Ultimate Chicken: An In-Depth Analysis of Reinhardt's Earthshatter with World Cup UK player, Fusions
Thu 3rd Jan 2019 - 8:14pm
Alongside the rest of the ever-so-popular GOATs composition, Reinhardt has become a major component of the current meta; subsequently, so too has his ultimate seen an increase in importance. With a perfectly-timed Q, a main tank player can set up his team for victory--as was the case in many instances for Team United Kingdom in the Overwatch World Cup 2018, where Cameron "Fusions" Bosworth Earthshattered his way to stardom, pushing his team past what many considered to be tournament favorites in Team USA.
Though they would fall in the quarterfinals to Team South Korea, they put up a fight before falling to the eventual champions, once again in part thanks to Fusions' play. I had the opportunity to ask him about the World Cup and about Reinhardt--specifically, about the mental battle between Reinhardts and the complex world of dueling Shatters.
First of all, a late congratulations on your performance in World Cup. How did you guys go about preparing for Team USA? Which would you say was a bigger accomplishment: beating Team USA or holding your own with Team South Korea when so many others have failed?
Fusions: Preparing for Team USA, we basically tried to play as much GOATs as possible vs anti-GOATs comps because we thought that they were going to be mostly running anti-GOATs and we were confident that we could beat them in the GOATs matchup. I’d say the bigger achievement was beating USA since that’s the one people will remember; however I’m equally proud of both.
Another congratulations on joining the Boston Uprising as a two-way player. How do you think playing in both the Overwatch League and Contenders will help you progress as a player?
Fusions: Playing in both OWL and Contenders means that I won’t have much downtime, but it also gives me a lot of room to progress as a player. I’m constantly practicing with the academy team right now for Contenders and working my hardest to improve.
Returning to the subject of the World Cup, your most dominant moments seemed to be on Reinhardt--specifically when using Shatters. How much of this success with the ultimate was based on individual play versus team play? I know you praised Kyb for his Brigitte stuns...
Fusions: Obviously to pull off what we pulled off at the World Cup everyone has to be at a very high level on all of the heroes, but I think the most important factor that allowed us to beat the USA was our teamplay and synergy together, especially if you’re talking about me and Kyb with the Shatters.
How do you determine when to swing and when to shield? Is it at all based on what the enemy Rein is doing?
Fusions: In very simple form, you want to swing when you have a Zarya bubble on you or when when your Brig is stunning a target with a discord on them; other than that, in even fights you should usually be shielding unless you’re trying to farm a Shatter quickly or something.
Are you usually in charge of tracking the enemy Rein’s ult, or is that another person’s role?
Fusions: Other people can call it, but I will always track my Rein counterpart’s ult charge so that I know when I can play more aggressively around that or when I have to keep shield up more.
How is your play affected if you believe the enemy Rein has Shatter while you don’t? What about when you believe the enemy Rein doesn’t have Shatter and you do?
Fusions: If the enemy Rein has Shatter and you don’t you usually want to play a bit slower, but it depends on your team's ults--for example. if you have a Grav you can still be aggressive; however, you should save Zarya bubbles for the Brig stun if possible in case they try to go for the Shatter early. If the enemy Rein doesn’t have Shatter and you do you want to be as aggressive as possible with it, going for early trades with Zarya bubbles and forcing their cooldowns, followed by a stun Shatter.
Are there any surefire ways to tell when an enemy Rein has Shatter, i.e. how aggressive they are?
Fusions: If you track his ult even decently, you should know that he could have it, even if you don’t know for sure. If you then see the Brigitte walking up aggressively it’s a big sign that they are looking to set up the stun Shatter
We often see players use their Shatter when the enemy Rein has their shield up, only to end up landing the ult. How can you line up your own Shatter to land and to go unblocked? Is it a prediction, a quick analysis of when the shield will next drop…?
Fusions: In this meta, you shouldn’t really throw out Shatters randomly when the Rein can shield it. At a high level, almost every Rein will block them 90% of the time so it’s not worth the risk. If you know that the enemy Zarya has used bubbles and the Rein isn’t paying attention to you in a fight, you can use it if you see the opportunity. The only other common one right now is when the enemy team Grav + D.Va bomb combos you can shatter the bomb to stop it reaching your team (usually with intent to hit the pinning Rein in the process).
How can you prevent this and block the enemy Shatter? Is it about making your shield use unpredictable, or is it instead about reacting to your opponent?
Fusions: When you play a certain amount of Reinhardt, you will be able to react in time to block the Shatter (at least on under 100 ping). but generally you should play more disciplined with your shield. Dropping shield randomly consistently is a good way for the enemy Rein to see that you’re a player that’s very sporadic with dropping their shield, in which case they will be more inclined to look for those random Shatters against you.
How much is this game influenced by your shield health? Is there a sudden sense of urgency when you realize you're at low shield?
Fusions: Shield management is very important in this meta so you need to make sure you’re not taking unnecessary damage to the shield before fights. If your shield does get low in a fight and you’re close the the opponents, you’re usually forced to brawl them, but if you’re further away from the enemy team you should call for your team to back out since you will have to walk a far distance into them with no shield and they will auto-win the fight due to poke advantage.
Do you ever feel like you end up psyching yourself out or overthinking everything? Do you sometimes find yourself over-analyzing everything the enemy Rein does?
Fusions: I’ve learnt over time as a player that it’s important not to think about what the enemy Rein is doing, but to focus on how you should be playing with your team to punish opponents. It doesn’t matter if you see the opposing Rein doing random stuff if you don’t tell your team and come up with a way to deal with that.
How does Brig affect your focus on the enemy Rein? Without her ability to bash through shields, I’d imagine it’ll be slightly less stressful to play, but how much of a factor is it in determining when you use your ult?
Fusions: Prior to the Brig changes the meta was very based around how smart your Brig was and how vocal they were aswell. Now that Brig stun can’t go through shields it puts the meta largely back into the Rein's hands since Rein can’t be disabled by literally just walking up to Brig now. With the Brig changes coming Rein players will likely be a lot more aggressive when looking for their ults instead of relying on playing slow and waiting for the Brig stun now.
How does your health end up affecting the duel overall? Since you need to be healed, it seems that your shield health suffers while you’re protecting yourself, which would then push you to do something before it runs out... seems like kind of a snowball effect, no?
Fusions: It’s really important in GOATs that you keep Zen’s harmony orb, as well as use almost all Zarya bubbles and Brig armor packs on the Rein. The Rein is the core of the composition and usually whichever Rein is healthier wins. If you’re in a Rein vs Rein trade and you are lower HP, you want to hold up shield and kite back from their team as much as possible until your team can stabilize you and push back in
What is the priority of Shatter as an ult in a standard GOATs fight?
Fusions: You want to use it early and aggressively. Taking the opponents off-guard is pretty much the best thing that you can do with a Shatter, and also the easiest way to Shatter multiple people when they’re grouping up prior to a teamfight.
What has been your favorite meta to play and why?
Fusions: I don’t have a particular favorite, but I really enjoyed the only-tank comps that Europe used to play back in early 2017, as it was a lot to do with how good your Reinhardt player was. I actually don’t mind playing GOATs too much as a composition; however, playing with Brig stun that can go through shields is incredibly frustrating, I’ve been playing some competitive on the new patch and I’ve already enjoyed it a lot more just because of the fact that, with Brig stun not going through shields, GOATs is more based around your Rein player than ever.
Any shout-outs you’d like to make? Where can we find you on social media?
That's all for this interview! Thanks again to Fusions for his time. In addition to Twitter and Twitch, you can watch Fusions play for Uprising Academy in Overwatch's Contenders: North America, and possibly for the Boston Uprising in the Overwatch League.
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