How does Overwatch decide Play of the Game?

Here's how your POTG was made.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

It seems like every Overwatch player has been in a game that’s wrapping up, watching the Play of the Game highlight at the end wondering out loud, “What? How?”

We’ve all seen our fair share of confusing POTG’s, but there’s a reason for all of them. At times, it seems like the Play of the Game is chosen at random—but that’s not the case. Blizzard has instilled a few categories that will award a POTG to players and there’s a decent amount of variety.

The four categories that will award a POTG are High Score, Shutdown, Sharpshooter, and Lifesaver. Of these four categories in any one game, the player with the highest accumulative score in any of them will be awarded the POTG.

Here’s more information on what the categories are and how Overwatch decides the Play of the Game.

High Score

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A High Score POTG is awarded when the game detects a ton of score in rapid succession, like multikills and long killstreaks. These POTGs are the McCree Deadeye ultimates that get five kills or a Reinhardt Earthshatter followed up with a lot of damage.

Shutdown

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A Shutdown is when a player somehow interrupts an opponent right before a big play. One example of this is with ultimates that have a casting time, like Reinhardt’s. If a player kills or stuns the Reinhardt in the middle of his ultimate being cast, that’s considered a Shutdown.

Sharpshooter

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The Sharpshooter POTG is largely given to snipers or other high-skill heroes. The game will look at factors like the distance of a kill, headshots, the movement speed of the enemy player, if they were in mid-air at the time of the kill, and more.

Lifesaver

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Lifesaver is similar to Shutdown, except it rewards players more for saving the life of a teammate. If a team is pinned and ready to get wiped, for example, and Zenyatta casts his Transcendence ultimate to heal up the squad and keep them alive through sustained damage, that’s a Lifesaver.