Confident Humility

Hey, ioStux here.

As I was working with Lucker Dogs, I got some more insights into the way high tier players think. Over the months that I coached them (until the Tier 2 scene died) I started to develop a feeling, up to a point where I can tell if someone is going to be a good player or not just by talking with them for a couple minutes. I wanted to go into 1 thing that I noticed that made high tier players different for the rest of the playerbase.

I like to call this trait “Confident Humility”. It’s less about gameplay theories, but more about the way someone ticks.

In order to explain what this actually means, I want you to visualize a graph. On one end, we have very very confident Players, on the others we have very humble ones.

Being overly confident in a game like Overwatch (or any competitive game for that matter) is problematic, because while you won’t really miss all the opportunities presented to you, you will also end up getting into situations that could’ve turned out really well for you but didn’t. Confident players take every duel, take more space than they can potentially handle and use their ultimates as soon as they can kill someone with it. This leads to incredibly inconsistent play, because those confident players ask themselves “It worked last time, but not this time. Why?”.

On the other hand we have incredibly humble players. These are the kinds of players that I can accurately describe in 1 phrase.

“Humble players aren’t trying to win. They are trying to not lose”.

Positioning themselves super safe, saving onto their ults and abilities for that “special” moment, just making sure that they aren’t the ones dying. The problem with incredibly humble players is that they can’t really fulfill any Win Condition. They never get that pick that was needed to win the game, they will never shut down the enemy Widowmaker, and they won’t ever get to really pressure the enemy team, because they are so worried about being shot at. This leads to them usually being the last ones to die in a fight. Humble players ask themselves “Where did my team go? Why is everyone dead? Why did we let the enemies just run on the point?

Both of these mindsets are incredibly unhealthy. Confident Players try to stomp, Humble Players try to not get stomped. They struggle to find that middle ground. Which is where we get to the title of this video.

“Confident Humility”

After this explanation that term doesn’t seem so eloquent anymore does it.

It’s basically about finding the exact middle of that line. It’s about being completely aware of what you can and should do, what you can but shouldn’t do, and what you can’t and shouldn’t do. Being confident enough to hide around a corner to pick someone with a flashbang, but being humble enough to position yourself next to a healthpack or immediately escape with combat role. Confident enough to use your Tactical Visor before the fight even starts, but humble enough to hide around a corner and let the ult run out if you see a Widowmaker, instead of dying.

Confident Humility is what every player should strive for, but some players struggle grasping that concept. For them there is no middle ground. When they realize they play too humble, they try to play super confident and aggressive. But then they think they play too confident, and go straight back into the other direction.

But looking objectively at what you are doing, and asking yourself the question “What is necessary right now? What do I need to do to win? Can I do that? Do I need to do that?”

Obviously you shouldn’t ask yourself these questions in the middle of the game, ideally they should be asked during a VoD Review for example. They allow you to notice patterns, giving you the ability to quickly assess what kind of playstyle you should have. Switching between a very confident playstyle and a very humble playstyle depending on the situation is incredibly important. It’s about flexibility, every single teamfight needs something different.

So how can you figure out if you need to show some confidence, or if it’s best to stay humble? That obviously depends on the situation, and I can’t just give you a blanket statement. BUT I can give you some things to take into consideration!

The current gamestate for example. How many people are alive on the enemy team? How many on your team? Also, ask yourself WHO is alive? Maybe one team has a Mercy, which would mean that you need to take her Rez into account. If you are in a 6v6 for example, while the enemies have a Mercy and you don’t, it’s actually more of a 7v6 unless you manage to kill the Mercy first.

Or how about Ultimates? Looking at Ultimates can also help you assess if you need to play aggressive or passively.

Positioning is another factor. Who has the upper hand right now? Do the enemies use their environment to their advantage? Sometimes it can be better to force the enemies off of a good position before starting a fight with them!

Alright, that’s it. I hope I could give you some insight into this entire concept of confident humility. If you ever get to play or chat with some high tier players, you will immediately notice the pragmatism, and the neutrality that comes from them. They analyze everything very objectively, and don’t really say anything unless they are confident that they have the information needed. Not just in Overwatch, but even when just talking. They aren’t afraid of asking questions if they need more information to make an educated guess. They stay humble until they have the info they need to be confident.
My name is ioStux, and I’d like to thank you for learning!