Overwatch‘s season 4 of Competitive Play is now live, and players are clamouring to blast through their placement matches, climb the ranks, boost their CP, and purchase those lucrative golden guns.
Placement matches are fairly important in Competitive Play, as they determine your starting rank before officially diving into ranked play.
These matches can prove to be tough going for newcomers and veterans alike, so I’ve put together some tips to help get your through and performing at your peak.
Focus on the game and only the game
Anyone that’s played Competitive Play has made the mistake of jumping in, only to have distractions in the background and people around bugging them.
Unlike Quick Play and Arcade, leaving a match early or simply not performing to your best in Competitive Play stands to have fairly significant consequences.
Jump into Competitive Play when you have the time to dedicate at least a good 20 minutes to a single match.
Not only do you stand to ruin your placement matches and ranking should you have to leave early, but you ruin it for your team who have all settled in to have a bout of Competitive Play.
Test your skills in Quick Play
This goes without saying but even if you’re familiar with the standards of Competitive Play, if you haven’t played Overwatch for a few days it’s good to jump into Quick Play or Arcade to just get your focus and familiarise yourself with the basics.
Practice with some heroes you’re not particularly familiar with if you have to. Just try to find a way to warm up your fingers and get yourself prepared.
Play with 2-3 friends, but no more
There’s two ways to queue in Competitive Play: solo, or with 2 friends, 3 at the most.
The reason for this is because if you move beyond that magic No.3 figure, but have less than a full team of 6, you’re likely to be matched against a 6-stack team that is well organised.
If it’s you and three friends, you still have two solo queues on your team, so your communication isn’t perfect. While everyone may be in the team chat, you’re not all familiar with each other.
Solo is probably the best way to go if you can’t find anyone you know. Staying as a team after a match probably isn’t ideal, either, unless you have a fully stacked team all in team chat.
If you’re in solo queue, chances are you’ll be matched against other solo queues, bringing the match quality down closer towards your own personal skillset, as everyone is similarly placed.
Have more than one “favourite”
If you’re going to select that one hero you’re comfortable with, Competitive Play is the place to do it.
But make sure you have more than one hero you’re familiar with across all classes. My personal “go-tos” are Tracer, Soldier, Mei, Junkrat, Winston, Reinhardt, Symmetra and Zenyatta.
I’m comfortable with all of those heroes, so should my team need to be balanced or my favourite hero has been taken, I can slide into another familiar role.
Take a break if you need to
This is especially important in placement matches. If you lose 2-3 matches in a row, take a break for a few hours and then return.
This isn’t due to matchmaking or anything like that: it’s just because when you go on a losing streak, you tend to fall into bad habits.
Personally, I admittedly find that I distance myself from my team in an effort to improve my own performance. That doesn’t help anyone, especially in Competitive.
If you find yourself struggling, play a few hours of Quick Play to get back into some good habits, and improve your skillset a little.
Have any tips for players jumping into Season 4? Sound off below!