Overwatch Fix Your Mistakes by Reviewing Your VODs Guide
There is no magical tip, guide or hero that will help you significantly climb or get better as a player. When it comes to improving long term, the best way is to look at your own gameplay and figure out the key mistakes that you do as a player. For some players, it may be hard at first to see their mistakes and point out what needs to be fixed. Hence, I’m making this guide, which will walk you through on what I look out for when watching my own VOD or someone else’s VOD. This may not work for everybody and you can always find your own way to review VODs and that’s fine, this is just what I found most effective for me and I’m happy to share it.
So what I like to do when I review VODs is called the Domino Method. I’m not sure if someone else has done something similar to this, but I use this method to organize my thoughts when reviewing VODs. It works as if each level is a certain concept where a player needs to improve on. Each level, also effects the progressing levels because a mistake at one level can snowball into other levels. I’ll give an example on how to apply this method but let me introduce the levels first.
- Level 1: Game Knowledge
- Team comps
- Basic synergies
- Map design
- Spawn advantage/disadvantage
- Locations of health packs
- Concrete numbers/stats
- Knowledge of hero abilities/ultimates
- Knowledge of HP, shields, and armour
- Won/lost/winnable fights
- Payload management
- Flank control
- Map control
- Level 2: Game Sense/Awareness
- Checking the kill feed
- Checking the scoreboard for hero switches and ultimates
- Watching flanks
- Aware of key abilities being used
- Aware of teammates and enemy positioning
- Knowing when to be aggressive/defensive/passive
- Listening to footsteps, cool downs and ultimates being used
- Ult tracking
- Shotcalling ability or listening to calls
- Level 3: Positioning
- Are you in a safe position?
- Are you effective in this position?
- Can your team help you in this position?
- Can you survive/escape from this position?
- Is there a better position to be in?
- Does my position work with our team comp?
- Is my positioning effective against their team comp?
- How does an enemy hero switch effect my positioning?
- Does an enemy ultimate effect my positioning?
- Level 4: Cool Down/Ultimate Management
- How can you get value out of this ability?
- Are you getting value out of this ability?
- What could’ve happened if you didn’t waste an important cool down?
- Was there a better opportunity to use this ability?
- Can you synergize the ability with somebody else?
- How does your ability enable your team?
- Did you use your ultimate in a won/lost team fight?
- Did you get value out of your ultimate?
- How much value did you get out of your ultimate?
- Could you have combined with another ultimate?
- Could you have used your ultimate earlier or later?
- How can the enemy team counter your ultimate?
- Level 5: Mechanics
- What are the techs of this hero?
- How many techs does this hero have?
- Are you practicing the techs of this hero?
- How can you improve your aim style?
- What drills can you do to improve mechanics?
- How well can you dodge or strafe?
- Do you have bad mechanical habits?
Applying the Levels
- Level 1: So reading all of that, it’s probably overwhelming and you don’t know where the hell you should start. Let me give an example on how to introduce this method in an actual VOD review. Let’s say you’re playing Ana
- She is a 200HP hero, heals 75 per shot and does 70 damage per shot.
- Sleep Dart on a 12 second cool down and the person is slept for 5.5 seconds when uninterrupted.
- Biotic Grenade on a 10 second cool down that does 60 damage, 100 burst healing, gives 50% healing buff, and prevents enemies to be healed, all for 4 seconds.
- Ultimate is called Nano Boost, which lasts for 8 seconds, gives a 50% damage increase, 50% damage reduction, and 300+ HP.
- Now that you know the basics of the hero let’s introduce this into gameplay. You’re playing Ana on Oasis City Center and the DPS on the other team is a Soldier 76 and a Mcree. So knowing that, you know that you don’t have to worry too much about flankers so you can position yourself far back from the team.
- Level 2: Your team wins the team fight but the soldier 76 switches to Tracer and now the enemy team has a flanker, but you didn’t check the scoreboard for a hero switch. Most likely, flankers like to attack supports.
- Level 3: Since you did not check the scoreboard for the hero switch, you think it’s still safe to be in a far back position away from the team.
- Level 4: You use your sleep dart and bio nade aggressively to try and help your team but the Tracer sees that and decides to pounce on you.
- Now you’re in a 1 v 1 situation against a Tracer, far away from your team, and without any cool downs, and the only thing you can rely on are your mechanics(Level 5). If you’re a crazy mechanically good player then maybe you can hit the shots to either kill the Tracer or force her to disengage, but what if you didn’t have to be in that situation in the first place?
Assessing The Mistakes
Now you go back to where you made the actual mistake, which was
- Level 2: You not checking the scoreboard in the first place and not being aware of the hero switch.
- Level 3: Then you ask yourself, “how could I have positioned differently due to the hero switch?”
- Level 4: Assuming you’re in a safer position, now you know to save your sleep dart or the bio nade if the Tracer decides to pounce on you.
- The Tracer pounces on you but now you have your team to help, and both cool downs. Maybe you hit a sleep dart, maybe your teammate kills the Tracer, maybe you and your teammate kill the Tracer. All possibilities that could’ve happened just cause you were more aware of the hero switch and implemented the right steps to do so.
You can apply that same method to any hero under a lot of situations when you watch your own gameplay. I understand that it can be overwhelming at first to watch your own gameplay, but understand it’s all about improving. You don’t need an OWL level coach to help you get better, but instead, take the time to record your gameplay and really understand why and how you are making mistakes and then finding what could’ve been done better. I’ve done VOD reviews with players from bronze to GM and they all mistakes, everyone has room to improve. I think what separates lower SR players from higher SR players are the amount of mistakes they commit, because making just 1 mistake can snowball into multiple other mistakes, and if you’re committing the same mistake over and over it creates the feeling that you’re stuck.
There are mechanically good players in Diamond, Plat, and even lower than that but what prevents them from climbing is their Game Sense, Awareness, Positioning, and Cool Down Management. Having great mechanics can also make a player complaisant because they rely on their aim too much, and when they face a better opponent they don’t know how to adapt. I’ve seen crazy mechanically good players in GM but sometimes they lack the awareness or knowledge to take it to the next level. On the other hand, having really good game sense, can only take you so far if you don’t practice your mechanics. Just like in basketball, you do drills in shooting, passing, dribbling, etc outside of actually playing the game to improve. Then you can apply that practice and knowledge in game.
In summary, watch your own VOD and look at key mistakes that you do and how those mistakes effects other parts of your gameplay. Once you identify that, think of ways that could’ve prevented you from committing that mistake, or look for ways that you could have improved upon. Everyone has room to improve, and I hope this post helps fulfill that. Good luck in your games!