Why I Don’t Think Overwatch is Made For Competitive

Overwatch Junkrat

Overwatch is growing to be a huge multiplayer FPS game. So, of course, as with their other huge games (SC2, Hearthstone) Blizzard decided to make an eSport out of it. Towards the end of June they re-added competitive mode, something which was available in early betas, but apparently taken out so they could fix it further…and I don’t like it.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of experience in competitive games. After all, I am a CS:GO writer (mainly) so obviously, I’d have to, but Overwatch just doesn’t feel like a competitive game. With its many abilities that would be considered cheats in literally any other FPS game (Soldier’s auto-aim ultimate, Winston’s passive auto aim) and its yet-to-be-balanced hero choices, slapping a competitive mode on such a game seems a bit tacked on just for the hell of it. I believe that these, among several others, are things that should be addressed in patches before the rendition of a competitive mode.

First of all, competitive mode has the same core gameplay as quick play with only minor round timer changes to solve ties and whatnot. That means that character stacking is still a thing and teams of entirely Reinhardts can still exist. If a player leaves, from any team, there is no method employed to replace the player and the match automatically ends. There is barely any communication in most matches I have been in due to the game being very casual in nature and leading some people to either not have mics or not care enough to use them. Losing games drops your level like no other and it takes more wins than losses to get your rank back which isn’t very feasible when you take into account that most people who are playing this are solo queuers. The matchmaking system only looks at the competitive rank as opposed to the casual rank which can mean that people who have 100 hrs in quick play and only played the 10 competitive rank up matches for fun, can be matched with people with 30 hours who tried in the rank up matches but lost because of uncooperative teammates.

Overwatch Ana

Speaking of which, the rankup matches in Overwatch are a joke. The game doesn’t take into account your personal accomplishments and rates the entire team as one, meaning if you lose because your teammates are trolls yet you carried them throughout the game, it will still count as a loss which is the same formula in the actual competitive mode. This can also go the opposite way with people getting carried all the way through the 10 ranking matches and then ruining the game for the people who are actually trying to take it seriously.  The game will then assign you a rank from 1 to 100, with 1 being the worst and 100 being the best and 50 being average. The problem with this is that I’ve met several people, myself included, who have had anywhere from a 5-5 to an 8-2 win-loss ratio in their rank up games yet still got a rank somewhere in the low 50s. I have also been told that the “pros” (who mind you are only “pros” because they’ve been “pros” in other games) got around 70 with 100 being impossible.

To fix this, in my opinion, they need to first of all fix the aforementioned balance problems of the game, as well as the extremely low 50 tick rate, AND THEN focus on adding a competitive mode to the game. Adding this option in a game that is, as of now, still unbalanced, seems very slapped on just because every other game is doing it. They could also give each team one hero ban at the beginning of the match in order to [hopefully] weed out the horribly broken and unfair characters (Bastion). I know that people will say “Oh you can just play another character to take out the unbalanced ones easily”, and while that is true, I shouldn’t have to do that in the first place. Not only that but if that character either doesn’t fit my skillset or my teammates’ skillsets, the game is pretty much over. As it stands, I still see Overwatch as a very casual game meant to attract the casual gamers with its colourful look and forgiving gameplay in terms of aim and hit detection and unless Blizzard fixes the pressing issues that the community has been asking for, it will forever remain that way.

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