People leaving mid game

How do you deal with people leaving unfinished games? When you have only 2 left in your team, it’s very hard to win against 5. It’s not always even about them quitting because “you’re losing”. Annoying that it counts as a loss even if you really had no chance and it’s not because of your performance.

To be quite candid, you will always be at a strong disadvantage when a member of your team leaves, and the effect ramps up strongly as more people leave. I have been on the winning team in a fair number of 4v5 games, but I have never seen anyone win a 3v5 or worse. I’m not saying it’s completely impossible (e.g. maybe someone leaves just before the conclusion), but in the couple thousand competitive matches I have played, I have never seen a team win when they were down two more more players.

That said, it’s commendable that you want to respond in a productive way, and there are things you can actually do. Again, a 4v5 is absolutely winnable – and it feels great to be on the winning side of one. And, even if a 3v5 or worse, it still feels better to give it a shot and to possibly take something away from the match, besides just a feeling of disappointment.

Here are a few constructive suggestions:

Switch to compensate. Depending on which role was vacated by the leaver, you can sometimes switch characters to make up for the lost capacity. For instance: if the Tank left, a Support can switch to Brigitte. While Brigitte can’t ever be a full replacement for a tank, she is very sturdy for a support (and tougher than even some DPS) and, if played well, can use her shield and mace to make and hold tactical space like a tank would. By the same token, Zenyatta can partially compensate for a missing DPS. In any case, it can be a stretch, but a team absolutely must compensate for the lost role if they hope to win.

Hold your life close. When your team only has 4 members, it’s a much harder blow to your position when someone gets picked. As such, it’s important to play very defensively, and avoid unnecessary risks. This circumstance does box you in a bit, as strategies that might play well in a balanced 5v5 are now much more prone to fallible. E.g. whereas Tracer might usually jump out on risky sorties to finish a pick on the enemy back line, doing so when you’re down a team member risks the collapse of your whole position if something goes sideways (like a Kirko with a sharp eye who can turn on a dime and pop Tracer right in the face.) More concretely: Make sure that you stay close to healing sources, avoid fighting from blind spots where you could be easily ambushed, and stay out of lines of sight where an unnoticed sniper could easily pick you.

Be cool. Yes, it’s incredibly frustrating when someone leaves and ruins the game for you. No argument at all. But if you actually want a chance at winning, you need to keep your head. Don’t ruminate on the unfairness, or catastrophize the situation. Especially don’t go into the chat with “GG” or complaining. That’s basically signalling to the rest of your team (and the enemy) that you are planning to lose. If you indicate that you’re giving up, there’s a good chance you’re influencing your team to do the same – which basically guarantees the loss. Instead, take a deep breath and think about how you’re going to win. Take a second to type some praise to someone on your team who you think is really helping to hold things together, even against the odds. Mindset matters, and when you’re already playing at a disadvantage, you must keep yours level and focused.

Take what you can. It’s discouraging, but if I’m entirely honest, some games actually do degenerate to a point where they are manifestly unwinnable. If the timer is expired, it’s okay to leave. But since you’re already in the game, you might as well see if there’s anything you can get from it. Failures can be occasion for learning too, and it can be illuminating to see exactly why a team fails when it is missing a Tank, DPS, or Support – and you can’t collect this data if you don’t keep trying for the win as best you can. Alternately, if you just don’t care, then come out of the spawn and emote while the clock runs down. It can actually be a relief to have a good laugh out of the mess, and could help you put down some of the negative energy so you don’t carry it into a subsequent game.

Hope this helps,



I fight until the bloody end.

Sometimes, you can pull off a win.

Your team will probably need to swap characters to make up for the leaver.


Good tips! I usually switch to someone like Bap who can do more dmg. Never played Brig but probably should learn. I think it’s especially hard when the tank leaves the game cos there’s only one of them. Makes me miss 6vs6.

Just leave at that point.

I particularly enjoy a 4v5 match up.

I welcome the challenge.

I’ve won a good handful of them so far in my OW career and they do feel amazing.

Best option is to buddy up with a teammate versus 5 stack.

If your Tank leaves, best chance you got is 2 DPS pockets (Dps+Supp, Dps+Supp) versus 5 stack team. In this scenario, each DPS can tank a little harder via the pocket but must land their shots and get quick picks. Very doable so long as the attitude in the team hasn’t broken from a Player leaving.

If a Support leaves, Supp+Tank & Dps+Dps versus 5 stack. In this scenario, both DPS’ buddying up needs to hard focus on one opponent at a time and must eliminate ONE enemy asap. Tank+supp is to mainly hold ground and stay alive until DPS buddies can get a pick fast to create a 4v4 team fight for as long as possible.

If a DPS leaves, Supp+Tank & DPS+Supp versus 5 stack OR Supp+Supp+Tank & Off-angle/Flank DPS versus 5 stack. In this scenario, the DPS NEEDS to be near by tank at all times and hard focus the opponents aiming at your tank via off angle positioning. Flank ONLY if you’re at advantage like a 4v3 scenario just to keep the stagger going.

All in all, there are many things to learn from every time it happens.

Increase your odds and Never give up.


Yeah but there goes your chance to rank up when you get 2 of those games before getting the 5 wins.

My boi Bro on the forums delivering unfaltering positivity whereever he goes, what a man

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Nothing you can do here, just wait those 2 mins and leave

That’s what I try to do. I don’t really feel like just leaving the game and taking the loss. I just think it’s really unfair. It’s like you’re getting punished for someone else’s actions. I wish other people had the same attitude as you! Most give up immediately.

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