With hundreds of games over seven months, the 2021 Overwatch League season had plenty of excitement and wild plays to keep fans coming back for more. Every year, though, there are specific plays that instantly make their way into the history books—for better or worse.
Though DPS players normally get all the hype and sparkly highlight reels, many of the most memorable moves of the year were made by tanks and (often bloodthirsty) supports. Grab some popcorn and let us take you on a trip through a few of the season’s best plays.
JJANGGU’s massive Earthshatter
Considering the San Francisco Shock had taken home the past two Overwatch League season trophies, few people expected a newly rebuilt Houston Outlaws roster to be a threat against them. Early in the season, the Outlaws took the Shock to a fifth map but were held far before the first checkpoint on Havana. After a stunning defense, Houston were about to fall to the Shock’s aggression, but main tank JJANGGU hit a flank Earthshatter and flattened the team out. Don’t try this in your ranked games, folks.
Shu’s title-winning window
Of all the ultimates in Overwatch, Baptiste’s Amplification Matrix is rarely one that makes highlight reels. During one of the final fights of the Countdown Cup, however, Los Angeles Gladiators flex support Shu knew his team needed an advantage. By flanking around the Chengdu Hunters’ squad, dropping the Amp Matrix, and taking out multiple enemies, he set up his team to win the fight and the Gladiators’ first tournament championship.
Ameng says “no, you” to Fleta
Very few players have disrespected 2020 Overwatch League MVP Fleta and lived to tell the tale. Wrecking Ball expert Ameng, however, fears no one. The Chengdu Hunters’ clutch Hammond specialist was called up for a key Control map during the Summer Showdown tournament. While the Shanghai Dragons eventually took the title, Ameng made sure that Fleta would think twice about the consequences of his Pulse Bombs in the future.
Yes, this list is about the best plays of 2021. But “best” is a relative term as far as we’re concerned. During one fast-paced game, Washington Justice DPS Assassin chose Sombra to take on the aggression of the Houston Outlaws on Ilios. His neutral game was successful, but his ultimates were a bit lacking.
One unfortunate zero-player EMP lead to one of the best memes of 2021 after Outlaws DPS Danteh mistyped “nice emp” in chat. Every bad Sombra ultimate in the Overwatch League and in ranked games will likely be referred to as a “nice memp” for the rest of time.
The least Shock-ing backcap of all time
Backcaps, where a player takes a point or objective without the other team noticing, are a time-honored tradition in the Overwatch League. These feats are normally completed by Tracers and Sombras, heroes with speed and stealth. Super and Nero of the San Francisco Shock, however, just pulled up on the cart and took it home as Orisa and Torb.
Despite being one of the most successful teams in the league, the Dallas Fuel apparently didn’t look behind them to see an omnic horse running towards the cart.
Jecse goes full “harmacist”
Mercy’s Valkyrie ultimate was designed as a method of mass healing, but some players choose to use it as a method of mass destruction. During the Countdown Cup qualifiers, Jecse of the Dallas Fuel had enough of the Shock’s shenanigans and decided to take things into his own hands.
After getting a resurrection on his teammate Hanbin, Jecse takes out Nero’s aerial Pharah with his pistol. He then turns around and does some actual healing before hunting down Glister’s Tracer and clocking Twilight’s Ana in the face. If you want something done right, sometimes you have to do it yourself.
LIP’s YOLO EMP
LIP of the Shanghai Dragons gave us the most memorable play of 2021 and a possible contender for the wildest Sombra ultimate ever attempted. Up against the Chengdu Hunters and Jinmu’s oppressive Pharah, LIP had to do something to free his team from an aerial assault. Staring over a cliff on Ilios, where Jinmu and his Mercy pocket Yveltal were hovering above the water, viewers could see a plan start to formulate in his head. None of us thought he’d really do it.
As if screaming “Leroy Jenkins” in his head, LIP threw his teleporter directly at the flying duo and hit his EMP. Though he immediately fell into the depths, he dragged a flightless Yveltal with him. The Pharah managed to find a cliff, but Fleta finished off the play with a Pulse Bomb directly into Jinmu’s face. It was risky, wild, and instantly iconic.