I got ‘gud’ on a competitive shooter, and it sucks

My gaming life was a revolving door of competitive shooters. The day I finally made the jump from console to PC is the day shooters suddenly got more serious. I got into CS:GO briefly, then Overwatch for a while, then Rainbow Six Siege for years. I love all of these games for very different reasons, but they all share a few traits that I’ve come to hate: the pressure to get it right, accompanied by a badge or rank that symbolizes your worth.

When friends want to join a ranked Overwatch contest, I’m usually the first to suggest sticking with Quick Play. My hesitation has nothing to do with the mode itself – ranked modes often represent the most robust, fairest format a game can play. My problem is that every time the rank increases the stakes, the game itself becomes less interesting.

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