Brown made other discoveries about how the system fell apart at low levels, too. For instance, he’d often get matched with significantly higher ranked players because there were so few people populating ranks 1-10, but those people wouldn’t get jack for their troubles. “Underdog protection is so extreme in some of these matches that people are only getting like 5 XP for a 20 minute match,” he told me.

Other players, meanwhile, took to accusing Brown of being a booster—that is, somebody who tanks their rank and groups with friends so that those friends, even if they’re ranked 50 or 60, can play against people in the 20s and 30s and reap the skill rating rewards of a “great” performance.

Despite other people’s rage (and the fact that he truly hit the absolute bottom of the skill rating system), Brown said he never stopped having fun finding new and unique ways to lose.

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“You can do the strangest gimmicks and see what you can get away with,” he told me. “For me it’s all about seeing how hard can we push the enemy team and still lose the match. How close can we push that little dial going around to victory and still let it go at the last minute, to make it look like we’re not trying to lose it?”

“I think it was last Tuesday I accidentally won a match, and so we had to spend another eight hours grinding back down to rank one,” he added.

Failing forward

Blizzard’s made some serious changes to the skill rating system for competitive mode season two (which kicks off at the start of September), things that will hopefully clear up practices like boosting. Despite big differences like a 1-5000 skill rating system, tiers, and the inability to group with people far outside your skill rating, Brown says he does, in fact, plan to continue Hanjo-ing his way to the bottom in season two.

“At the very least, I’m gonna do season two, and I may or may not do a season three,” Brown said, adding that if season three kicks off around Christmas, he’ll be too busy at work to put enough time into Overwatch shenanigans. “This is assuming I don’t get banned in the process, because I guarantee I’m getting at least reported at least once a match.”

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Given that his circumstance is pretty crazy, I asked Brown if he thinks Blizzard is aware of him. “I have made myself known to Blizzard,” he replied. “The night I hit rank one, I tweeted them the screen cap of it. Other people replied to my tweet, and 80 percent of them were, ‘This guy should be banned.’ I’m fine with that. Most people are not going to get the Hanjo joke. If you got matched against my Hanzo, you did something wrong.”

If nothing else, Brown and his friends haven’t been banned yet. That’s a good sign. Irate foes have asked Brown if he hopes to gain some form of tangible in-game reward for his troubles, but that’s not it either. He wouldn’t mind an “I Hanjo” voice line for shits and giggles, but it’s not a make-or-break part of his plan, which he describes as a “bad player safari.”

“I’m already at my end game,” he said. “I’m enjoying my end game. I’m watching people go, ‘Oh shit, it’s Hanjo. I’m bad at this game.’”

Maybe Brown’s a walking critique of players who are too invested in arbitrary numbers, or maybe he’s an asshole who’s taking fun from others to make his own. Could be, he’s a bit of both. Sometimes, though, you’ve just gotta embrace the sheer weirdness of a moment, even if you’re not getting points for it.

“People are pissed,” Brown added. “I wish more people would embrace the ‘I Hanjo’ way of thinking. A victory comes from enjoying the match, not winning or losing. Whatever little text pops on your screen, it doesn’t matter. It matters that you had fun doing it.”