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Later today, the 4th competitive season of Overwatch will be available to all players across PC, Xbox One and Playstation 4. Community Manager Lylirra on the official Overwatch Forums confirmed that Overwatch Season 4 is set to start at 4 pm PST today, February 28th, in the U.S. and March 1st UTC.
Competitive season in Overwatch can be a bit of a mixed bag for players depending upon how your Match Making Rating (MMR), your team composition, and the communication amongst you and you teammates. In Season 3, many of us felt slighted by the lower end tier placement system and spent a good chunk of time in the season crawling back up to our rightful place. I am not an expert player, but I did manage to crawl two tiers (and 1500 SR) in Season 3. Here are five things you can do to improve your rank (and have more fun) this comp season.
Overwatch Season 4 Strategies
5. Communicate With Your Team
In any cooperative game, communication is important. One of the most frustrating things in a comp match is seeing that you’re the only one in voice chat. This may not plague PC players as much as console types, but good team communication can transform a game in a matter of seconds. Be kind to your teammates, make good callouts and work together. If someone messes up an Ult, let it go. Everyone makes mistakes. If you don’t like to talk, acknowledge you can hear your teammates by emoting when asked or responding to their callouts. If you’re in a team before going into a match, switch over to team chat so you can talk to your entire team and not just the group you came to the match with.
4. Keep Your Groups Small
Six stacks can be fun, you usually know one another’s play styles, strongest characters, and hopefully you enjoy playing with one another. Six stacks can be useful, however the MMR will place you against teams that are most evenly matched, meaning you’re more likely to go up against similar sized groups. This means your opponent will have an equally synced team, making for a harder fight. If you have a six stack that is diverse and wants the challenge, go ahead and queue that way. If you find your team is being slaughtered, either wait a few minutes to queue for the next match to try and avoid that same team, or break up into smaller groups of twos or threes. While Solo queue is hellish by nature, I spent most of my Season 3 climb soloing or in duos.
3. Play Your Best Characters
Auto locking a hero (selecting it as soon as you load into the hero selection screen) isn’t ideal, but try to play your top heroes as often as possible. Again, this is where communication with your team is key. If the last roles left are tanks, but you don’t have a strong tank hero, talk to your team about who you are strong with (and who is ideal for the map/comp you’re building) to come up with an alternate solution. If someone takes your main and you fill a flex role, don’t be a jerk if they happen to do something differently than you do, everyone’s play style is different. The worst thing you can do is stay silent, pick a hero type you’re not comfortable with, and risk throwing the match because of it.
2. Be Flexible
Playing your main character is comfortable. You have logged a lot of hours playing them and you know how to counter enemies with these characters well. That being said, you can’t always play your top character(s). Playing characters out of your standard wheel house is a good thing. It lets you experience the game from a different perspective and allows you to see how others play heroes you’re comfortable with. Practicing your flex heroes in Quick Play or Arcade mode is essential. Playing in non competitive settings lets you practice your flex heroes (the same way you grew to learn your mains) in a non threatening setting and lets you have fun learning new heroes. If you struggle to find flex heroes, check out the Overwatch Forums, Reddit, or YouTube Tutorials and Guides from accounts like Your Overwatch and Overwatch Central.
1. Quit While You’re Ahead
Winning streaks are great. Winning streaks in competitive games are fantastic. It’s a great feeling rising through the ranks on a win streak, you feel confident, successful, and your team is generally meshing well. Just don’t get so used to that high of winning that you lose your rational side. Generally speaking, I will keep going with a win streak until I lose one game (two is my hands down ultimate stopping point in competitive). While I will move forward after a match that ends in a Draw, I’m careful to quit if my next match or two doesn’t pick up that same momentum. A great deal of what got me into trouble in past competitive seasons (besides that pesky MMR in Season 3) was that I would lose and keep playing, assuring myself I could easily climb back out. This can quickly spiral into losing hundreds of competitive points in a relatively short amount of time. Taking a break after a loss (or two) will help you keep your composure and keep you from slipping too far back in rank.
The most important thing to keep in mind with competitive games in Overwatch is that it is a game. Sure, you may have lofty goals, and that’s great, but don’t get so consumed with your rank that you aren’t enjoying the game. If you are getting bored or finding you’re constantly losing, play some Custom Games and explore the maps with various characters, practice on characters that easily counter your mains, and look at guides. It is a competition, but the bottom line is your games should be fun, not work.
What are your goals for Competitive Season 4? Do you have your eyes set on a specific golden gun? New achievements? What do you think of the current ranking system? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.
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