How many times has this happened: the objective spawns, and you're Garry on Spot, anchoring the bush like you're supposed to. The enemy ETC/Joh/Mura facechecks you, but you resist the urge to toss him into your team, because, well, that would be dumb. Instead you walk at the enemy team (who begin to pull back a bit) and toss in the next closest enemy instead: probably their bruiser. You follow-up with a Q for a sexy stun combo, then walk further into their backline confident in the math you just created: you can live 1v3 while your team will surely wipe them 4v2.
A few long seconds pass. You're chasing them around, Decimating like a madman. Any moment now, those death notifications will roll in. Wait a minute, what, your mage just died, followed by your AA? And now your healer is running toward you at half health, while your bruiser is off to the side somewhere, chasing their bruiser? What the hell happened?
Well, what happened is that you just threw the team fight because you forgot (or were never taught) that as the tank you have two jobs. Yes, engage/pick/isolate is one of them. I am glad you understand this and can execute it competently. But job two is peel/screen/disengage and it is just as important. There is something primally infuriating about getting wrecked by the enemy tank/bruiser as a squishy, while your tank is off 1v3'ing the rest of the enemy team, doubly so if your tank is the one that helpfully delivered those people into your backline in the first place.
Please understand that if I'm Jaina, or Ana, or Morales, or Chromie, or anybody else with a tiny HP bar and crap mobility and you throw a Sonya/Artanis/Imp at me and then walk away you have just killed me. Yes, even if I Iceblock; they will find a way to live until I'm out and then kill me. Yes, even if our healer doesn't freak out and goes chasing
daddy you into the enemy team, but stays put and keeps healing; the enemy will switch to them and kill them and then kill me. Our greatest defensive asset is distance and the soft CC to maintain it, and you just closed it for them. Great job!
You have also placed our bruiser in a very weird position. If they backtrack to peel for us (which is something they are not generally great at), you will die. Nobody else on our team will probably die, but then again neither will the enemy tank and bruiser, who will simply use their engage tools to safely disengage instead. Now we're 4v5 and have to give up the objective while you type furiously from the depths of Hades. If the bruiser chooses to engage with you instead, they are starting with the disadvantage of still having to close in and the absolute best case scenario is that you trade 3 for 3. Chances are, you will all whittle each other down to 1 hp and have to disengage. Except they still have their healer and damage, and their frontline is turning back around to engage on you, and now we're all furiously typing at each other while waiting to spawn. Sadness ensues.
Here's what you were supposed to do. If the person facechecking you was a squish, then by all means toss them in for a free win. If they're maintaining a proper formation, however, then what you should do is toss their tank out. Now they're all clumped up with their backline in the front. Just chill while the rest of your team does their jobs. Easy money. If they instead all commit to killing you, pop your cooldowns and go down like a man, again, while your team does their jobs and cleans up. Easy money. Or hell, don't move anyone at all, and use the threat of doing so to keep them away from the (quick) objective. Easiest money.
TL;DR: if, as a tank, you find yourself in a position where the most dangerous enemy heroes are between you and your backline, you dun goofed.
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© Post "Dear Garrosh (and Playmaker Mura, and many other aspiring tanks), that are constantly frustrated at your team’s lack of followup in lower leagues…" for game Heroes of the Storm.
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