Overwatch developer talks about the competitive mode features

Despite it sometimes causing a 'massive outrage', I'm still grateful Jeff Kaplan, Game Director for Overwatch, takes the time to communicate the team's plans with the Overwatch community.

In a recent Developer Update he detailed how exactly Overwatch will support competitive play, how long the seasons will be, and most importantly, what sort of shiny loot will players get for participating. Here's the video, and a brief summary of what I believe are the key points:


• To access ranked play you will need to first obtain level 25. It won't take very long to reach as its simply there to stop brand new players from joining the ranked mode, and getting promptly curb-stomped.

• You will be able to queue with any number of players (1-6), and the matchmaking system will attempt to put you in a game with a similarly sized group. While certainly not a revolutionary idea, its great to hear that Overwatch won't be punishing groups who might lack a player or two.

• A competitive match will require you to play as both the offensive, and defensive team, with the victor only being declared if one team wins both rounds. In the very likely event that it ends up in a draw, the server will randomly choose a control-point map with only one control point enabled, after which the players will need to play a condensed version of the king of the hill game mode.

• There are five tiers, each with their own divisions (think Starcraft 2). Players in the first (challenger) tier will only be able to move upwards, while everyone else will need to fight tooth and nail to get ever higher division rankings, and eventually an upgrade to the next tier. You can lose your division ranking, but you can't be downgraded to a lower tier, so keep on fighting!

• Once implemented, seasons will only last a single month, which is a huge disappointment to me personally as I can't dedicate the necessary amount of time to hopefully grind my way to the top, every single month. It is still in beta, so hopefully this changes, but given how Hearthstone operates under the exact same system I have a feeling we're going to be saddled with the boring one-month seasons.

Season rewards are going to be light, cosmetic, and cool. I think that's about as much as anyone can really ask for, so no complaints here, I like making my characters all pretty.

If you would like to give Overwatch and its competitive mode a try, you will be able to do so soon as the open beta starts on May 5, and runs till May 9, with an extra few days given to those that pre-order.