Team Playstyles & How They Affect Each Other
Hey everyone, Kalo here, and today's topic is one of my favorites: in-depth competitive aspects! To start, just a couple of clarifications: the meta is something that is constantly shifting in competitive games (as it should!), even if subtly. I do not claim to have all the right answers for what will define Breakaway's, especially this early on, but do believe that these aspects are a great place to start thinking about it. It’s important to keep in mind that the best teams will likely blend these following aspects (and more!) into their gameplay depending on situational factors, including team compositions, larger individual threats, the map being played on...etc. All that being said, let's talk playstyle!
Relic Running: The most obviously sport-based style, relic running revolves around quick rotational play that is meant to leave opponents in the dust. In games like Rocket League, outpacing a team is a surefire way to dominate them, and while it alone may not result in wins at higher levels of play, running the relic efficiently will always be a core part of any strong team.
As of now, passing the ball to teammates is the only ability in the game that “auto-aims”. Using this to your advantage can yield incredible value. Attempting a Breakaway (rushing the relic away from defenders, towards the goal) with an ally? No need to look back towards your relic-carrying teammate, make sure your path is clear and make an optimal route towards the goal. This way, if the relic is passed to you, your warrior will automatically catch it. You can also use the auto-aiming to spot out which teammates are the best potential targets in tighter situations, helping you avoid interceptions and find pinch angles you otherwise might not have seen.
Passing the ball is more than just appreciating auto-aim though. As I said above, a lot relic running’s advantage comes from quick, rotational play. There’s no stronger push than one done as a team (this can be seen in Defcon5’s classic triple pass done against SaltyRunback). As an old basketball coach used to tell me, “The ball moves faster than you, so pass it!”
Team Fighting: On the other end of the spectrum, team fighting takes a different type of coordination that's most comparable to MOBAs, focusing on dominating your opponents in skirmishes to create other opportunities for your team like easier buffs or pushes.
This is where things get more complicated. With relic running, only a certain number of factors fully matter -- every warrior runs at the same speed when carrying the relic, and while varying move speeds and abilities can skew the effectiveness of said runners and pass receivers, it's only a small factor in how those variations and different kits affect how teams are composed as a whole.
A team focused on fighting won't only choose warriors differently than a relic running one though: their focus prioritizes “picks” more than the relic. Picks are essentially opponents who are in unfavorable positions, or overall situations the team believes they can fight in to make an advantage for themselves. Remember, this isn't to say that plan A for team-fight oriented teams is securing a team wipe: getting one or two kills (Power Play!) is already quite an advantage, especially with Breakaway’s heavily scaling death timers, and great teams will use those inches given to them to take miles.
Control: A natural counter to a team searching for picks is one that plays to prevent them, and a control team is just that. Think of this playstyle as the ultimate value game: a team that plays to all of their opponent's mistakes, not just positional ones, and patiently finds openings in those cracks.
In Breakaway, control can mean a lot of things: buff control, buildable control, gold control, relic control, even (in the future when/if draft modes exist) composition control, and there are some subtler ones as well!
Most important (and difficult) here is quality decision making, and players with a higher understanding of what's called the macro game can be a serious advantage for their team, despite having nothing to do with actual mechanical skill. The Macro Game is essentially the bigger picture of any individual match or series: this includes examples like purposefully trading (allowing your opponents to take) a buff to get some buildable destruction done, and gets as complicated as thinking rounds ahead of your opponent in order to give your team the highest chance of winning.
This is also where the idea of risk comes in. Think of risk as a separate fader that every team has a different level of. A more control-based team, for example, is less likely to be caught out of position, but may also be too cautious/defensive when faced with risky decisions, even when the payoff could be immense. On the other hand, a relic running team might make strong, impressive plays, but is more likely to lose rounds if those plays don't work out due to lacking defense.
Please keep in mind that these are very general examples. Ideally, a team will play per situation, taking controlled risks both offensively and defensively throughout matches.
Again, I don't claim to have all the answers when it comes to what factors will reign supreme in defining Breakaway's meta, but I do believe these playstyles are a great place to start thinking about it. As always, feel free to drop any thoughts, criticisms, or additions you have below, and you can find me at my Twitch or Twitter -- I'm always open to conversation and debate about all things Breakaway.
Thanks for reading: until next time, stay safe and stay beautiful!
This is awesome! Being a competitive player in both CS:GO and Paladins, I am REALLY excited to get an invite code to play the beta. You all better watch out when I enter the field :punch_tone1:
Hey folks, Bau here. As always, we’re loving the ideas and passion. Keep them coming!
Some additional points to add to the mix:
Relic Running- Relic Running is one of the integral components of Breakaway and as simple a concept as “move the Relic from point A to point B” is, it involves many factors and nuances.
Some key elements involved in the running game:
• Positioning - Proper positioning is just as important while running the Relic as it is in team fighting. Blocking for your teammate, or moving into position to receive a critical pass can mean the difference between winning and losing a round.
• Approaches- Identifying an effective route to the opposing team’s Relay can drastically increase your likelihood of scoring (and can identify critical buildables to take down before you make your approach).
• Efficient Navigation – While moving around the environment, utilize any and all navigational elements available to your advantage. In El Dorado, instead of moving straight up the center, consider moving up to one of the side ziggurats and add the flexibility of quickly being able to slide towards the opposing team’s base, or to the center of the map if need be. Slide whenever possible, and experiment with using “quickfall” (triggering a slide while in mid-air) to get quickly your character back to the ground (giving you access to your Relic Dash if needed).
• Runners- Having one or more players that are comfortable with running the Relic, drastically increases your potential to win a match. Ideally every player should be comfortable with running, but when initially fielding a team, having a strong runner will help immensely.
• Pass for a reason- While passing is a very effective method of moving the Relic forward, proper timing and positioning can drastically increase its effectiveness. Don’t just pass it because you can, pass when it’s to your advantage.
• Communicate-Communication is incredibly important when passing, call out your intended pass before you make it (also call out if you’re available to be passed to). Imagine that you’re Spartacus, in position to make a dive to take out a backline Alona who’s low on health… when suddenly you’ve got the Relic… #FeelsBauMan
This has been the subject of debate: What is the most effective team comp?
While that answer may be easier to identify in a perfect setting, it may be quite some time before your team is able to come together and truly work efficiently and effectively. In addition, some players may only be comfortable playing as, or are much more effective with specific warriors or roles, and as such would decrease their effectiveness when playing a warrior that they’re not as familiar with.
So, another approach to narrowing down your team comp could be to identify everyone’s favorite or most effective warrior, and then build a comp/strategy up from there. Play to your strengths, while identifying, and ultimately working towards addressing your weaknesses. Experiment with team comp variances, to explore options and open up new strategies and possibilities. In addition, identifying potential equipment builds to use during matches (to support your strats), can really increase your chances for success, while helping to mitigate the impact potential deficiencies in playstyle and teamwork.
Something that I’m really interested in hearing:
What do you think would be the best comps for the following general strats, and why? - Running, Team Fighting, Stall/Territory