Overwatch Season 6 changes outlined in new Blizzard video update

Overwatch's sixth competitive season will take place across two months rather than three, Jeff Kaplan has announced via a new dev update. The reason for the change is simple: player engagement tended to dwindle towards the end of the three month competitive season, as the earlier period was believed to be more consequential and fun. This pattern was detected, so says Kaplan, through both player feedback and internal stats.

"We think that will give you that fun placement period back more frequently and also you will get your competitive rewards more frequently," Kaplan reasons. This doesn't come without changes to competitive points, though: totals at the end of the season won't be "as big as they used to be", but that should be cancelled out by there being more seasons per year.

Elsewhere, Skill Rating Decay will be addressed for those with a Diamond (or above) ranking.  Now, five games will be required per week instead of seven. "If you do hit a moment when you decay, rather than having you decay by 50 skill rating, we're going to have that and have you decay by 25 skill rating so it should be a little bit less of a sting."

There's plenty more addressed in the ten minute video: Control maps will now be best of three rather than best of five and, importantly, high tier matches will be better balanced, although getting a match might take a bit longer as a result.

The whole video is above, and in case you missed it: a new map based in Australia will roll out "soon" and predictably enough, it's set in a junkyard village.

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.