Once again, the annual Overwatch Summer Games have arrived, and this time the competition is fierce, as Blizzard unveils a brand-new competitive version of Lucioball. For those unaware, the Arcade mode has players teaming up with two other Lucios in order to punch and boop a soccer ball into the opposing team’s goal.
It’s a fun way to earn some of the event’s stylish new skins, but the added incentive of awarding competitive points has meant that Overwatch fans everywhere are doing their very best to up their Lucioball games. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of helpful tips that are sure to assist any aspiring ‘baller.
Getting the ball into an opponent’s goal isn’t so easy, especially when there’s a whole enemy team devoted to stopping that from happening. To get around the other players, it’s possible to interact with Overwatch‘s over-sized ball in several different ways:
- Booping – Using Lucio’s alternate fire will send the ball shooting in any given direction, allowing for quick goals and powerful clears. Aiming up when booping will cause the ball to soar into the air which is both a good tactic for beating defenders, and limiting the usefulness of an enemy Lucio who has used their ultimate ability to try and secure a goal.
- Punching – In Lucioball, Lucio’s primary fire has been replaced with the sound-based hero’s melee attack. Punching the ball will cause it to roll forward much slower than a boop, but this makes it ideal for passing to teammates with a greater degree of control. Passing also makes the upcoming shot more unpredictable, so it’s worth utilizing if the pass is unlikely to be stopped.
- Dribbling – An option that is often under-appreciated, it is possible to dribble by moving into the ball, thereby allowing a player to adjust their position before booping or punching with increased accuracy. Simply hitting the ball away isn’t always a bad move, but higher rank players will always take the time to dribble first if they can.
The best Lucioball players are the ones that know where they should be at all times. There are three main positions needed for the typical team composition, and each one has a unique role to fulfill. Between rounds, these positions will switch, so its best to have a good grasp on all three to maximize your Lucioball effectiveness.
- Striker – The player who starts closest to the ball is the Striker (unless agreed otherwise in chat), and should always use Speed Boost to try to get the first hit and thereby control the beginning of the game. After this, the Striker’s job is to stay on the enemy’s side of the pitch, waiting for an opportunity to score. Players don’t travel fast in Lucioball, despite the boost granted by wall-riding and using jump pads, so the Striker should always remain at the opponent’s goal when possible.
- Midfielder – A role that jumps between both ends of the field, the Midfielder’s job is to be where they are needed most. Flitting between the two goals to support the team where needed, their best bet is clearing the ball, and trying to get it to the Striker. Use the jump pads and wall-ride for a boost to movement speed, and try to position the ball near to the goal for your teammate to finish.
- Goalie – The backbone of the team, the Goalie will start by the net and must keep the ball out of it at all costs. A powerful jump pad allows you to block incoming balls, but try not to jump too much as it will limit your movement and can be baited. Using Lucio’s Speed Boost is advisable when an attack looks to be coming in, and using an ultimate is never a waste if it helps the Goalie reach the ball in time to clear it. The only time it’s worth leaving the net is when you are the closest player to the ball and you’re looking to clear it before the enemy can shoot.
When to “Drop the Beat”
Lucio’s ultimate ability has always been a useful part of the competitive meta, and now more than ever in competitive Lucioball. Unlike the regular version of the ability, which generates shields for all those in the vicinity, dropping the beat in Lucioball will grant tremendous speed to the player, as well as decreasing their ability cooldowns dramatically.
Finding the right time to use an ultimate is an important part of the match, and players should use their best judgement when it comes to unleashing this game-changer, but here are some of the times we’d say it’s worth a shot:
- After Reset – If a player has their ult ready to go at the beginning of a round, it can be dropped in order to achieve a surprise goal. Getting to the ball first and booping it above the heads of the enemy will often result in a goal due to the sheer speed of the assault, though more advanced players may anticipate this common maneuver.
- When Pressuring – When the Striker and Midfielder are having trouble getting the ball past a solid wall of defense, nothing puts more pressure on the Goalie than several quick-resetting boops. Since the enemy’s cooldowns are much slower than yours during this time, they will be forced to result to punching the ball, leaving an ult-ing player with the opportunity to score. Just be careful of the opposing team countering by playing the ball above your head.
- To Prevent a Goal – In the all-too-common event that the ball soars over the head of your team and the friendly Goalie is under pressure, dropping an ult in order to reach the ball and clear it quickly isn’t a bad move. Just take care to co-ordinate with teammates as multiple beats being dropped at once is a real waste of resources and puts the opponents at a clear advantage.
- To Secure a Goal – If a player is ever faced with a 1v1 situation versus the opponent’s goalie and they are similar distances from the ball, being able to get the first hit will secure the point. Being able to increase speed more than just with Speed Boost is necessary here, and a quick ult use will result in one more point (and a possible victory) for the friendly team.
Lucioball’s return marks the first returning seasonal event for Blizzard’s popular first-person shooter and we’re excited to see what the developer has in store for the game’s Halloween update this time round as well. Adding a competitive side to the game has certainly got a lot of players interested in the mode for more than just the free arcade boxes, and hopefully fans will now have a clearer idea of what they should be doing in-game.
Overwatch is out now for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Lucioball will be available until August 28th.