Guest Post by Grant Gould (Watchman)
We’ve all been there. You’re on ladder and things are going well. Suddenly, before you know it, you’ve just lost three games in a row. No problem… until that three losses turns into six or worse. What do you do now? Keep grinding it out for that one win? Rage quit? Blame RNG? All those options can feel better in the short term, but don’t get at the heart of the problem. That is, losing can put you into the wrong frame of mind to play Hearthstone optimally. So what is the right frame of mind to stop the losing streak, get back on track, and be competitive?
Here are some things that have helped me with this dilemma:
Approach each match with a mixture of confidence and humility.
Before I cue into a game I have to believe I can win while simultaneously remembering that I am not owed a victory. Having a positive but realistic mindset keeps me cool under pressure, knowing its ok to lose and allows me to make consistently good plays.
Create a workable pre-game mental checklist
My personal list includes reminders to do things like: take a little extra time with each play, pay attention to how my opponent mulligans, and make sure to regularly calculate lethal. I have found that, by making this simple procedure a habit, I sidestep potential pitfalls and increase my overall effectiveness as a player.
Avoid tunnel vision.
One of the easiest mistakes I find myself making is to be preoccupied with my own play to the extent that I don’t fully consider what my opponent is trying to accomplish. By balancing my attention between my opponent’s play and my own, I reduce incidents where I am caught off guard or surprised by how the game unfolds.
If I am honest with myself I really can’t expect to win (especially on ladder) if I
am splitting my attention with pretty much anything else. Things like running Netflix in the background are great to help pass the dead time in a match. However, if I find myself willingly being distracted, I have to ask myself if I really want to win or is it time to do something else?
After each match take a moment to evaluate
. Whether or not I won, taking a moment to breathe and think through the last game keeps me mentally and emotionally on the right track. If I won, did I really win by skill? Or was it just luck? If I lost, was it because I made errors? Or was it because I was outplayed? Honesty is key.
Resist blaming RNG for losing.
RNG is what makes Hearthstone fun. It causes all of us to lose games but is a double-edged sword. It works for and against us with absolute indifference. With this in mind, before I start blaming RNG or anything else, I take myself to task by first looking for weaknesses in my deck and then evaluating the effectiveness of my own playstyle. It is a lot easier to keep a clear head when I can point to something I actually can control and therefore fix to improve my win rate.
As with any decision-based success, its helpful to consider Socrates statement: “Know thyself.” Having a good, healthy mental attitude and understanding your own tendencies helps your overall gameplay. After all, playing games isn’t just something we invest our time and money into, we’re investing ourselves in it as well.
Always learning, always growing.