2 minute read

Sometimes you get addicted to a video game so much that you accidentally become one of the best 500 players in Europe.

This screenshot shows my Overwatch player profile from back then and it shows that my rank (red circle on the top) was one of the top 500 players in the region (red circle on the bottom).

Overwatch is a team-based shooter developed by Blizzard with an active player base >20 million players every month. I played this game religiously and became one of the best 500 players in Europe by following some simple rules, but I think these rules are applicable to more than just video games. Here’s what I learned in the journey to become one of the best:

  • You win if the team wins: Your guiding principle should be making your team win. You win if the team wins. A team that wins is happy. It’s better to be the worst player on the winning team and then best player on the losing team. Make sure you win. You win if the team wins.
  • Embrace the grindset: You have to embrace the grindset (grinding mindset). You need to be willing to do the same thing over and over again if you want to get to the top. You have to enjoy the journey. It is weird to think that you will get there without any setbacks. You must play the game and play it again, learning every time and applying your lessons every time. It can be and will be intense and that is the grindset that you must embrace.
  • Expect perfection only from yourself: The only thing you can do is expect perfection from yourself (and not your teammates). That is all there to it. If you play Zarya (note: a tank character in Overwatch), play the perfect Zarya. If you play Winston (note: another tank character in Overwatch) play the perfect Winston. There really is not so much more that you can do than just trying your very best every game, expecting only perfection from yourself.
  • Bite your tongue: When your teammate make mistakes it can feel very good to lash out at them and berate them for their mistakes, but here I urge you to bite your tongue. It is better to let your results speak for themselves. A rising tide lifts all boats. Check your ego at the door, allow people to make mistakes and expect perfection only from yourself. Bite your tongue, take the loss, and continue to the next game. Keep grinding.
  • In the long term everything else averages out: In the long run you will end up where you “belong” because all the leavers on your team (and the enemy’s team) and ragequitters and trolls will average out over the hundreds of games that you will play. The only constant in your Overwatch career is you. Keep playing and keep learning because in the long run everything else averages out.
  • Allow yourself to be carried sometimes: You don’t have to be the superstar that carries every game. It is OK to have a bad game every once in a while. In these games allow your team to help you out. Allow yourself to get carried by others sometimes.