Active vs. Passive

I’ve always talked about this topic with players both new and experienced. In my opinion, the most important skill to understand in any competitive video game (not talking about eSports, but games where you compete) is to understand what is an active threat and what is a passive threat.

What do I mean by this? It’s in the name. An active threat is a threat that poses anĀ active threat to you or an extension of yourself (team, pocket, etc.) at a given moment in time, and a passive threat is a threat that might not be an active threat at the given moment, but can become one in the future. Knowing the differences on the fly and knowing how to deal with them are extremely important skills.

Some examples:

  • You are fighting a standard middle point fight. Who do you target first? Active threats: Demoman, Scouts, Bombing Soldier. Passive threat: Medic (threat of future ubercharge), non-bombing pocket Soldier.
  • You are fighting two scouts alone as a Soldier on a point. Active threat: Scout with full health, jumping around you. Passive threat: Scout you directed off the point and knocked them away, effectively neutralizing them.
  • You lost a middle fight and you are alone with a Scout teammate. Active threat: Medic’s ubercharge. POP IT. Passive threat: everything else, their threat of pushing into your second and last points with their numbers and momentum.

In an ideal situation you’d obviously want to kill every single target that’s in front of you. But that’s not possible. You have four rockets and 200 health (300 if you’re lucky). So pay attention to your surroundings and aim to neutralize rather than kill (unless, of course, that is one and the same). It’s what separates a good player from a great player.


Gellin’ like Magellan

One of the most important things a Roamer can do with his team is coordinate. After all, if a team moves as a single unit, it becomes much more effective than if it acts as six separate entities. A successful team will have both the fluidity and power of a body of water. Each individual drop can move on its own accord; yet it cannot overwhelm alone. How have I found ways to do this in teamplay?

1. We realized that one of the easiest ways to work coordination is to have the Roamer call out timings. A simple countdown can make it easy for the other members of the team to follow up on coordination.

2. Working sandwich plays and collapse plays should be second nature to a successful Roamer. It takes time to get this down, but after time, the rhythm of the game calls out to you. After which, you should be able to do these instinctively.

3. Focusing the right targets at the right time is included in the above, but is also a good thing to know how to do. Think of active versus passive threats (will go into more detail in a future post). Decide between protection or prevention.

Take the time to include these in your daily play and you will become successful within a team.