Overwatch 2’s widespread changes in next week’s season nine only begin with hero health and new role passives. The way Competitive Play is presented and ranks are determined is also changing in a big way.
Wide, sweeping changes to OW2 overall include increases to all heroes’ health, new passive abilities for all roles, and changes to projectile size and speed. For example, all heroes will passively regenerate 20 health per second after not taking damage for five seconds, but individual role passives differ from one another.
And because of these big changes, Blizzard thinks that season nine marks a great opportunity for a reset in OW2 Competitive Play, which means ranks are resetting entirely. It’s time to start from scratch.
“With both the changes to Competitive Play and the broader changes to gameplay starting this season, we feel this is a perfect opportunity for everyone to start fresh as they compete on the ranked leaderboards,” Blizzard said. As part of the rank reset, this means the return of placement matches. Everyone must now play 10 placement matches as “a high stakes opportunity to make big gains in determining your new starting rank,” which is a return to how competitive worked in the original Overwatch.
“As you progress through placement matches, there will be a predicted starting rank after each match,” Blizzard said. “You’ll only have one chance this year to run your placement matches, so pick your best heroes and stay hydrated because these games count for a lot.”
The Competitive Play rework also includes new and more frequent competitive updates to better allow players to see where their rank is at. Rank updates will now happen after every Competitive Play game, as opposed to a set amount of wins or losses like how OW2 launched.
“Competitive Updates originally worked to provide updates that reflected your growth as a player across multiple matches,” Blizzard said. “But with the goal to provide greater transparency in each individual match, we’re going back to updating your rank after every match and showing how much progress you gain or lose between each Skill Division,”
OW2 will now also display modifiers that affected the previous match below the rank progression bar, as seen in the image above. These will offer a quick explanation as to how the SR gain or loss was determined for each game.
Season nine will also add a totally new Competitive Play rank called Champion, which Blizzard says is “the most prestigious tier above Grandmaster” and “the most exclusive rank in the history of Overwatch.” The dev said players will need to win “a lot” of games to reach Champion 1 become the best of the best.
As always, things could change by way of feedback, which Blizzard says “is a driving force behind these changes,” and are still inviting players to share their thoughts on the new Competitive Play mechanics to better suit players.