Trying to Retain My Old Ranking in Street Fighter V is Killing Me

When I left Street Fighter V behind, I was an Ultra Platinum ranked player. While not the highest possible rank one can attain, it’s one of the higher ranks in the game. Based on the distribution of players as of last year, that would have put me within the top 2.5% of all players. Not too shabby!

After taking a multi-year hiatus, I’m kind of back. Been putting in some time with the PC version and really enjoying what the game has finally grown into. However, one particular aspect of the experience is driving me nuts: my struggle to regain my old ranking.

Though I expected some bumps in the road as I climbed back to my former glory, I wasn’t expecting so much turbulence so soon. By the time I reached Gold, I was starting to eat some clean losses to players who were just better than me. By Ultra Gold, I was basically going 50/50, making the climb to Platinum and beyond quite treacherous from here.

Ascending to the level that I have in one week is no small feat. By hitting Ultra Gold in that timeframe, I basically surpassed 94% of the player base (over 1 million players total). The gap between Ultra Gold and Ultra Platinum is only 3.5%. In the grand scheme of things, the numerical gap between those classes isn’t that wide.

But in a cutthroat world where the entire culture of Street Fighter revolves around your skill – especially during a time when IRL tournaments aren’t a thing – I absolutely can’t stand that I’m three rankings lower than my best. And quite frankly, I don’t deserve to get it back right now. Between my ring rust and a larger player base than the one I left behind, every fight I’m encountering now is a bloodbath. If I’m going to rank up, I need to prove it again, just like I did back then.

Having gone down this rabbit hole before, I can’t let the chase for a status ruin me. Even if I really want it. For me to enjoy my time with Street Fighter V, I need to let it go.

Instead, I need to focus on these two things:

1. Having fun

Win or lose, most of my matches have been genuinely exciting. Between the years of fine-tuning on Capcom’s part and the lower input delay on PC, I’m really happy with where the game is currently at. Right now is the most fun I’ve ever had playing Street Fighter V. Just soak in the hype and the salt as it comes!

2. Self-improvement

With new characters, balance adjustments, and the fundamental shift of what’s possible thanks to the reduced input delay, there’s still much for me to learn. When I put in the work, the wins will happen, just as they have with every other fighting game I have put my mind to.

Will I ultimately reach Ultra Platinum? I don’t know. On top of the competition being incredibly fierce, I’m not in the same place in life as I was when this game first came out. As much as I want Ultra Platinum status back, I don’t know if I’m ready to put in the time and effort required to get there if it means that I have to compromise the time I spend making content for all aspects of In Third Person.

But for now, I need to let the shadow of my former self go. It’s no longer fair of me to apply 2016 Street Fighter V standards in 2021. If I get there, that’s amazing! If I don’t, that’s okay too. Just gotta keep my eyes focused on winning whatever fight is in front of me.

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