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This competitive season of Overwatch makes it harder to climb, and people aren't happy

July 12, 2017 2 min read

People aren't thrilled with the way the competitive portion of Overwatch is playing out this season.

To recap, Blizzard purposefully made it so you need to "climb" (read: play more games) harder than you had to previously, as you'll now rank lower than you "should be." How much lower? well, according to principal designer Scott Mercer, around 50 games from last season -- if you're a light competitive player, you're probably going "screw that." I don't blame you, as this is the first season I've sat out to date.

The idea of having SR (skill rating) impacted by individual player performance as it is now is a great idea -- especially if you are performing above your losing team -- but it doesn't always play out as intended. For starters if you're picking a popular character and don't do as well as the "expected" average, you won't shoot up as much in the rankings even if you win. It's an even bigger problem for support heroes, as applying quantitative restrictions against them doesn't account for big nuanced plays that lead to wins.

This is done under the allusion that "climbing is fun," which might be true for a brand new player, but not someone who's been playing since day one of competitive and is used to slotting into a correct tier. Pro player Jake Lyon of Luminosity Gaming Evil (who mostly plays Genji, Soldier, and Pharah) recently spoke to the channel Your Overwatch regarding the issue, who really dislikes the stat weights system. He explains that in a real competitive/eSports situation, raw numbers like damage won't matter if you're not actually playing your role correctly or you don't understand when to swap heroes mid-match. The entire interview is worth watching if you're really into comp play.

While some people might dig the changes in Season 5, it's yet another thing the Overwatch team will have to bring back to the drawing board as they try to appease both casual and hardcore fans.

This competitive season of Overwatch makes it harder to climb, and people aren't happy screenshot