Ranking up in Overwatch’s competitive scene can be difficult, especially if you’re trying to coordinate your efforts with random players. It can be utterly infuriating when a game based purely on team synergy feels like a solo experience, and even being placed within a decent team can feel like an uphill struggle. While Overwatch’s competitive play can have its frustrating lows, it’s the exhilarating highs that keep us coming back. So what can you do to increase your winrate and maximise the odds of your team succeeding when playing ranked?
Attack and defend as a team
Don’t trickle in one at a time. Your chance of surviving and your overall impact are greatly diminished when you jump into a teamfight solo. Walking single file into the enemy is such a common occurrence in both competitive and casual levels of play that it’s easily one of the main reasons people lose games. When you die, your instinct is to rush back to the fray, but this is rarely the best option. If there are five or six opponents alive and they’re holding down a position, you will only make matters worse by engaging them one at a time. Never think you can take on the enemy team by yourself.
Turn on your killfeed to see which teammates died recently. This will allow you to gauge whether it’s best to get back to the fight and support your remaining allies or whether you should wait and regroup. If you find most of your teammates keep getting picked off it’s better to simply regroup and re-engage. Attacking and defending as one unit is much stronger than just two or three heroes trying to take on the enemy team. You’re better of waiting for your team and attacking together.
Take care when flanking
If you flank and find yourself waiting for your team or end up in a precarious situation just disengage or deny your enemy the kill. There’s no point wasting valuable time waiting for your team to push and distract your opponents. You’re of little use to your team and easy pickings for the enemy who will capitalise off your bad positioning. Only flank if you're certain you won't get caught and if you can actively communicate with your team so they know when to engage. Flankers run a very high risk of being killed before the initial engagement and can result in an instant a 5 vs 6 fight for your team. A flanker should participate in the team fights but prioritise picking off high value targets from the sides or behind.
Don’t be afraid to communicate to your team. Tell them that you’re being flanked by an enemy Tracer, tell them that your ultimate is up and you want to engage, let them know enemy positions. You will increase your chances of winning a game if you are proactive in your communication. We all know how useful Widowmaker’s Infra-Sight is for the team, but you don’t need to be able to see the heat signatures of targets through walls to relay similar information. The more details and information your team has on your opponents, the easier it is to coordinate and repel potential attacks.
Refusing to switch heroes when your team lacks a certain role can lose you the game before it’s even started. If you decide you’re playing Genji and disregard your team's overall composition the enemy will simply capitalise on your weaknesses, and use your stubbornness against you. Instead be more flexible in your picks, choose Mercy if your team requires a support, go for Reinhardt if you need a tank. There’s no point refusing to change or demanding others to if you’re not willing compromise yourself. Master a hero from each role so you can fill and switch effectively, it’s no good picking Lúcio if you’ve never played him before, instead use quick match games as a testing ground to learn a plethora of heroes. Having the ability to quickly change your role to counter your opponents will instantly put you leagues ahead of those that main just one hero.
Try not to hesitate (but be smart about it)
Don’t hesitate when you see an opportunity to punish the enemy team. Again look at your kill feed and see how many players are alive and then decided whether it’s worth pushing the payload or jumping onto a control point. If you’re about to die don’t bother using your ultimate as a last resort. Yes you may get a kill or two from it, but at higher levels of play teams rely on synergising their ultimates to lock down and neutralise the main damage threats.
For example, Zarya's ultimate pulls in all nearby enemies and when this is combined with Pharah’s Barrage, Hanzo's Dragonstrike, Tracer's Pulse Bomb or McCree's Deadeye you will absolutely devastate the enemy team. If you hesitate to follow up on an engage or miss an opportunity to kill multiple enemies you are likely to get killed as a result. We all make mistakes, especially at high levels of play where the pressure to perform increases, but this doesn’t mean you should be afraid to go through with your initial instincts.
Check your kill-cam
Your kill cam is a valuable feature that provides you with a few seconds of game changing information that you can use to your advantage. Say if you die to Pharah and you see she has access to her Barrage ability you can relay this information to your team mates. Tell them not to group up so they can avoid her ultimate and negate its overall potency. You can see turret placements and even where Symmetra’s Teleporter is located. Watching the kill-cam not only gives you a better understanding of enemy movements, it also helps you improve as a player to see how and where you went wrong. So instead of outright skipping the kill-cam make it habit to check it occasionally. After all, you never know what information is hidden behind the lens.