Esports pro series – How to get to pro level playing Overwatch
A big part of becoming an Overwatch pro player has very little to do with actual gameplay. You need tenacity, determination, time, resources and ideally, a connection or two in the biz, but at the end of the day, skill is, of course, a factor.
Once you join a team as a pro player, you’re already pretty much guaranteed to be good. Pro teams train practically every day in order to improve their already considerable skill-set, but in order to get there, you have to improve your skills all on your own first. There are different ways to do this and different strategies you can employ to improve your skills.
1. Get to know your characters
For a character-driven game like Overwatch – and also games like LoL, Dota, and similar titles, it all starts and ends with the unique characters and their abilities. Get to know them, their skills, movement speeds and everything else.
The same also goes for the maps – get to know them so well you could navigate them with your eyes closed. You probably shouldn’t practice that during a ranked match, but you will definitely need to know the maps like the back of your hand.
As for the characters – there are countless strategy guides online, so you can look up any info that you may not yet have. Next, you will want to practice playing with all the different characters. While it’s true that pros often specialise, they will usually still be above average for most of the other characters.
2. Practice, practice, practice
This one is pretty obvious – in order to get better, you need to practice regularly. Make sure you practice both things you’re already good at, and things you can’t do well yet. If you don’t, you may miss out on developing certain key skills or you may lose an edge you already had.
Set yourself goals like you may have done for school. Whether it’s a weekly, monthly or daily goal, do your best to set and meet it. This means that you should try to come up with something like ‘play X games as character Y’ or ‘execute combo Z X times’.
Do your best to meet your goals but don’t sweat it if you can’t always pull it off – it’s not a test, after all, so don’t forget to have fun!
You’ve probably seen some of the elaborate strategies pro players use in their games. Knowing when to use what skill is a good start, but it’s certainly not enough. Coming up with creative uses or combinations of skills and characters is actually far more important – most players will have some understanding of when to use certain skills, but combining them in inventive ways is something you won’t necessarily find in every match.
Overwatch’s newest hero is a good example of this – Hammond ‘Wrecking Ball’ has a grappling hook that can be used to swing across the map. That much is pretty obvious, but you can also use that hook to swing around poles for as long as you’d like. In other words, if you somehow wanted to spend five minutes swinging around a pole, you could. That’s not exactly going to get you any kills, but it can help you stay out of sight or get behind or above an enemy. Similarly. You can combine that hook with another ability of his – Piledriver. That one has you slamming down and doing damage on impact, while also knocking the enemy into the air.
The point is, you have options, and there are probably some combinations and strategies that haven’t been explored yet – maybe you can be the one to perfect a whole new strategy?