Map Strategy: How the Pros Play on Hollywood (Part 1)

Overwatch Harsha “ggHarsha” Bandi

Hollywood is a hybrid style map that features an assault point followed by two payload checkpoints. For readability purposes, I will refer to the first point as the plaza, the second section as the streets, and the third as the studio. Hollywood features two distinct levels on every point, providing an abundance of high ground for teams to compete over. We will delve into the specifics in the actual body, though. For now, here's an overview of Point A!


Example composition: Genji, Lucio, McCree, Reinhardt, Zarya, Zenyatta
Other viable picks: D.Va, Pharah*, Reaper, Tracer, Widowmaker*, Winston
*not currently in the metagame

This composition is basically the standard. Lucio and Zenyatta make up the common supportive backbone, with a passive aura heal and a focused one-man heal. Zarya and Reinhardt are generally the preferred tanks, as Zarya protects both divers and the front line (as well as the backline should the defense try to assassinate), while Reinhardt provides the means to get through a choke point without too much worry. McCree is usually favored as one of the offensive heroes, as he is the preferred hitscan character and has the ability to make plays with his flashbang. Genji is generally favored on attack due to his great vertical mobility and his ability to clean up with dash resets on the point. The former quality allows for easy aggression on the high ground, while the latter is incredibly useful for when the offense finally decides to make a move. 

D.Va is viable, though generally serves as a poor man's Reinhardt because her shield cannot stay up as long. While she has vertical mobility, Reinhardt has the ability to get high ground without much effort due to the backdoor staircase. Tracer and Reaper are both viable alternatives to Genji, and generally depend on what path you'd like to take, although Reaper is more an answer to tanks because his mobility is not as good. Winston serves well in dive compositions, though that will be discussed later. 

Offense on Hollywood is governed by a series of choices that must be made during a push. Given that the defense will likely take high ground to have the ability to survey the area, offense must scout out the defensive setup from around the archway. From the archway, the attacking teams then must make their choices. Perhaps the most well known—but generally least effective—choice to make is running straight to the point from the archway. The problem with this tactic is that enemy McCree will get the opportunity to take potshots while you walk forward, and this path is objectively the easiest to scout out for the defense.

Other options are possible, and far sneakier. One such path is the staircase that leads to the balcony atop the office building. The advantage to the balcony is that grabbing high ground allows the offense to match the defense in a sort of Mexican standoff. With both teams on the high ground, the battle becomes a race to destroy the opposing Reinhardt shield. Of course, gaining high ground against a defense that is not set up on the high ground gives the attacking team a positional advantage, but this move is generally predictable once the defense sees the offense disappear behind the office buildings, so in theory the defending team would have ample time to match the setup.

Another such possibility is forgoing the staircase to simply go behind the office buildings. Doing so can put the defense in an awkward spot, as the offense essentially trades positions with them relative to their spawns. The problem with this approach is that the defense retains a high ground advantage, while the offense remains on the ground level. However, this approach also forces an engagement, as walking forward on to the point means that the defense has to contest the point to prevent a capture. 

One of the more creative approaches to attacking on Hollywood is picking a full dive composition of Genji, Lucio, Tracer, Winston, Zarya, and Zenyatta. Using a dive combination of Genji and Winston allows for a two-pronged fight on the high ground and low ground of the cafe. Zarya serves to protect one of the divers with her bubble, then attack people who the Winston and Genji displace. Tracer has only horizontal mobility, but her presence is only required on the ground. She can flank from behind the gate to get to the backline, though doing so is risky, so more often than not she simply chips away at stragglers that are displaced as well. Zenyatta's Discord Orb makes it even harder for those who fall to the ground to survive the dive. The two-pronged attack is exceptionally effective because it strangles communication due to its out-of-the-gate, incredibly fast-paced nature.


Example composition: Lucio, McCree, Reaper, Reinhardt, Zarya, Zenyatta
Other viable picks: D.Va, Junkrat, Mercy*, Pharah*, Soldier: 76*, Symmetra, Widowmaker*
*not currently in the metagame

Standard defensive compositions generally are similar to offensive compositions, though usually they will exchange Genji for a Reaper. Reaper and McCree make up a rather strong DPS combination given that they both have incredible dueling power. McCree can sit behind Reinhardt's shield and pump out potshots while protecting his Zenyatta and Lucio with his flashbang, while Reaper generally finds some corners and hallways to have close-range fights, such as the office building. Reaper's ultimate is additionally very useful because it covers a majority of the point once teams drop down and start skirmishing. Finally, his hellfire shotguns are useful because he can take down incoming Winstons and other tanks, especially with support from Zenyatta's Discord Orb.

Reinhardt is almost a necessity on Hollywood, as his shield covers a relatively large amount of the map. Additionally, the protection is extra important on defense, as deaths on defense are more punishing than deaths on attack. Zarya is usually seen accompanying Reinhardt because her shields are simply too important in denying damage—and more importantly, deaths. Of course, deaths are particularly punishing on defense because defending teams have a longer walk back to the point, giving attacking teams slight windows for aggression once they get a pick on a single target. Lucio and Zenyatta are again the obvious support choices, as they neutralize incoming aggression and provide a lot of team support in the form of a speed boost and damage boost respectively. 

Some teams have started setting up completely behind the Hollywood arc and around the high ground of the actual point atop the office building and cafe. While they might try and get a little bit of pre-game poke, setting up outside the arc is generally only done to scout out the opposing composition. However, the general consensus is to take a position and lay down poke until the attacking team finally engages. The advantage to setting up on high ground is that both the cafe and office allow for vision around the entirety of the point, so stray Genji and Tracer cannot surprise the defending teams. 

Perhaps the most common setup, however, is simply standing atop the point behind a Reinhardt shield. I tend not to favor this type of positioning, as doing so leaves your team blind to flankers coming in from behind the office building, but at the top level, pros have enough map awareness to "check their 6" fairly often. This positioning is simple, yet effective, as it allows for full vision of the archway. 

Win Conditions

This applies not only to Hollywood, but to maps in general. Both teams have a condition in which they'll choose to fight or give up ground. Attacking teams will usually try and charge up some sort of offensive ult, such as Genji's Dragonblade, Zarya's Graviton Surge, McCree's Deadeye, and Reinhardt's Earthshatter. However, defending teams will give up ground until they can charge up Lucio's Sound Barrier and Zenyatta's Transcendence. Essentially, battles on the first point become a game of engage vs disengage, where each team takes windows of opportunity to pull out an advantage. Offensive ultimates on defense are used as more counter-engage measures than the expected aggressive moves. Deadeye can force the enemy to move out of line of sight and off of the point, while Graviton Surge, Death Blossom, and Earthshatter are conserved until the opponent steps too far out of safety.

That's it for Point A on Hollywood! Make sure to keep an eye out for part 2 of this series, covering the payload portions of Hollywood, as well as the rest of the series covering pro strategy on other maps.

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Harsha “ggHarsha” Bandi
<p>Gaming fanatic who enjoys Overwatch, League of Legends, and Super Smash Bros. Melee. You can find him on Twitter as <a href="http://www.twitter.com/ggHarsha">@ggHarsha</a>.</p>


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