How to Climb by Improving your Solo Queue Mentality and Mindset

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So in this video I wanted to talk about solo queue mentality, and what I think is an appropriate way to improve or climb up the ladder. The inspiration of this video comes from a few different sources, but one of the more important ones being Reddit. If you go to one of the subreddits like OverwatchUniversity, you will likely find people asking “How to I climb?” “How do I get out of elo hell? Its Impossible” “How do I get to X rank” and its not really a surprise that if within the post they go on to explain about how they do so well every single game, and that they have 3-4 gold medals all the time, and that they destroy the enemy players in their game but still cannot seem to win. And to me its a little bit strange that the poster usually is so vague in what they want, because it just seems like they’re just looking for some “how to climb quick” answer, and that its just one special secret or some sort of knowledge they don’t have that will magically help them climb to whatever elo that they’d like. And amongst some players, there will always be the excuse of “oh well my teams always troll me” or “elo hell, its impossible to climb with team-mates like these” and its actually a bit funny to me when they say that when there are people whom can easily just breeze past whatever rank the person is complaining about. So like if someone in bronze/silver/gold is complaining that the teammates are just so bad that they cannot carry, there are a lot of people that will just breeze past their ranking like there’s no problem. And they are complaining that its too hard to carry and they’re such good players that should be playing at diamond/masters/grandmasters.

It’s kind of funny, people seem to think that the system is at fault for not putting them at the rank that they “deserve” but I don’t think they really realize that it doesn’t matter what kind of system we get, or how generous Blizzard makes it, because at the end of the day regardless of what rank you are it doesn’t change who you are as a player. Sure you might have a rank that is a little bit shinier than the next guy to you, but just having the rank alone doesn’t make you a better player. And another thing, people seem to think that just getting higher up on the ladder means that it gets better, as if being in Grandmasters or top 500 instantly makes the game a lot better or its “elo-heaven” where games will just be a breeze and everyone will cooperate and work together. But its kind of interesting why people think that, because some of them have never experienced what the higher rank are like. And me myself, I have been lowest diamond and made it to the top 500 in season 3, and just the other day someone in Diamond was telling me that the games are truly uncarryable and that I don’t understand what those kind of games are, which seems kind of odd to me because me myself started out in Diamond when I first started playing the game, and I can tell you from experience that it isn’t necessarily true. Sure the players on your team may not be as good as if you were in GM or top 500, but that speaks for the enemy team as well. If you start to learn the game a little bit better and start to get good habits, and start improving your game then you will easily be able to punish players who aren’t as good as you are.

Just having the medals alone doesn’t really tell you the story of the game, it doesn’t tell you anything. Sure it will give me the benefit of the doubt that you may have performed better than some other people on your team, but it really doesn’t describe much if you have a McCree on your team and you’re playing Soldier, and you’re just ramming the Reignhardt shield all day and have most damage done, it doesn’t tell me anything. Like sure, even if you want to say that my experience was just luck you can see a lot of different people on youtube and reddit that are doing bronze-grandmaster challenges, and bronze-top 500 challenges, and even a guy on Reddit that was a DPS main who has 5 different accounts in Grandmasters, and he has a series of him doing placement matches – so its a little bit funny that people can say that the rank is just uncarryable and what-not or that there teammates are the things that’re holding them back. Because when they end up thinking like that I think that is what really stops them from getting better, because they don’t bother to look at themselves and they just blame their teammates which becomes a never-ending cycle of anger and frustration.

This sort of thing seems to happen in teamgames like League of Legends, people will always complain about the teammates holding them back and that its impossible to climb, and then they fool themselves into thinking they’re playing so well because they have the most damage, or the most eliminations, or the most objective kills without realizing that they themselves aren’t doing anything to help themselves climb. They aren’t even looking at themselves to see what mistakes they made, its always just about their teammates and what mistakes they made. You can think of it like this: If you were to have decent teams every game, then the rank that you desire wouldn’t be as impressive anymore. If it was so easy to get diamond, or masters, or grandmasters, for every single player – then having diamond, masters, grandmasters, top 500, wouldn’t really be something to be impressed or happy about, would it? Because everyone could do it so easily – it doesn’t require any sort of struggle, so it would no longer be impressive. To me it seems really silly to rely on random people on the internet that you have never met or know anything about to fulfill your expectations. You are going to have games where you are winning all game and then you end up losing a teamfight because your supports died and then the enemy team snowballed the payload all the way to the end, making you lose the game. It happens to everybody, people make mistakes all the time and you should accept that. You should also accept that you cannot control the other 5 people on your team, you cannot tell them what to do. If they want to play Torb or Hanzo, not saying that they’re bad characters – but those 2 characters seem to get a lot of hate from people, yet theres nothing you can do to stop them execpt ask them to switch off. But if they don’t switch off there is nothing else you can do, you cannot control anyone else in this game so you shouldn’t worry about them. Just worry about yourself and the factors you can control, which is just you alone.

A good way to think about it is as a single player game. I know single player and multi player games aren’t the same, but you can think of it as a Single player game where level 1 is bronze, level 2 is silver, level 3 is gold, level 4 is plat, etc. And in single player games, you do sort of trial and error, so you fight a boss for the first time and the boss destroys you – so what do you do? You try to figure out the bosses patterns, and you try and figure out what you can do to avoid the bosses attacks or some sort of strategy so you can beat the boss. Either that or you go online and you look up a guide on how to do it. You can take that same type of attitude to Overwatch, for instance you can go online and look up guides on how certain matchups work, or effective strategies on certain maps when the situation is there, or you can also just play the game and consciously look out for different things that you can do, and do VOD reviews to try and figure out what you can do better the next game, or in the next time the situation pops up. You just have to look at yourself and see what you could be doing to improve yourself as a player, and don’t worry about what your teammates are doing – because regardless of what your team is doing it shouldn’t matter because it doesn’t stop you from getting better as a player. Regardless of what they’re doing, if they’re trolling and running in while using ultys incorrectly it doesn’t stop you from getting better as a player. If anything you can learn from those experiences and learn to deal with those kind of situations which will make you better as a team player and teach you to deal with those situations so the next time they come up you will know how to react better or react appropriately.

So if you are to take this kind of mindset then you should realize that things aren’t going to improve right away as soon as you finish watching this video and play a game – you aren’t going to suddenly stop winning all of your games. Its going to take time because you’re going to have to figure out what you’re doing wrong and figure out a way how to improve it as well as do a bit of possible research to see what other players people are doing or what strategies are good to use in certain situations. So its going to take time for you to improve, but I personally believe that this is definitely a good way to start your journey into becoming a better player, because it focuses on you instead of worrying about what everyone else is doing. And instead of worrying about the result of the game, you are worrying about what you could be doing as a player to influence the results of the game. But the actual results of the game doesn’t matter, because its just about you and how you can improve. As you learn the game the results will come in, as you learn to get better and better as a player thats where your ranking will start to come and you will start climbing and climbing little bit by little bit. And you may have some times where you are trying to learn something and then it suddenly clicks and you get another nice burst of ranking, but what you have to keep in mind is that its just about you improving as a player. The results don’t matter, your teammates don’t matter, its just about how you yourself can improve as a player and what you can do to strongly impact the game.

And before committing yourself to doing this you should really ask yourself if you really want to climb – like the idea of being a masters/grandmaster/top 500 player may be nice to you, but do you really want to put in the effort/work depending on what rank you are – so like if you are a gold player that wants to get top 500, you are going to need to put in the work to learn everything and practice your mechanics or what not in order to get to the top 500. And if you aren’t willing to put in the time to doing that then perhaps you should just stick to whatever rank you are and just play quickplay with friends, if you can’t handle all of the trolls/etc that you have to go through, and all of the bad losing streaks required in order to get what you want, then perhaps its just better that you stay just whatever rank you are and just play quick play with friends and have fun. But if you really want to put in the work to achieve whatever rank you want, then the opportunity for you to do it is there – and you just need to put in the work and time in order to do it. It’s not like some people are just destined to be top 500 players, sure some people might be able to get to grandmasters or top 500 much easier than the other person, but that doesn’t stop the people who have to put in more time from getting there. Especially if you’re new to the FPS genre, you’re going to have to put in more time then someone who has played TF2 for 11 years or something like that. If you are new to this type of game then it is going to take you more time and effort compared to the other person who has had much more experience with this type of game. But if you really want it then the opportunity for you to get it is there, you just need to be able to put in the time and the effort to do so. So you should really ask yourself whether or not this is really something you want to do, and if its just the idea that you like, then perhaps you should try and figure out what you really want to accomplish in this game. Whether its just getting to gold, platinum, diamond, masters, grandmasters, whatever – you just need to be honest with yourself and just figure out what you’re going to do with this game, whether you just want to have fun, or climb the ladder to somewhere, you just need to figure out what you want to do.

The opportunity is always there, it just takes time. I don’t think most people realize how much time some people put into this game, you don’t really see how much time people practice their aim, or practice positioning or something like that – because its not something thats really shown on streams or things like that since its mainly used for entertainment. There also aren’t a lot of videos of people doing practice routines or everyday practice, trying to improve. You don’t see what goes on behind the scenes, especially in pro-play. You don’t see them scrimming, you don’t see them doing VOD analysis and stuff like that. And whether or not they do that stuff or don’t is completely up to them, but for the teams that do you don’t get to see that kind of stuff. So the time that they put into practice is something that you don’t see, and can maybe make you believe that some people are just naturally better than others, which is true – but its not to say that they just don’t practice and don’t put in any time and are just good. They still need to put in time and practice to improve at the game and what not, just like everybody else.