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Overwatch 2 - Competitive Play Update

Overwatch 2’s release is nearly upon us, and Activision Blizzard has given further news regarding competitive play within the free-to-play game.
Overwatch 2 - Competitive Play Update

Players have eagerly awaited news regarding how competitive would work in Overwatch 2. We have already been told that Skill Rating (SR) would be removed and replaced by a division and tier system. We also knew that there was not going to be a hard matchmaking rating (mmr) reset but no concrete evidence on exactly what the plan is.

Now we have an answer to both. Here are all the changes to have you prepared for the competitive mode in Overwatch 2.

Overwatch 2 - How to Unlock Competitive

Upon release, all players who have had prior access to Overwatch competitive will have immediate access to competitive matches in Overwatch 2. However, players that start their accounts on or after the 4th of October will have to complete the First-Time User Experience (FTUE) and win 50 quick-play games in order to participate in competitive matches. 

The 50-quick-play win buffer will be a good start for newer players to get used to the mechanics of Overwatch 2 as well as make it more time-consuming for cheaters or toxic players to create a new account.

Overwatch 2 - New Skill Tiers Placements and Decay

Overwatch 2 Competitive
The new Competitive Update in Overwatch 2 (Picture: Activision Blizzard)

Skill Tier Divisions are the new replacement for SR in Overwatch 2. The same tiers from Overwatch 1 will still be in the game, moving from bronze to grandmaster. Added to this is the division system with five divisions to each tier. Division 5 is the lowest while 1 is the lowest.

Each division is roughly 100 sr. The biggest change is how players will receive competitive updates. Instead of your skill rating changing after every game, instead, players receive updates after 7 wins or 20 losses, depending on which comes first. 

Top 500 requirements remain the same with players needing 25 games on a specific role. Open Queue and combined role queue are also unchanged.

Placements are determined just the same as your new competitive update. Players will need either 7 wins or 20 losses to receive their placement. It is expected that players will place lower than they were before given the changes to Overwatch 2.

Players who are inactive for a while will have their internal mmr decayed but upon returning it will become easier for them to climb back up.

Overwatch 2 - Updated UI

Overwatch 2 Scoreboard
Overwatch 2’s New UI interface for scoreboards (Picture: Activision Blizzard)

You will no longer see the player’s portrait levels in-game. The opening screen will not display the player’s current skill tier either. Both of these changes prevent the traditional thought of this person being hardstuck or this person is much better or worse than others. Instead, players will play with no prerequisites. 

The ping system will also give new tools to communicate with your team without having to use a voice channel. In-game sound cues help to further communication with teammates. An example we already know of is the ping on where a target is sleeping.

Overwatch 2 - Improved Game Reports

Overwatch 2 Ana
A look into the Game Reports for Overwatch 2 (Picture: Activision Blizzard)

Game reports are a new feature added to players’ profiles in Overwatch 2. This new feature allows players to view stats from their most recent games. From this players will gain a better understanding of their performance in the game. An important note is that for now games will disappear after a session but there are plans to make them permanent in the future.

Overwatch 2 - Rewards Changes

The competitive season will be aligned with the seasonal schedule. Commemorative sprays and icons earned by players previously will be removed. Instead, there will be Competitive titles for you to earn as you climb through the ranks. These can only be earned during the season and used in the following season.

Competitive Points stay as a reward for winning and drawing Competitive matches. As always you need 3000 points to unlock a gold weapon for a character. The number of bonus Competitive Points is capped by the highest skill tier you reach.

For more on the game, check our section dedicated to Overwatch 2 news, guides, and features.

Featured image courtesy of Activision Blizzard