Last week, Overwatch 2 game director Aaron Keller updated players about changes coming in season three of the sequel, which begins on Feb. 7. In his Developer Update, he noted that competitive mode had been a sore spot for both players and the development team; one-sided matches and an unfulfilling competitive experience felt overwhelming in season two.
Keller hinted at improvements in the pipeline and the development team went into greater detail with a follow-up Developer Blog posted today. Knowing how much the community has felt displeased with the ranked experience as of late, the developers laid out concrete improvements to the competitive experience coming in just a few weeks.
In season three, the number of competitive mode wins required to change ranks will be reduced to five, down from seven. It’ll also take 15 losses, down from 20, to see a rank change. The UI will also be updated in season three, meaning “information about your progress toward a competitive update will always be viewable,” according to the blog.
Matchmaking in ranked has been one of the biggest issues for players this season. Next season, developers are working to match “pairs of players with similar MMR on each role on either team” to avoid major MMR disparities or one-sided matches. For example, support players on each side will be evenly matched instead of having one Diamond-ranked support in a head-to-head against a Gold support.
The team does warn that this is a “major change” to the matchmaker and that they’ll be on the lookout for “unintended side effects.”
Players on the Top 500 leaderboard—which includes most popular streamers and Overwatch professionals—will also see some progress in the mid-season patch. Their Top 500 rank will change after every match instead of after every five wins or 15 losses, giving them more incentive to keep climbing.
Overwatch League players and other top-rated competitors have been some of the loudest disparagers of the competitive experience, so this minor change may inspire them to head back into the ranked arena.
Season four, which should start in mid-April, will include more competitive updates. The development team said they’ll be removing seasonal competitive rank resets, which normally drop players to a lower rank to encourage climbing, as well as “all current and past seasonal rank decay.”
Overall, the team noted that matchmaking is an “evergreen area of focus” for them and once again acknowledged that all the feedback from the community has been helpful in creating a better competitive scene.