An early build of Overwatch 2 will be used for Overwatch League's 2022 season

Overwatch 2
(Image credit: Blizzard)

Overwatch 2 was announced at BlizzCon 2019, and its release date has been uncertain since then. Here's a big development, though: Overwatch League's 2022 season, which begins in April, will compete on an "early build" of Overwatch 2, a Blizzard spokesperson told PC Gamer today.

Overwatch 2's PvP design changes are a big deal for competitive players and Overwatch League pros. Overwatch 2 matches will be 5v5 rather than 6v6, and teams will only get one tank, which naturally made some tank players nervous when it was announced.

A major new PvE mode helps distinguish Overwatch 2 from its predecessor as a new game, but it's sort of an expansion, too. It'll include all the stuff from Overwatch 1, and owners of either game will be able to play with each other, which means the PvP format changes in Overwatch 2 will affect all Overwatch players. The next OWL season will give us the best information yet about what those changes look like for high-level team compositions and tactics.

More details about the 2022 OWL season will come closer to April, Overwatch League VP Jon Spector tweeted today. As far as the Overwatch 2 release date goes, we still don't have an announcement from Blizzard, but this news makes it seem pretty likely that it'll be out in mid-2022.

Since the 2019 announcement of Overwatch 2, the game's leadership has changed: Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan and lead writer Michael Chu both departed Blizzard, and Activision Blizzard has been the focus of a major lawsuit alleging a widespread company culture of sexual harassment and discrimination. That story is still developing.

For more, check out everything we know about Overwatch 2 and take a look at the new maps that will be added

Joseph Knoop

Joseph Knoop is a freelance writer specializing in all things Fortnite at PC Gamer. Master of Creative Codes and Fortnite's weekly missions, Joe's always ready with a scoop on Boba Fett or John Wick or whoever the hell is coming to Fortnite this week. It's with a mix of relief and disappointment that he hasn't yet become a Fortnite skin himself. There's always next season...