I’ve recently had more time to play OverWatch now that my summer college courses are finished, and it’s good to be back! However, I have noticed some trends in OverWatch competitive that remind me of ranked play in other games. Since I’m in such a generous and giving mood, I decided to share my opinions on some of the picks you shouldn’t make in competitive mode.
THIS IS ONLY AN OPINION, and I am by no means an expert. Still if you’re like me and wouldn’t touch the in-game voice comms if you were commanded to by Thor, then these might help you out.
5. Ana (Solo)
I’m not saying she’s a bad hero, or that she’s not useful in any situation. Honestly I think her kit is pretty cool, and in the right team she can be the spark the wins you the team-fight. However, her abilities are best suited coordinated team and without voice communication it can be difficult to set up a good ultimate. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve tried to hit a hero (Genji) with her ultimate or a heal, only for them to dodge it with a jump. It’s not their fault, but had I been playing another support I wouldn’t really have that issue.
It goes without saying that if you’re not good at sniping (like me) you should also avoid this hero in competitive. It’s too hard to line up heals when you’re not good at hitting them, and the sleep dart requires precision as well. It doesn’t help that 90% of the community spams the jump button like their character’s feet are on fire, so unless you’re good with quick sniping decisions Ana might be out of your league. If you are good with Ana (please join our Discord) then by all means go for it, but don’t expect your teammates to like it. If you’re not good with her, there are alternatives in the support tree.
Mercy/Lucio: These supports require little in the way of precision, and can greatly affect team-fights with their ultimate abilities. Don’t expect your teammates to be helpful in these cases either, as you are the whipping boy… I mean the support.
4. Builders/Bastion (Offense)
One would think that this would be a no-brainer, but here we are. Builders (Symmetra and Torbjörn), and the living turret Bastion offer little in the way of offensive abilities. The key function of their kits is to be an immobile barrier to the enemy team and block entrance to objectives. Can this be used offensively? Yes, but not unless your team is well coordinated. They can arguably be used to defend a point once it has been taken, but this assumes that your team won’t suffer from having 1 less mobile hero.
Yes Bastion’s ultimate is mobile, and I’ve seen Torbjörn’s and Symmetra’s being offensive gods against lesser teams. However, these examples are few and far between, and ultimately these heroes are easily countered by teams with above average defensive skills. Foe example, D.Va and Reinhardt can easily negate Torbjörn and Bastions turret damage with their shields, while their team mops them up with damage. Symmetra’s teleporter can be used to great effect on offense since it gets you to the front line faster, but a decent enemy team will sniff it out quickly and destroy it before she can place all her turrets around it. Maybe keep these heroes on standby for when they can be stationary, and choose…
Mei/Junkrat/Zenyatta: All 3 of these heroes are mobile with defensive capabilities that can help you both take and hold an objective. Just be careful with some of the abilities… I’ve Mei walled teammates to their death before.
3. Heroes that need a distraction (Solo)
This one’s a bit tricky since these are still good picks, but they can be situational picks in certain circumnstances. These include offensive heroes like Reaper, McCree, Soldier 76, and Phara who’s ultimate abilities can deal massive damage to the whole enemy team. While their ultimate abilities are devastating, they are easy to block and/or counter by a multitude of other heroes. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t play them, but you should use discretion when picking them.
If (again) your team isn’t communicating and you want to use your ult there’s a decent chance you’ll wind up fail-ulting into a D.Va/Reinhardt shield, a Mei wall, or Lucio/Zenyatta ult. You’re probably perfectly capable of finding an opportune moment to use your ultimate solo, and these characters do bring more to the table than one ability. However, these ultimates can be game changers and if you’re not able to put them to good use due to communication issues, then it might be time to switch next time you die. If you’ve tried to ask your team to provide a decoy or set you up, and they are either unable or unwilling to help you, then you might want to consider another offensive hero.
Genji/Tracer: Yes smartass, these are the only two offensive heroes left (as of now), but they can help you. While the others approach combat head on, these two can help you and your team provide hit and run tactics to pick apart the enemy. Congratulation, you are now Viet Kong.
2. Snipers (Offense)
This is one that REALLY bugs me. If you are on offense, and your team has a sniper you are 9 times out of 10 playing a 5 vs 6. One player is not on the objective, and many times not really contributing to kills either (depending on their skill level). Look I get it, Enemy at the Gates was a really cool movie, but YOU ARE NOT Vassili Zaitsev! You’re likely just going to sit somewhere, missing more shots than not, and being a huge target for enemy Genjis and Tracers. Look I’ve played with and against good Widowmakers and Hanzos, but it’s probably best to not pick them on attack unless you’ve put a ton of practice into it before hand.
Sorry for the rant. Seriously though Widowmaker and Hanzo can have great impact on a game, but in many offensive situations they don’t contribute much to a team if they’re not communicating. A well placed Hanzo ult or a well timed Widowmaker “Q” can really help the team, but without active communication it’s just guesswork. Skill level and practice are important to these heroes, and if you’re not skilled then you shouldn’t use competitive play as a practice ground.
Offensive Heroes/Tanks: I’m not really sure what you’re looking for. If you want high damage, and potential for big plays try out some of the offensive heroes listed above. If you’re looking to have impact on the game try a tank like Zarya or D.va. You’ll never be more satisfied then when you hook a sniper as Roadhog, and melee kill them.
1. Any New Hero!
This really should go without saying, but it happens in other online games. Ana is the first new hero for this game, and almost immediately after her introduction she was being played in competitive. This is incredibly detrimental to your teammates as you likely have very little practice on the character, and you are far more likely to make mistakes. There are modes for you to choose that enable you to practice your skills without affecting your teams competitive points. The practice range, bot games, and Quick Play will all help you hone your skills to eventually be able to play competitive.
As stated before this bit of advice seems to me a complete no-brainer. However, in many other online competitive games I see it all too often (especially in MOBAs). Some new character or aspect of the game is introduced, and people just HAVE to use in ranked/competitive/ladder games. I’ll never understand this mode of thinking, when you should be well aware of the time and effort it took to master your best heroes. With that being said, you should be playing…
Your Best Hero: Play what you are practiced in. If you’re good at any of the things I’ve said not to do (Ana Solo, Snipers on offense, etc.), then don’t listen to me. However, if you’re not then play to your strength in competitive. Also practice one of each hero type, don’t be that asshat who only plays offense heroes and refuses to go near supporting. It’ll really help out your ranked play if you understand each role, and it’s impact on the game as well.
To those of you who ask, “Why not just turn voice chat on?” I reply with, “Fantastic idea, and while I’m at it, why don’t I put my balls in vice grips?” The later is equally as tortuous on the body, as the former is on the mind. I won’t be party to a coin flip system in which heads is a serious team discussion, and tails is a people blasting “All Star” by Smash Mouth into their microphone. Tails comes up WAY too often in that coin toss.
These are simply the opinions of an admittedly low rank (i.e. bad) individual. Still if you’re shit like me then these common sense thoughts might help you figure out why you’re not doing so hot in competitive, and why your teammates flame you in text chat. If you want to play with similarly bad people, shoot us a comment here or on our various social medias to gain access to our discord channel. I’d link the channel here but I value literacy, and any illiterate boob on the internet can click a link. Observe: SHINEY