Overwatch season two will remove Sudden Death in favour of ties

Late last month, Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan confirmed that Blizzard would re-assess the competitive mode's coin flip and Sudden Death mechanic, following widespread claims that it is unfair. At that time it wasn't clear when that would happen, but in an interview with PC Gamer's Steven Messner to publish later this week, the game's principle designer Scott Mercer confirmed that Sudden Death would be removed in season two.

"With the current competitive mode, players really don't like the Sudden Death mechanic we have in place," Mercer said. "The thought was that the coin flip, while it was a little random, would be balanced so that the chance for the attacker or defender to win would be really close."

"But it turns out it wasn't close enough and in some cases wasn't close. We pulled back from that, decided that, hey, for season two we're going to remove Sudden Death and allow for the concept of ties to take place."

As Tom Marks explains in his competitive primer, Sudden Death happens when a match ties. Players have two minutes to capture a single point: if the attackers manage to take it, they win. If they don't, defenders win. Whether your team is defending or attacking is decided by a coin flip, and that's the rub. Some people feel that either attack or defend have inherent advantages on some of the maps. 

Whatever the case, it'll be interesting to see how the possibility of ties plays into season two.

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.