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As the launch of Overwatch 2 nears, Blizzard has detailed the changes the studio intends to make to the popular FPS’ competitive or ranked modes.
In case you’re not up to speed yet, Overwatch 2 will basically replace Overwatch 1 including in the competitive scene. Those intending to play the free-to-play sequel’s equivalent of a ranked mode will find Blizzard’s been very busy behind the scenes – with changes in both gameplay and UI.
The first of these we learned about already during the Defense Matrix reveal, with a big change to how you unlock Competitive Mode in the first place for new players.
Overwatch 2 Competitive – unlocking Competitive mode
If you’re a brand new player starting Overwatch 2 from October 4, you’ll have to complete the First Time User Experience (FTUE) and win 50 Quick Play matches before you unlock the ability to play Competitive mode.
Blizzard says “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.”
Anyone who has Competitive mode unlocked previously – by playing Overwatch 1, for example – on the other hand will find the mode still unlocked for them when they launch the sequel.
Overwatch 2 Competitive – Skill Tier Divisions & Placement changes
Another change the team is making is to ditch the SR (skill rating) score from the previous game. However, Skill Tiers will still exist – from Bronze to Grand Master.
There’ll be five divisions from 5 to 1 in each, and you’ll progress through until you rank up to the next – except if you’re in the top 500 players which does not have a division. Each of these divisions has approximately an equivalent range to a 100SR range.
For Placement, Blizzard say players will earn a competitive update about once every seven wins or 20 losses, rather than per game.
Any players ranked in Competitive before Overwatch 2 will find their rank modified post launch, with most players finding their rank slightly lower than previously – as Blizzard say Overwatch 2 is a “very different game”.
However, if you’ve been playing since the beta or the Overwatch League, you may find yourself ranked higher.
Overwatch 2 Competitive – other Competitive changes
Other tweaks and changes to the Competitive modes include a new in-match UI, with the removal of portrait borders that symbolise player levels. Instead, you’ll be able to display name cards and titles. There’ll also be a new scoreboard that should help you see at a glance your team’s needs.
You’ll also be able to earn new limited Competitive titles for your name card, and you’ll still be able to earn Competitive points with 15 for a win and 5 for a draw. Earning 3000 of these points will also allow you buy a Golden Weapon.
However, Competitive Points bonuses granted at the end of a season will be capped to the highest skill tier you reach in any of your roles – which includes Open Queue.
Finally, there’ll be a new section in the Career Profile where you can find your highlights and replays of matches called Game Reports.
These Game Reports will give you a detailed breakdown of your matches, letting you really drill down into your performance. Future updates planned for these reports include having recently played matches persist across sessions and a timeline feature.
Overwatch 2 is set to release next week on October 4 – and we’ve been collecting all the info on release in our handy hub over here.
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