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Lúcioball is back for the 2018 Summer Games! Whether you’re playing it for the first time or a 3-year veteran of Overwatch‘s oldest holiday mode, there are certain things you need to know. I’ve been a Lúcio main since 2016 and ranked Diamond for both seasons of Copa Lúcioball. Here are some tips for bringing your game to the next level.

If in doubt, set yourself up for the cross.

This is the single most important tip in this guide. Not doing this is a classic rookie mistake.

When your teammate has the ball on one side of the field, stay on the opposite side and wait for him to cross the ball to you. Don’t crowd over into his side; just trust that he’s going to land the boop. Once he does, it’s probably going to rebound onto the other side of the field, where you should be waiting. At lower ranks, where defenders don’t guard the far side of the field, it’s really easy to get free shots on goal this way.

If you spawn in goal, play goalie.

Or communicate with your team and get someone to switch with you. Don’t be this guy:

A team without a goalie is at a severe disadvantage, and somebody should be in goal at any given time. The ideal strategy is to always rotate, so the player with the lowest Ultimate meter plays goalie since you get extra Ultimate charge from saves. Of course, some players prefer playing goalie full-time, and that’s fine too. I’ve found that maining goalie is a good way to quickly rise through the lower ranks.

Practice your starting hit.

After a goal, the ball will begin play in several predetermined locations on the field. It will likely be your job at least once each game to try and get the opening hit. I’ve found the best opening play is a diagonal hit that bypasses an enemy trying to boop it forward.

Alternate starting hits can boop the ball directly into the goal, but most goalies will be prepared to block them.

Adjust your positioning based on your teammates.

Teams should usually have a goalie and a forward who plays deep so the goalie can pass to him. The third player should switch between defense and midfield, helping either the goalie or forward as needed.

Lúcioball field overlook

Players will likely be switching between these positions repeatedly during a match, but make sure you aren’t all playing the same role at once. If all three players cram themselves into one part of the field, they’ll quickly lose control of the ball–or even worse, cause own goals as they get in each other’s way.

If you’re winning, consider stalling the ball.

In most sports, there are penalties for running out the clock because it’s boring and unsportsmanlike. Lúcioball has no such limitations.

If your team is in the lead, it’s sometimes a good play to hold the ball on your side and just sit with it until the other team forces a kick. It can be difficult to control a stationary ball in Lúcioball, so this tactic won’t work for long. But every second you waste is a second stolen from your opponent’s comeback clock.

Use Ult to set yourself up for a goal.

There are two times I prefer to use my Ultimate. The first is a situation where you need to be moving faster to earn an easy goal, like so:

The other situation is when the defense is extremely spaced out, and you have the room to chain hits with yourself and set up a perfect shot on goal.

Ultimates can also be used by a goalie to counter a Double Ultimate from the other team. Two Ulting players can form an unstoppable offensive push without a defender counter-Ulting to keep up with them.

Be careful using jump pads.

Those jump pads catapult you really high in the air, often far higher than you needed. Goalies will use theirs frequently to block high shots, but otherwise I only use them for speed boosts. Even then, I prefer using the stadium walls to quickly traverse the field.

That being said, downward shots from the jump pad are some of the hardest shots to block. But if you’re not sure whether to use the jump pad in a given situation, err on the side of caution and stay on the ground.

Use the stadium walls to get around.

I briefly touched on this in the last tip, but this deserves its own. Don’t run slowly down the center of the field, use the walls instead.

The walls grant a huge speedboost, and you can quickly reposition to any point on the map in seconds. Lúcioball is a very fast-paced game, and any teammates who rely on the slow lane are putting their team at a disadvantage.

For some gameplay examples of me playing Lúcioball in a competitive setting, where I learned these tricks under fire, I’ve got a timestamped Youtube video of playing through my first five placement matches, all wins. You can see me use all of the tricks I’m describing in this article, as well as the Golden Rule of online gaming: Be cheerful and positive over voice chat! Good luck in your upcoming games!