Advice on getting to Masters

Competitive Discussion
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Highly Rated
1) Don't spam the mic. Talk if you have to and if you need to. Spamming can be obnoxious, toxic, or just distracting. There will always be time to add someone as a friend or talk to them after the match about unrelated stuff.

2) Practice playing more than 1 - 2 heroes. If you can only main Lucio, Junkrat, Reinhardt, or Widow (as a few examples), chances are you won't be as useful to your team. Practicing and being good at multiple heroes makes you versatile and more likely to have a better game / win. Ideally: learn to play at least 2 heroes from each category - tank, support, offense, defense.

3) Don't split up your team if you don't have to. Grouping up can be bad if the enemy is about to do an AOE attack like Zarya or Sombra's ult, for instance. But chances are you can be better protected by your team, and target the enemy more effectively if you're grouped. When your team is spread out, it makes them easier to be picked off.

4) Target supports. Supports don't have much HP. They are therefore easy to kill. Killing them means the enemy team can't heal. Getting the enemy's Mercy down is especially useful. Before going into big team fights in particular, make sure your team is aware where the Mercy is. Try to take her out.

5) Treat your team politely. Your team won't even want to win if you treat them like crap. You are all here to play the game competitively. Learn how to be a good sport, learn how to lose a match humbly, and learn how to give / receive constructive criticism. This wouldn't be competitive if you never lost any matches, so expect it to happen sometimes.

6) Use the voice chat (if you have a mic)to call out whether an enemy is about to ult, if there's an enemy behind your team, etc.

7) Speak calmly. There's no reason to yell. Talking calmly, you will be heard and moreover your voice won't agitate people unnecessarily. If you're yelling at your team, chances are they will mute or ignore you.

8) Switch roles if you need to. Don't stick to one hero if it isn't working out for you. If your teammates want you to switch, maybe it's a good idea to do so.

9) Practice anticipating when you should use your ult. Timing is everything. The tab button is not so far away, just press it to see if anyone else on your team has their ults. It takes half a second to press that button, and half a second to glance below everyone's icon to see if they have their ults. If not, you can ask how close they are, but at least this way you'll know immediately if you can combo your ult with anyone.

10) Practice aiming for head-shots. If that means going into the training module with bots, do it. It goes a long way.

11) Be open to your teammates playing heroes. If you're on attack, but a teammate wants to play Widow, let them. Maybe they are even good enough to carry. What everyone needs to realize is that this game is versatile. There is more than one way to win a map. Give people a chance, but they should also switch off a hero if it's not working out.

12) Realize that climbing in SR takes time. Blizzard doesn't exactly always match you up perfectly with other people on your team that are precisely your skill level. If you're having a lose-streak, perhaps it is best to take a break. 5 minutes, 30 minutes, a day, a week, it's up to you. It wouldn't be 'competitive' if you never lost any matches.

13) As a follow-up to 12), be open to taking a break between your games. Sometimes it can help for you to collect yourself after a heated match. You can reflect what went wrong, what went well - for both teams.

I'll add more suggestions if people want. These are the big problems I see daily in my games. Last season, I solo queued my way from low Plat (~2400) to mid Masters (3700) by following these concepts.

Please add any other useful suggestions you think would help people if they practiced them.

Edit: Thank you for pinning this to the top! I'm glad this facilitated people learning more about competitive.

To the people telling me my SR is below masters, that I shouldn't be giving advice, etc: my career high is 3704. I played countless hours improving and learning. My advice is accumulated from that. I quit playing competitive once I reached 3704 last season and let it decay to 3000. I didn't go on a lose streak. I have, however, encountered lots of players this and last season who weren't familiar with the advice I put here. Also, just from a logical standpoint, my advice taken as an argument is independent of my SR.

Good-luck in your games!

Edit #2 edit boogaloo: got to masters this season (2nd time) @ 3511.

Edit #3: got to masters this season again @ 3508.
Highly Rated
Here are some random tips.

Shooting zarya's shield is sometimes worth it to secure a kill

Ulting to gain a small advantage several times is often better than waiting for 1 big ult - especially since the opportunity for a big ult might never actually happen.

Don't ult into a fight that your team has already basically won (I.e. 3v6)

Don't ult into a fight that your team has already basically lost (I.e. 4v6) unless you're VERY sure it will turn the fight around OR you need to stall

Don't wait in the early choke point for long periods of time on offense, an even trade is often an advantage because of the long walk back.

Always think about how safe you currently are — how hard would it be to get back to safety if you started getting shot at? Does the enemy have anything that can instant-kill you, or combo into an instant-kill? Can your healers see you? Are you in front of your tanks? Corners are your friend.

On defense, don't die. Even if it means getting fewer kills. Even if it means you're only bronze damage. If you're alive, you can contest the point. If you're alive, you can keep shooting and using your abilities. If you're dead, you don't have a chance to impact the game.

Try using your abilities more reactively: use Zenyatta ult because of some damage you see your teammates took or the Genji just ulted, not because "I was worried they might use it soon". Basically, use abilities when they're needed/helpful instead of trying to find uses for them every X seconds.

Don't reload when you could still be shooting (on characters without reload cancels). You might miss an opportunity for an easy kill.
Use more of your ammo before reloading, unless you really have nothing to shoot at

Don't do damage if you know there is NO WAY you can secure the kill unless it will get you an ultimate that you can use to turn the tides of battle SOON. Otherwise, you're just feeding the enemy healer ults, which will rez your 5-man, making it pretty pointless.

If Mercy says die on point, be so aggressive that your death is actually likely. Either you get some kills because you were so agressive, or you die and she can rez.

Remember you have a melee weapon, which is helpful for finishing off the enemy when you're a Damage over Time hero like Winston, or if you want to conserve ammo/don't have enough left to kill them otherwise.

Also remember that many abilities have multiple uses: things like Ana grenades

Look at the kill feed! Then you can know when both healers are dead and stop playing as if you're about to be healed.

Take this all with a grain of salt and correct me if any are wrong, currently only mid-high plat.
why is this at the top?

Im glad it is just never seen em do something like this.

Also How to get master (by a 2900sr player)
Highly Rated
Edit: Managed to achieve Masters in Season 5!
What I've learned:

Find your strengths.
First discover what skill you're really good at. Shotcalling? Mechanical Aim? Situational Awareness? Find the Hero that capitalizes on the play style. Then, get really good at them. Understand every little detail about the character, its synergies, its counters, everything. 'Getting Good' at a hero is just a loose term, but in my definition, it's getting good at what the hero's playstyle is meant to be. A player with godly mechanical aim will not be get the most value out of a hero such as Reinhardt, but will provide more value to the team as Widowmaker/Mccree. Work this out, and you will improve.

Don't force a particular comp.
Be open to any choice of hero selection. Judging a match's outcome on the hero select screen is the last thing you should do. Even if they've never played a particular hero before, at least give them a chance. Too many people I've seen tries to force a 2-2-2 comp, then get tilted when it doesn't go their way.

Focus on your own self-improvement.
Unless they're outright throwing, never blame your teammates. This only shifts the blame to them, and empowers yourself, causing you to stagnate and never improve. Take a vod of your own gameplay. Sounds cringey, but try to commentate your own gameplay in your head. When you start looking back, you will notice all the mistakes you did not realize earlier. Focus on one thing to improve at a time. Don't try to look at the pro players and force a certain playstyle upon yourself. Focus on yourself, improve your flaws, then look at the pro players for the micro details to fine tune your playstyle.


Enhancing/Reinforcing Game Knowledge
Take a little downtime each day to read up on the Hero statistics, understanding the Heroes traits (Damage done, skill abilities, cooldowns). The extra knowledge will prove beneficial to enhancing/reinforcing your game knowledge.

Aim to learn at least one new thing about the game each day. The overwatch wiki is an amazing place to get started with.

A Friendly Greeting
A friendly 'hello' in the team chat goes a long way. You need not be the team entertainer, telling them your entire life story.

Similar to a downward salt spiral, initiating, as well as being friendly on chat/voice could potentially lead to team members opening up, playing better and encouraging each other, eventually increasing your chances of winning the game. There's so many games in mid-high plat that we won (even 5v6) not because of 'skill', but through teamwork and not giving up!

Six Second Pause.
Sometimes, you get called out for being a 'bad player'. Being defensive is the first thing that'll come to mind, but that very same survival component (our amygdala) is what drags us down to lose games. Most games are lost not because of the individual's lack of skill, but the tilt which tunnels the team's awareness and emotions.

Take a deep breath, count to 6.

Be the better man.

Praise the accuser for his 'good' gameplay if you have to, if it means preventing the situation from spiraling out of control. Know that you have the power of diplomacy to make or break the team, which is greater than mechanical skill alone. Critique on your gameplay, switch if you have to, avoid mistakes if you need to. Review your game when it's over. Identify your mistakes, as well as how you can improve on your future games.

Hope this helps!
Highly Rated
Wow Blizzard has been busy controlling this forum.

Maybe putting some more advice threads and guides on top of the forum, so that people don't have to search an hour for some help, and people who come on this forum will have a good overview of all the good tips and tricks in the game.

I want my many guides here too!
Highly Rated
Some advice I've gathered from numerous content creators and my own personal experience..

Learn to ult when it's not "textbook"
Many lower ranked players ult at textbook times. Zen ulting a Graviton Surge, Genji ulting into a grav, Rein earthshattering almost instantly after being nanoed etc. But if you play this way you risk dying with ult if you hold onto it too long while waiting for the "Perfect Opportunity." As I have seen said in many a video (Cliff Terios's vid in this case): Do you want to be that Zen who waited to Transcendence a genji blade but died after being jumped while not ulting to save yourself, or do you want to be that Zen who popped his ultimate to stay in the team fight because Genji would have bladed after he killed you anyway, so why not pop Trans, stay in the team fight and not give in to a well executed dive?
To add, too many Zarya players wait for 6 man Gravitons. My best character in this game is easily Zarya, I can tell you that if you are on a map like Numbani and you have 2 supports and a tank running from you ready to be staggered through the mid-phase after first point, then grav them and stagger them before you lose them. Don't be scared.

If someone is getting to you, mute them
You know that feeling when someone is getting under your skin for whatever reason? Be an honest person with yourself and accept that you have to mute them. What do you gain from a loss of coms with them? No one has to watch you let rip when all goes badly because Mr. Toxic is goading you.

Stop talking over in-game sounds
Something I get at my friends for a lot. Clean coms win games. Sure be nice and sweet but I really don't want to have to mute people because I can't hear anything but their irrelevant chatter. On KotH most people can often have quite a bit of chat and still have productive coms due to the nature of the constant in-game downtime and time between rounds.

Make a large effort to praise enemy players who play well
Something I'm trying to practice myself, but often allowing yourself to see beyond "noooo, damnit that hook totally didn't hit me!" is a good thing. The more you allow yourself to respect other players, even if they happen to be firing random arrows into nowhere and headshot you, will allow you to save yourself from salt. Comment on what you could have done better if you die to junkrat spam, instead of mentally trash talking the area denial Junkrat who did their job great by letting you kill yourself to frag grenades.

Do not bring anything from previous matches or conversations into a new match
Nobody likes walking into a match where people are clearly acting based on their last encounter, or still talking about what their mother made them for dinner. Please refresh your conversations, or simply start with "Hey guys/<something brief and polite>" before continuing the tail end of what you were saying. It makes it clear that you're focused on the team, and are politely finishing your conversation after talking team composition/preference. The little bits go a long way

Play the objective! (Attackers, don't be afraid to push. Defenders, don't take the fight to the enemy if you can stall for even a few seconds longer!)
Try playing one match in QP where your attention is entirely on the objective. One of the best things that Pro team "Rogue" do in their payload matches is stall/play the objective. You can tell that this team never takes their focus off what the true essence of this game is. It's not team deathmatch, there is 3v3 elimination lockout for that. Competitive games all revolve around objectives. How many times have you seen a team win/lose an entire game because of pushing the payload 0.1m in that split second you "were definitely on the payload." If your team had focused the objective as much, maybe that split second would have turned into 5 seconds for your team, which is a huge amount of time when it comes to the final moments of any match.

Lose 2-3? Play another game mode or turn off OW for a bit
Losses bring tilt, so if things are going badly you may be queuing at a poor time for you, or you may simply be facing up against players who are having the best competitive day of their lives. Who knows. Either way take a breather, have a giggle, remember OW is fun. Competitive has a habit of forcing us into focusing on SR, and not enjoying how great this game really is.
Why is a Mid-Plat player giving advice on how to get to Masters? Don't get me wrong it's good advice but will come off as very misleading to some.
3700 is not high master, it's on the low end of mid. And you're 2700 this season. I bet you were 3650 and rounding up to 3700.

Just speculating to nitpick.

Most of it is good stuff, I soloQ'd to 3840 last season (actually "high master").
06/08/2017 06:31 AMPosted by ITSamurai
Why is a Mid-Plat player giving advice on how to get to Masters? Don't get me wrong it's good advice but will come off as very misleading to some.

This is a bit sad. I had the same issue as OP. Master one season, losing streak right back into plat right as placements began. Lol. (Huge middle finger to me, as I solo queued up there maining tank and heals. I'm finally giving up on solo and only playing with friends now.)

Placements can be a real !@#$%, but in the end it seems like SR and MMR can't make up it's mind on where some of us truly belong. No one should be masters one season and then plat the next, or the other way around.
Highly Rated
who cares if he is in masters or not lmao. He is giving extremely helpful advice that a majority of the people who play this game NEED to read lol. Thanks for the tips dude :)
Highly Rated
My biggest tip that helped me get to Masters.
Stop watching your SR and paying so much attention to it
When you let go of it, your SR will no longer affect how you play. Most people tilt hard between tiers because they'll be saying "if I can win one more game I'll be in the next tier!" and they end up losing, and then they lose some more.
Highly Rated
I like this thread, this is a good thread. I especially like:
06/07/2017 07:43 PMPosted by Integral
Don't do damage if you know there is NO WAY you can secure the kill unless it will get you an ultimate that you can use to turn the tides of battle SOON. Otherwise, you're just feeding the enemy healer ults, which will rez your 5-man, making it pretty pointless.
Very important tip. Only deal chip damage in one other instance though...

Pharmercy is Ruining My Game!
Unless you are Widowmaker or Hanzo, shoot Mercy first. Even if you are a sniper I'd still prefer you shoot Mercy first. Whenever you are not killing a healer you're ensuring a prolonged fight. A Pharah that isn't being healed at 60 HP-per-second is much easier to kill.

Anyway I'm in silver and climbing into gold. Want some more "Surviving Silver" tips?
  • You can't carry. You can try, but you can't. Go for the team plays instead of the sweeps.
  • If there is a Bastion you cannot contest the point until it is dead. Even if it takes all 6 of you to focus fire you need them dead. 500+ DPS can wipe your whole team if you aren't coordinated.
  • That attack Torb isn't a terrible idea. We'd all love them to be Soldier instead but in silver you can get away with a sneak turret setup fairly consistently.
  • If you hear the *whirrrr* of a sym attacking you, immediately run. Since she can deal 120 DPS and gets a 0.5 disconnect grace you essentially have 60HP less than you think you do.
I am so happy this thread was stickied. Need much more like this.
Doing all that on your own is all well and good, but if you are the only player on your team who is doing it, then more often than not, victory is a crap shoot.

Try to encourage the rest of your team to focus specific targets, come within LOS for heals, combo their ultimates etc.
Great advice! I got from high gold to 3.8k+ in 1 season (Not playing much on this acc cus friends that are lower, so I decayed down to 3.5k (last season), now did placements, got 3.3k+, decayd more. I only play on smurf with friends now, sorry for this english.

Please follow this advice, atleast dia guaranteed!
A lot of good advice on this thread that anyone should follow no matter where they are ranked.

I would also add that it's important to be patient in the ranking process because you will win games and you will lose some games. It happens, it' extremely hard to never lose.

It's important to keep your composure in the face of adversity. That adversity can come from the enemy team giving you all the attention so they and kill you. It can also come from trolls trying to tilt you. It's very important to be focused on the match so you can see clearly what is happening and make changes.

Finally, I would encourage all of us here to play with people who's company we have enjoyed.. It doesn't have to be friends, it can be an awesome Hanzo you had on your match. Befriend them and perhaps you can start making your own teams.

My vision for the game is that everyone will be part of a team and will enter competitive mode this way instead of solo queuing. We're not there and we may never be but I bet that this way, quality of games would increase and would eliminate most problems we face in competitive.

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