they’ll be doing everything they can to capture the Graviton with their Defense Matrix, and even then a team watching out for the ultimate will be wary of grouping too closely.
If you’re a Zarya player, then, finding ways to catch the enemy off-guard and land your ultimate reliably is one of your top priorities, perhaps the most important skill you can hone once you’ve gotten to grips with keeping your charge high.
Doing so can be made a lot easier with some creative tactics to catch the enemy unawares, and Dafran demonstrated one such tactic on Hollywood’s offensive side that was so impressive it even caught out a professional team in the Overwatch League.
By utilizing rocket-jumping – a technique for higher jumps that involves timing the jump with the knock-back effect of your own weapon, in this case the alternate fire of Zarya’s Particle Cannon – it’s possible to propel yourself over the roofs separating the first capture point from the Stage 2 area.
In this specific case, Dafran also had the assistance of a Lúcio with Speed Boost to help make the jump quicker and easier, but it is still possible alone.
As the archway between the two areas is a major choke point, if the enemy team are defending on the other side doing so will drop you right into the back line for a free ultimate, as Dafran demonstrated to incredible effect against the Paris Eternal.
If you time it right – which is made much easier if you have a team-mate spotting for you to call when the enemy are approaching – not only will the opposing team have no warning that you’re coming, but it’s likely that the majority – if not all – of them will be grouped up in the choke point, making for a massive Graviton Surge and an almost guaranteed team wipe.
Not only will you earn some free time pushing the payload forward, but it’s likely that the enemy won’t have much chance to work on building ultimates of their own. In the worst case scenario, you should at least force the enemy to trade powerful defensive ultimates immediately at the start of the second stage.