This week on Boss Rush, we’re going to be doing something a little different. As our regular readers will know, this is usually the segment wherein we’ll talk about some of our favourite, unbeatable bosses. However, for the last few weeks, there’s only one unbeatable boss I’ve been facing off with; my own ELO. For those who don’t play MOBA’s, ELO can be summed up as the unseen skill rating that competitive ladders use to calculate gains and losses between games.
Overwatch recently launched their competitive mode, having completely overhauled the system since their beta testing. However, despite their efforts, the results have been… interesting to say the least. Now, this system has many flaws. It’s a system that rewards KDA over other statistics, such as healing. This cripples the scores of support players, despite their best efforts. The system also has several flaws regarding their “Underdog” rating, which gives players of higher skill rating less XP for winning. On top of this, the system is also bugged to only reward a quarter of usual XP for winning in games where someone leaves, even if the person that left was on the winning team! In short, everything is a mess. But I can’t stop playing!
I’ve always been of a competitive nature. I turn nearly everything in my life into a competition. So if you toss a competitive element into a game I love, all the better! However, I also have an awful habit of basing my personal opinion of my skills off low numbers. I tilt quite easily in a lot of ways. So as you can imagine, I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster with the Overwatch system! I’ve been both cursing Blizzard for releasing a system so against the idea of team play, and whooping at every victory. But it has been a mostly negative experience.
No matter how hard you try, at the end of the day, you’re not fighting the other players. You’re not trying to lower someone elses score to increase your own. That’s merely a side effect. No, what you’re facing off with is a glorified calculator hidden behind the scenes! The fact that in most games you can’t even directly view your ELO score makes things worse. In those cases you can only make an educated guess as to where the computer ranks you.
I had a similar experience in League of Legends. However, in that case there were far less bugs to contend with. I still had a hard time of things though. Every loss would lose more XP than I would ever manage to gain. And while I recognised this as a sign I need to improve my skills, it did make things seem like an uphill battle at the best of times. At a certain point, it becomes less about climbing the ladder and more about maintaining your spot and your sanity.
Over the years, I’ve noticed a lot of people facing the same problems as me. Developing the same defeatist attitude and sinking into ELO hell. So, in the spirit of positivity, let me share a few tips on beating this boss.
First things first:
Remind yourself that it’s just a game. I know, most people in competitive play tend to hate this phrase. But it’s the truth! When you turn off your PC, you still have a life to lead. And unless you’re a pro gamer, whose livelihood depends on your skills in-game, a couple of losses isn’t going to affect you. At least, no more than you let it affect you.
Keep in mind that if you don’t keep trying to win, you’ve already lost. For me, the idea of losing a game is far less damaging than the high of winning one. So if you’re looking for a reason to keep going, remember that it’s a 50/50 chance of winning, vs. none at all!
If you find yourself losing a lot, and you can’t stop blaming external factors, take a serious look at yourself. A lot of the time, it can seem really easy to blame other factors for your loss. It was your team mates fault, or your internet, or bad matchmaking. However, these excuses will only last so long. Sure, sometimes it is just bad luck, but that doesn’t excuse you from trying your hardest! There’s pretty much always going to be something you can improve in any given game. Whether it’s placing more wards, or paying more attention to audio cues, or just improving your aim. There is always something to be learned from each loss. You’ll thank yourself for working in the long term.
So go forth, gamers! Face off with the evil demon ELO, and take it down once and for all! We believe in you!