When a never-before-heard of team plows their way through the North American open division trials only dropping a single microgaming casino game and taking first place then promptly 3-0’s NRG it sure garners a lot of attention and questions. Who are these people? Did they abuse a game mechanic?
What comp did they run? Today we’ll be answering and picking apart that last question. Welcome to “Behind The Akshon. In this episode we’ll be breaking down the infamous composition known for being completely brain-dead yet insufferably powerful enter the GOATS Comp. You may have heard the term in passing or maybe even fell victim to it on ranked ladder but not know how it works, why it works and most importantly how to counter it first let’s get the fundamentals of the comp on the table. GOATS consists of Reinhardt, Zarya, DVa Brigitte, Lucio and Moira.
The overall goal of the comp is to hit the enemy team like a train isolating a single enemy and essentially insta killing them “I welcome adversity” It may initially sound a lot like dive but it operates a lot more aggressively. No dive characters saved DVa and Lucio are played, making this calm like death ball on steroids. Let’s take a look at an example of GOATS comp being used firsthand and who better to show off its effectiveness and by none other than GOATS themselves in this example we’re going to look at how GOATS chose to initiate teamfights. One of Gator’s favorite ways to initiate is to get his Moira to pop Coalescence whilst lining himself up in GAOTS’ backline to penetrate both friendlies and enemies alike. After popping Coalescence, Envision immediately falls back creating space for Gator to move forward at an aggressive pace. Once Envision’s Reinhardt falls, there’s nothing stopping the rest of GOATS as they clean up.
For a second example of an overly aggressive initiation, GAOTS waits for vision to work their way around the statue which puts a wall behind them Gator asks for a bubble the instant he hit shift and barrels into the enemy without any regard for safety watch as the rest of GOATS immediately surge in following up on the disruption caused by the unexpected charge the damage is too much for Envisions main tank and GOATS forces them back behind the choke considering their lack of damage dealing heroes GOATS sure deals a lot of damage. The triple healers in tandem with the triple tank allows brain-dead plays such as these because nothing ever dies. If the enemy team doesn’t counter you properly, however the two aforementioned initiation methods are the GOATS way of running GAOTS so what about putting this powerful comp under the control of Koreans?
In the game between RunAway and Kongdoo Panthera in Season 2 of Contenders Korea, RunAway famously utilizes the GOATS comp to bring Kongdoo to Game 7. Let’s look at the first fight on the first map of the last game. Right out of the gate look at the compositions on both sides double GOATS we’re about to see what happens if an immovable object is met with an unstoppable force a few seconds from initiation roar fire strikes a tree and the fight begins run away move successfully as a unit and positions themselves on point which is the correct thing to do everything is looking good until Bumper goes for familiar bubble charge and misses. without their main tank run away his shieldless, kongdoo closes in a round RunAway and forces them out the back of the point all the while wiping them out.
So what went wrong? I bet you can guess there was nothing to sandwich the enemy team against and nothing to cancel his charge animation so he had no choice but to go downtown looking back at GOATS this initiation style was used properly utilizing the terrain as an advantage rather than a limiting factor maybe Bumper fat-fingered his shift? okay so now we understand what goats comp is and how it can be used to aggressively force the opponent’s hand to gain an advantage in a teamfight but why does it work?
if you’ve ever played against it you know exactly why. Let’s take a look at this valiant versus gladiators game for a moment. Valiant has a strong defensive composition with an even stronger anchored defensive position and consistent damage provided by Junkrat. However any plan they had fell apart when the Gladiators simply stole presents from the Valiant by walking on to the point and dictating the flow of the fight.
Strangely the tides turn and we see genuine fear from the Valiant. It looks like the last thing any of them want to do is get on point and be engulfed by the impenetrable wall that is the Gladiators no matter Fissure takes it upon himself to extend past the choke and shatter while Bischu nets a kill with his self-destruct and Gladiators take the point. Valiant learned about the power of GOATS that day. Too much health pooled with healing and a fear to contest.
This is what GOATS thrives off of but like we saw with RunAway vs. Kongdoo Panthera, it only takes a single tank to fall out of line for the team to crumble, especially if the three squishy supports don’t have a barrier to hide behind. Now let’s talk about countering the comp. On a fundamental level, the concept of utilizing long range poke damage while running GOATS is fictitious it’s not happening. Utilizing Moyra instead of Ana takes any last source of long-range offense away from anyone in the comp making it geared more towards forced close-quarter encounters where every single one of these heroes can thrive. While yes DVa can contest high ground but doing so will likely not end well without the support from her grounded teammates. The overall best way to counter GOATS is to abuse their lack of range such as running range DPS to utilize Splash Damage.
To prove its effectiveness let’s look at a push made by the Philadelphia Fusion in the grand finals of Season 1 of the Overwatch League. To begin we see Fusion running classic GOATS and Spitfire are running a dive variant but specifically with a Pharah and a corresponding Mercy pocket. Starting the attack ,Fusion has parked themselves on point at become a flytrap snapping the lethally at anything that comes near but suddenly Neptuno drops to an unseen threat in the sky, Pharah. Fusion seems to be winning the fight but Birdring continues to pick off Fusion Supports and something must be done about the free rein Pharah above Poko frantically searches for an opening but runs out of fuel while Hotba pops Coalescence and eventually grinds Birdring’s health to zero. Spitfire has an internal plan: to capitalize on the only advantage they have during this fight they set the plan in motion. Gesture burns his jumps that Nus can safely Guardian-angel his way to safety high up in the air and before losing altitude he pops Valkyrie to become a truly unkillable target.
Nus sees a chance and swoops in for a Resurrect before the Fusion can even respond, bringing Gesture back into the fight. Birdring is now back https://dotesports.com from spawn and solo ults SADO a worthy trade given how we know GOATS comp collapses without its main Tank.