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With the release of Overwatch’s latest character, Sombra, on the game’s Public Test Realm, many are wondering how to use her unique hacking abilities to carry their team to victory. On paper, Sombra seems rather overpowered, possessing a whole set of abilities that can essentially prevent every other hero from being able to use their abilities, but it is (theoretically) balanced by the fact that she depends entirely upon using her abilities in concert with the rest of her team. In other words, that means that if you lose, its entirely your team’s fault that they can’t both distract the enemy team and push whenever you want. You should be ready to instantly blame them if you die or if they are not too keen on charging straight into a point with reckless abandon.

Of course, the first question is how to get in a good position to unleash Sombra’s abilities to begin with, and the answer is rather quite simple. Of all of Overwatch’s 23 heroes, only Sombra can become truly invisible thanks to her Thermoptic Camo ability. This means that you can pretty much go anywhere that you want, even through Reinhardt’s shield, since the other team can’t see you. Therefore, to maximize the amount of time that you are invisible, you should always opt to avoid flanking routes and just waltz right into the fray; your enemy will never expect this, and they can’t possibly hit what they can’t see, especially when there are only six or so heroes who specialize in splash damage or area denial.

Once you get behind the other team, it is your time to shine: thanks to Sombra’s Hack and EMP abilities, she can prevent every Overwatch hero from using their abilities. Naturally, this means that you should prioritize using Hack on their most powerful heroes, namely those who have innately high damage or those who possess abilities that are integral to their team composition such as Reaper, Hanzo, Junkrat, Widowmaker, or dismounted D.VA. Thanks to Sombra’s submachine gun being capable of dealing “almost” as much damage as Tracer’s submachine guns, you can also elect to simply shoot people, ideally from a range of at least 100 feet away to maximize the number of targets that you hit. Once you get your ultimate ability, the EMP, be sure to use it while in the middle of as many enemies as possible, which usually means just running ahead of your team and using it whenever you want with no regard to whether or not your team is ready to follow up on your EMP. Be sure to emote right before and after you use EMP for maximum “lols,” as it will absolutely demoralize the other team and increase the chances of them rage quitting.

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You know that you’re going to win when you see Lucio and two skirmishers fighting together on the frontline.

While the rest of Sombra’s skillset is impressive, perhaps the most important part of Sombra’s abilities is her Translocator. While it may seem fairly obvious to just lay it down somewhere safe and teleport to it when you’re in trouble, it is much less obvious where to put it. Most people choose to put it next to a health pack or in an area that is otherwise hard to reach, but doing such a thing minimizes the potential effect that your abilities have. Thus you should always lay it down right next to the enemy team’s spawn door. Although this sounds like a bad idea, it would actually let you Hack the most amount of enemies in as short a time as possible.

Consider this: in an average match of Overwatch, it would be safe to assume that an enemy dies once every 10 seconds or so. However, Sombra’s Hack ability lasts six seconds and is on a 12 second cooldown, which is just enough time for an enemy to die, respawn, and walk out of their spawn area. Laying a Translocator next to their spawn will let you Hack one enemy, teleport to their spawn, and Hack another just as they leave the safety of the spawn room, thus essentially removing an enemy Hero from the match for another six seconds. This will unquestionably give your team the numerical advantage that they need to push a point, and it might even help you get Play of the Game if you can string together a set of kills by doing so.

Needless to say, using such tactics may result in some less-than flattering messages being sent your way, even from your own teammates, but when you win, who cares right?

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Anson Chan

Staff Writer

You ever wonder why we're here? It's one of life's greatest mysteries, isn't it? Good thing games exist so that we don't have to think about it. Or at least I don't have to think about it. Instead, I'll just play Halo or something.