We’ve been hearing a lot of details about Overwatch 2 in the run up to the game’s launch next week. Blizzard has now sketched out a fuller picture of one of the core components of Overwatch 2: Competitive 2.0. Team 4 has already revealed some details, including changes to the skill tiers and how new players will unlock Competitive, but for the sake of clarity, let’s go over everything.
Blizzard restructured Competitive around a few key pillars: making each season distinct (with things like new heroes, maps, modes and balance changes); ensuring that losing matches isn’t necessarily a negative and there’s still a sense that you’re making progress; and improving the mode for folks who are returning from the original game. Each season will last for nine weeks.
How To Unlock Overwatch 2’s Competitive Mode
Everyone who unlocked Competitive in Overwatch will already have access to it in Overwatch 2 on launch day. New players (those who create an account on or after Overwatch 2’s October 4 launch day) will need to go through the First-Time User Experience, which will help them get to grips with the game. They’ll have access to a limited number of heroes at first and gradually unlock the rest of the original 32 Overwatch heroes as they play games. Kiriko will not be available in ranked mode for anyone in the first two weeks.
To unlock Competitive, new players will need to win 50 Quick Play games. Only Role Queue and Open Queue games will count — not Mystery Heroes or Deathmatch. “This gives new players time to prepare for the higher expectations that come with Competitive, while veteran players don’t feel discouraged by teammates who have less experience,” Blizzard wrote in the blog post. “In the process of unlocking Competitive, we analyze new player skill levels to optimize matchmaking in a way that feels good to everyone.”
‘Overwatch 2’ Skill Tiers
Numerical Skill Ratings will no longer exist in Overwatch 2. Blizzard made that call ” to relieve the sense of being stuck at a certain rank. Seeing your SR go up and down after each match almost felt like taking a test with the teacher passing or failing you based on each individual question rather than your complete work. It was a lot of pressure, and it doesn’t give players an accurate representation of how they’re performing overall in Competitive.”
While the tiers from Overwatch (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master and Grand Master) will stick around, they now each have five tiers. Five is the lowest and one is the highest. So, Grand Master 1 is the tippity top. Each division is equivalent to around 100 SR but instead of losing or gaining SR after every game, you’ll get a Competitive update after every seven wins or 20 losses. This will display your progress and move you to another division. The idea is to show your progress over time, rather than putting too much focus on every individual game.
That said, you won’t see other players’ Competitive skill tiers on the pre-match screen. This is to mitigate bias about another player’s skill level before the match even starts. If a player’s profile is public, you’ll be able to see their skill tiers there.
Top 500 leaderboards won’t change much. They’ll still be split by input pool (controller vs. mouse and keyboard). You’ll only have a shot at appearing on the leaderboard after finishing 25 games for a particular role in Role Queue or 50 games in Open Queue. The leaderboards will open two weeks after the start of each season.
Rather than playing five Competitive games in each queue to determine your ranking, you’ll remain unranked until you hit seven wins or 20 losses. Blizzard says players will likely be put in lower divisions after their placement games in order to give everyone the chance to progress up the ladder, perhaps to where their true skill level lies.
While it’s unclear whether there’ll be a full match making rating (MMR) reset, all players who had a rank in the original Overwatch will be re-ranked in the sequel. “Overwatch 2 is a very different game, so we applied a formula that gives returning players an opportunity to redefine their rank when they dive into updated Competitive,” Blizzard said. “Most players will find their rank is slightly lower when they start out, as they will be learning new concepts and metas. However, players who got to learn more about the game in our betas, or who follow the Overwatch League, may find themselves ranked higher than ever.”
In your Career Profile, you’ll find a new section called Game Reports in the History tab (you may have heard this referred to as an After-Action Report in the past). You’ll be able to view your stats and other details from all matches from your current game session. Open one of these reports and you’ll see information about which heroes you used, how well you played and so on.
You can go deeper by clicking on a hero to get specific stats for each of them. Eventually, the Game Reports section will track recently played matches between sessions. Blizzard also plans to introduce a replay timeline that will highlight key moments and a way to view the game’s final scoreboard results.
Competitive Skill Decay
If you don’t play Overwatch 2 for a while, Blizzard may lower your MMR. This is in order to help Team 4 reassess your skill level at the time you hop back in. These players will have their MMR adjusted rapidly as they play more matches with the idea of helping them quickly return to the appropriate skill tier division.
‘Overwatch 2’ Competitive Rewards
You’ll still earn Competitive Points, which you can use to buy Golden Guns for all heroes (each one costs 3,000 points). You’ll receive 10 CP for a win and three for a draw. You’ll also get bonus CP at the end of each season, but only for the highest skill tier you reached across Role Queue and Open Queue.
The rewards will be different for those who crack the Top 500 leaderboards too. Instead of special sprays and icons, you’ll get a name card that you can use on your profile. You’ll be able to use this to show off the level you reached in a given season.
Of course, since this is a live service game, Blizzard will tweak the Overwatch 2 Competitive mode over time and add more features.
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