Make Space By Clearing Angles: How Dallas Fuel Failed In The NeXT Tournament

Hello, all. My name is Spilo, and I'm a recently retired Contenders Head Coach turned Educational Content Creator.

This Monday I had the opportunity to stream analysis of Kings Row from Seoul vs. Dallas matchup in the NeXT Nexus Tournament, and I noticed an important error that Dallas made multiple times during the map, two instances that I'll highlight here.

Before I do that, though, I want to clarify what "Making Space By Clearing Angles" means. I'll do my best to keep this succinct!

Essentially, Overwatch can be boiled down to a positional war, where good positioning enhances the value of Cooldowns, Ultimates, and Damage itself. In essentially every meta, the positions that matter the most are often flanks and angles.Controlling good Flanks/Angles/High grounds in team fights is what's most commonly referred to as Map Control.

Team fights at high level Overwatch are often battles or mini-skirmishes for those valuable flanks and angles- understanding this and applying it in game is often the difference between proper meta execution and poor meta execution.For example, in the long past GOATs meta, is was the norm for high-level GOATs play to revolve around two concepts, Ultimates use and battling for angles for your Zarya/DVA to control.

Today I will be sharing two examples of where Dallas failed to properly clear space. I will not be focusing on why Dallas failed to do this; it is impossible for an outsider to know for sure (could be ignorance of the concept, nerves, something in communication), but it is unquestionable that, whatever the reason why, Dallas's failure with Map Control discipline cost them at least two fights on Kings Row.

Example 1: Clear DPS before rotating!

Video Example: https://youtu.be/0KL_F_H85OI?t=6395

Photo example: https://i.ibb.co/1rprQJx/example1.png

This example comes from Dallas's OT push, where Dallas is hopeful to at least capture the point for hopes of something other than a loss or draw.

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In this example, Fits is positioned very aggressively near Dallas spawn in the hopes of farming EMP while sitting on a hacked mega- the hacked mega means that it takes more effort for Dallas to clear him out- but clearing him out is unquestionably a necessity. Leaving Sombra behind when it would take only a second or two of team effort to dislodge her is a significant error, for three reasons:

  1. Sombra maintaining that hard angle while Dallas is rotating means that Dallas's peel attention will be split during their crucial rotate to Hotel. Notice how both the Zarya and Brig of Dallas lag behind/have their attention split, preventing them from supporting their Ana or pressuring the other angles during their rotate.
  2. Allowing Sombra to maintain such an aggressive angle for free means she is able to put an IMMENSE amount of pressure from her damage + hack threat, pressure/opportunities that would be harder for her if she had been cleared first. Notice that Fits had farmed 40% just as the FIRST rotate had ended, and before a real fight had even broken out, and that he was able to get an easy (and lethal) hack on the enemy Winston from his position. More pressure isn't only kills and hacks, it also leads to
  3. More EMP charge. With EMP almost always being the meta defining ultimate, building up that much of a percentage first fight from the angle means Dallas has essentially zero chance of a successful retake- Fits had farmed 70% before the fight was over, the majority from his early aggressive position.

Dallas's failure to simply turn around and clear the Sombra was a big reason why the first fight went poorly, and removed any realistic expectation of a successful second attempt.

Example 2: Clear angles to prevent enemies from clutching won fights!

Video Example: https://youtu.be/0KL_F_H85OI?t=6179

Photo Example: https://i.ibb.co/Zcp8qs4/example2.png

This example comes from Dallas's first Attack push, where Dallas is working to try to cap 3rd for an opportunity of OT.

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In this example, Dallas does a great job EMPing to counter Seoul's grav, instantly annihilating Anamo on Brig, giving them an easy man advantage in the fight. In addition, Dallas hits an ult spike early on in the fight, with both Rally, Nano, and Echo Copy built and used. Dallas uses these to push onto the hacked enemy Sombra (whose hack from EMP was just expiring) and ToYou on Zarya.

However, there's a problem with this. As you can see from the video and photo examples, Creative on Ana remained untouched on the flank, and Profit on Echo copies Zarya, and sits on high ground, uncontested, for the entire fight. Dallas needed to PUSH their advantage by clearing high ground and angles BEFORE they "inted" down main. Clearing angles EVEN when you have an advantage is important for three reasons:

  1. Enemies on main are more likely to be able to kite/run from your aggression effectively. ToYou in the example given simply ran to his spawn safely- enemies on flanks often have a harder time escaping.
  2. Enemies on flanks are more lethal, as they have easier vision onto your backline, are less likely to be stymied by shields/bubbles, and can shoot backline as easily as frontline (there are no tanks in the way when you are behind/on an angle). Not clearing angles when you have an advantage is an opportunity for the enemy team to clutch- many times when you see a team lose an advantage, it is because they got greedy/sloppy with map control.
  3. Enemies on angles split attention, and can split attention hard (we saw this in the last example with Sombra). Fearless realizes too late that Creative on Ana is still behind, and attempts to solo contest, but his team is still distracted by chasing Zarya, and ultimately Fearless dies with his Ana still alive AND an active Rally!
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Dallas loses an essentially unloseable fight, committing four ultimates to Seoul's three, in addition to 6v5 advantage very early in the fight- all because they did not properly prioritizing clearing the angles and flanks once they had sustained an advantage.

Shout out to dragonfistX200 for uploading the footage from the Chinese streaming service to YouTube!


(as of this post, it is being processed, may take a few hours)

My stream (where I do roast reviews/Pro analysis): https://www.twitch.tv/spilo

My Discord (where you can ask questions and get coaching): https://discord.gg/tqvgygx

Source: reddit.com

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