The Lowdown: Getting Better at Overwatch
The struggle in Getting Better at Overwatch is real for everybody as they climb their way to Grandmaster every season. This periodic grind for ranks gets fought with pain and grief through many losses, but with blissful feelings with every successful match.
Perhaps many of you wonder as to why players like Shadowburn, Tviq, Seagull, and other pro players make it look so easy getting into Grandmaster. Obviously, they’re amazing players with senses so sharp that it can get unbelievable at times. However, the Grandmaster rank isn’t at all overloaded by pro Overwatch players; many of the Grandmasters and top 500 are just regular players like you and me, who can skillfully hang with the pros or overcome the skill gap in other ways like understanding team composition, and have small egos. There are many ways to get to the top and we want to help you get there with our little list of the most important things to know to grind through a ranked season.
Table of Contents
A Jack of All Trades
Oh, how the memes for this will never end. More often than not, in ranks Diamond and lower, you might have experienced the lack of a tank or a healer on your team. No matter how much you beg or plead, that Hanzo or Widowmaker isn’t going to switch over to Ana or Mercy. However, you also have the option of doing it as well, but you might either be unable to because you’re already playing another vital role apart from sheer DPS, or you don’t know how to do it at all.
It certainly goes without saying that Overwatch is, primarily, a team-based game that focuses more on how well a group of six players can band together and defeat the opposing team. Naturally, we can’t discount the individual either as their performance makes or breaks a particular set play or randomized dose of awesomeness.
You have to be prepared for anything and flexible enough to be able to use any character in every role to compliment your team properly. Of course, everyone wants to play as a DPS, but you certainly can’t win games without a Winston harassing flankers or a Reinhardt shielding you from big, bad Bastion. As Bruce Lee once said, “Be like water.” There is nothing apter than this one line in Overwatch.
The Master of One
While this might appear entirely against what got said earlier, the mastery of a single character will get you farther than anything else. Yes, you should still play flex in your random group, but the ability to be a masterfully accurate McCree, a divine harasser in the form of D.Va, or an obscenely quick Lucio, can turn the tide of any match. However, you can’t become any of these things without playing them a significant amount of time, similar to how players like Taimou and iddqd are phenomenal with hit-scan heroes, or hero-specific pros like Effect with Tracer and Chipshajen with Ana or Zenyatta.
These players put in the time with their favored heroes and excel the most with them in almost every situation. However, sometimes, something’s got to give, and they have to use a different hero for specific situations, with the most successful pros having the capability to flex to other heroes when the need arises. So, make sure to master your most desired hero, but never forget rule number one either.
There is No “I” in “Team”
As we’ve said, Overwatch is a team-based game where the team kill by a single person is rare. Between players of equal skill, it’s almost impossible for a single individual to carry a whole team. It might get tempting to charge at that thick Roadhog shooting at your shield, but just remember that, when you do, that Soldier 76 by the side is going to go ham on your whole team. There are time and place for everything, and you need to identify those proper, opportune moments.
In general, you have to remember that you have to play as a team. Every character in Overwatch has their strengths and weaknesses and whatever failings your hero has will be covered by the rest of your team and vice versa. It’s always best to commit to a clash as a team rather than you, by yourself, trying to pick off squishies at the back, which might just end up with you dead, giving your team a severe numbers disadvantage.
Objectives are Love & Life
As you probably already know, it’s a bit difficult for some players to understand the concept of “objectives.” Don’t be one of those individuals.
It’s simple too! Stand on an objective and capture it, and then win! If it’s payload, then stand near payload, deliver it to the destination, and then win! It’s that easy. What isn’t simple is you being four billion miles away trying to kill the enemy Lucio, while the rest of your team gets slaughtered by the opposing team’s more complete set of damage dealers and tanks. We get it; Moira is freaking strong – now help your team!
The Meta is a Guide, Not a Rulebook
The memes about bad Hanzos, Genjis, Widowmakers, and all the others are funny to see, and I’m pretty sure that the average Overwatch fan is conscious of these stereotypes. While these have some truth in them, they’re not always the case, especially when you find yourself in Master and Grandmaster where the character specializations shine. In fact, many players that are obscenely proficient with the same bashed characters that we see in memes. A Symmetra on attack? You wouldn’t believe it until you’ve seen it. A Junkrat on payload? It’s not just a Korean thing, buddy.
Yes, this can also happen in the lower ranks too, but naturally, have a smaller chance of occurring. Most of the time, you’ll just end up with a Hanzo that can’t hit anything – not even with his ult. However, the point here is that, when you have a teammate that picks a seemingly iffy hero for your situation, give them a bit of a chance to prove what they can do. For all you know, that level 40 gold Pharah will be the next Tailspin.
When the time comes to see if he’s not doing well with his iffy choice, just make sure to tell him politely to switch and show him how he’s a detriment to the team. However, if he’s a stubborn mule and won’t listen, we move on to our last tip for getting good at Overwatch.
Keep Fighting Further
It’s harrowing to watch you and your team getting bulldozed by a superior opposing team that is unified, synergized, and skilled. Quitting once the cards get stacked against you isn’t going to help either. Not only is it a waste of time for your teammates that get left with one man short as well as an unenjoyable game for your opponents to fight a team that can’t fight back, but you, as a budding Overwatch star, will have a hard time improving.
Greatness is forged in hardship and strife – not cushy and cozy existence, breezing through all opposition easily. There is no better training than trying to pull your teeth out of the jaws of defeat than playing a losing game. These sorts of matches teach you how to get clever, how to think on your feet, going for unconventional methods when the clear-cut meta isn’t working in your favor any longer.
Pro Overwatch players didn’t have it easy either. They did their time just like everyone else, and they are currently enjoying the fruits of their labor. These pros have gone through defeat like you wouldn’t believe, but they kept cranking it out until they found themselves at the level they are in right now. Do yourself a favor and learn from your mistakes rather than trying to escape them instead. Besides, you wouldn’t want to get banned for a whole competitive season, right?