If you play Overwatch, you've had the experience of being backed into a corner with three health and no teammates in sight. The big, blue button that unleashes your ultimate ability is glowing. It could save you, or more importantly, your whole team. Fuck it, you think, before desperately hitting Q, Y or Triangle.
"Panic ulting" is when you use your ultimate attack unwisely and out of fear. You could be near death. Or the red ticker on the control point is at 99% and none of your teammates are nearby. Smash that ultimate, friend. It's a God-awful strategy. You'll probably die. But you're gonna do it anyway.
Below are five totally ill-advised panic ults for the faint-of-heart:
1. Reinhardt losing a 1v1 battle
You're a big scary Reinhardt! Pitted against some squishy offensive hero, it's only right that you come out on top.
But, what if you're . . . not doing so great? Up against a wall and stunned by a McCree, your future might look pretty bleak. And you can't protect your team when you're dead. Right when you're down to 12 health and you've hit peak embarrassment, just "Earthshatter" the guy. Sure, it only grounded that one McCree. But at least you avoided that shameful, pathetic death!
2. Roadhog, alone and in a corner
Five enemies are approaching. You, Roadhog, pushed too far out and your team is long gone. The enemy team edges closer to you, pelting you with long and short-range attacks. Back off! you scream, with two health left, as you "Whole Hog" them into the abyss.
They're not in your face anymore. And, for a sweet moment, they too are panicking. But inevitably, you die anyway.
3. Losing-the-control-point Mei
The whole enemy team is on the control point and you are Mei. You could hide, but there are three seconds until those last two percents earn your enemies a victory. Nobody else is around. Throw your ult in! Freeze them all, your poor impulse control screams out. Sure, "Blizzard" will basically staple them to the point and ensure their victory, but maybe you won't die in the process!
4. Pharah floating above ≥ two enemies
Pharah is squishy. So when she's hovering above more than one enemy, and someone has even passable aim, she might want to GTFO. That's what a smart Pharah would do. But you are a panicked Pharah with compromised judgment. And, for one misguided moment, you really believe your "Rocket Barrage" could kill them faster than they kill you.
Nope. "Justice rains from..... aaaughh...".
5. "You're powered up. Why? Don't ask questions. Deal with it. Get in there" Ana
Kotaku Editor-at-Large Kirk Hamilton described Ana's "Nano Boost" as a "transitive panic ult." Not because Ana players use it out of panic a lot. But because it inspires panic in others.
"You're powered up! Get in there" are some of the scariest words an Overwatch player hears. Oh, shit. OK. Guess I'd better fire off my ult, you think. I know I'm Lucio and nobody is anywhere near me, but here goes nothing! Would you waste Ana's love and care like that? No? Better panic and slam that ultimate button.
What are your favourite panic ults? Tell us in the comments.