Random Drop: Playing Your Part

Random Drop: Playing Your Part

The best part of Overwatch is playing with my friends. The trouble is that they tend to do better than me at console shooters (presently just shy of gold). This could be due to my being a PC gamer for most of my life or being left-handed and too lazy to re-learn with the sticks switched. It doesn't matter. What does is finding a way to not drag anyone else down the ladder with me. To that end, and for anyone else in the same boat, here's some easy principles to keep in mind that will help you contribute in ways other than your elimination count (and maybe even improve your skill along the way).

1. Play Main Healer

I know, this one seems obvious, and yes, I know playing support can seem dull (you're wrong though), but it still never fails to amaze me how hesitant almost everyone in the lower ranks is to pick a healer. Without a healer, most of your team is left to constantly scramble and separate to find health packs maintain full strength between fights. No fancy shooting or risky maneuvering is necessary. We can't all be DSPStanky, nor should we try. Just pick either Mercy or Lucio (or with a bit more practice, Zenyatta or Ana), and make it your mission to never let your teammates fall below 25% HP. Of course, this lust for life must be tempered for the sake of my next point.

2. Don't Die

Another one that seems like it should be obvious, but not so much when actually playing. There are not many things you can be doing in a match that are less useful than running back from spawn (Unless you're Lucio and helping taxi your teammates back together with speed boost. You are doing that, right?).

This is especially true when healing. I know it's tempting to follow that Reinhardt that just charged their lines, but don't. He made his choice and now he's a lost cause. Right now the rest of your team needs you to give them a big survivability advantage now that shields are out of the equation. Know which enemy heroes can take you down in an instant and constantly keep an eye out for them (EG: Roadhog, Tracer, and Reaper). Always keep in mind an escape route. If things get too dicey, either run and hide until an opportunity to rez presents itself (Mercy) or fall back towards your spawn to help the rest of your team get back in the fight (Lucio).

"Oh I'm sorry, did you just blow three ultimates?"

"Oh I'm sorry, did you just blow three ultimates?"

As a support, you're going to have a huge target on your back, and any time the enemy team wastes trying to pick you off unsuccessfully is time the rest of your team can do their job more easily, so dodging fire should take priority over shooting back.

3. Pick a Flank & Watch it Like a Hawk

This one applies more when defending. Instead of sending random potshots down the main route or making vain attempts to hold the enemy at their spawn, simply keep an eye on a side flank. Healing your team should be your top priority, but rather than trying to apply additional damage to the front lines, keeping an eye on the side routes and warning your team when enemies advance along them (you are on voice chat, right?) can preclude what would otherwise be a game changing flank. This allows the rest of your team to focus on holding the front lines, rather than having to watch their backs constantly. Depending on the map, this can also present a whole host of opportunities for Lucio to get environmental kills.

4. Use the Buddy System

If you're not sure what to do to help your team as a whole, try picking a hero that has more direct synergy with at least one other hero, and make them your patron. Zenyatta makes a great addition to a Soldier, boosting his already impressive burst damage and sustain. Mercy pairs excellently with a Pharah, Tracer, or Genji since not only can she keep with their mobility and well timed use of damage boost can make the difference enemy players dying or escaping. Despite the nerf to her ultimate, Ana can turn a decent Roadhog into the freakin' Terminator. It takes a little bit of communication, but this can be a very fun and relatively easy way to play the game.

Ultimately, you gotta play in whatever way is fun for you. Not everyone is capable of pulling off Widomaker trick shots or solo-killing the entire team with a godly Dragon Blade, but thanks to the impressive lineup, there's a way for players of all skill levels to feel like they're contributing and to help their team come out on top.

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