Playing Your Part: DPS Edition
My last Overwatch post gave some tips for relatively low-skill players to wring every bit of value out of some of the support heroes in order to punch above their weight class. Here we're going to expand that idea into finding the low hanging fruit within some of the DPS hero selections while improving your skill along the way.
1. Practice Aiming
It sounds obvious, but take all the other components of good DPS play such as positioning, game sense, ult timing, and it all falls apart if you can't consistently hit your shots. While playing the game can result in gradual improvement, time spent dedicated solely to improving accuracy can pay dividends. Even just ten minutes practicing tracking bots can make a huge difference.
So put on a podcast and put in the time. I know working on tracking and head-shots on the practice range or against Ana bots is tedious, but it's better than spending that time running back from spawn because you're getting outshot by just about every enemy you come across.
2. Never Fight Fair (AKA: Don't Die 2.0)
Just like I brought up previously, time spent running back from spawn is time spent not helping win the game. For healers the solution to this problem is easy. Anytime you're getting shot at, run away. Damage dealers don't have it quite so easy though. Your job is to take the fight to the enemy. The trick is to be somewhat selective about when and against whom you do this, and when you should fall back until a more advantageous situation presents itself.
Now there are certain situations that are no-brainers when making such decisions. Try and stay out of Roadhog's sights when his hook is up, don't bring a Reaper to a Pharah fight, etc. With time though, you can gain a finer sense of which match-ups do and don't work well for your particular skill set and hero selection. Armed with this knowledge you'll know when to stick it out, and when to get out of dodge. Time spent running away from a fight you'll probably lose anyways to rally with the rest of your team is always better than time spent running back from spawn.
Additionally, Overwatch is a team game, not a dueling game (1v1 Arcade modes notwithstanding). This takes the emphasis away from individual skill, which for less experience players is a great thing so long as you strive to never get caught by yourself. Veterans of other team based shooters such as Counter-Strike or Team Fortress should already know that striking out on your own is a sucker's game and isn't how you win. So instead of sprinting right to the objective from the spawn, head towards another teammate, or wait the extra few seconds for one to spawn with you, and get their back.
3. Try To Help, Not Win
This goes more into the mindset when trying to contribute to your team's efforts rather than any specific course of action. Rather than worrying about how many kills or how much damage you rack up, try instead to focus on enabling the efforts of your teammates to secure kills and hold objectives. For support heroes, this is easier to do since their entire kit is based around this concept, but when playing DPS, it requires a bit more thought.
Take Tracer for example. I'm not the best at finishing off opponents from the enemy back-line, especially in direct duels, so instead of trying to play to what I know is a weakness for me, I opt for a more hit and run style. I get behind their team, and pick at a target. When they turn their attention to me, I disengage. After I shake them, I repeat the process, calling out which enemies are near death and finishing off low health targets if it doesn't put me at too great a risk of getting killed. Doing this enough can divide an enemy team's attention and their ability to work together.
A similar Widowmaker strategy for the accuracy-challenged: Make it your job to carve as much excess health from easy to hit enemy tanks, always keeping your grappling hook handy for any enemies that dive or flank you. This not only helps even the odds for my front-line allies, but it forces the enemy team to have to split their forces in order to deal with me. When they inevitably do so, have in mind ahead of time an escape route and let your team know there's a lonely enemy hero just begging to be picked off. I don't see a lot of gold medals doing this, but this isn't a deathmatch, so that shouldn't matter.
4. Don't Play Genji
Just trust me on this one. You'll be much better off if you just leave this one alone.