As one of the most mechanically intensive heroes in Overwatch, Genji requires bucketloads of skill to play well, but there’s a huge payoff if you can get to grips with him. He’s not only got the ability to mop up an entire enemy team with his lightning fast Swift Strike combos, he’s also got the tools to distract them long enough that they put their own allies at risk without knowing it.
Although the players we’re highlighting in this round-up represent the best of the best, we believe that there’s a lot to be learned from their mastery of the hero - whatever your current skill level. Compare their own approach to combat with your own, and try working small changes into your Genji play little by little. You will improve if you do so.
Shadder2k’s a professional Overwatch player for Team Liquid who’s made a name for himself with his exciting Genji play and regular streaming schedule over on Twitch.
Ignore the overly edgy and rather cheese soundtrack - this video is a treasure trove of Genji information for you to absorb.
- Notice how with each Dragonblade he immediately seeks out the squishiest targets. He aims to eliminate the main sources of damage and healing, leaving the enemy tanks stranded by the time he finally sheathes his blade.
- He’ll Double Jump over and around tanks like Reinhardt, forcing them to make a tough decision. Do I take damage but try and keep my shield up to protect my team? Or do I swing my hammer and try to swat him away, leaving my team exposed? It’s a win-win situation for Shadder: either he gets a free kill or he distracts the enemy frontline.
- At around 3:10 you’ll notice that he Swift Strikes into the air before using his Dragonblade. This allows him to get a bird’s eye view of the entire enemy team, and use the dash reset to fly towards a vulnerable target of his choice. It’s also worth noting that he dashes skywards in order to communicate to Ana that he’s looking to pop his Ultimate. This gives her the cue to Nano Boost him for increased damage.
- The clip immediately after this shows Shadder using his Dragonblade when enemy D.Va’s got her sights set on Zarya, and while his friendly Winston has just leapt onto both enemy healers. Rather than wasting all of his immensely powerful ult on just killing D.Va, he’s prioritised teaming up with Winston to take care of Ana and Mercy who could potentially swing the fight against them if not taken out rapidly.
Arhan’s a player on Korean team Afreeca Freecs Blue and was also a winner of the first Overwatch World Cup.
- See how Arhan seeks out low-health targets right off the bat and secures these kills quickly. He clocks that they’re hurt, he uses Swift Strike, and then he follows up with a Shuriken / melee combo to bag the elimination. Each time Swift Strike resets, he dashes away and moves on to the next target.
- At 40 seconds he predicts a Widowmaker shot that careers right back into her skull, killing her instantly. It’s a brief illustration of how you should aim to think like your opponents when using Deflect in a one on one duel. This is also a really good example of just why he’s so tricky to play to a high standard!
- From the 1:06 mark, he notices that the enemy team are clumped together on the bridge, runs straight into the pack and Deflects a ton of damage back at them. This is another way of using Deflect, and this time it’s to protect your team before using the opportunity to dive into the backline.
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Currently on North American team NRG, Seagull’s one of the most well known players in the Overwatch community. It’s thanks to his relaxed attitude, fun streams, and his ability to play every hero to the very highest level. With that said, it’s his immense Genji play that attracts the most attention.
In this video you’re going to witness Seagull sealing an attacking victory on Hanamura in less than two minutes. Absurd isn’t it?
As he captures two objectives in such a short space of time, we’re going to mix things up a little for this example, by doing two separate play-by-play analyses for both points.
- He starts by deflecting Junkrat’s grenades and Reinhardt’s Fire Strike back into the enemy team at the choke.
- After deflecting Roadhog’s hook, he clambers up the wall to the left of the gate to flank around the enemy team and gain the high ground. This enables him to see where every member of the team is positioned so he can decide what he’s going to do next.
- He spots Mercy damage-boosting in the background, so he jumps down to close to her and uses a right click / dash combo which positions him nicely on the balconies surrounding point A. By doing this, he’s robbed the enemy team of their primary source of healing and put an end to their hopes of a Resurrection. His Swift Strike combo deals just enough damage to take her out and regain the high ground behind them, where he’s in the perfect place to cause some chaos once again.
- Much of the same ensues, with Seagull dancing around Roadhog and McCree at close range, using his rightclick to deal damage. He’s always aiming for the head and using melee when he can to boost his damage output even further.
- Note that once he’s taken care of the cowboy, he doesn’t hesitate to use his Ultimate as soon as it’s charged. Why? Because he knows they’ve eliminated around three members of the enemy team, and getting another kill with Dragonblade will put the nail in the coffin and allow them to capture the first objective.
- Using Genji’s mobility, he double jumps across the gap that leads around the left side of point B to look for a flank. Again, this is to pinpoint exactly who he wants to target when attacking the objective.
- Seagull sets poor McCree in his sights, eliminates him, moves onto Mercy and then changes his mind. This is a prime example of tracking a true threat on the enemy team, and knowing when to leave a target for his own team to deal with. He Swift Strikes up to Widowmaker on the balcony, leaving Mercy to get bludgeoned by Reinhardt.
- Let's stop for a second and say Widowmaker did in fact manage to get a kill, before a member of her team quickly hopped onto point to stall the victory. As Point B’s spawn point is so much closer for the enemy team than it is for Seagull’s, one kill for them is enough to severely hamper an attacking push. They’d have one less hero tanking, damage dealing or healing, and this gives the enemy team more of an opportunity to slowly battle and take back the point with less distance to travel between spawns.
- Well, they end up winning the game in next to no time. That’s purely because he’s got the most critical eliminations under his belt.
If there’s one name that Genji players aspire to be as good as, it’s Shadowburn. He’s a Russian player for FaZe Clan and has been ranked as high as world number one for his Genji play. You'll often find him streaming on Twitch too.
There are a few clips in here that aren’t of Genji, but they’re still great to watch. If anything, they bring to attention Shadowburn’s ridiculously precise aim which is a key component of his awesome Genji play.
- In the very first clip he darts between enemies, flicking his cursor onto the healers first and working his way through the damage dealers. There’s a frightening level of accuracy on display here, which shows that if you want to be the best, hone your aim using our guide or get stuck into the Practice Range.
- At 6 seconds he demonstrates his exceptional spatial awareness when he reacts instantly to Pharah’s Ultimate. It’s incredible how fast he Swift Strikes up to her and Deflects the damage away from his team and straight back into her. Coupled with his aim is the remarkable ability to keep track of every enemy at all times.
- Perhaps the most impressive play is found between 1:35 to 1:40. He Swift Strikes and combines it with a Wall Climb to boost himself quickly onto the environment circling the final point on Dorado. He surfs around the enemies below him, all the while getting a good idea of who he wants to target. Of course, only someone of Shadowburn’s caliber could pull this off successfully, but what you can take away from this is his creative use of the environment.
We encourage you to go out and find fun ways of surprising the enemy. Genji’s mobile for a reason, so go out and exploit the maps to your advantage.