Overwatch Understanding Harmful Mentalities
So I’m going to be focusing on mentalities. This may sound harsh to say (or some of you might say this is obvious) but having played in every rank from Gold – GM/Top 500, I would have to say that Platinum is the most toxic rank in Overwatch. It’s not that toxicity is exclusive to plat by any means (People will throw games and tilt for the stupidest reasons in every single rank) but the frequency of this happening and also the reasons for it were the most alarming thing about plat.
Now obviously, Platinum is the 2nd most populated rank and so it contains the largest spread of abilities and types of players – so this is not to say that everyone in plat is like this. Toxic people are the loudest and stand out the most so, of course, there’s a silent majority who suffer like the rest of us.
But one of the things that became most apparent to me is that there were certain harmful mentalities that people had in this rank (and also ranks below) that was the primary reason for them being stuck where they were. There were a lot of players I encountered who had great technical ability and some who had great game sense and some who had dedicated a lot of time into learning about Overwatch. But the problem was that these players had a very bad method of looking at the game and looking at their play and how to improve it. And I’m hoping to explain a few truths about rank to try and shake people out of these mentalities.
There are only two reasons you’re stuck in a rank
This is not revolutionary, nor am I the first person to say this, but this is a simple rule that applies to 99% of the OW community. You are only in a rank because (1) You don’t play enough or (2) You deserve to be in that rank.
To issue (1) – there are a lot of people who are really afraid of jumping onto ladder. They play maybe 10 games a season and that’s it. Well, simple statistics will show you that that’s not enough to significantly improve your SR. Let’s say you’re very good and have a 70% winrate (consistently) with your good hero(es). Well at 10 games a season, you’re only going to have a net of win/loss +4 (7 wins – 3 losses). Assuming you get the average 25 SR per win, you’re only going to gain 100 SR. That is not enough to climb a rank. If this applies to you, you need to stop being afraid of rank and actually play. 70% winrate is really really high and even at that winrate to go from the bottom of one rank to the next you need to play 50 games a season. Even if you have a 60% winrate, that’s really good but you will have to grind out enough games in ladder to see your SR significantly change.
Now point (2) is one that people have a lot more difficulty accepting, which is why there are certain ideas that need to be debunked.
“My Teammates are Bots”
One of the most common things that I encountered was half of everybody thinking that they ‘carried’ every game they won or that they “couldn’t do any more” when they lost. This is nonsense.
Since my video blew up, I’ve had so many comments of support (which I super appreciate), but also a lot of comments from people telling me something along the lines of the following: “People at my rank are idiots and my teammates always end up costing me the game because they don’t capitalise on all the good things I’m doing.” Again, this doesn’t hold up against the logic. Simple mathematics:
Let’s assume everyone at your rank is an idiot and you are better than 95% of the players in your rank. Your complaint is that you’re going to get put with stupid teammates who bring you down. So your team looks like this: You + 5 Idiots.
Well, in that case, the enemy team is going to be 6 Idiots. If you truly are doing the correct things and playing better than most people in your rank, then your presence as one smart player amongst 11 idiots is going to make a statistical impact over the course of many games and over the course of a season.
Despite what people might say, Overwatch is a very well balanced game in that even 1 player not contributing or 1 player contributing a lot more than their opposite counterpart can make a huge impact on the outcome. There’s a lot of people mad at smurfs, for example, (And another complaint I heard was “Smurfs are always ruining my games”) but if a smurf from 2 ranks above can just outright win a game on their own, then you as a player who supposedly deserves to be 1 rank above, you should surely be able to swing the outcome of your game significantly. Of course, there will always be games out of your control at all ranks, but over the course of many games you will make the difference if you are doing the right things.
Be Honest With Yourself
The truth is, if you’re stuck in a rank and have been for a long time, then it’s because you deserve to be there. And at some point, you have to be honest with yourself about it. You can post on the forums and the YT videos about how you had that one game where xyz happened and how tilters and throwers always ruin your games, but convincing people that that’s why you’re stuck is going to do you no good. Sympathy will do you no good. Don’t lie to yourself.
I was guilty of this myself. I hit GM in season 5 or 6, but then spent the next 5 or so seasons in Master. Yet, all the time I was in Master, I kept telling myself that I was a ‘GM level player’ and that I deserved to be a GM all the time because I’d once been a GM. I kept telling myself I was doing the right things and that my bad teammates were holding me back, but in reality, it was me. I needed to improve and fix the mistakes in my game to go back to where I thought I ‘belonged’. The only way you can ever climb is if you are honest with yourself and review your gameplay in an honest and sometimes brutally cold way.
If your mentality is the following, you’ve got a problem: “Every game I lose is because of my team and every game I win is in spite of them.” You are the only thing that is all of your games. If you don’t work on fixing the one guaranteed, consistent presence in all your games, then you’re going to have the hardest time climbing. Secondly, ask yourself this: Do you play because you think you deserve GM already (or w/e rank you want) and you want your wins and SR badge to reflect this? Or do you play because you want to improve enough to get to that rank? Do you play to get the SR that vindicates how good you already think you are? Or do you play to improve as a player and as a teammate and gain SR as a consequence of that? These distinctions are really important in distinguishing the people who are equipped to climb from the people who struggle to climb and inevitably blame everyone but themselves for it.