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Overwatch. Oh so many powerful emotions. The rise in anger and frustration as you see a sniper jump off edge of a map. The exaltation screamed in glory as you slaughter your enemies can turn into one of surprise in an instant. The constant changes in characters, landscapes, and opponents leave me breathless, waiting for more!
So why do I have to step away? Because newb is a word that speaks to the core. Because when you want to go pro, it’s essentially trying to find the least newb there.
Want to know why? In order to REALLY be competitive, there are several things needed. Hold on to your pants, this is a heck of a list.
1. Players need to know EVERY character.
That’s right. EVERY character! When Zarya is going against you, you need to know when she has her bubble. You need to know when Mei unfreezes. You need to know where Tracer would boost back to. This also means that in a particularly hectic fight, you won’t have to take a sneak peek at your cool downs because you will know exactly how close you are. This brings us to number two.
2. Communication is key.
After watching and playing hundreds of hours across multiple maps, I have to say that identifying key landmarks and rallying points are essential in any group. If you say look left (for flanker or such) and I look to my left, but you are facing the other way, the miscommunication has taken seconds off of the damage that could have went toward that enemy. Identify, before the match, a single location that people call out locations in relevance to. A choke point (like bridges or gateways) is usually a good reference point. Using other key locations help as well.
3. Forget your healer.
I bet you are freaking out about now. You are probably saying “She’s lost it.” What I mean by this... is get a Health Pack! Memorize your pack and vial locations and recognize they aren’t the same. After playing solo Mercy and Lucio for so long, I came to recognize that people were calling for healing and just waiting. Maps like Numbani are filled with healing opportunities that other random players refuse to leave the point for. Learn fast evacuation techniques on all the maps for your characters to those health packs. You will live a lot longer and your healer can focus more on boasting damage.
4. Make a team.
If you really want to go pro, you have to find a team. Let’s face it, unless you are skilled enough to carry, you are going to need people who can pull their weight. In the past few seasons, we have to face the fact there will be trolls. People will lose connections, make friends with the enemy, and just cause havoc. It happens. Seek individuals who actually TRAIN in the game, not PLAY. Once you have a group of like minded individuals, then you are ready to start customizing bot games for offensive and defensive practice plays.
5. Rinse, Repeat, & Read
Do this over and over and over. There will obviously be small things you can do to improve in addition to things I’ve talked about. Watch YouTubers for secret alleyways and tricks, stay up to date on PTR and stat changes, and in general just explore the game and have fun. However, this step is simply identified because the game is always changing. The introduction of new maps and characters should always be on your mind.