Platinum: The epitome of success for all Hanzo mains in Overwatch. It may not be the highest achievement for the rest of us, but it’s a big first step on your rise to the top. It’s the line in the sand separating the trolls and griefers of gold from the trolls and griefers who somehow got to platinum. Not everyone has the skills to immediately hit Grand Master, but with the right adjustments and mindset, you too can figure your way to reach the top of the Overwatch charts. I’m here to offer some quick and straightforward ideas you could implement right now to see some marginal improvement in your gameplay.
Full disclosure, I’m no expert. I’ve hit Platinum nearly every season, but this was achieved through copious support play and just the right amount of self-loathing to stick with it. I never specialized in one character, instead choosing to play what my team needed. In my current skillset, I’ve got a mean Mercy pistol swap, and my Mei taunts are perfectly placed every time. I’m willing to pass my valuable skills onto you, dear reader, but it won’t come easy. It takes dedication and effort to get this mediocre. Let’s talk about my five best tips.
1. Know when to walk away
Nothing is more important than knowing when you’re tilted. On the bright side, if your attitude dips, everyone else will tell you about it. We’ve all had games where some dude comes in noticeably crabby and instantly locks Torbjorn.
Upon first engagement on King’s Row, he’ll come charging up to the statue, slap down a turret and just pummel that thing with a hammer for a solid minute before dying. The turret explodes, and he’ll angrily question where his support went.
To avoid being that guy, someone made a pretty simple rule: If you lose two games in a row, take a break. You may not think so, but somewhere in your heart, tilt has set in. Back out of Ranked, find another game and get your head clear.
2. Master one Hero per role
This is a tough one for most everyone that plays Overwatch. At no point does anyone want “balance” in their team composition. All DPS, all the time. It’s almost an unspoken rule that at least three people should instalock Attack roles before the game has loaded in, and suddenly your team composition is made up of four DPS, two tanks and a whole bunch of prayers. You won’t always get the typical 2/2/2 balance, but one person willing to balance it out can go a long way. Plenty of games have been decided by one fantastic Mercy resurrection saving that final push.
I took the easy route here. Mercy, Reaper, D. Va. All can have massive impact on the game, but none take high levels skill to play effectively. Reaper especially. Reapers are the training wheels of Overwatch.
As a side note, Mercy is a wonderful Hero to learn positioning. If you aspire to stay alive in games, learn to play Mercy effectively, and you’ll quickly discover the places where you don’t die.
3. Find an Overwatch buddy
Overwatch is a team game. Suprise!
With any team game, some form of communication and coordination is essential, and playing with a partner guarantees at least two mics in chat. Being able to talk allows for ultimate coordination, better positioning, and simultaneous initiation. Once your team sees you’re serious about winning, they’ll follow suit. Now you’ve got an actual team.
Apart from the better coordination, fun levels go up when you have a real friend in the game. Also, you need two people for proper shenanigans. Pharrah Mercy, anyone? Or perhaps you hate your team. Use Ana and give that Lucio a Nano Boost, then sit back and watch the salt roll in. Good times.
4. Learn Pharah
This may sound silly at first glance, but no other hero requires a team to switch compositions so much as Pharah. If your games go like mine do, not one person will know how to counter the long range flight patterns of a good Pharah. Even decent rockets will throw the opposing team into disarray, and let’s not forget that they probably already hate each other. This is Overwatch, remember.
Seemingly simple at first glance, Pharah requires significant practice to excel in the Damage role. Later on, though, it’s a quick counter to plenty of team compositions, as people still think McCree or Genji counters her. That McCree nerf was real, guys, and you need to let him go.
5. If a fight goes south, run away
Oft forgotten in the lower ranks, Ultimate abilities charge through damaging the enemy. We can then assume that getting shot is generally something you want to avoid since that’s helping the enemy charge up. However, most people, when found in a 1 vs. 5 as Winston, see this as a time to shine. They pull on their Carry Pants and dive square to the center of the other team. Not only do they promptly lose their Carry Pants, but now the enemy is that much more prepared for your next push.
If at any point you see that the fight is lost, it’s a much better idea to dive off a cliff than to press the fight. Regrouping is quicker, and ultimates stay less charged. Escaping is also acceptable, so long as you don’t go through the enemy to do it.
There you go, friends. I’ve probably just changed your Overwatch life. The path to greatness has been revealed, through the kindness of my heart. Now get out there and show those salty punks how to be slightly above unremarkable in Overwatch.