In an informative and lengthy explanation of the new LFG system (that has been understandably criticized), Scott Mercer of the Overwatch Design team took to the official Blizzard forums in a post called "GROUPS AND MATCHMAKING IN OVERWATCH". In the thread, Mercer goes over the features of the LFG tool introduced in patch 1.25 and urges players to embrace how fun it can be playing with a group:
"Groups can lead to better team play with less negativity and, ultimately, more fun. Since Overwatch is at its very core a team game, there’s really no better way to play."
It's no secret that Overwatch is sometimes a stressful and toxic experience for many players, but Mercer challenges that notion with a surprisingly candid pitch that sells that LFG system both on a technical and emotional level. Simply put, Mercer explains that grouping together with friends or "full-six stack" doesn't affect win percentages in the way that players seem to think.
In fact, six-stack teams still hover around the 50% win percentage. So while grouping doesn't add overwhelming advantage (like most people argue it does), Mercer doubles down perhaps it's most important advantage -- it's really, really fun:
"That’s a lot of math and data to demonstrate that playing solo or playing with a group doesn’t have much of a global systemic effect on your win rate or SR! That being the case, let’s talk about how grouping DOES provide a host of advantages that definitely make playing Overwatch more FUN."
Essentially, Mercer is politely and expertly making reminding Overwatch players the oldest and most inevitable fact about gaming: if you aren't having fun you are doing it wrong.
For all the complaining and many times justified criticism players have over SR systems and unfair matchups, Blizzards new LFG system's main appeal is it helps Overwatch be joyful again. Many reading this may already know the joy of playing with a full stack of friends, but not everyone has had that experience.
Mercer acknowledges the "reluctance from the community" when grouping with strangers and Competitive Play are in the same sentence, but his post makes it very clear that Blizzard's math adds up and the LFG system will be a net positive for those who choose to use it.
Mercer ends the post with some advice outside of the game:
"Be good to one another. Life’s too short."
Wise words from an industry veteran -- but will the infamously critical Overwatch fan base heed it? It is clear from the comments that the post has changed minds about the LFG system and, perhaps, start a trend that finally battles rising in-game toxicity among competitive minded players.
Warcraft 3 is my one true love and I will challenge anyone to a game of Super Smash Brothers Melee.