Overwatch. Seasons, Heroes and Meta

It’s no lie that Overwatch has risen, fallen and stagnated over the years. A Multi-billion dollar game franchise that has made it’s mark on history as one of the best team shooter, payload pushin’ games that exist.

We’re not going to talk today about how amazing Overwatch is. Let me get that out the way though. It is a fantastic game, and anyone that tells you otherwise is blinded by the issues in the game that might make it not so fantastic. Or are they onto something? I’ve heard for months now about how Overwatch as a competitive game won’t take off, yet it has; a league system, an MMR system, a way to avoid bad teammates, heck it even has the loot boxes that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has.

So what about it is bad?

To find out, I set myself out on a mission. I was going to place platinum as I always do every season, play the game for a few games and write a report on my efforts. This is over 20 games, with no effort involved, basically as low-effort as you can get. What followed was an abuse of myself, my weekends and my patience.

The Placements

I did my placements. I won 5 and lost 5. This resulted in me being put in high gold. 2400ish, no problem I’ll play a few as I usually do every season, get myself to platinum and continue on right? What is more annoying is that the game thinks because I’ve not played in x weeks that must mean I’m no longer platinum. I get where it comes from but come on, place me where I was before. In Overwatch you gain MMR depending on how “better” the game thinks the enemy team is, so losing over 200 SR points is a massive hit.

I’ve not played in quite a while, I usually come in, do my placements and get bored because I’ve not got much invested into the game. I was not leaving this game gold, that isn’t something that I can do. But it seemed to be that whenever I got 2498 (I’m not joking, I hit this number and around this number frequently) I got a team of people that were not a team. I could lock in healer and we’d have DPS issues, I could lock in DPS and we’d have a suicide Reinhardt, I could lock in tank and we’d have healers that wouldn’t dive in with me to support my pushes. No matter what I could not break out of 2400.

The Loss Streak

This was a moment that will define me as someone that doesn’t give up. I went in losing every game. I spent weekends making progress pushing to 2452 only for my loss streak to wipe it out, keep in mind I’m someone that works 9–5:30, I can’t put all my time into this game, but I did. I wasn’t going to be defeated by people that couldn’t work together. So what did I do? I kept on playing, I have over 50 losses right now on my account. I can state with all my knowledge and might that over 85% of those losses were not my fault. It’s very hard to believe, but anyone that has gone through a solo competitive season will agree with me. This game is built for 6 people to play together and I’ll come back to that later in the article.

The Realization

Now, I’m not gonna lie, at around 70 games in, I assumed this was me, I was destined to be gold, maybe I’m just not that great of a player, but I refused to give in.

I refuse to believe that I am this type of player, these are the players I encountered on my journey:

  • Refused to change hero, or try something for at least 1 round to see if it works
  • Refused to accept someone going a Torb on attack or a Widow on a certain map
  • Complained about everyone causing them the loss rather than looking inward (I never complained publicly about my team, that only causes everyone to get pissed off and annoyed)
  • Refused to let the 20 hour Moria with 80% win percentage go Moria when they have 3 hours on it (I’m all for you going whatever hero you want, but when it’s obvious just switch dude.)
  • Alting when everyone’s dead on the floor
  • Being unable to regroup, instead yelling at people to get on the point when it’s about 2 capture zones away from the end objective
  • Refusing to switch hero when they get countered (Wanted to bring that one up specially, if your getting destroyed by a Phara, Mercy combo, switch off the Junkrat cause you can’t aim. Some people can do it, these players just couldn’t.)

I switch, I watch what heroes they go, I adjust for the map, the payload, the corners around the map, the communication, if there’s a 5 man premade and I’m the random I’ll fill and let them do whatever they want. 5 People communicating over Discord/TS is way better for me. (Although we never won >.> ) I did everything in my power to win games and it wouldn’t come easy, we’d have team issues extensively or we’d win the game by stomping the enemy to the extremes. I’m talking when I win, it was impossible to lose, when I lost it was impossible to win. The teams I won against, had the exact same problems I had when I lost.

The Win Streak

Of course, this moment was coming otherwise my computer would be in a hole in the ground and we wouldn’t be having this conversation. It came, it went and the loss streak came back, again, and again, and again.

To put it into perspective. I bounced between 2200–2400 constantly. To the point where you can assume I won every game between 2200–2400 then lost them all back to 2200, back to 2300 more often than not, back to 2450 way more often than not.

It was as great generals have put it in the past. One step forward, 14 steps back.

There wasn’t a win streak, that title was a lie, what happened was I eventually got to 2470 and through some miracle got to 2502. I achieved my goal through nothing more than the system deciding ahead of us even playing the game it was my turn. Now this is where it gets interesting. I was then able to push up to 2570 with little to no effort, I played 3 games all wins no problem, I lost another game which was due to one of our teammates having bad internet. Do not play competitive games if you have bad internet.

UnitLost

I was recommended this YouTuber by a friend on how to get better at heroes, now my D.Va wasn’t the best, so I watched his videos in an attempt to improve, trust me I tried, I actually got way better as D.Va, my ultimate still absolutely suck but in general I could peel enemies way easier, I was using my abilities correctly and blowing lots of Widowmakers’ up. Through this experience I can actually say I learned much more about my heroes, people like Reaper became viable options again once I learned how well to play D.Va. Moria wasn’t always the best option due to her healing running out, being able to whittle down her mana as much as possible was an objective of mine in games. I grew as a player and realized. I should not be at these ranks. So I’m thankful at least for that experience, I got way better than my team mates.

Stats

I’ve got over 109 Games Played, I’ve got 58 wins, 2 ties, the rest losses. I had to play 109 games to gain 50 SR. When you think about it, the amount of hours, weekends, cups of tea, dinner ordered, mouses clicked, keyboards whittled down, chair further sunken into. Was it really worth it? It’s times like this when you have to break it out into a bullet point list of what is wrong with the game, why I believe I had this experience and what I tried to do to fix it.

What to Change

  • Have a system where you can pick what role you want to play. If you want to play Support then it should match you with players that don’t want to play support/will play DPS/Tank so you can go support.
  • Stop matching me with people that play one class. It’s really simple, in Overwatch you should not focus on one hero, that’s just stupid. If someone goes that hero, what do you do? Go Hanzo and throw? Trust me that happened more often than I’d like to admit.
  • Take personal stats into account. There’s no reason why I should sit in my chair, sweat my arse off trying to carry and win games to be deducted the same amount of SR as someone else on my team that got tilted went Genji and had 2 elims with 493 hero damage over a 20 minute game. Personal Stats need to be taken into account and SR rewarded to those that play well and carry well.
  • Just because my team SR is higher than the other team doesn’t mean I should lose more points. Going back to my 3rd point should resolve this, but this is a fundamental bad math calculation, your saying that because we’re better we should win, but if we don’t then we’re bad. But if the system works as it does right now those numbers cannot be trusted. I’m not a gold nor a plat player, I’ve played plat and there’s still absolute idiots in that league that I wouldn’t play with either.
  • Time investment has to count for something. Give me a chance to play with someone with a win streak, give me a chance to play with the big boys every once in a while. Put me in a master game and track how well I do, shake it up a bit. Stop thinking that if my SR == 2400 then you need to get players within that range. You don’t. Match me with people that you believe I would work well with. Check my most played heroes, check my allies most played heroes, build us a team, don’t leave the team building after the fact when we’ve all logged into the game ready to start the match.
  • Map Select, why this isn’t in the game yet I’ll never know. It’s silly to force people to use certain maps they don’t like. It makes the game unfun to play on maps you don’t like. We have Pro E-Sports allowing teams to ban maps.

Conclusion

Overwatch is a really fun game. It has problems and it needs to address those right now because the situation I had to go through to rank up 50 SR is unacceptable. You can’t tell me that stomping a team/being stomped is the way this game is meant to be played, no one wants that in their gaming time. Voice Communications should be forced, not an opt-in. Overwatch VOIP is more than acceptable. Blizzard need to give people options for building a team outside of someone Alt+F4ing before the game starts.

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