Solo-Queueing in Pokémon Unite: A Tragedy

Have you been solo-ing the Ranked ladder of Pokemon Unite, and met with nothing but frustration and heartbreak? You may be entitled to compensation. Unfortunately, the only compensation I can provide is letting you know that you’re not alone.

If only they were all like this…

Now, I’m completely new to the world of MOBA’s – I’ve never played any outside of Pokemon Unite. I’m hardly an expert player. However, I’ve come to understand enough about the game to be able to perform at a slightly-higher-than-mediocre level, and boy is it frustrating being surrounded by some of the trubbish that play. I’m literally hanging on to Veteran Class 1 by my nails. If you’re like me, and have also suffered through enough Ranked games with a team that doesn’t seem to understand even the most basic of strategies (COMMIT TO A LANE AND STAY THERE) feel free to come hang out here, and complain along with me. I’m going to share an overview of some of the classic players you’ll meet in the dreg heap that is Pokemon Unite Ranked play.


Seriously, it’s probably less than 2 minutes between hitting that Ready! button, picking your Pokemon, and starting the match. Where could you possibly have gone in that time?? For the love of Arceus, if you can’t commit to a 10 minute match, please don’t queue up in Ranked. Having to struggle through a 4 v 5 (or worse, a 3 v 5) when the other members on your team refuse to surrender is beyond infuriating. Just. Stop.

The Can’t-Stop-Won’t-Stop Jungler

So for those unfamiliar – the concept of a “Jungler” is a MOBA term that refers to the role of a character that farms EXP as fast as possible, in order to level up and be able to assist their teammates where needed. In Unite, the jungler will stick to the central area between the top and bottom lanes. Offensive Pokemon like Zeraora, Lucario, and Absol are good jungling Pokemon. The problem here comes from players that like to jungle, then jungle, then jungle some more. And continue to jungle throughout the entire match. Losing bases? Oh well. Drednaw who? Don’t need Rotom. Teammates spamming “I need backup!” – not my problem. Might come to the center for Zapdos… maybe. Listen kid, it doesn’t do the team any good if you’re at level 14 still fighting Ludicolo in the central area. I understand you have EXP to farm, but HELP YOUR GODDAMN TEAM.

A secondary shout-out to those that don’t call a lane during the Battle Prep screen, and you just know they’re going to be an asshole. Sure enough, as soon as the match starts, they’re following the jungler into the central area, fighting with them for EXP (it’s probably a Cinderace), while one of the laners ends up by themselves. You love to see it.

Teamwork makes the dream work!

The Madlad

The first few minutes of any match can be quite tense – the Pokemon in each lane are facing off, determined to protect their base from the others. In my opinion, you’re better off trying to farm as much EXP as possible in your lane (often by trying to steal your opponents Aipoms and Audinos) in the early stages. You only need to push for the opposing base when presented a good opportunity, or when the Jungler is there to assist. Constantly throwing yourself at the enemies and their base when you a) have 12 points and b) are at an extremely low level, is pretty pointless. But tell that to Leroy Jenkins, the level 3 Gible, whose sole purpose seems to be either dying, or dragging you into a fight and causing both of you to die while the opposing team scores. Awesome. Dawg, see this base? STAY ON IT.

The Lone Wolf

You know the type – the MVP chasers. Wherever the big team fights are going on, the 3v3 or 4v4 showdowns (especially over Drednaw) this Pokemon can usually be found heading the complete opposite direction. They’re not interested in being a team player, or doing anything even remotely helpful to their teammates. All they care about is dunking their points, and avoiding every fight possible. Well guess what? (you may want to sit down for this one) – even if you’re MVP of the losing team, YOU STILL LOST. Help your team, for the love of Bidoof.

The Salty Troll

God forbid you do something to piss this kind of player off. Maybe you’re too slow to respond to their “I need backup!” or you don’t assist them when they’re expecting you to. Maybe you leave them on their own while you head to the bottom lane to fight Drednaw. Or maybe you don’t surrender before Zapdos. Either way, this player views this as a slight from which they can never possibly recover. You’ll usually find them camping in your home base, or otherwise doing absolutely nothing for the rest of the match. Salt levels shoot through the roof as you solider on without them. Even though there’s no real penalty, I highly recommend reporting these types of players once the game wraps up.

The Anti-Kobe

Did you know that every time you dunk a point (doesn’t matter if it’s one point or fifty) your Unite move charges a little faster? Did you know that in the case of a tie game, the victory goes to the team that scored the first point? Interesting, huh? Dunking your points is important. I know saving up for double-points in the endgame seems like a good idea, but its unlikely that you’ll survive that long, or that the opposing team won’t give you a hard time. You’re better off dunking when you have the opportunity. And yet… and yet. You still have the anti-Kobe’s, the couldn’t-be-me-LeBron’s, the players who REFUSE TO DUNK THEIR POINTS. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. As a tank/defender, there’s nothing more frustrating than escorting a player to an opposing base, and having them stand there and do nothing. I’m screeching.


The Unawares

On the other hand, you get the double-dippers, the players that are so anxious to dunk their points that they don’t care who or what is going on around them. I get that there’s a lot going on in a Unite match – defending, paying attention to your teammates instructions, farming EXP, rotating for Drednaw, etc. Sometimes, it’s hard to pay attention to all these things at once. But please, PLEASE, pay attention when you’re dunking. If an enemy base has a low number of points left to break, take a second to glance at your teammates current points – you may find that your (slow)bro, running up beside you, has 40 points while you have a paltry 10. Which dunk is more important? Take your time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a situation where I don’t get to dunk my HUGE AMOUNT OF POINTS because my well-to-do pal is more interested in getting their 4 points banked. I’m getting aggravated just writing about this.

I better leave it there before my blood pressure gets out of control. I’m sure there are competent people out there playing Unite… I just can’t seem to find any of them. I mean, seriously, they can’t all be children, can they?

Have you guys been playing any Pokemon Unite? What has your experience been with the player base? Let me know in the comments!