It all started innocently enough. One night I was in discord with my friend William and usually we would be playing Duo or Squads in Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) in order to have some fun and try to win games, but this night was different. PUBG was putting out a 9.6Gb patch that night and for most of us on crappy Australian internet, we were looking at a download time of over 9 hours.

“Want to give Cancerwatch a play instead? We can troll people for the lols” came the question from William.

It was lucky that earlier that day I had actually gone through and updated all of my installed Blizzard games for the first time since January, so I agreed that we would go and give some games on Overwatch a go instead. Fast forward to about 2 hours later and many games of 6v6 Mystery Heroes (A mode where teams of 6 people are given characters at random upon death to play with) and William decides to go to bed and so do I.

Both of us were frustrated at what was once a somewhat balanced and fun game has become awash with Over Powered characters, nerfed characters into pointlessness (RIP Roadhog) and players who were just so dumb I think we actually were a part of some sort of brain draining experiment.

Overwatch for the most part is a game which can be somewhat fun at times, given that the people that you play with are more intelligent than the mold you’d find growing at the bottom of the fridge thanks to that thing that was once meatloaf. Other times Overwatch is a frustration inducing machine that only the most insane people would derive enjoyment in. Then there is Competitive season mode, which would be the modern thing that would create The Joker of Batman fame.

But it was the changes to Competitive mode that caused me to give Overwatch a second go after that one night with friends. Again, thanks to a friend talking to me on Discord, I found myself going into placement for Competitive, being told that my ranking would be created based on my own performance rather than the win/loss record of the team. Seeing that previously I would rank in the 1200 to 1500 Bronze bracket, I thought this would be a great chance to get my rank up into at least Silver.

So I jumped into Competitive and began my placements. My issue here was working out who to be given my time away from the game being over 6 months. When I was playing all the time I would play as Roadhog, Reinheart, Soldier 76, Hanzo (Yes, I was one of THOSE people) and Zenyatta. I did spend a little time the night before playing a few of the characters and seeing where my skills were least rusty, with Zenyatta ending up being the one to use for my placement matches.

Now from what I was understanding, your rank outcome in competitive is reliant on your personal achievements. Since Zenyatta is a Support character, mainly a healer, as long as I got Gold Medals in healing done in all my matches; then I should in theory be able to rank pretty high at the end of things. So that’s what I did. Sure, I lost 50% of my matches, but for at least 80% of them I got Gold healing, along with usually bronze or silver objective time, and bronze in eliminations and damage done (I play a very aggressive DPS Zenyatta). All of this effort I, and a friend I was talking to on Discord at the time, figured I should be ranked in the Silver bracket at minimum. what actually happened? Under 1000 in Bronze Hell… Mother Fucker.

While this has stopped me from trying to keep going in competitive mode for this season, it has given me an ok base from which to work from. I could go out there and grind my way into high Bronze or even Silver brackets. But after getting such a low score in the placements, I ended up going and grinding the Arcade bonus games to get my weekly 3 loot boxes before stepping back from the game for a few days.

But this wasn’t the end of my return to Overwatch. With Tuesday comes a reset and it’s time to grind 9 more wins for 3 more loot boxes. Will I return to competitive? Probably. I do have the desire to get myself out of Bronze Hell, since it’s a terrible place to be; and the bonus of being so low is that your wins and losses do not matter, so I could get myself into something where I can play against people who aren’t just rolling their faces on the keyboard thinking that is going to give them good scores. But that’s a story for another day…

About The Author

Karl Smart
Senior Editor / Reviewer

The main "Australian arm" of The Outerhaven. Karl primarily spends time playing and reviewing video games while taking time to occasionally review the latest movie or piece of gaming technology.

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