The burdens of ranked Overwatch

Yesterday, I met the weirdest guy ever in Overwatch.

I started to play the game only recently, and although I don’t make wonders in there, I’m doing my thing well enough to clinch the victory most of the time.

With some significant FPS experience, it is not too hard to adapt to Overwatch, and I have played the crap out of Unreal Tournament back in the day, not to mention that I play Counter-Strike since mid 2005, before 1.6 even came out. I think that this is not a big deal though, as everyone I meet and ask about their CS experience has started playing in the early alpha – even if they are 15-year old kids.

Solo queue is hell in any game, and for all the right reasons. The game can reach deep into the cesspool when it determines your teammates – but you can find new friends there if you get lucky. I was grinding out the victories nicely before I ended up on a losing streak that can be attributed solely to the wonders of the solo queue.

The ideal team setup in Overwatch (most of the time) consists of 2 tanks, 2 healers and 2 DPS heroes. During my loss streak, I’ve had 4 tank teammates, teams with no healers (but myself obviously, out of desperation), teams with full DPS setup – it was not looking good.

Still going strong with the solo queue, I posted in a couple LFG threads, stating that I’m pretty decent and that I casually want to climb to the average Skill Rating where most players are chilling, which is ~2600.

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Soon enough, I got a reply, and a guy added me. He was around lvl 100, which meant that he was putting in the hours into the game (I was lvl 36 at the time). However, he had the exact same skill rating as I did. Hmm.

– Hey man, I see that you are very low level. Do you know how to play the game?
– Yeah, I am decent with Reaper/S76/Mercy/Lucio/Widow/McCree/etc.
– I see, because, you know, I don’t want to boost you, if you know what I mean.

At this point I was thinking “What? Boost me? He is at the exact same rank as I am…” He went on in the most condescending tone you can imagine:

– I don’t wanna lose games because of you, so can we do a Quick Play to see how good you are?
– Sure, whatever.

Long story short, we destroyed the enemy team. He did alright, but not super good – he was behind me in damage and kills, despite the fact that I had to play something other than my favourite hero. During the game, he kept giving useless “tips” and “facts”, part of them I already knew, part of them being bullshit, and none of them actually useful.

– So, since when you play CS?
– I play since 2005, I do alright in the game.
– What rank are you?

This is the question that CS players get every single time, and it is so annoying as ranks dont mean anything in CSGO (sadly enough). If they are an indicator of skill, they are vague at best in doing so.

– Well, I was inactive in the last month, so I lost my rank, but I was around LEM.
– Well, could you play with me? I am silver, and I need someone to play for me to get a better rank.

What did I just say? Ranks in CSGO are not an indicator of skill? Well, in the case of silver, I take this back. You have to be half-braindead in order to play silver. I seriously cannot fathom even the existence of that rank. My buddy who has never played CS in his life got placed above Silver. Why?

If you choose a weapon which is not too skill-dependent to use, know which end goes pew pew, and, most importantly, think before you do something, you are out of Silver. Alternatively, you can spend around 3 hours in the game – and you are out of Silver.

After this sneak peek into the life of Silvers, you might be wondering: how is our guy boasting about his skill in Overwatch? Sure, it’s an entirely different game, and the skill ceiling is lower, but still, it is an FPS. If you can not hit things, you are done for.

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So, visualising my experience, my buddy was somewhere in the first column (I was Legendary Eagle Master last time, fluctuating back to Master Guardian Elite at times).

It is important to note that I wanted to explain this in such detail only because of the following events.

After our Quick Play match, he decides gracefully to descend from Pr0 Mountain to aid the pleb that is me in Ranked.

Duo Queue is not far off from its solo counterpart, and sure enough, we got teammates who did not want to adapt to any strategy whatsoever and chose heroes weirdly.

The enemy was not far better either, as I have managed to win a 2v1 against Torbjorn and McCree (one of the best damage dealers, in close range as well)… as Mercy, the healer. I rarely play that hero, and she only has a weak pistol…

In light of these events, the fact that we lost the match is even more horrifying. Whatever, it was close, me and my “buddy” (at this point, quote marks are more than necessary, I think) did our best, and that is what matters. My heart was content and I was looking forward to the next match that we would win for sure.

– Listen up man, I’m not gonna delete you because I need to get a higher rank in CSGO, but I’m going to leave now. Don’t take this as offensive, but find someone at your own low level and play with them, alright? I’m too high level for you and I don’t want to feel like I’m boosting you.

Guys.

Play. With. Your. Friends.

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