Overwatch

When should you just… give up?

I've been playing Overwatch practically since it came out. In fact, it's practically the only thing I play at all nowadays, being an adult and not having the time for much else. But I'm bad at it. I watch videos. I read guides. I try to play consciously and thoughtfully. I make callouts and work on my mental game so that I don't tilt. I play with a reliable duo so that if nothing else the two of us are coordinating. We brainstorm and strategize on our off time, we watch our own replays and come up with ways we could have done better. But I cannot get past the metal ranks.

I consider myself a support main, and I've peaked at 2600 or so, but never been able to move past that. Often after peaking I fall down significantly, anywhere from 200 to 400 SR. I decided to try out DPS for a change of pace and learned to main McCree. Placed ~1300 bronze and climbed to gold, but peaked at about 2100. Then I placed low silver for tank and have climbed to high silver, but over the past two weeks have bounced between 1900 and 1997, never breaking the gold barrier. At my peak SRs I have about a 55% to 60% win rate, but the SR seems to stall, and I frequently lose more than I gain from games. That's the case for me for Rein, Monkey, McCree, Lucio, Ana, and Moira right now. I tend to main one character per season, flexing if clearly appropriate in any given match.

I've put almost a thousand hours into this game across platforms over the years, and my skill level is around the median at best. I'm tired of trying so hard to play smart and still losing game after game.

I try keep in mind the ideas that 40% of games are clear wins, 40% are unavoidable losses, and the last 20% you have influence over; and that I shouldn't concentrate on what my teammates are doing, focusing only on what I have control over. But it's frustrating to feel so limited when there's a Pharah on the enemy team and no one on my team is playing hit scan, or when I do a really good job on one round and the enemy team immediately goes Bastion as a result, or when people are staggered the whole match. It's just so frustrating that there's seemingly nothing I can do to get us out of so many common situations and else no one is willing or able to do anything about it. I play mostly on PS4 and so few people are on voice chat to start. I will say the people on voice chat are typically receptive to callouts – there are toxic folks sometimes too, and some folks are very "independent spirited." But even fewer use their mics and games are a hodgepodge of uncoordinated confusingness. (I've been watching Flats's "Spectating a Bronze" series and most of my gold console games are pretty comparable to the stuff in this series – really funny videos if you have the time. Again, I know I'm only marginally better than most of these folks.) Today a random 3-stack invited me to group up with them after we got a good win while I was solo queuing and then they spent the next match talking about weed. I mute people when they are toxic or distracting. But it just feels like the odds are so much against me.

I could come to terms with the idea that I've reached my potential and that I can live out the rest of my Overwatch days winning 55% of my games and never moving up, and maybe that's the emotionally mature thing to do. But I have a hard time accepting not being good at it. Maybe that's just leftover inertia from those days when I was labeled a "gifted kid" in school. But it begs the question: when should I give up that ambition to get better at this game? Or when do I just quit the game altogether?

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