Overwatch 2 changes the game's regular mode with the release of a competitive season. The developers at Blizzard entertainment incorporated a mode where a single game would have teams on both attack and defense. Players would be put into a match based on their skill level, giving players more motivation to play and move up the ranks.
How new players unlock competitive mode
For veteran players, you can immediately jump into competitive matches as soon as you have the game. However, competitive mode isn't automatically open to new players as soon as you download the game.
The Blizzard entertainment developers wanted to give new players time to get used to the game. They need to go through join quick play games, winning 50 of them. Though that seems like a lot, the Overwatch 2 developers believed this was a good system to help these newbies get used to the game instead of joining competitive mode in their first game.
For Season one of Overwatch 2, all returning heroes and new heroes released for the game are available to be played.
Skill tiers for competitive seasons
Overwatch 2 has a skill tier system that places players in pools based on their skill level. After placement matches, a player can be placed in these skill tiers:
Each of these ranks has five divisions. For example, Silver 5 is the lowest of the Silver tier, while Silver 1 is the highest.
How placement matches work in Overwatch 2
On release, Blizzard Entertainment launched a revamped way to place players based on their skill rating, doing away with SR numbers and competitive points. Competitive mode has two options:
- Open Queue - players can play any hero they want
- Role Queue - teams must have a composition of one tank, two DPS, and two support.
Before you are put into a skill tier, Overwatch 2 created an algorithm to rank your skill level. They do this by making you play placement matches in each of the roles. You won't have a rank until your first seven wins or 20 losses.
From there, Overwatch 2 will place you based on your Matchmaking rating (MMR). Though the Overwatch 2 team has remained rather hush-hush about the MMR system, this is an algorithm that measures the following:
- Win rate/loss rate
- Damage/Healing output
- Damage Mitigation
After the seven to 26 placement matches, you will be placed, according to this MMR calculation, into a skill tier.
Unlike in the original Overwatch, where you can see your skill rating after each game, your skill tier will remain the same until you have seven wins or 20 more losses. Overwatch would also give you competitive points and things like gold medals after each game, but Overwatch 2 did away with this aspect of competitive mode as well.
Though seven matches seem like a lot, the Overwatch 2 developers wanted players to focus less on their rank grind and more on the fun of the game. Plus, it makes that seventh win feel so much better.
Does my previous Overwatch experience give me a higher rank?
When the switch from the original game to Overwatch 2 took place, the game developers wanted to incorporate the previous season and game data into your competitive matches placement. The developers collected data from the original game to give players a soft matchmaking record.
Though returning players had higher expectations, many found they were ranked two places lower than they were in Overwatch 1.