Overwatch Guide to Grandmaster (Step by Step Guide)

Overwatch Grandmaster Guide
Rise through the ranks and play with some of the best that Overwatch has to offer

Hey there Overwatch community! Have you been drowning in your current Overwatch rank? Desperately trying to climb up to the top, but just don’t know how? Well I understand your pain.  Since Overwatch is so team-based, climbing the ranks can be a nightmare for the vast majority of players.

Leveling up in Overwatch can be a daunting task, but with these tips you'll be sure to climb!​

Luckily for you, this article will give you the system that top players are using to rise from as low as bronze.  Here are 9 crucial tips that Grandmaster players currently use to rank up in Overwatch. Along with these tips are easy, practical ways you can quickly start applying them in order to cut your learning curve.

STEP 0:

The prerequisite to reading this Overwatch article is to have an open mind. Don’t automatically disbelieve me or believe me. I only ask that you at least listen to what I have to say and try these strategies to see if they work for you.


A part of improving in Overwatch is being open to advice that could help you. Then use your critical thinking skills to properly apply the advice.

 What you’ve been doing before obviously hasn’t been working so what’s there to lose by trying something new!? With that being said here’s

STEP 1: Always Play Your Best Heroes

Yes! This is especially important if you’re running solo queue. And super especially important if you're an awesome DPS player. If you know you’re an amazing Genji, McCree, Soldier 76, Hanzo, etc. 95% of the time you are doing your team a disservice by not choosing those characters from the start.


DPS is the best carry role in Overwatch. If you know you're a good DPS player then lock in the role ASAP!

When trying to climb the ranks, competitive is NOT the place to play your weaker characters unless an unfavorable situation happens where you have to switch. Otherwise, just play your best characters and carry your team to a victory. If you’ve been training, have some faith in your abilities and insta-lock your best character then have the team build around you. They might be upset and flame you at first, but they will pay you respect when you secure them the win.

STEP 2: Don’t be a “One Trick”

Hehehe. Now, it may be time to contradict myself a bit. I know that I just advised you to always play your best heroes but truthfully, Overwatch is very situational game. You’ve got to learn to constantly adapt to any situation the game throws at you, in order to consistently win matches. This might mean playing your current character differently, switching characters, or even switching to an entirely different role. Most pros say that the best way to climb is to learn many different ways of playing the game so you are always useful to your team. Say for example, you’ve been abusing the enemy team as Genji. As a result the enemy team switches to a counter like Brigette. Now you’ll have to start playing a more long distance/high ground game instead of the up close brawler style that you're used to. If you’re playing Soldier 76 and enemy player switches to Widowmaker you’ll probably have to switch to a different DPS hero. If the Widowmaker is half-decent of course. Heck even in a situation as common as someone on your team not wanting to play healer, you will have to play healer. Ideally, you’ll want to be playing your best character but the number one way to win in Overwatch is to always be willing to adapt to the needs of your team! Speaking of the needs of your team…

STEP 3: Get On the Mic, and START COMMUNICATING

This one’s huge. You’re trying to win more games right? That is why you’re reading this right now. So, let me ask you something. If two evenly skilled  teams go head to head in competitive Overwatch, but only one of them is communicating, what team would you put your money on? Most likely the team with the communication right?

To win at the highest level, you have to learn to communicate. Team chat provides you and your team with potentially game-winning information!

Communicating might seem simple but a lot of people don’t do it. So if you are trying to win games, it only makes sense for you to be on comms exchanging info with your team. Even simple callouts will make a big difference in your win rate. Simply call out things such as enemy flankers, the team’s ultimate status, incoming enemy ultimates, a strategy you want to try, or a specific target you should be focusing on to make a push or defend easier. Doing this doesn’t require as much talking as you think it would. And it will benefit your team greatly. Remember that telling the friendly Zenyatta to save his transcendence because you know the enemy Genji is about to Dragon Blade, could be the difference between a win or a loss. If you want to go above and beyond, converse with your team and build morale. Teammates who like you are more likely to listen to you. But on the flip side of that, don’t be so worried about being liked that you are hesitant to give criticism to your teammates. If your healer is not doing a very good job healing you or the team, then you should politely let them know. If the problem persists then you can ask if they would like to switch positions or characters. People may get offended if you criticize their skills so handle the situation delicately. In the same way you can ask your team if there’s anything you can do better, and to give you feedback on how you’re playing. This not only improves the quality of your team but potentially the quality of the community. You’re showing people constructive communication, something they could potentially pick up and share with their friends. Then those friends might share with their friends and so on.

STEP 4: Run a DPS/Support duo queue

Playing a DPS/Support duo queue is one the easiest ways to rank up without having a full team.

Consistently having two people that excel in the most important roles in the game (in my opinion ) will do wonders for your win rate.

Running a DPS/Support Duo Queue is the best way to guarentee competitive success when a full team is not available!

Why did I choose these specific roles? Well because it’s difficult for a dps/dps/, dps/tank, tank/tank combo to do well if the healers are not very good. It’s basically playing 6 vs 7 if the other team has a good healer and you don’t. On the flip side it is almost futile to run support/support or support/tank when your DPS aren't getting any kills. If friendly DPS heroes aren’t killing anyone on the other team, the other team will eventually kill your supports then the rest of the team will come crashing down. Playing with a good friend means that in every game, you’re guaranteed two players who can deliver. This can be enough to consistently carry. More synergy comes from duo queueing than solo queueing. This allows both characters to shine more than usual. As a DPS player, having a good support multiplies your carry potential and as a support, having a good DPS hero to deal with threats to your life makes things so much easier. Side note: You want to make sure you don’t overlap characters with the person you’re playing with. Ideally, you’ll want to play with someone who’s better at the roles and characters that you’re not very good at; More importantly someone who you enjoy playing with. You’re Overwatch Soulmate, if you will.

STEP 5: Always Blame YOURSELF!!

If you win, it’s your fault. If you lose, it is especially your fault. Even if it really isn’t your fault. This may not sound right, but it’s honestly how you have to look at Overwatch and even life in general. Before passing blame to someone else, always make sure that you did everything you could to help your team. If this does nothing else, it will help you improve. How? Because tilting causes you to take attention off of your own gameplay  and focus on the flaws of your teammates. This causes you to overlook the areas where you need improvement. Areas that if worked on, could benefit your future teams. So what am I saying? Most of your criticisms should be towards yourself! If you keep making mistakes like dying too quickly, then call yourself out on it.

 Staying alive is very important in Overwatch! If you're dying a lot, you have no right to criticize your team. PERIOD!

You are the common denominator in every game you play. So it’s crucial to analyze yourself more than anyone else. You’re critiques towards teammates won’t help you climb because honestly, you won’t match up with most of them ever again. You have to go into every game with the intention of having to carry the team. If you don’t have to, great! But when entering competitive, be ready to put the squad on your back. Make sure your mind and skills are sharp, that you’re actually in the mood to carry, and that you feel like playing your carry character. Otherwise, just relax until you do. Or prepare to lose. Your choice. But trust me, having this mindset will do wonders for your skills, your SR, and it will have you doing things and getting results that you didn’t even know were possible. It has worked wonders for me.

STEP 6: Increase Your Awareness!

Overwatch is a fast-paced game where the conditions of a match are constantly changing. To paraphrase the late great Bruce Lee, you must “Be like water”. You have to adapt from moment to moment to what is going on with you, your team, and the enemy team. And to adapt, you have to be aware of what is actually going on. Always try to be aware of your surroundings, what the enemy team is doing/trying to do, and aware of your team’s plans.

  •  Is someone on your team not doing their job well?
  •  Are your healers getting spawn-camped by flankers?
  •  Is it a good time for you to use your ultimate?
  •  Is it a good time for you to get aggressive and make a push?
  •  Is a specific enemy playing a certain way that you can exploit?

 Most importantly, what is going on with YOU. Are you not playing as well as you should? Are your mechanics not as sharp as you need them to be? Being aware of these things and more is something called “game sense”. When awareness of these things become second nature, you are said to have good game sense. This is how it feels:


Overwatch is a very fast-paced game. As a result it's important to maintain a soar like awareness of everything going on in the match until it's over.

Game sense is developed through about 85% gameplay experience and 15% analysis. This means to develop game sense you have to play a lot then analyze your gameplay and find out which information could have helped you make better decisions. Then, in the following matches, start looking for that information

STEP 7: ALWAYS Be Improving

Skill Rating depends on your stats as an individual player, so you want to always be improving. Having awareness and game sense is awesome but it can only take you so far. What is the point of knowing what to do if you can’t do it properly? You must intentionally practice mechanical skills with your characters in order to maximize your potential as a player. The key word there is intentionally. You have to practice with the intent of improving a specific skill, and the subsets of those skills. For example, back when I was first learning Genji, I had to learn to Dragon blade. Dragon blading is a skill and the sub-skills of Dragon Blading, knowing when to blade, knowing how to avoid dying, moving from target to target, knowing when to dash, etc. For Ana it would be knowing how to sleep dart important targets, landing long range biotic grenades, and accurately quick scope. Being able to do more things skillfully with your characters allows you to contribute more value to any team you play on. This increases your chances of winning and getting a higher skill rating. HOWEVER, there are no shortcuts to getting there. You have to practice.


 You'll only be as good as the quality of your training! So if you want to be a Grandmaster, train like one!

First, practice the skill in practice mode until you’re confident you can pull it off in game. Next take it to quick play and see if you’re able to do it well. If not, back to practice mode you go.
 Once you can do it well in quick play, get a smurf account and try it out in competitive games. It’s ideal that your smurf is around your SR so you can see if you can perform the skill against opponents at your level in a competitive environment. Once confident in your ability, take that skill into competitive on your main account. Don’t force a situation where you’ll have to use the skill, but know that when the situation occurs you WILL be ready.  As the saying goes, “Proper preparation prevents poor performance”. Essentially, the goal is to constantly get better at decision making, recognizing opportunities, and being able to properly execute on those opportunities.  Follow this tip and you’ll be so good that your bad games will be equal to most player's good games.

STEP 8: ALWAYS Remember the Goal

Repeat this aloud to yourself at least 3 times.

  1. “MY MAIN GOAL IN EVERY COMPETITIVE MATCH, IS FOR MY TEAM TO WIN THE GAME!”
  2. “MY MAIN GOAL IN EVERY COMPETITIVE MATCH, IS FOR MY TEAM TO WIN THE GAME!!”
  3. “MY MAIN GOAL IN EVERY COMPETITIVE MATCH, IS FOR MY TEAM TO WIN THE GAME!!!”

Got it? Okay. Great. It doesn’t say that your main goal is to hold gold medals in all categories, or to get play of the game, or to show off how good you are with your character, or to win 1v1 duels against random players that are using the same hero as you.

The Goal is:


The goal in Competitive Overwatch is always to WIN! Personal achievements don't mean much if you're losing.

Your main goal in comp is to get your team the win. You’d think this was common sense but many players don’t factor this into their decision making. They’re too busy trying to get highlights plays that give them the illusion of being useful to their team. Now that you know what the goal is you can reverse engineer it to find the proper actions that will bring you to that goal. This should prompt you to ask yourself some win oreinted questions such as:

  • What more can I do to secure my team the win?
  • Could I be doing something more effective?
  • Could I be doing something more efficiently?
  • Could I be calling out better?

The final question you should ask yourself before taking any action is, “Is what I’m doing setting up my teammates for success?”  That is the million-dollar question. If the answer is consistently “yes”, then you are guaranteed more wins and a home in the higher ranks.

STEP 9: Avoid losing so much Skill Rating

A big part of climbing in Overwatch is avoiding Skill Rating decay. Not only does it bring you down to lesser skill games but it’s simply super depressing. If you’re like me, after a few losses, you will rage and question why you were even born. But lucky for you I know how you can lose a lot less skill rating.

Here are 3 ways:

  • Do good every game. This one is simple. The better you do in a loss, the less your SR goes down. Make sure you’re playing your best every game and producing results for your team. Though the stats don’t tell the whole story, that’s what the game goes by. So make sure they look good.
  • Don’t play if you are tilted. This one is straightforward as well. Don’t play if you’re coming off of a bad loss or even a bad win. You want to avoid playing after those scenarios. Take a break and do something you like such as eating, taking a nap, watching a show, talking to friends or family, etc. Only come back when you feel better and motivated to play again.
  • Relax:

Sometimes the way to do better in Overwatch, is to stop playing for a while. Make sure to take time from the game when you're burning out.

 If you feel off, go to training mode then afterwards, play on a smurf account until you feel confident in your skills again. Take some more time to practice and warm up until you feel normal. Don't try to force yourself back into your groove. Just remember that you're human. And humans have off days. Besides playing when you’re not 100% is risky to your rank!

In Conclusion:

I hope you have enjoyed this article as much as I have enjoyed writing it for you. I also hope you've found at least  one of these tips useful. If you did, make sure to leave comments and share it with your fellow Overwatch players so we can all level up and build a better community. I guarantee you that incorporating these tips into your game will yield you positive results. If they are applied with consistency, these tip will take you far in your Overwatch journey. I'm sure you’ll be back here to thank me (or email me directly at [email protected] ;) ). Anyway I'd wish you good luck on your journey to Grandmaster...

Applying these tips will get you from the lowly Elos to Grandmaster in no time.

but with these tips, you won't need it. Until next time, gamers.

 

How have you been leveling up in Overwatch competitive? Comment below and let me know!

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I'm that critical hipster gamer whose opinions you'll want to get mad at, but can't. Why? Because deep down, because you know he's right.
Gamer Since: 2004
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: Overwatch, Dragon Ball FighterZ
Top 3 Favorite Games:Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition, Mortal Kombat X
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