Breaking my Back(log): PvP

Once upon a time, I refused to play PvP games. I was just terrible at them, and therefore chose to avoid them. Then in 2010 I started playing League of Legends with my friend John. LoL was fun, but I was still terrible, so I walked away from the PvP realm once again. Over the last year or so however, the genre has drawn me back in.

I’ve been dabbling with quite a few, and want to share my thoughts on each, and what my mindset is when I play one or the other.

PUBG

The Battle Royale that swept the Internet and Steam all last year. Plagued by controversy over “Chinese hackers” and cheats in general, PUBG can be hit or miss for many. Lately the game has been my go to timesink, and I have noticed that since exiting early access, the game has constantly evolved and improved.

When I play with my friends I am most likely the weight dragging us down. With that said, PUBG is my most likely game to play with friends, and really gives me a great outlet to chill with my mates while playing games. I am almost always happy with a top 15 finish, and while I am always looking to win, unless I potato on that last possible kill, I walk away from the game happy regardless of my finish.

Overwatch

To some it’s a “cartoonish shooter that spends too much time on it’s lore than gameplay” to some it’s perfection, and to others it’s just that weird game that's been blowing up their social media and news outlets because “esports”. To me, Overwatch is most enjoyable while watching Overwatch League, although I do enjoy playing.

Mostly just a relaxing 10-30 minute experience for me. I like Overwatch, and write about competitive Overwatch, but I am not great at it. This was my change-up game when I was playing League more often, giving me an outlet to untilt after a bad game, or relish in my high after a good game, but unfortunately, toxicity has seeped into the Overwatch community, and it’s pushed me away. I still play the occasional match, but lately “quickplay” rather than “competitive” has been my draw.

LoL

LoL will always be my first PvP love. Like a first love, it is somewhat of the stick that all other games must measure up to. 5v5 MOBA which rewards reactions and teamwork, often over individual prowess and fast-twitch skills. I will always remember a quote that I can’t quite remember who to attribute to about LoL, “sometimes, even when you know the right play to make, if your team isn’t in position to enact that, it becomes the wrong play, and what is the wrong play, becomes right”. Essentially, LoL is a game entirely about teamwork.

This is the game that I play when I’m at my most competitive. When I really want to test my skills against others, I boot up League. I still remain around high silver, low gold level when I play, and there is a massive expectation that even in normals one knows their champion. This is somewhat stressful to me about LoL. I don’t always want to play the champions I have spent the most time on, but it is somewhat of a requirement if you don’t want to get flamed. The toxicity in league has seemed to reduce as of late, but I still remember the beginning when nearly every game involved an individual who could be reported for attitude. I love LoL, but I can’t say I would recommend it to a friend who has never played it.

CS:GO

The shooter that my friends older brothers would be playing when I was growing up. Counter-Strike’s most recent iteration (Global Offensive) is THE fast-paced single-death-per-round PvP FPS king. Second only to League of Legends on Twitch, this is one of the most popular competitive games available on PC.

I play maybe two hours of CS:GO in a typical week. The game isn’t my go to, but it has to be just about the most rewarding to win at. Usually there is one or two players per team who are most dominant, and team gameplay is critical to winning, so if you’re more the lone-wolf style gamer, PUBG may be a better option.

Hearthstone

I really only played this for about two weeks of time when a friend of mine asked me to join him. I did not have much fun. I used to play MTG (and still have a poison deck), so I thought Hearthstone would draw me in. Unfortunately, it did not, as I found myself frustrated with the gameplay, and would rather be sitting across from my opponent physical, not virtually.

Hearthstone could be a relaxing time-waster between games, but I just didn’t find a desire to play.

So there you have it. The PvP games I’ve been playing (or haven’t) lately, and why. Maybe this helps you jump into a new PvP game, or gives you the information you needed to feel comfortable deciding something wasn’t for you. I realize I didn’t cover Dota 2, nor Starcraft, but I’ve never played either.