With the next season of Overwatch League two months away, The Post spoke to Flaherty of the Houston Outlaws and his teammate Austin “Muma” Wilmot about how to make the most of their roles as support and tank heroes in the current meta. Flaherty, 25, has been playing Moira lately for both the Outlaws and Team USA; the national team won the Overwatch World Cup last month against China. Wilmot, 21, is the main tank for the Outlaws and split his time last season across a few heroes — including Reinhardt, Orisa and Wrecking Ball.
(And, yes, both shared their advice for how to take down an opposing team’s Mei.)
Taking down Mei is all about timing and coordination
When facing the chill of Mei’s endothermic blaster, Wilmot and Flaherty both agree: you need to take her on together.
There’s a lot to worry about with Mei, Wilmot said. Her ice wall can split a team, separating “squishy” characters from the tanks and healers. You might take on Mei one-v-one to only see her escape death, encased in ice. Mei’s pet drone can even wrap your entire team in a blizzard, setting you up as easy prey.
The best heroes to take down a Mei are one of the snipers, Flaherty said. You should be aware of whether Mei has used her cryo-freeze or ice wall abilities lately. If the answer is yes, take the opportunity to overwhelm her with a swift, coordinated attack. Communication is always key in Overwatch.
“When you don’t have the greatest teamwork, and you’re not on the same page, she can just take you out,” Flaherty said.
When playing as Moira, always watch for Doomfist and Reaper
There’s a reason you see professional support players in Overwatch League leaning on Moira. Doomfist and Reaper, two heroes that can deal a lot of damage, always dive a team’s backline. Moira can easily fade away from the pressure, making her incredibly “elusive,” Flaherty said.
Flaherty recommends turning up in-game sounds so you can hear if Reaper is teleporting nearby or Doomfist is winding up for a kill. Your top concern should be not dying as Moira, Flahery said.
“If you die, you lose the fight,” Flaherty said, adding a team can carry on if another support character (like Lucio) dies but not Moira. Moira can single-handedly support a team.
Doomfist and Reaper will often force a close encounter, which works fine for Moira since she saps a nearby enemies’ health with little to no aim required, Flaherty said. When the two do commit to a fight, there’s a window where Moira can slide in unnoticed and go on the offensive. Flaherty just said you just never want to be singled-out as Moira. Try to stay behind your tank at all times.
Some of the support players — especially Ana or Zenyatta — can actually make the critical elimination plays for the team, Flaherty said, though maybe not Moira or Mercy. Just sit down and watch SeongHyun “JJONAK” Bang’s precision as Zenyatta.
When playing as Orisa: Master your ‘Halt’ ability
Orisa’s halt ability can lasso the enemy team to one gravitational point, lining them up for your teammates to eliminate. It’s “pretty easily” the best move in the game, Wilmot said.
“The thing that separates a good Orisa from a great Orisa mostly just comes down to your communication around the halt specifically,” Wilmot told The Post.
Teams last season in Overwatch League combined Orisa’s halt with other abilities for lethal effects. The San Francisco Shock paired a halt with a perfectly-timed meteor strike from Jay “Sinatraa” Won to break down the Hangzhou Spark in a semifinal match last season.
“There’s no better ability in the game to set up combos as consistently as halt,” Wilmot said.
Every team fight, you should have a plan for what you’re going to do with your halt. Wilmot said before he enters any fight he picks the easiest target, tells his team and provides them a window to focus their fire and knock out the opponent.
Orisa’s curved shield will also determine where the next team fight will be, especially early on in a match. Wilmot recommends dropping Orisa’s shield near choke points, to force the other team to fight in a narrow hallway or entrance.
“You want to try to stuff them in the tiniest door possible,” Wilmot said.
If it isn’t already clear: Always, always communicate
Whether you’re playing with friends or a randomly matched party, always communicate who you’re targeting in a team fight. Your team will be able to focus their damage on one specific enemy to grab an elimination.
Overwatch is a game of numbers; teams are their strongest with all six heroes supporting each other. The goal is to pick off “squishy” opponents who are easy to eliminate quickly. Once you’ve got that down, your team should start talking over how and when to use their ultimate abilities so your best moves can be used in concert to push to an objective.
“Being a talkative player is going to benefit you so much. People are going to be more interested in playing with you,” Flaherty said, adding it’s a quality professional teams look for in a player.
Don’t feel like you have to pick the exact same team compositions as the pros. Wilmot said it’s more important to focus on getting better at certain heroes and operating as a team. In that sense, the game hasn’t really changed.
“Staying close to all your teammates and just running at things together, it’s been like that for a while now and that’s kinda still the way it is,” Wilmot said.