New gamer unlocked

Senior at MN becomes work-ranked player in Overwatch through perfecting his strategy

Quick gameplay, flashing colors, the sounds of gunfire and shouting over headsets. Playing Overwatch can be intense, taking focus and strategy, forcing you to be quick on your feet. Senior Addison Zhang excels at quick thinking and strategy, a reason that he became a world-ranked player

Released in 2016, Overwatch captured the attention of those within and outside the gaming community. One such person was Zhang. Overwatch is a collaborative game in which players get assigned to two teams of six, each choosing a character with a unique skill, and working with a team of six to complete a map-specific objective.

“You have to play around your team, you have to always be conscious of where your team is and where the other team is,” Zhang said.

Zhang has been playing Overwatch almost since its 2016 release, beginning in 2017 and logging upwards of 1,200 hours of playtime and gaining the title of world-ranked peaking at 310th in the world.

Gaining a world rank in any video game is a feat, requiring a lot of hard work and dedication. In Overwatch, the way to rank up is to consistently win games, practice,  and knowledge of the game.

“Mostly putting a lot of time into learning the game. This came from online streamers, coaches, and learning the game through experience,” friend of Zhang senior Richard Xu.

As Zhang has grown as a player, so has his knowledge of the game, further increasing his skill.

“He is incredibly knowledgeable about the game. There are multiple different roles in this game, and although he only plays one of them, his knowledge of all roles makes him a lot better than most people,” senior Ryan Herman said, who is a friend of Zhang.

This knowledge of the character and strategy furthered his skill and aided him in climbing up the ranks.

Since beginning to play the game, Zhang has begun playing with more upper-ranked players and professionals.

“He has grown a lot in skill as a player, but the biggest change is the people he plays with. At first, he used to tell us about all the professional players in his games, and now it’s just a normal occurrence for him,” Herman said.

Many years of hard work put Zhang in the rank he is today, his growth as a player and in strategy put him on the world-ranking list.

Being a great player while balancing school is certainly a feat as well. Excelling in both his education and his passion is certainly something to be proud of.

     “It’s impressive how he is such a good player while also doing well in very hard classes,” Herman said.