If you were to check out the videos on my YouTube channel, the GIFs on my Gfycat account, or my screenshots in various Daily SPUF articles, you would notice that I’ve been stuck squarely in gold for the entirety of my competitive Overwatch career. On occasion I’m able to pull things together and drag myself into low platinum, especially back in Season 2 where Blizzard’s misbegotten bell curve strategy ensured that 70% of players were in plat, but it’s not long before I either settle back down or a new season starts and subtracts 500 SR for reasons I understand but intensely dislike. I’ve long since come to terms with the fact that the MMR has stuck me where I belong, and unless something drastically shakes my personal meta up (like, maybe the release of a new hero who clicks with me even better than Lucio), I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.
I admit I used to be a little rattled by this. Everybody wants to feel like they’re proficient in whatever hobbies they spend most of their time doing, and with my decades of FPS experience spanning back to Team Fortress Classic, the grandfather of the class-based shooter genre, I would like to think that I could be in the top half of Overwatch players rather than the third-lowest tier available. A lot of low-tier support mains on reddit like to blame the game’s team-based core elements for their position, usually arguing that supports can only do so much to influence their DPSes to actually kill the enemy. But I’ve never shied from personal responsibility, and I can’t really remember that many teams where the DPS didn’t seem to be doing their job. I rarely get the leavers, throwers, or vitriol-spamming ragers that r/overwatch complains are plaguing the competitive circuit; for the most part my games are hard-fought battles between two balanced teams where one manages to earn the win, and I’m equally likely to be on the winning or losing team. That would mean that I’m exactly where I belong.
But finally, thanks to Copa Lucioball, I was able to experience my lifelong dream and see a rank above low platinum. For exactly one competitive season, I blitzed through my placement matches winning more often than not, and placed into high Diamond! Several times since, I’ve been a single game away from Master’s, and it’s exhilarating to finally be in a tier that commands a modicum of respect.
Except, I’ve also learned a harsh lesson about those higher tiers; the game feels a lot less fun. I normally have a blast playing Lucioball, and I was having the time of my life during placement matches and in the early season. But at this point, I’m noticing the teams are using the most boring meta I’ve seen in the game mode. Both teams have at least two goalkeepers at any moment, and the goalies have perfected their arcs so that they can shoot the ball perfectly across the field to each other. The third player starts the game on offense, where he launches himself with the jump pads hoping to intercept a goalie shot and rebound it into the enemy goal. I’ve never seen this actually work, mind you, but it’s his best chance of breaking into the goalie ping-pong cycle. Once a team scores a single point, that player now moves back to become another dedicated defender with the hopes of locking down their half of the field for the rest of the match. I’ve never had less fun playing Lucioball than after a few games of this, and I’ve found myself sometimes going back to the non-competitive Arcade Lucioball just because the game actually feels fun again.
So in the end I’m grateful for the one-month Copa Lucioball season because it taught me a quick lesson about the tiers in Overwatch; it made me realize I should be happy where I am. Nobody is amazing in gold, myself included, but the games are really fun. I’d heard from plenty of people that the higher you go up the tiers, the more stressful everything gets and the less overall fun the games are, but like most learnings I had to experience it myself before I’d believe them.
Let’s just stick to the tiers where things like this can happen.