Is wanting to win wrong?

Is winning unhelpful when it comes to learning?

  • Yes

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No

    Votes: 47 100.0%

  • Total voters
    47

GamerZard

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#1
I hope I'm not repeating myself...

I keep seeing people saying playing to learn require not wanting to win. To me, that sounds like "Play like you're trying to study Melee don't acknowledge any feel-good moments that aren't related to practicing."

I'm a competitive person. Winning is just so satisfying. Can you really not learn anything from a win? I can't lose and take it as EXP gained, as said before.
 

Red Ryu

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#3
Winning shouldn't be the main focus of your training.

You want to win but learning and knowing what you can do to improve. If you missed a follow up ask what you could have done better. What could you work on in neutral or in your recovery.

This is more important in the long run.
 
Last edited:

staindgrey

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#4
I think what you're getting at, OP, is that you need to get beat up by people better than you are in order to learn how to get on their level. In which case, yes, you absolutely must if you want to win on their level.

If you'd rather pick fights with people you already know you can beat for the sake of winning more, by all means. Go ahead. But it's a pretty unfulfilling feeling if you really are a competitive person.
 

Oneiros5321

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#5
It is definitely not wrong to want to win. That being said, there's a difference between wanting to win and not accepting a defeat.

Working your way to the win is certainly important, that is why you practice. If someone tells you that you should only play to learn, he's probably lying to you or even himself. Failing is never fun. But failing should be a motivation to work your way up and practice to get that win.

Let's say that as long as you don't leave a match as soon as you lose and use this opportunity to learn, rematch and get that win, then wanting to win isn't a problem at all.
 

RepStar

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#7
No. Why would someone play to lose. What they mean is dont think ahead about you winning the match because, youll lose focus of the fight at the moment. Its not a deep statement.
 
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#8
No, but winning shouldn't be the only thing that matters either. Learning something and improving from your past mistakes is more important than whether you won or lost.
 

CrownAxe

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#9
I think you are misunderstanding what people are saying when they say "play to learn, not play to win" (or people said it wrong but hard to say).

Look at it in a different way. If winning is so satisfying would you get the same satisfaction from games of chance? If you were just flipping coins and you get a win if you flip heads would you find that as satisfying as winning a game of smash?

No, right?

Part of the satisfaction and enjoyment of competitive gaming comes from playing it and not just from winning. Winning, I personally find, is so satisfying because it validates your playing (which is why it's so less satisfying in games of chance) but playing is the actual enjoyable part. What's important is focusing on that playing because when you derive more enjoyment from playing the game then winning it you can enjoy the game when you are losing as well.
 
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Swamp Sensei

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#10
Nothing wrong with wanting to win. That's just your inner desire to succeed coming out.

Just be careful not to be the guy who HAS to win. Learn to accept losses. They stink but at the end of the day, it's important to have fun and focus on improving.
 

Scuzzy

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#11
Gotta want the win if you want to push yourself to get better, but it's always way more rewarding to lose a good match to someone who's better than you than to easily beat someone you're better than.
 

Perversion

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#12
Always play to win, but when you lose do so with grace. When you win, don't gloat but instead take the win and watch it over and over again in replays to see what you did right. When you lose, don't get salty, instead (if you have the capabilities to) ask your opponent what you were doing wrong and how you can improve that matchup as well as other general skills. Eventually winning will become more prominent and is a sign of perseverance in a skill.

Honestly, nowadays people look to things with the intent of being good from the get go. Yet each new skill requires dedication and constant attention in order to become good at it. Getting mad at something because you're not an instant prodigy is not a good mindset yet more and more people are trending to have it, and that is a bit saddening. It's called skill for a reason, because it's learned, not inherited.
 

MalanoMan

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#13
When I consciously think about winning, I usually end up losing. Let me elaborate.

When Im trying to win a game, this is my mindset:

1. There is no winning or losing, only smash.
2. Observe the opponent.
3. Counter opponent as needed.
4. Mix up gameplay.
5. Dont be stupid.

The idea is to get lost in the game. I try not to think "im gunna win" or "im gunna lose" because it pulls my thoughts away from the 5 things above. Instead, I need to focus on what my opponent is doing and I just let my hands do their thing. Instead of telling myself "im rolling too much" or "projectiles are annoying" I just focus on doing what I need to do in order to force the opponent off the stage and off the screen. Hopefully, at the end of it, I see a results screen with my character in the center. At that point, winning is the best. :)
 
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#14
Nothing wrong with wanting to win. That's just your inner desire to succeed coming out.

Just be careful not to be the guy who HAS to win. Learn to accept losses. They stink but at the end of the day, it's important to have fun and focus on improving.
Best answer here.

Though I want to add if you're facing more casual or rather less skilled players than yourself in a casual environment with friends or family... play for fun rather than to win. It's not fun for them to get stomped every match. Change up characters and try risky moves then, winning against them isn't an achievement at that point and will likely turn them off the game if you make it unfun for them cause the level of play is that uneven.
 
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#16
I might make my own thread on this, but honestly the game really over exaggerates losing when it comes to GSP. I've lost 700K+ GSP from a single match. I think we can all agree that losing one match doesn't make someone objectively worse than over half a million people. Not to mention that losing doesn't make you worse at all, it just means your opponent was better than you. You didn't somehow become worse than tens of thousands of people in the middle of the match which is evidenced by losing. If anything losing makes you better; ever hear of learning from your mistakes?

Anyway I'm getting off topic, but wanting to win is not bad at all.
 

GamerZard

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#17
I might make my own thread on this, but honestly the game really over exaggerates losing when it comes to GSP. I've lost 700K+ GSP from a single match. I think we can all agree that losing one match doesn't make someone objectively worse than over half a million people. Not to mention that losing doesn't make you worse at all, it just means your opponent was better than you. You didn't somehow become worse than tens of thousands of people in the middle of the match which is evidenced by losing. If anything losing makes you better; ever hear of learning from your mistakes?

Anyway I'm getting off topic, but wanting to win is not bad at all.
You're not. That's what's I'm so focused on; GSP.

I look at GSP as the ranking system it's said to be, albeit in a way that depresses me. Every loss is a loss in GSP, and thus a loss in viability, which is why I stop using characters I lose a lot with. Thing is, I also avoid my superheavy mains for the same reason.

I can learn from my mistakes, but I always unconsciously repeat them because I treat GSP as validation.

Of all the mindsets I want to remove this year, this one is significantly the hardest to get rid of.
 

Swamp Sensei

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#18
You're not. That's what's I'm so focused on; GSP.

I look at GSP as the ranking system it's said to be, albeit in a way that depresses me. Every loss is a loss in GSP, and thus a loss in viability, which is why I stop using characters I lose a lot with. Thing is, I also avoid my superheavy mains for the same reason.

I can learn from my mistakes, but I always unconsciously repeat them because I treat GSP as validation.

Of all the mindsets I want to remove this year, this one is significantly the hardest to get rid of.
Well look at it this way.

GSP is busted anyways, lol.
 

Oddball

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#19
Win... loose.... doesn't matter. Just play to have fun and enjoy yourself.

If that means you're not getting any better but your still having fun, go with that.
 

Mischiiii

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#20
Looks like my post on another one of your threads led to this thread.

I think a mix of both is the most healthy for a player that wants to improve.

In Germany there is a saying “a good horse only jumps as high as it needs to”

If you never loose you will never have to improve or change. Never loosing can lead to strengthening bad habits that work against people lower than you but get you demolished at higher levels.

You need to accept your losses and learn from them and use your wins to keep your spirits up to play more games.
 

MalanoMan

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#21
I might make my own thread on this, but honestly the game really over exaggerates losing when it comes to GSP. I've lost 700K+ GSP from a single match. I think we can all agree that losing one match doesn't make someone objectively worse than over half a million people. Not to mention that losing doesn't make you worse at all, it just means your opponent was better than you. You didn't somehow become worse than tens of thousands of people in the middle of the match which is evidenced by losing. If anything losing makes you better; ever hear of learning from your mistakes?

Anyway I'm getting off topic, but wanting to win is not bad at all.
I do agree with you here. GSP is pretty wonky. There have been times when I came in 3rd and gained GSP which doesnt make much sense.

I also dont think that 1 GSP = 1 person. I think its kinda like an elo ranking system. I dont know how they're calculating the number, but I think its based on more than just how you place in a match. I think its also dependent things like KOs and damage given and taken and some stats that they dont show like grab % and any other crazy stuff they might factor into the GSP. So I could see how you might lose 700k especially if you quickly shot up in ranking, and then got really unlucky in one battle.
 
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#22
I do agree with you here. GSP is pretty wonky. There have been times when I came in 3rd and gained GSP which doesnt make much sense.

I also dont think that 1 GSP = 1 person. I think its kinda like an elo ranking system. I dont know how they're calculating the number, but I think its based on more than just how you place in a match. I think its also dependent things like KOs and damage given and taken and some stats that they dont show like grab % and any other crazy stuff they might factor into the GSP. So I could see how you might lose 700k especially if you quickly shot up in ranking, and then got really unlucky in one battle.
I believe all of this except that Nintendo explicitly said that GSP determines how many players you outrank. Losing 700K GSP means, according to Nintendo, that I'm suddenly outranked by 700K people because of one match, and we can all agree that's BS.
 

MG_3989

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#24
Wanting to win isn’t a bad thing at all. You should want to win. You just shouldn’t take your loses too hard and you should try to learn from them. Don’t let losing GSP get to you. I’m a super competitive person too and I don’t like losing or losing GSP but I’ve had to learn to accept them as part of the game and try to learn from them. If you can’t accept losing you’re gonna get tilted and lose more
 

EGsmash

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#25
Ok, so I just picked up Chrom a week ago because someone said that he was fun. I had never played an anime swordie before so why not? Anyway, after about 20 minutes in training I went to play some online battles. Over the course of maybe 20 matches I went from a starting GSP of 3 million down to 10k. I lost nearly every. single. battle. But I didn't stress about it because they knew their character better than I knew mine. I just tried to get around them as best I could. I rematched everyone who would rematch me, telling myself that I would get lumped in with lower GSP folks soon enough. Sure enough I ended up in the lower pool and the folks I went up against were much easier partly because of GSP and partly because I had just been playing higher skilled players.

I spent the next week playing Chrom from lower rank. After some time I starting winning nearly every single battle. But it wasn't like "YEAH I'M FINALLY WINNING NOW" but more like "Oh hey, I guess I just won the last 10 games straight..." Not only am I sitting back at 3 mil GSP only a week after I started, but I took Chrom to my first local tournament and ended up making it to the 5th round! Best of all, I had fun the entire time even when I was getting wrecked.

It's like people say it's 'just' mindset. The trick is finding some mechanism that works for you to get you in the right mindset. What worked for me might not work for you so you need to do a little soul searching or try some different suggestions until you find your groove.
 

Mischiiii

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#26
I believe all of this except that Nintendo explicitly said that GSP determines how many players you outrank. Losing 700K GSP means, according to Nintendo, that I'm suddenly outranked by 700K people because of one match, and we can all agree that's BS.
I agree. That’s the problem when you put a number out there. Something like Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master and Grand Master would be better. Just one single word without any further information like Gold League 1-5 (example from Rocket League). It is impossible to tell the rank of so many people down to one number. Because i can imagine that many players are so close to each other.

I should mention that an already poor self-image of myself contributes to my mindset. Every loss adds to my depression and low self-esteem. I put the game down and do something else every once in a while, but as said, it's not easy to fix.
That’s a good start. Maybe start working on your self esteem while you are taking a break from gaming. I recently watched a video on yt about gaming addiction and the guy in the video had the problem that he got really mad because he lost to much in team fortress and dota although he had fun at the start because he didn’t expected to win the majority of time.

But I’ll stop here because i don’t want to assume what your personal insecurities are. This is a smash community after all.
 

JDCabrera

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#28
It is fine.
Just try to learn from your defeats too. That way you'll get better as a player.
 

BTHK_Nydus

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#29
I get what you guys are saying about GSP, but it sounds more like some ladder anxiety. Like how I used to love playing Starcraft, but it's so much work and my fear of losing would inevitably stop me from playing it; I just began to spend more time watching pros to enjoy it, but not playing myself.

There's only one way to get over ladder anxiety, and that's just to play. If your GSP is still changing a lot, then you probably don't have too many games under your belt. It definitely starts to stabilize after you've played more games. But just like any ELO based game, nothing is set in stone. If you get better and start winning more consistently, you can rank up. If helps you at all, my main is Lucina and I lost like 9 of my first 10 games on her and plummeted to 30k GSP. It didn't make me feel good, but honestly, it was kind of relieving, because I knew I could just play and not worry about it. In my case, though, I actually had a really ****ty setup that made playing online a death sentence, so once I got my lan adapter, moved off my 4K TV/onto my gaming monitor, and got my GC controller adapter, I was able to climb out back out. So if you haven't done any of those things, try that first! haha The TV lag especially, since that only affects you. Anyway, it has been a much longer climb than it should have been (I think 20 wins in a row got me to 1mil, and now I'm at 3mil and climbing, winning about 70%) but it's a stable climb. Wins give me less than they would have if I had just won right away, but losses also cost me less.

I'll also add, that 2 main things you should try and keep in mind.

1. Having high GSP doesn't tell the whole story about your skill, and it certainly doesn't say anything about your worth as a person. Skill wise, it's so random with the internet connection you get, the rules you get, the character matchups you get, the maps you get, whether you ran into some YouTuber who is doing a 1GSP to Elite Smash challenge or whether you played someone actually at the correct rank... the list goes on. Just keep playing. Online mode is a fun way to get to play without having to leave your home/find your friends in real life.

2. GSP is intended to get you competitive matches. Despite what I just said in part 1, I actually believe that if you play enough your GSP will settle where it belongs, as you begin to flatten out that variability. Lets say you settle in at 500k GSP. Maybe that's not as high as you'd like, but in theory it should help you get competitive matches, since that's just your skill level right now. As you start to improve and learn more matchups, it will go up and you'll continue to get competitive matchups. While everyone's (including mine) favorite use of GSP is to brag to their friends, it's just supposed to help you matchmake. But if getting your GSP to where you want motivates you to play and have fun (like me), then use it! :)

If all else fails, just play arenas. I usually play some for warmups and I often find some decent competition. Or just used online for the best reason of just playing against your real life friends that live too far away to play IRL. I play my friend 2 timezones away and it's just like the old days (sometimes there's a little more lag than other times, but it's usually good to go).


ANYWAY, I hope the above helped someone with some ladder/rank anxiety. But now to answer the original question posed, I think that you can play to win while playing to learn. The way to do it is to challenge yourself while you're training. Play on that stage that you usually ban (or the one you never ban, but cross your fingers you don't have to play haha). Find someone who plays the character you always lose to/counterpick against and practice the difficult matchup. Find someone to play friendly sets against so you can practice tournament format and better learn stage picking, and learn to play under some light pressure.
 

MalanoMan

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#30
I believe all of this except that Nintendo explicitly said that GSP determines how many players you outrank. Losing 700K GSP means, according to Nintendo, that I'm suddenly outranked by 700K people because of one match, and we can all agree that's BS.
Seems to me like this is Nintendo is just saying that just to get people off their back. GSP is definitely determined by some sort of formula that fits a model for predicting GSP based on some set of statistics. If the data comes from sources that wasnt considered by the model, youll get outliers in your results, (like you dropping 700K in one match or the guy in another post at 3.7 mil GSP that still isnt Elite).

More simply : GSP is a mathematical formula. You are a weird number in the formula and therefore you got a weird result!

I like this one. I'll definitely remember this one.
Its a very good one to keep in mind, young grasshopper!
 

Uffe

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#31
No. I was told recently that if you're only having fun with this game because you're winning, then you're playing it for the wrong reason. Play to have fun. Yes, win if you can or know you can. Don't make that the main focus, though, otherwise when you do fail, it's going to leave you upset.
 
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#33
They made a change to GSP, but how though?
It seems to be just some behind-the-scenes changes that probably matter pretty little. Whatever changed, my Mii Brawler was taken out of Elite Smash (whom I've played a high number of games with) and my Yoshi was put back in Elite Smash (whom I've played maybe two or three games with), which I suppose signifies the changes were also applied to the games or points prior to the patch as well. It's just purposefully vague on Nintendo's part, but it still seems to be doing it's job. Best quickplay update is that if the players are ready now, it'll skip the countdown and go straight in to the game, so let's be happy about that one :)
 

GamerZard

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#34
Winning shouldn't be the main focus of your training.

You want to win but learning and knowing what you can do to improve. If you missed a follow up ask what you could have done better. What could you work on in neutral or in your recovery.

This is more important in the long run.
So wanting to win is wrong?
 

Felancius

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#35
I think by what you mean means that you want to keep winning. Thing is, wanting to win is not a bad thing AT ALL, but rather, not accepting a loss or two is what's a bad thing. Sadly, the GSP system, which still needs some serious tweaking, seems to try and force the latter as a mindset due to how a single loss affects it so I don't blame you if it built up to the point of asking if it's bad to want to win for that reason (Assuming you're playing Quickplay). However, winning is a sign of improvement, so if you keep losing, ask for help or try a different character or approach to your game plan. Winning and losing is just part of what makes the game fun.

Keep all that in mind, don't be ashamed of losing, and it's fine to want to win.
 

Xelrog

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#36
I mean, winning is the main and final goal. If you lose, you then take what you can learn from that and apply it in the hopes of winning in the future.

When I hear someone talk about "playing to win," what comes to my mind is people handicapping themselves. A friend of mine got into the habit of just letting opponents get back to the stage because in his mind pursuing them and not letting them recover was "cheap." This, obviously, is an extreme handicap that's going to limit his performance. Same if you don't use projectiles, or refuse to use a character you're good with because you think they're "too OP," or whatever. Improvement's not going to happen unless you're playing to win.

That said, you shouldn't get salty if you lose. That's a sign that you're taking the game way too seriously and it's just going to cause you health problems. Temper your mindset to both win and lose with grace, but give it your all each time and accept that your best is your best.
 

Coolboy

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#38
even though i am not a serious competitive player who only wanna play 1v1 matches..i do always play to win like probably everyone else i fought,
the only exception for me is if i play a character for the lulz then idc what happens xD

i consider that it's important to have a ''i want to win!'' attitude!

but even i am dealing with a wall right now with a certain ruleset.. like 1v1 matches over 3 & 3.5 mil just aren't fun to me and they seem to impossible.. like some matches i really do bad..but most of the matches in this rank where me and the opponent are on last stock and high damage i am always the 1 getting KO'ed..it even got so annoying that i decided not to play 1v1 for awhile anymore..cause it's getting frustrating..
ironically i feel like i always get a matchup that the current character i play as is just bad against, or a character i am just bad against in general >.<
 

Luigifan18

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#40
I mean, winning is the main and final goal. If you lose, you then take what you can learn from that and apply it in the hopes of winning in the future.

When I hear someone talk about "playing to win," what comes to my mind is people handicapping themselves. A friend of mine got into the habit of just letting opponents get back to the stage because in his mind pursuing them and not letting them recover was "cheap." This, obviously, is an extreme handicap that's going to limit his performance. Same if you don't use projectiles, or refuse to use a character you're good with because you think they're "too OP," or whatever. Improvement's not going to happen unless you're playing to win.

That said, you shouldn't get salty if you lose. That's a sign that you're taking the game way too seriously and it's just going to cause you health problems. Temper your mindset to both win and lose with grace, but give it your all each time and accept that your best is your best.
Does your friend know the difference between "cheap" and "risky"? The problem with poor edgeguarding is that it costs you a stock right then and there.
 
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