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A patch for Overwatch released on June 28th 2016 which brought several exciting changes to the game. The most notable is the addition of Competitive Play. Also, a number of general updates and bug fixes were implemented.

This highly anticipated game mode has been hyped since the launch of the game and has finally come to live servers. It’s designed for competitive players who want to match their skill up with the best around them. To participate you will need to be level 25, so you can’t hop right in. To obtain your Match Making Rating (MMR) and Skill Ratings though, you will have to go through 10 placement matches, just so the game gets an idea of where you are skill-wise. After that, you’ll have the next  two and a half months grinding up the ladder (with a half month for offseason). Seasons are… seasonal after all, lasting three months in total and being based on whatever season it is in the Northern Hemisphere. Hello, Summer Season!

The maps have also been changed specifically for Competitive Play. These are anywhere from small interface changes to balance changes to make everything a little more fair:

Control Maps: Control Maps now run on a Best Of Five system instead of Quick Play’s Best Of Three.

Escort and Hybrid Maps: On Escort Maps, teams are awarded a point anytime someone captures a point or move the payload past a checkpoint. Both teams play one round on offense and defense. After those rounds have been completed, the team with the most points wins. But, if the game ends in a tie and neither team has delivered the payload to its final destination, the team that pushed the payload further will be declared the winner.

On King’s Row, Numbani, and Hollywood, if neither team takes the first point, or the final score is tied, the match enters sudden death. Beginning with the Fall 2016 season, Escort and Hybrid maps will also use the same time-based system as Assault maps.

Assault Maps: Assault Maps are handled similarly to Escort and Hybrid Maps, with its own mode specific changes. Each team plays a round on offense. Whichever team has the most points after their round on offense will win. Although, if the first team doesn’t capture a single point during their round, the second team will immediately win if they do capture the first objective.

If the score ends up tied after two rounds, each team plays another round on offense. Instead of the five minute clock though, this time they have to use the time that was left on the clock at the end of their first attack. If a team didn’t have any time remaining, then they don’t get a second round.

Also, if either team had fewer than two minutes left on the clock during their previous round, their time is increased to two minutes, but this is their final attack. When either team runs out of time, the team with the higher score wins the match. If both teams are tied with no time, the match enters sudden death.

Sudden Death: In a new addition not seen in Quick Play, Sudden Death places each team randomly on either attack or defense. In Sudden Death, each team plays a single, short round. If the attackers capture the first point, then they win, otherwise, the defending team wins.

Note: Sudden Death will only be available for this first Summer Season because it hasn’t been getting a warm reception.


Season 1 Player Icon and Spray

No ranked system would be complete without rewards, and the Overwatch team is willing to give. Whoever completes 10 placement matches for a season will get a special animated Spray and player icon.

Along with the spray and player icon, we are also able to get Golden Weapons. You get competitive points during the season for each game you win, with that you get a bulk of points depending on your placing that season. Each golden weapon costs 300 competitive points for each hero, so you have some grinding to do to get a golden weapon for each of your favorite heroes.

Golden Weapon For Soldier 76

We will also be getting a leaderboard later in the season, altering you if you are in the top 500 in the world as long as you can hold it.

Top 500 Alert

Finally, no need to worry about the pesky rage quitters, trolls, and AFK’ers because Competitive Play will also be rolling out a penalty system, due to  Competitive Play being more serious, as are the penalties. If you leave a game in progress, you will not be able to queue up for another one. You will only have an option to rejoin the current game in progress unless the game has ended, that’s when you get penalized. You will have a chance to get back into good standing. If you’re a repeat offender of leaving games you may be banned from Competitive Play for the season (or forever!).

As a side note, inactivity is considered as not touching the keyboard or mouse for 30 seconds or avoiding combat for three minutes.

With each new season, we can expect new updates and rewards over time.

Good luck, and happy climbing, Agents!

All images are copyright by Blizzard and their respective owners

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