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Overwatch Beta Patch Introduces Competitive Play

by Luke Walaszek on Apr 06, 2016 at 11:50 AM

A patch released today for the Overwatch Closed Beta introduces a new play mode into the team-based arena shooter. Competitive Play allows players to compete and rank up through a series of divisions and tiers across monthly seasons.

Any player at level 25 or above can queue for Competitive Play, either solo or in a group of any size. Overwatch’s matchmaking system will then pair that player or group of players against other solo players or similarly sized groups. 

For the beta, Competitive Play will not feature any rewards. When rewards are added in the full game, game director Jeff Kaplan promises they'll be purely cosmetic. 

Climbing the competitive ladder in Overwatch will be a familiar process for anyone who’s played Heroes of the Storm or Hearthstone: There are four tiers with five divisions each and a final "Heroic" tier for the best of the best. For more details on how Competitive Play works, watch the video below, where Kaplan explains the new mode in-depth. 

Beyond introducing Competitive Play, the patch includes a few balance tweaks to some maps and heroes, as well as some new Legendary skins, sprays, player icons, and voice lines. You can read the entire patch notes here

For more on Overwatch, check out our three-part interview with Jeff Kaplan, or click here to watch the game in action in our Test Chamber. 

Our Take
Ranked play in Overwatch has been in high demand for some time now, and practically everyone saw it coming. Blizzard is really setting up the competitive scene for Overwatch and the development team is clearly watching the top-rated eSports (and listening to fan feedback) to learn how to do it the right way.