Blizzard has gone ahead to detail the upcoming Competitive Play mode for Overwatch, revealing plenty of new changes in comparison to the beta period.
Game director Jeff Kaplan explained that the studio is taking up on the players’ request of an extension to the competitive season. During the beta, each season lasted for just a month. However, the official Competitive Play mode is going to run for more than that. Each season will be based on real-world seasons, so November/December through January/February could be the winter season for Overwatch.
Kaplan also revealed that while the old system tracked ratings through progression, the new system is going to be based on skill alone. This means that players will no longer be safe after reaching a certain tier, and can drop to lower ranks. Ranked play will now feature multiple tiers, which Blizzard will reveal at a later date.
He further added that the matchmaking system will pair up teams through their personal skill ratings. Everyone will be able to see each other’s skill rating at the beginning of a match. This will help you know what players you’re going up against. Kaplan noted that not every match will be fair. The matchmaking system may pair you against tougher opponents that exceed your team’s combined skill rating. In that case, you will “stand to gain more if you win and will lose less if you lose”.
Playing ranked matches will mean access to exclusive cosmetic rewards, including sprays, player icons, and a golden weapon system that transforms your weapons into pure gold.
“The highest-skilled players will be able to unlock that stuff way sooner than anybody else,” Kaplan explained. “And there will also be some exclusive, other cosmetic rewards that only the highest-skilled players can get–that nobody else can get.”
The Competitive Play mode is expected to arrive later this month.