The BEST Overwatch 2 plays you missed from the 2023 OWL Pro-Am
What a ride! The 2023 Overwatch League Pro-Am has been nothing short of incredible. With abundant close calls and almost equal amounts of brackets busted, the excitement is real as we quickly approach the opening day. With the action concluded and the dust settled, what were some of the best plays that you missed from the Overwatch League Pro-Am?
Boston's Playing Possum
The Boston Uprising answered a lot of questions from doubters during the 2023 Pro-Am, and this play shows that these veterans are more shrewd than you might think.
With a sizable lead and no pressure to fight into Toronto Defiant's stronger position, Boston opt to retreat after capturing the check-point on Colosseo.
Or do they?
With mere seconds left on the clock, the Uprising boosts back around the corner and dive onto the unsuspecting Defiant to emphatically the drive final nail into the map.
However Overwatch has seen its fair share of bait plays, why is this one so important?
It's all about conditioning.
If we look at the ultimate economy we can safely say that Boston has the upper hand. On top of that, they also have two things going for them; Toronto's lack of vision and the assumption that they're repositioning towards the centre of the map.
And if we consider the amount of time left on the clock and where Toronto is forced to be because of it, all lights are green for the Uprising's five-man all-in.
Great heads-up play from Boston and something we should expect more of.
Houston's Push Masterclass
The one thing that robs this play from taking the top spot is the fact that Houston never needed to make it.
We've spoken at length about how Push has evolved, especially on Esperança, to a more positional-focused game. However, the Outlaws revealed the blueprint for how to break Esperança's check-point fortress.
For context, the Shock cap the check-point and immediately retreat to the high ground to leverage their position for the next engagement.
If the team without the capture check-point wants to crack this hold they need to shove whoever is holding the high ground towards the opposite side of the map. Fighting into a high-ground position that also features a natural choke point as a flank is a death sentence.
Staging some room for your DPS to contest opens an additional sightline for them to pressure the "defending" team back towards the wall thus equalising the map pressure.
The Outlaws achieve this goal by sending Oh "Pelican" Se-hyun and Lee "Happy" Jeongwoo around the flank. They then wait for Lee "Gargoyle" Beom-jun to fly toward the high ground, get his Nano Boost, and then the trio round the corner and begin to shove Atlanta back towards the corner.
Even with an impressive Sonic Arrow from Chae "HeeSang" Hee-sang actually scouting out the play ahead of time, Houston's coordination and execution broke the defence allowing a "jump ball" scenario.
We say that Houston never had to make this play due to the fact that they could have sat on their lead. Yes, San Francisco technically has map control and a superior position, but at the end of the day, the Outlaws are technically ahead on total metres pushed.
That said, a very underrated play that should be studied because this Esperança hold is only going to become more and more common.
The LIP Factor
The eight-foot gaming warlord himself, Lee "LIP" Jae-won made his presence known at the 2023 Overwatch League Pro-Am multiple times. However one of his many solo EMP's stole the show.
Fearless may play for the Houston Outlaws, but that feeling is required, to some degree, at the highest level in the Overwatch League. The ability to assess a fight, understand you're down in resources, but manage a win through sheer force of will.
That's the sign of a superstar. That's the sign of LIP.
Normally the type of play LIP attempts here is one where the Sombra gets found and their overly aggressive play costs them the fight and even the match. Yet, this is the best Sombra in the world and he makes magic happen on his terms.
With his rookie tank Kim "D0NGHAK" Min-sung returning from spawn after changing from Wrecking Ball to Winston and then to Sigma in the matter of about 15 seconds, LIP takes matters into his own hands. He finds Kai "Kai" Collins early and breaks open the team fight without the need of any tank presence or assistance from his Tracer.
This is something you can't teach.
Almost more importantly, it's something you're going to have a hard time finding a counter for.
The lethality he brings with Sombra is unmatched and what makes LIP so impactful for the Atlanta Reign is how frequently he can muster plays like this. All throughout the Pro-Am he's made plays on his own.
The 2023 regular season isn't going to be much different.