Today marks the end of the first Overwatch competitive season. I’ve had fun times playing it, and I’ve also had moment where I had to walk away from it. No, it wasn’t salt, it wasn’t bitterness at losing, but we’ll get to that.

The season went through a few changes and Jeff Kaplan, lead designer for Overwatch, recently stated that the first season was a testing phase for them, to see what works and what didn’t, in the same way the competitive mode worked during the Overwatch Beta period. They’ve now announced a complete overhaul for season two that has me genuinely excited.

There will be no more coin tosses and sudden death, thank god. This mechanic led me to an equal number of victories and losses but I can safely say that none of them were fun. The matches themselves were good for the most part, but once the sudden death started, the next desperate push wasn’t exciting at all. Frustrating and stressful, yes, but it wasn’t fun.

I’m also not a fan of how absolute the rankings are, and how little feedback you had from the game’s systems to tell you why your rank went down so much after that one game. While I don’t think this will improve in season 2, the proposed scoring system will help with this.

For the most part, I played the season using Reinhardt, Lucio, Pharah and Genji, with the first and last being my go-to characters, and the only ones for which I have highlights and Play of the Game clips recorded. Last night I found some nice success playing as Lucio, which I hadn’t done in a while after being on the receiving end of some major abuse during a match, in which I failed to use my ultimate as much as my teammates wanted me to—one time I did miss it, the others I just didn’t have the ultimate. So I stayed away from the Brazilian musician for a while.

I’m still improving with Pharah and Reaper, with the former on predicting enemy paths to make the most of the missiles, and how to avoid getting picked off the sky, and with the latter it’s more about hitting the targets for maximum damage, something I still often forget, miscalculating the spread of the shotguns.

I started the season with Rank 50 and made my way up to 52 before a losing streak sent me down to 48. I made my way back but never cleared my early record, as much as I wanted to reach rank 55 at least. But oh well, it’s all a learning process and I hope to do better next season. I would also love to play competitive with other friends, to queue as a group, since queueing up solo isn’t that fun of an experience to be honest.

I mentioned above I would talk about the bitterness, and it’s dealing with other players. I have never understood how people can get so into a game, that they would threaten others if they lose. Over the course of the season I’ve received abuse of all levels, up to and including death threats. I don’t take them seriously of course, but dealing with the vitriol is very unpleasant. It’s why I had to take a break from Overwatch. It just wasn’t fun anymore to deal with screaming and moaning strangers insulting you, your family and telling you such appalling things that you can’t imagine how these people behave in their real lives.

I will never understand taking a game that seriously. It’s a video game and the ranking is a simple number assigned to you. If you can’t enjoy a video game and if you need to validate your existence and self-worth by that skill number, then you have some serious issues and you need help, urgently.

I hate being the soppy “why can’t we be friends” gamer, but seriously, why can’t we? Why can’t we just enjoy ourselves, be polite and just have a good time, winning or losing? I’ve had frustrating matches where an opponent playing Tracer or even another Genji made the match a miserable experience. Did I abuse them afterwards? Nope, I upvoted them at the end if their character popped for some match achievement and often complimented them on their play.

There’s nothing to lose by being friendly and polite, so why do people behave this way? I know it’s not just Overwatch but most online competitive games, but it’s still a valid question, just one I’m pretty sure I’ll never know the answer to.

While it may be naïve of me, I hope this improves in some way during season two with the upcoming changes. If not, then I’ll have to find people to play with, to at least balance the scales between abusive strangers and abusive friends!

 

Hope you enjoy the Reinhardt and Genji videos. Those were really fun times. From now on, it’s back to Quick Play and more Weekly Brawls. I haven’t done more Overbrawl episodes because Lucio Ball is still going.

 

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