It is okay to be Casual in Ranked: Unpopular Opinions

It is okay to be Casual in Ranked

Throughout my five years of covering competitive first-person shooter (FPS) games such as Counter-Strike, Overwatch, and Valorant (for this game, well, not as a writer but as the “talk show” admin of a large Valorant group in the Philippines), I have always seen things such as “do not ruin ranked” or “if you’re going to goof around, do it in casual” or any of the various factorizations and permutations that would make a Data Science, Statistics and/or Mathematics major blush. Here is an unpopular opinion: IT IS OK to be a CASUAL in RANKED.

Let me repeat what I have just said:

It is okay to be a casual in ranked, provided that you do the following:

First, make sure your internet will be alive for the duration of that match. Clicking “competitive” or “ranked” on your screen is a social contract between you and the rest of the players who have agreed to connect to that match. You OWE them at least that responsibility.

Second, do what you can in order to win, within the circumstances that you find yourselves within. That means doing the job, trying to do your comms even if they are not perfect, and just playing the game as it is. Usually, it makes for a better playing experience in most cases.

This leads us to point number three: No unnecessary trolling or throwing of rounds. The trolling part is still possible if you and your teammates are comfortable with it (let’s be frank here, most people don’t mind goofing around during the last round of a half; otherwise, why would things such as the 5 AWP or the 5 Operator thing exist?)

Finally, and unfortunately, we have to remind ourselves of this item every single time: DO NOT BE TOXIC. When you’re angry, explain why, do not use curses, do not say PISTING YAWA, do not call homophobic slurs – just don’t…and most importantly (it’s supposed to be common sense, but apparently it’s a rare commodity nowadays), DO NOT BRING YOUR IN-GAME BRAWLS into SOCIAL MEDIA or REAL LIFE.

Let’s be frank here, no matter how we try, most of us would never reach Global Elite or Radiant or Grandmaster or whatever top rank that exists in that particular competitive video game – the statistical bell curve is real. However, it is also true that there is a good number of people who want to push the envelope and try to be the – what we owe them in general is not going into “tryhard mode,” but the responsibility of being decent players in the game.

Many also just want a casual ranked experience – to laugh, to do the occasional 135 IQ play, and to talk shit on each other’s’ mistakes. It is okay too.

There is a space for everyone.

VIDEO GAMES are a SPACE for EVERYONE since the Atari days.

We, in the damned 21st century where Uncle Google is king and information is easy to reach, should be MATURE ENOUGH to REALIZE THIS.

Another frank point here: Except for the professional player, aspiring talent, or streamer or stakeholder who has a monetary/social/vested/any substantial interest in the game, for most of us, it’s just an addition to our rigs and/or it’s just another “flavor of the day”. Take a deep breath, wash your face, stand up or do something else, and think: Is it worth it to rage about the game? Does it add to the conversation? If you say “no” to these answers, then better call it a day, mentally reset, and just play another day.

Which brings me to this point: If we use our collective common sense, we would all have a better experience not just in Valorant or CS:GO, but also in social media (especially when it comes to following group rules, posting, data privacy, et al.) and in our real lives (public, private, or otherwise).

It is okay to be a casual in ranked.

Be free. Fly like Jett.

Oh wait, wasn’t it supposed to be “HEAL ME JETT?”

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