Everything You Need To Know About OVERWATCH Competitive Play Season 2

Competitive play season one has officially ended and Overwatch players have been very vocal about their discontent with the ranking system.

 According to game director, Jeff Kaplan, those complaints haven’t landed on deaf ears and Blizzard is taking action, in fact they don’t like the ranking system either which is why they have decided to revamp the whole thing. The Overwatch community can expect to see some major changes in season two.

Among those changes and one of the most significant is the introduction of skill tiers which will also result into skill rating no longer being measured on a 1 to 100 scale. Instead, it will range from 1 to 5000 with the idea of providing players better feedback on how each match affects their individual rating.  Focus will be, however, on the tiers which are as follows:

Bronze- 1-1499

Silver - 1500-1999

Gold - 2000-2499

Platinum - 2500-2999

Diamond - 3000-3499

Master - 3500-3999

Grandmaster - 4000-5000

It’s noteworthy that once players reach any tier from Bronze all the way to Diamond they won’t drop out of it even if their skill rating falls below the cutoff for their highest achieved tier. Master and Grandmaster tiers are a whole different story since a bad losing streak can potentially set you all the way back to Diamond. In order to keep top players playing rather than resting on their laurels, any player with a skill rating over 3000 will experience what will be known as skill rating decay, that is, they will lose 50 points per day after not playing at least one match on competitive play for 7 days, not to mention that they will automatically be dropped from top 500. Speaking of which, in order to qualify for top 500, players will be required to have at least 50 matches won on competitive play. It's also worth noting that players with more than a 500 difference in skill rating will be unable to play together on competitive matches. 

Another big change is that Blizzard is doing away with sudden death and instead tied games will end in a draw, which according to them will be a rare occurrence thanks to some tweaks they’ve done to map objectives, map rotation rules, and the way the time bank will be handled. 

In regard to rewards, the competitive points awarded for a win will be 10 and 3 for a draw but likewise the cost of gold weapon skins will now be 3000. Additionally, any stored points will be automatically multiplied by 10 but players with more than 6000 points at the beginning of season  two will be unable to accrue more points.

Other changes include hero balance updates as follows:


Ultimates that consume the ultimate meter when activated will now drain the meter more quickly (.25 second instead of 1 second)
Reverted a recent change to reduce size of heroes’ projectiles

Developer Comments: Altering the size of projectiles in flight had too many unintended side effects to keep in the game, at least in its current form. We will continue watching this and make additional changes if necessary.


Defense Matrix
After being activated, Defense Matrix will begin regenerating following a 1-second delay (formerly .5 seconds)

Developer Comments: Defense Matrix was too efficient when tapped repeatedly, instead of being held. Now, the recovery delay matches the ability cooldown.


Hanzo will now experience a 30% decrease in speed while aiming (formerly 40%)
Maximum projectile speed has been increased by 30%

Developer Comments: Hanzo has the potential to deal a lot of damage, but he can feel really inconsistent, even at a medium distance. By increasing the projectile speed, we’re extending his reliable range, making it easier to land shots without having to perfectly predict enemy movement.


The Blizzard projectile now pierces barriers
Radius has been increased from 8 meters to 10 meters

Developer Comments: Mei has an interesting toolkit, but her ultimate often felt like it was too difficult to use effectively. Consequently, it felt weak compared to many other ultimate abilities. The freeze effect has been piercing barriers for some time now, but the projectile would still be blocked. Now, you can throw it down exactly where you want it, so it’s much easier to utilize the full radius effectively.


Now drains over a .25-second period (instead of displaying a 50% reduction on the ultimate meter when activated and 0% when confirmed)

Developer Comments: If players managed to counter or avoid McCree’s ultimate, it would often regenerate very quickly since only half of the ultimate charge was spent. Now, this ultimate works like every other ultimate that has a duration.


Caduceus Staff
Healing Beam
Healing-per-second has been increased by 20%
Resurrected allies will be able to maneuver after 2.25 seconds (reduced from 3 seconds)

Developer Comments: Resurrection now allows teammates to jump back into the fight more quickly, which should help Mercy survive after activating her ultimate. Mercy’s healing is also getting a boost to solidify her role as a strong, single-target healer.


Double jump no longer resets when wall climbing
No longer deals damage to traps like Widowmaker’s Venom Mine or Junkrat’s Steel Trap
No longer bypasses Junkrat’s Steel Trap
Swift Strike
No longer interrupts quick melee attacks
Duration of Genji’s ultimate has been reduced from 8 seconds to 6 seconds

Developer Comments: Genji was a little too difficult to pin down, and these changes will balance his speed. Swift Strike no longer cancels the recovery time from a quick melee attack, so players will no longer be able to get a free melee attack before using Swift Strike. Lastly, Dragonblade’s duration was long enough that it often felt too difficult to reasonably counter.


Amp It Up
The boosting of movement speed has been decreased by 30% (from a 100% increase to a 70% increase)

Developer Comments: Thanks to Lúcio’s speed increase, he was almost a must pick in every lineup.


Chain Hook
If the hooked target isn’t in Roadhog’s line of sight when retracting the hook, they will be moved back to the position where they were originally hooked

Developer Comments: This change means that hooked targets will be less likely to slide along walls, potentially ending up in an odd place after they’ve been reeled in.


Orb of Discord
The amount of damage amplified by a target with Orb of Discord has been decreased from 50% to 30%
Orb of Destruction
Damage has been increased from 40 to 46

Developer Comments: Zenyatta is in a far better place since the last update, but the strength of Orb of Discord has turned him into an almost mandatory pick. These changes reduce Orb of Discord’s effectiveness, but his damage-dealing potential has been increased. The amount of damage that he delivers should feel largely unaffected by the change.

All the changes mentioned are already available to the public test region and will possibly change and become available to other platforms after extensive testing. 

You can read the full patch notes here and watch Kaplan’s full developer update below:

Competitive play season two is scheduled to begin on September 6, 2016. 

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