Your average Overwatch Competitive game is going well, the Torbjörn one-trick on your team is doing well on defense (the map is Horizon Lunar Colony), and the enemy team only got one tick on the first point. In the middle of the game, the Torbjörn one-trick ends up leaving the game, because he got banned. This is a common problem for Overwatch players, because now they are in a 5v6 situation, which is very unwinnable.
It also feels bad on the other end, especially if the Torbjörn main wasn’t toxic and communicated well in voice chat. The reporting system says (before you report them), that you can’t be banned for playing a hero that is not considered optimal by others.
“While I don’t agree with the practice,” says Platinum player EqualAce, “most people don’t have time to master multiple characters.”
It’s always better to play one thing that you are good at than try to master everything and be good at none. Even if it is an unpopular hero, if that is what they are good at, then the chances of winning are higher than if they played a hero that they are suboptimal at.
On the flipside, Platinum player Styx says, “If you can truly play only one character then you are useless to the team.” Additionally, he said, “When you have a game that relies on people switching at a moment’s notice, how can you stay relevant and useful to your team?”
This is very true, also, because if they are being countered then the game will be perceived as a 5v6 situation. If you can’t do your job, then nothing will get done. It is a lot easier to have a one-trick on your team if you are a 5-stack or 6-stack, because you already know to work around him/her. In solo queue, it’s highly unlikely that the entire team will work around the one-trick to win.
“Receiving a ban for one-tricking is a bit excessive… A more appropriate punishment should involve increasing the loss of SR for consecutive games with the same hero,” EqualAce said.
Players shouldn’t be banned for one-tricking, since they are doing their very best. If they lost more SR for playing the same hero, then it will encourage them to rank up by mastering multiple heroes.
Styx also doesn’t believe that one-tricks should be banned. “Doomfist is one of the most useless heroes right now in Overwatch. However, the best Doomfist in the world, Chipsa, can still defeat countless other heroes,” said Styx.
Some one-tricks are able to counter their counters, and they definitely deserve to stay in the higher ranks. Overwatch will always have unbelievable and talented players that can defeat anything.
“I feel that it is unfair that five other players are forced to commit to a single strategy based on their weakest link instead of the enemy’s strengths and weaknesses,” said EqualAce.
One of the major issues with one-tricking is that it forces everyone else to play around the one-trick. Since Overwatch is all about teamwork to succeed, is it fair that one person affects the game for 5 other players, who would all end up playing heroes they are inadequate with?
“One player shouldn’t bring down the rest of the team or force the rest of the team to work around them,” says Styx.
Even though Blizzard wants to please everyone, a single player shouldn’t make the game unfun for 5 other players. A lot of players play ‘Competitive’ with the mindset that everyone will do everything in their power to achieve a victory. Some one-tricks just don’t care about winning, and that defeats the purpose of the competitive mindset that most players have. This is the main reason why many one-tricks have a bad reputation in Overwatch.
“Having a one-trick player won’t necessarily mean that you will lose a match, but it does significantly lower your chances of winning. High-level Overwatch relies heavily on teams being able to adapt their strategy to defeat their opponents,” says EqualAce,“ If your opponent’s strategy directly counters a one-trick player, the team as a whole will fail to hold objective a majority of the time.”
Sometimes switching to a hero that you lack the skill-set of will increase your chances of winning. If the one-trick knows that he/she isn’t doing well on their preferred hero, and they don’t swap to a better hero, then the entire team can get tilted because the one-trick isn’t doing their absolute best to win the game.
Games are all about fun at the end of the day, but in ‘Competitive,’ everyone is expected to do their absolute best, and fun is secondary. For most competitive players, winning is the fun, because they just had a hard-fought victory. Overwatch has many other game modes that are meant for more casual players, like Quick Play, Arcade, and Custom games.
“I think that if you can create a team or find others who want to stay as a team you shouldn’t be at a disadvantage to those who solo queue. This is a team based game and you should be rewarded for working as a team to win the game. Just by having a team dominated competitive system you would put a serious dent on any if not all one-tricking problems,” said Styx.
Blizzard should make it a lot easier for players to form teams, where they already know what each player is going to play and it would help out communication. If a one-trick can form a team where all the team members want to play around him, then other players won’t have to deal with the stress that a one-trick usually brings to the team. Coordination would be a lot better since everyone knows their strengths and weaknesses, and overall it would be a better experience for everyone.
“I feel that one-tricks are also victims of a system that rewards them for mastery of a single character rather than competence with many characters,” says EqualAce.
Because you gain more SR when you play just one hero, most one-tricks use this to get into a higher rank. This is where Blizzard needs to make the system more focused around the team, or one-tricking will always be popular.
All in all, one-tricking in Overwatch shouldn’t be bannable, but there are many problems that come with it. Blizzard needs to make teamplay more rewarding than playing selfishly, and Overwatch would just be a much better game.
Screenshots: Evan Smith; Credit: Overwatch video game / Blizzard Entertainment