Overwatch and Junkrat running away from an explosion

While Overwatch is definitely trending upwards in terms of quality, the last two competitive seasons have created a bit of a problematic environment. Up until recently the report system was completely and utterly useless, which combined with the decay system essentially 'forcing' people to play resulted in more than a fair share of angry and otherwise disinterested players.

This is not something that's going to change over night, but you'll be glad to hear that Blizzard is implementing some great tweaks for Season 6 of competitive play. First and foremost, the seasons will now last two months instead of three. Competitive Points at the end of the season will be slightly reduced in order to adjust for this, but worry not as you will now be getting more Competitive Points per win which should help lower rated players get those shiny golden guns more easily.

Grandmaster and Top 500 players will also be happy to hear that queue times are going to go slightly up in order to ensure more balanced matches with relatively equally rated plays. In order to better facilitate this Blizzard is also making sure that placement matches give you a more accurate Skill Rating. In other words, you will no longer start the season lower than your average rating, only to then waste the next 20 games climbing back up to where you were. On a similar note, Skill Rating decay will be made significantly less punishing! You'll only need to play 5 games a week above Diamond rank, and if you do end up decaying you will only lose 25 points per day, not 50. More changes are planned for the future, but for now I'd say this is a decent compromise.

The final and perhaps most controversial change is that Control (KOTH) maps will now be best-of-three, rather than best-of-five. Blizzard's reasoning is that these maps simply took far too long to finish, which inevitably led to a lot of frustration when one side lost a 2-2 match in overtime. I can't exactly agree with this given that I consider those matches to be the absolute highlight of Overwatch, but I suppose its a necessity to have shorter games if the high SR queue times are going to increase.

[Update]: Two additional changes have been announced:


Players in Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond will now be moved into lower skill tiers if they cannot consistently maintain the minimum skill rating for that tier. After a loss, the game will check to see what a player’s current tier and skill rating are—if their skill rating has not exceeded the minimum for their current tier for the past five games, they will be demoted. (Players will never be demoted on a win.)

Don’t worry: Competitive Points awarded at the end of a season will still be based on the highest tier earned that season. So, for example, if you reached Platinum during Season 6, but ended the season in Gold, you will still receive a number of Competitive Points based on your Platinum ranking.


We've adjusted the calculations that determine how much skill rating players will gain after a win and lose after a loss. These changes should help address some of the anomalies players have been reporting, especially with heroes that have lower win-rates. We'll continue tuning this system and are committed to making additional adjustments so that players are encouraged to play the hero they feel gives their team the best chance to win a competitive match.

That's pretty much the long and short of it, but if you would like to get a bit of a better insight into the Overwatch team's thought process I will leave you with the Developer Update video. Enjoy!