High Ground: how important is it?
In almost every coaching session I have led I have told the student to put more focus on the high ground. After giving the same advice for such a long time I feel it necessary to truly analyze why high ground is such an important factor to consider. Firstly, it gives you cover. This is the most basic and quickly realized advantage that high ground gives you, because you are able to see the entire enemies hitbox and they are only able to see that part of your hitbox that is not obscured by the platform you are standing on you have an advantage. This is pretty significant, it’s the same idea as getting behind cover in any other shooter game. In my opinion the more important advantage that high ground grants you is that you can only be challenged by heroes with mobility or range. If you’re playing Soldier 76 and you’re facing a Roadhog you can deal damage to him but he cannot deal damage to you, add on to that that he would have to take 15-20 seconds to rotate to your position to actually challenge you. The second part of this is when your entire team decides to take high ground. Because the current meta is dive focused involving many mobile heroes we no longer see strategies focused around high ground but it used to be that on maps like Hollywood and Watchpoint: Gibraltar that teams would hold high ground positions because it meant that they got to choose when they could begin the fight. Most team comps included a Reinhardt who had no vertical mobility so it was always up to the team on the high ground when they wanted to engage. At higher levels players will know at what moments their team has an advantage by keeping track of enemies ability cooldowns and ultimate percentage. This gave a huge advantage to the defenders who could wait for their moment to strike. The last reason that high ground is important on someone like a Soldier 76 is a minor one but is still relevant. If you are facing a Pharah, she will try to use distance to reduce the amount of damage you can deal to her. For Soldier 76 and McCree this is a long distance and you can make sure you are closer to her by being on high ground. If you are playing someone with earlier damage falloff like Tracer or D.va then the high ground will enable you to deal damage to Pharah where as if you were on the low ground you would be unable to.