Whenever playing on Volskaya Industries, crossing the void of space near the attacking spawn as an alternative flank route into the fight is a tantalising option for any creatively minded player when pushing for point A. But what heroes can cross this gap consistently, and what can come from doing so?
Welcome to part 2 of Crossing the Void, a two-part series in which I, coolkong, will be giving you the rundown on the flank routes that cross over death-traps on the Hanamura and Volskaya Industries maps.This article will cover Volskaya Industries’s flank into point A. If you missed part 1, you can check it out here. Without any further ado, let’s jump right in.
When it comes to Volskaya Industries, capturing the first point tends to be quite stressless for attacking sides. The real challenge for attacking teams on this map tends to come from the easily defended point B, where the high ground surrounding the point gives defenders ample opportunity to readily move around to counteract and respond to attacking team’s pushes and flanks. The first point, on the contrary, has multiple flank options and openings that can readily be used by attackers. Defending teams can very easily find themselves out positioned and caught out without proper communication. The Volskaya gap, when compared to other more centralised flanking routes on Volskaya Industries, is much more out of the way and longer, but the payoff is that it is almost always undefended and very easily taken scot-free. When taken, the reward for choosing to cross the gap will often soon become very apparent for the attacking team.
A Worthy Investment
The Volskaya gap is, arguably, the best flank option for attackers on this map, since successfully crossing it gives attacking heroes a free pass into, either, the point or into the backline of defenders. Unlike the Hanamura gap, very few heroes can actually cross the Volskaya gap consistently, but those that can are also the biggest benefactors of the flank. The gap itself is near the attacking spawn, to the left of a large health pack that is near the top-left corner of the first building seen when attackers leave their spawn. Once across the gap, players will find themselves right outside a two storey building that neighbours the left side of the objective. Alternatively, once inside the building, players can choose to leave out an exit back towards the attacking spawn, giving the player convenient access to the flimsy backline of supports and DPS (damage per second) of the defending team. Overall, despite the slower time it takes to cross the gap, as well as the potential risk of death by gravity that inspired this article and its predecessor, are both heavily outmatched by the sheer potential and opportunity that can from taking this flank effectively. So who out of the Overwatch cast can consistently hurl themselves willingly across the abyss?
(Source: Malphael on Reddit)
Offence: Tracer, Genji, Reaper, Pharah
Once again, these four out of the six offence heroes can readily and quite easily make use of this flank. Sorry, Mccree and Soldier 76. All four of these heroes cross the gap in very similar fashions to how they cross the Hanamura gap, using their available movement options to cross the gap. Some will find crossing over the void quite painless, via a quick teleport or a short flight if you are playing Reaper or Pharah respectively, while Tracer and Genji need a bit more finesse to make it consistently. I recommend saving all three Tracer blinks to make it over the gap safely, while a quick Swift Strike may be required if you want to cross easily as Genji. If you feel like practising as Genji when crossing the Volskaya gap in a custom game, There is actually a fairly cheeky alternative route that can be used to cross over the top of the building, bypassing having to go inside and any potentially knowledgeable or eager defenders that sometimes like to post up here. All four of these characters use the Volskaya gap in similar fashions – getting behind opponents and taking out key targets and making picks.
The Defence heroes of Overwatch tend to lack dynamic movement. Heroes like Junkrat, Hanzo and Mei (to an extent) can use certain parts of their kit to move around the map. However, compared to the Offence heroes, these movement abilities tend to be more rigid in nature, and don’t have as much potential as a Tracer blink or a Pharah Rocket Jump. When it comes to the Volskaya gap, dynamic or flexible movement qualities or abilities in a hero is what a hero needs to be able to cross the gap consistently. As such, the only defence hero who can cross the gap reliably without pulling off some crazy Overwatch magic is Widowmaker. Her Grappling Hook is a one-way ticket to zoom across the void and gives Widow access to a variety of cheeky sniping lines and post-ups that can be used from behind the enemy team. Just make sure you don’t get found out because getting collapsed on by defenders without any likely support from your team will spell the end to a Widowmaker’s sniping spree.
Tank: Winston and D.Va
Once again, the most mobile tanks in Overwatch can make use of the Volskaya gap. Winston takes some skill through some careful time of Jump Pack, but once over, both tanks are well geared to do what they do best, disrupting and distracting opponents. Out of all the heroes that can make use of this flank, I think ol’ Winny and D.Va are most likely to get the most productive use out crossing the Volskaya gap, as their large health pools and low cooldowns make not only taking this flank faster when compared to other heroes who can cross the gap but also a lot safer, as there is more room for error due to D.Va and Winston’s sustainability, damage blocking abilities and large health pools.
(Source: Overwatch Wikia)
Support: Lucio and Mercy
For the supports of Overwatch, staying with and helping out their teammates is part and parcel of their job. It is not a support’s role to get behind enemies and deal surprise damage to unsuspecting foes. However, both Lucio and Mercy, the two Support heroes who can cross the Volskaya gap, are both able to find use of being able to cross the gap. However, when compared to the other heroes who can cross the gap, the timing and situations when crossing the Volskaya gap is a good choice to make are far fewer when compared to their more aggressive teammates. The manner in which Mercy crosses the Volskaya gap is actually a very good example of a situation when crossing the flank is a viable option. Mercy’s Guardian Angel flings Mercy across the gap, with a little help from a teammate who has also crossed the gap by their own means. By having a support and a DPS (Damage per second), complementing each other by healing or protecting one another respectively, can potentially be very beneficial for an attacking team, and can very easily push the map into the Offense team’s favour. Lucio crosses the gap by Wall Riding the wall to the right of the Volskaya gap, and works very well when a strategy is devised by a Lucio’s team before the game starts plans for the entire or most of the attacking team to cross the gap, showing up unexpectedly behind the defences. Both Lucio and Mercy have situations and moments when their skills can be very beneficial for an attacking side, but generally will be better off staying with the main body of their team and helping as many as possible.
Crossing the Void
Compared to its Hanamura counterpart, the Volskaya gap is made use of by far fewer characters and debatably has much less use for an attacking side when compared the Hanamura gap, even in our current meta. With speed and pace being prevalent for attacking sides, taking either of these flank options might not even be a good idea in most situations. So now you might be saying, ‘But coolkong, if you think crossing the voids is not a good idea, why write two articles on them?’. Despite their questionable viability, both of these gaps are great examples of a great map and game design, in which maps are designed to give players the opportunity to find out and discover what works on all the maps for all the heroes. Instead of being presented with linear paths to manoeuvre around the maps of Overwatch, Blizzard have created each map with careful precision and thoughtfulness that I could help but be sucked into and study as extensively as I could, even if these flanking routes aren’t necessarily great options to take in most situations. I still believe that both these gaps are useful in a variety of situations, but some initial thought is required to decide if crossing the void is what is needed for players to make moves in winning their games. And with that, I thank you for reading this series. Both part 1 and 2 were a joy to research for and write, and I am looking forward to writing into the intricacies of Overwatch even further. Drop a comment down below if you have anything else to add, or to say if these articles have helped you out in-game. I hope you make use of crossing the void in your future games, and good luck!