5 tips for ranking up in Season 5 – Overwatch

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Our top tips for climbing the ranks in Season 5 of Competitive Play.

A lot of changes arrive with each Season of Overwatch. The meta shifts continuously, and some heroes rise to the top while others fall off the radar. One thing that never changes is the difficulty that can arise from matchmaking with randoms, and it can represent a frustrating experience for those of us who simply want to climb in ranking.

Now that Season 5 of Competitive Play is under way, it’s time to break this pattern and achieve that career high you’ve been dreaming of. We’ve brought together a few vital tips for gaining skill rating [SR] in Season 5, even when you’re playing with a bunch of randoms. They’re all general guidelines that will change the way you think about Competitive Play, so you can start winning and enjoy yourself while you’re at it.

1. Adaptability

Learning to take your own team’s strengths and weaknesses on board is absolutely essential to gaining SR in Season 5. It’s about being aware of how each of your teammates fulfils the role they are playing, and adapting your own style of play to either take advantage of a strength, or minimise the negative impact they’re having on your allies.

Let’s take a friendly Winston as our prime example. He’s constantly jumping into the enemy team’s backlines – which is great and all – but there’s an enemy Genji destroying the team while he’s zapping away elsewhere. Instead of telling Winston to join his team more often, we’re going to join him in demolishing the vulnerable damage dealers and healers in the enemy backline.

Why? In matchmaking with randoms, it’s a lottery as to what sort of response you’ll get – no matter how politely your suggestion is made. Take a positive approach to each scenario and think about how you could make a difference by working with your team.

Adapt to your team, and you’ll have an even bigger impact against the opposition.

2. Don’t blame your team

Believe us when we say we’re very guilty of doing this. It’s easy to pin the blame on the rest of your team when it all goes horribly wrong, especially if you’re playing with a bunch of random players.

Although it helps let off steam, it can lead to some serious de-ranking if you’re not careful. People waste time responding in chat rather than reacting to the game, and this negativity can escalate rapidly.

Not only will this cause you to plummet in SR, it’s going to stop you from improving at the game. So get yourself in a healthy state of mind and focus on your own individual play when things go south.

Say you lose a team fight to an enemy Mercy who swooped in and resurrected her entire team. Rather than adopting a negative attitude and immediately questioning other people’s performance, question your own play first. What you could have done to prevent the team fight from turning sour?

Constantly analysing your play will help you identify what you should have been doing in certain situations, and tighten up your decision-making skills in the process. That enemy Mercy? Maybe you could’ve hunted her down faster as the team fight broke out.

Focus on your own play before everyone else’s and you’re guaranteed to gain SR.

3. Only play when you’re feeling good

If you’ve lost a few competitive matches, or you’ve been binging on them for hours on end, it’s time to call it quits. It’s surprising how playing when you’re tilted or fatigued can impact significantly on your competitive ranking.

From personal experience, after losing a couple of matches we find it’s best to call it quits and take a break from Overwatch. Playing with a head full of frustration can cloud your judgement and even put you off your game mechanically. We’d take it so far as to say that it’s best to play matches one or two at a time, taking breaks regularly so you’re continuously perforaming at your optimal playing ability.

There’s nothing worse than forcing yourself into competitive matches with the false belief that your run of bad luck is destined to end. We’ve been victim to sitting back and hoping for a win, rather than setting out to get one. Don’t do this.

Learn to take a breather from Overwatch and not only will you enjoy competitive matches more, you’ll start winning them more often as well.

4. Play the heroes you’re strong with

Again, we have a tendency to sit back in the pre-game lobby and wait for our teammates to make their choices, before picking our hero to complement the team.

You may think that this is for the good of the team, but if you’re looking to hit Season 5 hard and gain some SR, make sure you’re picking heroes that you’re going to have an impact with. Trust us, it’s easy to fall into the trap of doing the right thing for the sake of an arbitrary team comp, especially if you’re wary of failing to fulfil your role as the pivotal damage dealer or frontline tank.

Throw caution to the wind and start pushing yourself to play these roles. We’ve started doing this recently in our competitive matches, and although we lost some SR in the beginning, we’re starting to climb even faster than before. We feel far more confident in our ability to carry matches as a damage dealer or tank, rather than sit back and be content in a healing role.

We’re not saying that you should exclusively play one role – always be prepared to switch it up in the interest of the team – but try to play heroes that can really make the difference more often than not.

5. Warm up

It’s amazing what a difference a quick warm up can make before hopping into a competitive match. Even if that’s just ten minutes of destroying bots in the Practice Range, it’s going to make a huge difference in the heat of battle.

We like to jump into the Practice Range before heading into ranked matches, or even set up Custom Games to get our aiming muscles warmed up. Pick a selection of heroes to practice varying playstyles – take to the skies as Pharah for a bit and get used to firing her rockets, before switching to Tracer and acclimatising to her rapid blinks.

If you do this before a session of competitive matches, you’ll help to ensure that your aim is on point from the get-go, and your decision-making is a little sharper in the throes of a massive skirmish. Just like any physical activity, it’s all about limbering up and ensuring you’re in the right frame of mind for what lies ahead.

Never underestimate the power of the warm-up!

Got any tips of your own for taking some of the pain out of the ladder climb? Let us know about them in the comments!

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