For my second BCM241 assignment I will be doing a youtube video series on the video game overwatch. I will be focusing mostly on how it is for a support main in lower to mid ranks of competitive Overwatch and whether I find any tips/tricks for how to climb ladder or just enjoy the game more as a support player. The Overwatch community (like the majority of video game communities) can be pretty toxic. This just comes from the competitive nature of video games. I would love to be able to shine a light on these cases and find any strategies when this occurs and see if it’s possible to climb higher as a support main compared to playing other heroes.
Overwatch is a team-based, first-person shooter that is most popular on PC but is also available on Xbox and PlayStation. There are currently 28 heroes available to play in overwatch and these 28 heroes are lumped into three categories: Tank, Damage, and Support. Objectively, the Damage heroes are more fun the play, with tanks following up and then support. Overwatch released in May of 2016 and has been growing into one of the biggest video games of the past decade. With events such as the Overwatch World Cup and the first ever week by week esports competition in the Overwatch League and Overwatch Contenders, the game has been revolutionary for the esports genre. Since it’s release, we have seen the addition of 7 heroes, 14 maps, 6 recurring seasonal events, and countless aesthetic items such as hero skins, sprays, voice lines, emotes, victory poses, and highlight intros. According to DBLTap.com, Overwatch was ranked as No.2 in the world when it comes to revenue produced by Pay-To-Play PC games in 2017 at $382 Million. There is no doubt in my mind that, in 2018, this number has risen significantly. So now we know that the game is highly successful and isn’t going anywhere, let’s delve into the problems with it.
Like most other highly competitive games that came before overwatch (e.g. League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Starcraft 2), the community surrounding the game is very polarising. You can mostly split the community into 3 sub-groups. Those who play competitive, those who play casually, and those who just watch. Let’s focus on the 2 groups that actually play the game. The competitive and non-competitive players. There is a certain stigma that surrounds those who are mainly non-competitive players (let’s call them Quick-Play players or QPP). This stigma is mainly that “If you are a QPP then you are a bad player.” This mostly stems from people being turned off from competitive as they are usually forced into hero roles they are unfamiliar with or just don’t want to play. However, this is the nature of the game. As someone who often just plays competitive to get their placements out of the way and plays a couple games at most, I can see both ends of this argument. On one side, there are players who want others to play the game as the game intended itself to be played (this entails swapping to needed heroes, countering the other team, communicating with your team, etc.) and on the other, players just want to play the game they want to play it. Now, are both these sides justified? Of course. Who are you to tell someone how to play a game that they bought with their money, and then who are you to consciously make it difficult for others to play the game by not playing it “properly”.
I have decided to play the game as it is intended to be played. This entails, swapping to a needed hero, being supportive of my team, and communicating with them. I have chosen the support category to mainly play as this is the role that is most needed in the majority of games. Play 10p games around 2400sr and I promise you that at least 60% of the time, someone will have to play support when they don’t want to or you just won’t have a support hero on your team. The difference between having 0,1 and 2 healers on your team is absolutely incredible. At the very least you need 1 healer but if your opponent has 2, then you need to. However, if by some miracle I already have 2 support mains on my team, then I will play whatever hero is needed on my team. This is known as a ‘flex’ player.
Communication, like in life, is a very important part of Overwatch. This way you are able to time pushes call strategies, and tell your teammates crucial information. If you were to do the same experiment as you did when counting the support heroes, I promise you that there would be only around 5% of games where every single person in voice comms actively participating in the communication.
Considering all these problems, Overwatch has been known for its toxicity in competitive and even quick play matches. This is usually derived from the problems above as they usually make the team start to lose, and then when people start to lose, they often like to blame others for their own failures.
I really feel like this project will be a good thing for the community as there are a lot of people who just don’t know how to communicate their problems with the rest of the community. I hope this series of videos will allow people to have civil discussions on what needs to be done in the overwatch community or game to better the experience of both types of player.