I’ve been there. To a certain extent, I am still there. You log into Heroes and you think “Today, I’m going to skip over Quick Match and really do it. I’m going to go to Hero League.” then your cursor hovers over the play button… before you either resign yourself back to Quick Match or maybe just leave the game altogether. It happens. Really. Queuing is one of the most surprising stressful actions I’ve ever encountered in a game. Honestly.
So why is that? Well, let’s give you some quick history of myself first. This didn’t just happen to me in Heroes, it first occurred to me in Starcraft II while laddering. Suddenly the difference between a random match and doing something that assigned me a spot and number was a huge difference. But why? Did it really matter?
The short answer is: No. The longer answer is… sort of? I started by trying to pick it apart. I was a smart young man at that time (and still am now!) and decided to try to psychoanalyze myself. Why was I having such a strong gut reaction to clicking a different button in-game than I usually did?
For me, it came down to mainly one feeling: Fear.
This may seem obvious but it’s a bit more than what you may think. I was scared. I had fear of who I’d be qued against. Fear of embarrassment or performing badly, and fear of criticism. I didn’t know what the environment would be like once I was ready to be judged. It all just seemed so intimidating. What if I made a mistake? What if my teammates called me out on something, or worst yet, all the time? What if we lost and I got blamed for it all? Honestly, all of those things could have happened (and eventually may of, to some degree) but it doesn’t matter. Or at least, it shouldn’t matter. Shaking off fear is something that’s hard and probably impossible to fully do, but being scared is something that happens to everyone. It’s just a part of life, in-game or not.
So what do you do then? Push forward. Press that button. Shake it off. Distract yourself. Do whatever you need to do to just DO IT. If you do that then you’re already ahead of the curve.
Eventually, you won’t even care what you queue into. It’s just sort of a phase that a lot of us go through. The irony of this all is that we’re already being evaluated by Blizzard. Something called MMR (Match Making Ranking. We’ll get more into this one another time.) is being used all the time. It’s how Blizz knows who to pit you against in basically all modes of all of their games. If it’s considered to be PvP then it’s already got some sort of MMR.
So just let it all go and click that button. It may not go away overnight, but we all have to start somewhere.