Brigitte and GOATs with Team Kungarna's Wub
Thu 6th Dec 2018 - 9:34pm
With the ascendance of GOATs, a triple-tank and triple-support setup popularized by its namesake team, to the pinnacle of meta dominance as of late, it has become necessary for any successful team to master the comp--and to master what is perhaps its most defining feature, Brigitte. In order to compensate for this necessity, players formerly accustomed to traditional DPS heroes--Tracer, Genji, Widowmaker, the likes--have had to essentially one-trick the hero, who requires far less aim-based talents than the others in exchange for an array of stuns and healing abilities.
One such player thrusted into the role is Cameron “Wub” Johnson, who has participated in the past two seasons of North American Contenders. After a winless first season with Second Wind spent competing with two other players for a starting role, Wub now stars as a starting DPS under the historic Kungarna moniker. This season of Contenders has been dominated by GOATs meta, giving Wub countless hours competing in the setting during scrims, official matches, and comp games. I had the opportunity to speak with him about Brigitte and how to use her to her fullest potential, about GOATs meta and its playstyle, and about the state of the game in general.
When playing GOATs, is there a specific role that most often serves as a shotcaller? I know that main tanks have often held this position, but does that hold true nowadays?
Wub: Main tanks are still going to be the best in this role because of how GOATs works. You need to be listening to your Rein or you lose. If your Rein dies the chances of winning the fight are 1% compared to if you lose someone else.
When playing Brigitte, how should you allocate your cooldowns? Are they solely for focusing the enemy team’s main tank, or can you use them to target squishies given the chance?
Wub: Usually your cooldowns are very depended on what is going on. Most of the time it's hard to tell what is the best time to use your cooldowns.
Often times, we see teams activate Brigitte’s ult before a fight even begins. Why? How early should it be used to achieve its intended effect?
Wub: Popping the ult early is mainly to give your Zen 300 HP in the fight and with how armour works for heroes with shield HP, their armour doesn't come off until the shield HP is gone. Basically, your zen has way more HP for the rest of the game if you can cycle your ults right. Same goes for your Zarya.
Can you transfer your playstyle to each evolution of the meta, or does your play need to change to suit it--essentially, can you change the way the meta is played to suit your playstyle?
Wub: You can't really keep the same playstyle in all metas due to how the game works, but you can keep the basics of your playstyle and apply it to the next meta.
Do you think that the days of players being able to essentially one-trick heroes like Tracer in the meta are over--do you think every DPS player has to be a flex DPS now?
Wub: Yes, every DPS now has to know how to play many heroes at a high level. I don't know if you can one trick a hero now as a DPS player and make it far.
We have Reinhardt, Zarya, Brigitte, Ana, and even D.Va to an extent who are popular in the meta and who all have some CC ability (I add D.Va because of her Boosters). How have crowd control abilities come to shape the game? Are these abilities good or bad for the game, in your opinion?
Wub: CC has a purpose in a game like Overwatch, but I think it’s bad now because of how much CC they have added into the game since release. Slowly, the game is becoming less of a FPS when they add more stuff like CC into the game.
When using your Shift ability on Brigitte (Mace), is there an optimal range at which it should be used? Are there certain heroes it should be used upon? Is it better to use it as a dislocator, or to deal some quick damage?
Wub: Using it both as a dislocation and a damage-dealer is good. You can use it whip the enemy away from someone or away from the fight or use it to finish someone off from a far range that you can’t kill with your other short-ranged abilities.
With the recent changes to Brigitte (increased healing, decreased damage and stun potential), how do you think GOATs comp could change? Will it be phased out, will it become stronger, or will the way it’s played simply adapt to suit the increased healing output?
Wub: GOATs comp will become stronger because of the Brig healing already being pretty good, and it will be harder to kill the other Brig in the GOATs comp mirror due to the shield bash nerf damage. So GOATs got a buff from this.
Looking back, what meta would you say was your favorite to play? Was this because you were able to play a certain hero, because the playstyle of the meta was just fun, because it was the most competitive…?
Wub: Dive was probably my favorite meta to play in. Dive was just peak Overwatch with you being able to play the highest skilled heroes and shine... Dive is just the best meta.
What heroes do you think could end up in the meta sooner rather than later?
Wub: I think Ashe can be possible meta with her being damage-boosted by Mercy... like a better McCree.
Do you think it’s right for players to criticize other teams for relying heavily upon GOATs right now? One the one hand, it is the meta, but on the other, practising for only one comp could prove detrimental in the future.
Wub: Nope. Because of GOATs comp being SO strong right now, it’s hard to run other things and find success with them. Better to stick with what you know.
How does GOATs comp vary between organized play such as in scrims and Contenders as compared to in ladder? Any tips on how an individual could improve the function of their team when using GOATs in a competitive game, based on your experience in higher levels of play?
Wub: Scrims are so much harder to do because of everyone having each other’s back, while in comp it’s full opposite, just waiting for the zarya to bubble and speeding on the poor Rein every chance you get and winning the game. Cooldowns are huge in GOATs comp and if you’re in a comp game and you see a opportunity, just communicate to your team about it and hope they listen.
We don’t really see players “popping off” in the same way anymore in this meta. Rather than seeing big headshots a la Pine, we see some key stuns by Brigitte players, big Reinhardt shatters, so on and so forth. Do you think this change in what it means to “pop off” is one for the better, or not so much? What do you think needs to be highlighted to show what analysts have so often called the “nuances” of GOATs comp?
Wub: I don’t think it’s for the better due to a lot of good plays from players being completely unnoticed because he didn’t headshot 5 guys. For a casual viewer watching GOATs comp, it’s hard for them to see what plays people are making. (EX: Brig times his bash with the Zen 5 orb so they can burst the Rein quicker.)
Imagine this: GOATs vs GOATs, your team has just killed the enemy main tank. Generally speaking, as a Brigitte player, who do you target next? Are you focused on dealing damage, or are you making sure your supports aren’t alone and susceptible to death? Now reverse the scenario: your main tank has just died. What do you do to recover?
Wub: If we kill the main tank we just hard push on the next discord because of the main tank being the center part of GOATS comp. When he’s dead, you don’t have a lot of room to work with. Now, if our main tank dies, you usually try to get a trade within the few seconds you have of your main tank being down, and if you don’t you have to hope they make a misplay somewhere so you can still win the fight.
That's all for this interview! Thanks again to Wub for his time.
Wub can be found on Twitter at @Wub_OW, and he can be seen competing in North American Contenders: Season 3 with Team Kungarna.