Maybe the real objectives were the friends we made along the way… – Anna plays Overwatch
My friends who don’t play competitive mode in Overwatch usually assume that you have to have your shit together and that the matches are full of people who know what they are doing. That might be true for the very high ranked people. But for most of the rest? Not so much. Here is a story from last night:
I have 30 seconds to choose my character. Two people are already fighting in the chat who gets to insta pick Genji. I look at their profiles, they are both Genji mains an neither of them seems to be actually hitting something. I let out a deep sigh. When I get back to character picks there is a Widowmaker and a Bastion. We are playing assault. and both of them are level 25. For a brief moment I consider just picking D.Va and ignoring the rest of your team but I’m are a support player deep inside, and support is what I pick. Someone else joins and goes D.Va so the choice is no longer there anyways. Then, suddenly, another player picks Mercy and I rejoice. Good choice! With two supports we might have a chance at this after all. The moment I pick Zenyatta as the the second support they switch away to Hanzo. Of course they do. I resign myself to my fate and switch to Mercy myself. I have the feeling we are going to need her ultimate dearly later on.
The countdown runs down, Hanzo and Genji are trashing the spawn room, someone insists our group needs another tank. A player sacrifices themselves and picks… Roadhog. As soon as the game starts I think “at least I’ll get a gold medal for healing” and run after my slightly suicidal team and into the fray. With sheer dumb luck we manage to actually get to the payload. Genji is somewhere at the other side of the map, repeatedly spamming for heals that will never come. Roadhog keeps using his self heal when no enemies are around, trying his best to not give his support their ult charge at all. I hear Widomaker shooting constantly – the other team is alive and well. Their Reinhardt shields almost everything, their Tracer is a thorn in our side. No one takes them out. Their Pharah keeps obliterating almost our entire group. But our Widowmaker doesn’t seem to know what a headshot is. She switches to Soldier but even the enemy team soon realises they can only aim during his ultimate. I revive almost the entire team only to see them die one by one again seconds later.
Meanwhile the enemy Widowmaker keeps taking me out with a brutal efficiency. And with some creativity. I feel I know this map well, I know the sports to avoid but she keeps showing up in unexpected places. “Damn, you are really good at sniping.” I write in the match chat while I wait to respawn after she took me out for the third time. I get a line of smiley emoticons back and a friend request popping up almost immediately. Later she writes me that her team kept complaining about her pick and that I made her day. Somehow, being shot in the head repeatedly turned into something really nice?
After getting focused down again and again as Mercy I give up switch to Zenyatta and proceed to repeatedly take out the enemy Pharah and their Tanks in record times – on my own. I even manage to get Widowmaker once. She sends a smiley emote via chat. My team doesn’t take the opportunities to push through. Instead they complain about not getting healed all while running away from the payload during transcendence.
Roadhog finally sees the light and switches to Reinhardt. I feel a shimmer of hope, like we may be able to win this after all. The enemy team tries to push us off the payload aggressively but we will be fine, Reinhardt’s shield is at full health and for once they hit the targets I discord. But I suddenly see him start moving suspiciously. “Rein, don’t drop the shield, don’t charge!” I want to scream into the chat but it is too late. Just as I’m thinking this he drops the shield and charges into the enemy assault line on his own. “I need healing!” I hear him yell as I desperately hide behind the payload, trying to avoid the entire enemy team focusing me down yet again. D.Va takes pity on me and shields me as well as she can.
“Why don’t you heal your team?” The Reinhard player angrily writes in the chat while he waits to respawn. “Yes, why don’t you heal damn it?” The Genji player adds. He just died because he accidentally double jumped off the map. “I am sorry, but I can’t heal stupidity.” I shoot back, having no tolerance for babysitting anymore. The D.Va gives me a thumbs up and with that she just became my new best friend. In an unspoken agreement I keep my healing orb exclusively on her and she focuses down everyone I discord. It shouldn’t work this well but it somehow does. She shields the right amount of damage from me and I pocket her as the two of us take out the entire enemy team while the rest of your own team struggles to get out of the spawn room. The Genji ragequitted and a confused Mei joins the game that has no idea what is happening. The enemy team struggles to get back on their feet – my only explanation for that is that they are so confused by our team’s irrational play style that they don’t know what hit them.
In the end we loose in overtime by a matter of seconds. But our D.Va got the play of the game and I think it was a thing of beauty. “NOOB!” the Reinhardt player writes in capslock as I’m looking at my gold medals for healing, objective time and objective kills. I sigh again. There is a sound popping up – a friend request from the D.Va. I accept and am somewhat happy I made two new friends to play with. As I think about how the nice spontaneous camaraderie with D.Va might actually be a better thing than simply winning a game I briefly wonder if I am slowly becoming my character…