Overwatch game director posts Competitive Mode update video

Overwatch Game Director Jeff Kaplan has taken to YouTube with an update on the state of the game's Competitive Mode. In it, he says players complained that the Competitive Mode as it existed during the beta simply wasn't competitive enough, and so Blizzard has made a number of changes to address those shortcomings. 

Some of the changes have been revealed previously, including the lengthening of seasons from one month to roughly three, based on real-world seasons in the Northern Hemisphere with short breaks between them to give players a chance to “reset.” The incidence of “sudden death” will be greatly minimized, and sudden death matches will be resolved on whatever map was being played when it kicks in. Assault mode is also being changed, to encourage longer matches and more back-and-forth action between teams. Specifics on how these changes will work will be revealed soon, he said. 

Kaplan also touched on the change from a progression-based advancement system to skill-based, which he first talked about a couple of weeks ago. Tiers are out and individual skill ratings are in, which will directly correlate with a player's MMR. 

“The downside of a system like this, just to be frank, is that you're going to go down sometimes. It's not always a climb up the ladder. There are going to be times where your skill rating is actually going to go down,” Kaplan says in the video. “But this is the sort of competitive system that we think players who are attracted to competitive play really want.” 

Sadly, there's still no return date for Competitive Mode, but Kaplan said Blizzard still hopes to have it out by the end of June. At this particular moment, that's 13 days away.  

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.