Overwatch: The Simple Guide to Climbing in Season 5



Wed 14th Jun 2017 - 12:06pm

There's a common trend that I'm seeing all over the Overwatch community, especially around the YouTube/Content Creation scene. These content creators are out there, pushing out new videos asking "Hey, do you wanna get better at Overwatch?" and promising some sort of golden ticket into the higher SR wonderland. It doesn't work like that sadly, and while you can read a guide every now and then to find out cool little new tricks, they're nothing but that. Also, that video you watched about positioning is likely to have maybe just told you a few cool situational spots, not anything too useful in the long run or your standard game. Now hear me out, I'm not criticising this. For people at the lower ranks, some of this information that some of us may see as common knowledge could be useful. But for the average player (let's estimate it to be around Gold/Platinum rank) this kind of content you're seeing by these content creators isn't exactly helpful.

While there are exceptions for the higher ranks such as Skyline, ioStux etc., there seems to be an awkward spot in the middle. Gold and Platinum is a pretty tough rank to break out of. It's what some people would consider "elo hell" since it's smack bang in the middle of the ladder. I want to provide information that personally got me out of Platinum and into Diamond, but minus the small little things that didn't really make that difference. I want to mention and bring up the topics that seriously got me out of what seemed like an endless battle, and funnily enough, I didn't even improve that much...

First Off: Pre-Game Attitude and Mentality

- Your Attitude Towards the Match

This is the one key factor. While there's many other things you can consider, this was the main breakthrough in climbing the ladder. Before I get into it, I'm going to assume that you've watched a stream or two containing high SR players, grandmaster and above. When you watch these games, you'll see all sorts of things, even clown fiestas just like in Gold. But there's something else you'll notice. Nobody minds. The attitude people take in the game is so much more carefree and relaxed, it genuinely helps everyone's experience. When you start taking the fun away from the game and worry only about climbing, it's mentally tiring. There's not really any fun for you if you don't see your SR go up, so it's going to be brutal when you lose.

Sure, feel free to try your hardest. It's what you're expected to do in competitive. But as much as you may hate seeing this phrase: It's just a game. Don't worry about it.

- Your Attitude Towards Your Teammates

Let's be honest. You can try your hardest, be the nicest person in the world, and still upset some people if you say the wrong thing or the wrong thing at the wrong time. It sucks, but you can prevent this. Don't complain down the microphone if you lose a team fight, just take a positive look on it. Alright, you lost one fight, but you've got ult charges/burned all enemy ults. The next chokepoint fight is likely yours. Remind your team about this, even if you're getting absolutely minced. You can turn a game around, it's not impossible, and most the time it's because people put away the insult flinging and criticism and focus purely on the game.

Ok, so you're being the better man. You spoke up, said that it's fine, you win some, you lose some, but it's someone else. What do you do? Well, you've got a few options. The best idea is to remind them about the information previously (you can still win the next fight, build up momentum, etc.) and to not flame back. Frustration might need to be vented, and if someone got it out the way, then calming them down and telling them to just worry about the game and be a little bit more relaxed is great. However, if they don't, then you can mute that player and keep calling like they're not even there. If they're going to keep going, that person wants attention and by fueling their fire with more negativity, it's going to put the whole team down. Don't worry about it, mute em, and move on.

It's complicated trying to figure out what to do with others but in short, be positive. Whether you're getting the bad end or if you're frustrated, it's better for both you and your teammates. Don't let tilt get to you.

- Your Attitude Towards Your Team Composition


Off-meta picks. Right, this is a complicated one, but if you want me to be honest, it doesn't have to be. That positive mentality you need to have, bring it to this topic too. Just because someone is playing Widowmaker or Hanzo doesn't make them a terrible human being. It's likely they've picked such a hero because they're feeling good about themselves or they're definitely experienced with that hero. Let me ask a question, what would you rather have: Someone playing a hero poorly but it's meta or someone playing an off meta pick like a god. If you answered with the first one, then you're taking the wrong attitude towards your team composition.

Another few points to mention. Don't tell someone to switch off something in spawn unless you're discussing a plan and need some changes, or unless the composition is blatantly awful (no healers, no tanks, something along those lines). KRUSHER99 wants to play Widowmaker? Let the poor soul, he's probably used to getting smack every game just for playing Widowmaker well and consistently when his team are ignoring the Ana who seems to be missing every shot. Mob mentality is real, not just in Overwatch, and people are quick to blame. If they want to find a source for their problem, they're quick to jump on a sniper or an off meta pick because it's become almost standard to do this when a majority of the time it isn't the problem!

Pretty Simple but Effective: Play More!

Something I found a lot of people saying around the higher SR games is that the easiest way to go up in SR is to play. It sounds stupid and simple, but it's worked for me and people I know. And they're not wrong. There are two different reasons for this. One reason is that the system is pretty rewarding to people who play a lot of games. People at the higher SR were complaining a couple of seasons ago that there were too many people who were rewarded with higher ranks even though they weren't as good. I'm not here to argue that, but you are here because you want to climb the ladder. If that's your single goal, then great. This is a pretty simple answer for you and it's going to work, I promise you. However, there's another benefit to this which is also what you should take into account.

You improve over time. Shocker right? Watching YouTube videos telling you neat little D.Va tricks and Torbjorn turret spots are great, but they're not really going to make you a better player. While you can go out and look at what you need to improve, the best way to improve all together is to literally just play. Hell, even science agrees. It's said that it takes 10,000 hours just to become an expert at something. I'll bet any amount you wish that you're probably not around that many hours of playtime. So log on, queue up, and play. It's the only way you'll get better. And taking the mindset I mentioned previously in this guide into your game will help you out too.

Ask Questions, Don't be Afraid

I'll keep this short since there's not much else to say without really adding fluff. The title is pretty self-explanatory. As it says, don't worry about asking different people and communities how you can improve. If you're not sure where to look, there are multiple different subreddits you can go to for help, primarily being /r/OverwatchUniversity. Hell, if you don't want to ask a bunch of people on Reddit, why not just ask your friends? Even if they're at the same SR as you, they can probably point out a few mistakes that you make when you play. You can even do it to yourself if you record your own VOD's and watch them back. Or, you can even send me them on Twitter and I'll give them a look if you want. There's always somewhere where you can get feedback!

Even the professionals at this game need to sometimes ask questions. They don't know everything about the game. Nobody does! We always learn something new. New little tricks, compositions, everything. They even have coaches that are specifically there for players to go to and ask "Hey, what am I doing wrong? Where can I/we improve?". It's not something to be ashamed of at all. Just because you're not in Master doesn't mean you're bad. It's great reaching out asking people where you can improve.

So in conclusion, if you're planning on climbing this season, these are the primary things to focus on. Don't worry about little things, your hardware most likely isn't your problem. Your sensitivity and communication, probably not the problem either. The problem might be a little bit broader and simpler than that as this guide is trying to show.

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