**At the time of writing this, I am currently gold ranked with a 2040 rating**
Close your eyes and imagine what I’m about to describe to you. It’s 7PM in your local time zone. You know you have no work or binding obligations tomorrow. You sit down in your gaming space, place your over the ear headphones on, check the side to make sure your drink is either full or unopened, turn on your favorite gaming music and hit play.
You feel a certain rush as the loading screen takes over. “I can do this, I can make the climb” you tell yourself. The screen switches and you quickly find competitive mode and join a match. After a brief delay (or a few minutes, depending) you are joined with a group of 5 random people, of which you nothing about. You join the team chat, and in a cool calm voice, give your greetings to your soon to be fellow comrades of the battle. You focus in on the champion selection…Then it hits you.
You’re on the attack side of the Anubis map and your team composition is anything less than thrilling. The insta-locked Hanzo and Bastion from a duo pair made you cringe. But what made you more sick to your stomach was the Widomaker and Mei follow up.
Only one person on your team has some common sense and decency, and opts to be the tank for (lack of a better term) “the team” and brings Reinhardt to the table. That leaves you, the last pick. Your favorite healer is open and you are more than happy to play them.
“It’s okay, we can get a couple of quick pick-offs and take the point, then switch some people up for a more straight push” you think to yourself. Your can do attitude is trying to mask the series of unfortunate events you know are about to occur.
The match starts and you make it to the choke point. Bullets are flying, shields are breaking, your dodging left and right trying to avoid the enemy Phara who is flying high above focusing you. A loud pop happens and you watch as Phara falls from the sky, Widow confirmed kill! “Got a pick, go left go left!” you hear in your headset as you scramble to keep your team alive. Unfortunately, the left room was a death trap filled with Symmerta laser turrets, and you lost 3 of your members. You continue to follow Reinhardt up the stairs and are now facing the overpass bridge. Once you reach the top, you hear the enemy Bastion open up in siege mode, along with the Torbjorn turret, and other sources that quickly rip through your tanks shield.
In a last ditch effort, without word (because ya know, why would we communicate?) the Reinhardt uses his charge in hopes to pin someone and take them out. His rockets thrust from his back as he dashes away…completely missing his target and everything else around and straight into a wall. He is sliced through like hot butter, and you’re next. You realize this is not the spot you want to be in and try to make a run for it. But it’s too late. Roadhog has his eyes on you, and with some crazy not so-through the wall hook and pull, you watch as the second pauses before you take a hand cannon to the face and are dead. You sigh.
You ask your team nicely to maybe switch it up a bit, another tank and heals could help, and do you really need a bastion to push with? No one answers. No one switches. The scenario I described above goes on for what feels like forever. You don’t even capture the first point….GG noob. The match ends and you turn off your game because you quickly realize what kind of people are playing at this time.
All too often this happens. It’s sad and painful, especially when you have people that are really trying to advance in the ranks. “Well Geek, just play teams only then!” is what most would say. But that’s not the point. The point is that it is a team game, and you are supposed to work with your team to give yourselves the best chance to succeed. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE playing with my friends on a team, especially Mr. Montez (@ on Twitter) because the communication is there and we know each others strengths and weaknesses. But my friends are not on always when I am, or want to play when I do, so I can’t just wait until all the stars align up each time to play, it would take forever to get anywhere!
My wish is that Blizzard’s Overwatch team would come up with a system to maybe help pre-determine what people want to play, who they prefer for each sides. Obviously, Overwatch has a different system in which you can change your heroes out freely, so this would have to be recognized even if they did come up with a system. But the point would be to hopefully get players of like-minded strategies together or at the very least give a better fighting chance for solo players in the beginnings of the match. Please Blizzard, help matchmaking become great again.