The first Closed Beta for Overwatch 2 is slated to begin this week on April 26. Sign ups to participate have been open for a while now, but it’s not too late. If you’ve already signed up, you may be wondering when you should check your email for the invite.
Although Blizzard hasn’t officially announced anything, Overwatch community manager Andy Belford offered told fans they should expect invites to go out on the same day the beta begins. Appearing on content creator Flats’ Twitch stream, Belford said:
"“My understanding, it should be day and date.”"
Again, this is Belford’s “understanding” and not official Blizzard comment, but as a community manager, I imagine he’s at least somewhat in the know. If he’s correct, then check your email on Tuesday, April 26.
As a reminder, this first Closed Beta is for PC only although Blizzard does have plans to include console players in future betas. Blizzard hasn’t provided a hard cap on the number of players that will be invited, but previously said the number of invites will be based on their testing needs. So if you don’t get your invite immediately, be sure to check a couple of times. The developer said in the PvP beta FAQ:
"We also want to make sure the game’s matchmaking system remains in a relatively healthy place throughout this phase of testing. If we determine we need more players to test new features or keep matches running smoothly, we’ll add players to the Closed Beta from our opt-in pool."
If you do get invited, you’ll need a copy of Overwatch 1 to access the beta. You’ll also want to make sure your PC meets the minimum system requirements. This includes an Intel® Core™ i3 or AMD Phenom™ X3 8650 processor and NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 600 series or AMD Radeon™ HD 7000 series.
A few gaming outlets have already gotten the chance to go hands-on with the Overwatch 2 beta. The general consensus is that Overwatch 2 feels more like a glorified update than an full-fledged sequel. While there are some major changes to the PvP format, such as the move from 6v6 to 5v5, along with new maps, a new mode, and hero reworks, it’s still by and large the same game — for better or worse.
I’m sure we’re all looking forward to Overwatch 2, as development on the sequel has pretty much killed all meaningful updates on the first game, but it sounds like we should temper our expectations.
It also sounds like Blizzard still has some work to do when it comes to balancing the new 5v5 team comp format, which now consists of one tank, two DPS and two healers. I’m sure that’s what this PC beta will help provide details with, along with hero balancing and general server infrastructure.
Overwatch 2 still doesn’t have a release date, but the launch of the first beta is a pretty meaningful step. Now that Blizzard has split the PvP from the PvE portion of the game, we should hopefully get our hands on the updated PvP sooner.