Tl;dr at the bottom if you’re lazy, but it’s worth the read for some of you
Overwatch. Just another videogame, right? Another way to pass the time, entertain myself, build skills that I’ll never use in real life, but I enjoy it anyways. At least that’s what it started as.
OW is my first FPS, and I never meant for it to become anything more than a casual hobby. I started out as a gold console Mercy main, can’t get more basic than that. Then after about 4 months I made the switch to PC, using a little ultrabook that ran the game at a stuttering 30 fps with the worst graphics you could imagine. But I did it because I wanted to improve. I loved the game, and I wanted to get good at it. Stuck to Mercy for a while, put in a hundred hours, climbed all the way to high Plat, got tired of Mercy, and picked up Sombra. What a cool hero, who I’ve always wanted to play, but I can’t play her, right? It’s my first FPS, I’m throwing by picking her. And I did. Threw all the way to 1400 because gosh I wanted to get good at Sombra. Then I accepted that I should just stick to Mercy. So I grinded out another hundred horus and got all the way to Diamond. Wow. Me? With a glowing symbol? This must be a dream.
But I still wasn’t happy. I wasn’t happy with being just some Mercy main who got blamed by every Genji, some Mercy main who is only in Diamond because he “abused” a broken hero. I didn’t wanna be called trash, and I still had my eyes on Sombra. What a cool hero. So I threw my Diamond icon away, pulled out of my college savings and built a $1000 PC, so that I could play the hero that I wanted to play without being limited by my little laptop. Back to Plat, then Gold again. Then I got called a trash Sombra. Again and again and again. I got told to go back to Mercy again and again and again. I got suspended multiple times for playing Sombra. And it tilted me. The people, the toxicity, the doubt. I wasn’t going to prove them right.
So I played and I played and I played. I ignored friends so that I could stay home on Firday nights and climb. I needed to get better. I turned off my mic, started claiming to not have one. But in reality, I just didn’t want to respond to the “lol trash Sombra go back to gold” and “Sombra switch your so bad” comments. I just wanted to play a game and have fun, but then my goal became to get better than those toxic people. Prove to myself that they’re wrong.
So I did. I climbed to Diamond one tricking Sombra without a mic. I quit cross country that summer so that I could play more Overwatch and not worry about staying up all night. Man, I loved cross country. I was the slowest guy on the team when I first joined a few years back, then I worked hard and got to be our fifth fastest, and ran at semi-state. I should have run at state my senior year, but I quit right at the beginning of the season for Overwatch. Half my summer got me to Diamond.
But it didn’t get better. “you’ll never get past 3100. you can’t aim, you don’t use a mic, and you’re just bad.” “You’ll never get to Masters, that’s way out of your reach, bud.” Well screw those people because I did. Spent the rest of my summer only getting sun from my window and working as hard as I could to get to Masters. I watched every single minute of gameplay footage I could find from FItzy and Codey. I was euphoric when I got there, and got to rub it in everyone’s face. Ha. You doubted me? Well look who’s right.
Then it didn’t stop there. I was still bad. That’s what they told me. I “sucked at the game,got boosted, had the aim of a silver Mercy main, and LOL look at that season 6 profile.” The school year of senior year was starting. I had 5 AP classes that I was excited for a few months prior, but my priorities were screwed up. How could I focus on school when I had to climb. I needed to prove that I could maintain Masters. Then I needed to prove that I could climb higher. I needed to show the community that they’re wrong about me. I don’t need a mic, I don’t need good aim, and I don’t need to listen to you. I lost sleep throughout the school year. A lot of it. I felt so good whenever I could convince myself to go to bed before 2:30am. But that was a rarity. I never did my homework in full, I would just half complete it during passing periods at school. A student taking all AP classes who is so consumed by a videogame that he barely cares about them. Well I did it… I got to GM. I should be satisfied, right?
No. I had been called a lot of things in the course of my Overwatch career, but right when I hit GM with Sombra only, no mic, and a measley 33% weapon accuracy, the word “boosted” got thrown around EVERY single game. I put all that time and effort getting here just to be called boosted?? Really?.. It was tearing me apart. I countinued to go to bed at 4am every night, only getting 2 hours of sleep before school. I started sleeping through AP Calc, and didn’t read a single book for AP Lit. I’m not boosted I’ll show you. Hours and hours of time wasted, slept lost, friends put off…
I have alopecia areata. It’s been manageable, but ever since I got obsessed with this game, I’ve lost so much hair. I’m gonna have to shave the rest off if it continues to fall out. Yeah an 18 year old dude without hair, and it probably could have been avoided. But guess what! I got top 500! Still one tricking sombra, still no mic, still 33% weapon accuracy, still being called garbage whenever I died, whenever my aim was a little off, whenever I lost or won. Trash, garbage, boosted, kill yourself.
So I kept going, and got all the way to rank 65… Nothing changed. Same thing over and over, but now Sombra is seen in OWL, and I get constantly accused of abusing a broken hero… My teammates would say “you’d be back in diamond if Sombra wasn’t so easy, lol you’re so bad.” I just wanted to enjoy the game. I just wanted to be acknowledged and play the character that I love to play. I’ve made a name for myself on east coast, and everyone seems to hate me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met some amazing people in this community who I’ve become good friends with but they don’t outweigh the rest.
I got a random message from some GM player yesterday who found my discord, and he messaged me to tell me I’m bad. I’ve heard every excuse explaining why I don’t belong here. I didn’t know I could be toxic, but this game has brought out the worst of me, and I’ve lost so much to it. Maybe things could have been different if people would have stopped blaming me. Maybe I could have just played this game for fun.
But nothing ever changed, and I’m done with it. I have nothing more to prove because it will never be enough. I’ll miss this game, I’ll miss the good people, I’ll miss playing Sombra, I’ll miss the good parts. But in the end it doesn’t matter what you do or don’t do, it matters where you’re headed. And this isn’t where I wanna go. So goodbye Overwatch. 🙁
Tl;dr I threw away my life for this game and got consumed by the words of the toxic people. Did what I could to prove those people wrong, but no matter what I did it was never good enough, and the hurtful words kept following me around
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