Getting out of ELO Hell and winning in Competitive Overwatch
ELO Hell is the concept of being stuck at a particular skill rank with the assumption that climbing out of that rank is beyond your control. You feel like you cannot climb beyond a certain threshold, not matter what you do. In the short term, this may be true. There are days in Overwatch when you can get 3 leavers in a row, or 3 throwers in a row. You may feel that circumstances are beyond your control. For that individual day, you are right, a series of unfortunate events (no pun intended) has sent your ELO down. But, in the long run, over the course of a few days or a few weeks or a few months of player, the biggest factors determining your ELO are completely in your control. Below I will list 10 basic tips to climb of “ELO hell”
These are my basic tips as a top 500 player, for overcoming this feeling of “ELO hell” and climbing to a higher rank in Overwatch.
Many people, myself including from time to time, focus on their rank number and either get upset if it’s dropping or happy if it’s going up. Shifting your focus away from your rank, and focusing on winning each individual game can help a lot. Stop thinking “We are going to lose” or “We are going to win” and get yourself in the habit of identifying the factors causing wins and losses.
2. Join the team voice channel
Start off each game by being in the voice channel. Simply being in the voice channel has a significant positive impact on your odds of winning for 2 reasons:
1. It shows your teammates that you are ready to be a team player and win the match. If they see you out of the voice channel, it will raise a red flag and may make them anxious, which will negatively affect their game-play, reduce their trust in you, increase their tilt factor, and ultimately reduce your chances of winning.
2. Being in the voice channel allows you to hear call outs and understand the situation. Overwatch is a team game, which means the best coordination wins. Even if you are a skilled dps, and you think you can tough it out on your own without being in comms, joining comms will give you an edge and improve your performance. Join them and listen for enemy positioning and allied plans of action.
3. Respect and a Positive Attitude
Respecting your teammates and having a positive attitude are 2 factors that are often overlooked. If you have a positive attitude, your attitude can spread and overpower any negative feelings. One simple way to achieve a lasting positive team attitude is to start off the match right at the beginning with generally encouraging statements and compliments. Some examples could be “Hey, I know you are going to pop off on genji, I believe in you man.” or “This team comp looks great, I believe in all of you” or “Everyone having a good day today? Let’s win this shit”. You can make up your own, but try this. Your goal is to break the ice, make people feel good, get your teammates talking with one another, trusting one another, and liking one another. Create a positive and happy atmosphere however you do it best, but don’t just sit back and let the negative people or trolls control the mood. During the match, when a teammate does something really good, or even a little bit good, enthusiastically praise them. If someone is making mistakes then politely discourage the behavior by making them aware of they mistakes. Here useful reference for translating your impulsive first thought into a constructive critique:
A teammate is repeatedly at the wrong place at the wrong time and keeps getting killed.
Don’t say: “HEY STOP FEEDING YOU FUCKING IDIOT THIS IS THE 3RD TIME.”
Do Say: “Hey reaper, just try to look around before you go in. We want to help attack with you, but you go in before we can get there to help you. Just be careful of that. No worries though, you got this”
A teammate keeps using their ult at a weird time and it doesn’t work very well.
Don’t say: “NICE GRAV YOU IDIOT!” or “WHY DID YOU WASTE GRAV?”
Do Say: “Nice try nice try, it happens. Next time, just try to wait until they are all grouped up before you grav. You got this man>’
A teammate is being countered on a certain hero.
Don’t say: “SWITCH OFF YOU FUCKING IDIOT” or “CAN YOU FUCKING SWITCH?”
Do say: “Phara, I think they are countering you now. They have a soldier and a widow, it is going to be very difficult for you to play Phara. Maybe switch to a different dps of your choice? Thanks man.”
Never say mean things to a teammate. This is the exact opposite of the goal you are trying to achieve. A negative mood can be just as infectious as a positive one, and your comment can send the whole team into a downward spiral. If someone is performing poorly, say or type something like “Hey, person x, do you mind if you switch with me or person y and you go heal? Person y is really good at that role and I think it might help us win. Thanks for switching man.” Always ask in a positive way while avoiding anything that might make them feel bad about themselves. Insults and snide comments may feel good to get off your chest, but they have a negative impact on the team and decrease your chances of winning so don’t shoot yourself in the foot.
It can be tempting to focus on your teammates and their performance, but at the end of the day, you can’t always control what another person is going to do. It is usually a better option to focus on what character you can pick and what you can do as an individual to help the team. This doesn’t mean you should pick tracer and try to be a hero and 1 v 6 them all. It means picking a character and a play style that will compliment the team’s existing set up. If you have a Rein solo tank, help him out by going Zarya. If nobody wants to go healer, take the bullet and heal for the team. If the team is having trouble getting kills, and you think you can do a better job, politely ask to swap roles. Think about yourself in relation to your team’s position. If a guy on your team keeps going out of position and dying, use that behavior to your advantage. He can create a distraction for you while you kill an enemy or back cap the point.
5. Watch really good Overwatch players on Twitch and Youtube
A simple way to improve your individual skill and game knowledge, is to watch really good players; ones that are Grandmaster and top 500. These players know how to win, and it can be just plain fun to watch them. Certain educational streamers like Kabaji and KarQ can be particularly helpful because they are top 500 and they usually explain what they are doing and why as they play the game.
KarQ is good if you are trying learn more about the game in general. His stream and Youtube channel are very informative: https://www.youtube.com/user/KarQGames
Kabaji is good if you are trying to understand how to become a better dps https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGVTlyKpCT0Tes2DhHAaNcg
Fahzix is good for learning support: https://www.twitch.tv/fahzix