Everything seems normal as you leave the gate and march towards the point. Suddenly, the main tank is struck with fear. “Bastion!” A barrage of bullets quickly takes cares of your shield before ripping the rest of the team apart. Your entire team has fallen victim to the Bunker composition.
Bunker comps have seen a major resurgence on the current Overwatch patch. While they carry significant risk, teams have used them to create impenetrable walls with which to full hold.
Bunker essentially serves as the defensive counterpart to pirate ship. The team hunkers down in one position, relying heavily on a primary damage dealer to punish anyone entering their line of sight. While some have labeled it as “cheesing,” bunker, when played well, is a strong composition.
Bunker has existed since the very beginning of Overwatch. The moment players got into the game as Bastion, it was obvious that sticking him behind a shield would be a good idea. That said, its usage has dipped and varied over the years.
The introduction of Orisa introduced an arguably better main tank to run it with. The Mercy rework made bunker significantly stronger, making the solo rez more reliable and valuable. More recently, Baptiste has proven a natural fit for the comp, with his Immortality Field lending significantly to the comp’s survivability.
Positioning is key. You need to set up somewhere with long sight lines to the primary choke, as well as somewhere from which you can easily rotate to the point. Bastion, Mercy, and Orisa are must-haves for the composition. The Mercy keeps damage boost and healing on the Bastion, while the second healer — usually Baptiste — keeps the rest of the team up. The other two slots are usually filled by D.Va and a second DPS, often Junkrat or Widowmaker.
Once the enemy team pushes in, it’s important to rotate quickly. Move as a team, be quick — but don’t rush — and set up at the new vantage point while the off tank and second DPS players contest the point.
Some Overwatch teams opt to switch Orisa out for a Reinhardt and/or Bastion out for a Torbjorn. Otherwise, they play the exact same way. Rein has a higher health pool per shield and can bash divers, while Torbjörn has his shotgun and can heal his turret independently.
Drastically changing the dynamic of play is the addition of a Symmetra as second DPS. Her teleporter can allow you to quickly rotate to a far larger variety of positions, while her ult provides an impenetrable shield in a pinch.
An alternative playstyle with Torbjörn is placing the turret further back from the bunker. The turret is placed out of sight of the main choke, but it remains within sight of the bunker itself. When the enemy team dives, it provides constant damage from a flank, and the enemy now lacks the movement abilities to reach it.
The most effective counter to Bunker is Sombra. All you need is a well-placed EMP and the entire composition falls to pieces. Alternatively, double sniper can take advantage of the smallest lapse in shield uptime to take out the Bastion and then pick apart the remaining players. Most teams in the past opted to hard dive the Bastion, hoping to quickly destroy it with a barrage of damage. However, this is much more difficult with the addition of Baptiste.
Some players have viewed the resurgence of Bunker as a possible indication of a future rock-paper-scissors meta. The idea would be that Bunker beats GOATS, GOATS beats Dive, and Dive beats Bunker. This would certainly be in line with Blizzard’s vision of a highly varied meta, but many remain skeptical of how it would pan out.
I fell in love with Tomb Raider for the PS1 as a 4 year old and have gamed ever since. While I’ve meddled with the pro scenes of a couple games, I only really got invested with Overwatch for which I’ve been a pro player, coach and analyst in the tier 3 scene. Nowadays I mostly just play Overwatch, some Pdx Grand Strategies and R6 Siege but my favourite video game will forever be Star Wars Republic Commando. RIP Sev, you’ll always be remembered.
Disclosure: I’ve been a tournament admin and writer for The NUEL. While I am unlikely to cover the UK collegiate scene I still believe it important to disclose.