Overwatch 2 Competitive Skill Tier Divisions explained

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With Overwatch 2 set to launch next week, Blizzard has detailed Competitive play for the upcoming sequel. There are quite a few changes coming to the game’s Competitive mode with the goal to improve the overall experience. From ensuring new players can transition into Competitive play smoothly to removing the pure negative experience with losing, the changes made, here’s what Blizzard has planned for Overwatch 2.

For starters, as we mentioned recently, Competitive play will be restricted for new players who create an Overwatch 2 account on or after October 4. They’ll have to go through the guided First-Time User Experience which requires them to complete FTUE and win 50 Quick Play matches before they can join the Competitive queue.

Another big change in Overwatch 2 is the transition from SR to Skill Tier Divisions. The purpose for this change was to remove the negative experience with losing. Being stuck at a certain rank can get frustrating and not seeing a numerical improvement can be frustrating. As Blizzard explains:

"Seeing your SR go up and down after each match almost felt like taking a test with the teacher passing or failing you based on each individual question rather than your complete work. It was a lot of pressure, and it doesn’t give players an accurate representation of how they’re performing overall in Competitive."

So SR is being replaced with Skill Tier Divisions. Tiers will go from Bronze through Grand Master with each tier having five divisions that rank from 5 (lowest) to 1 (highest). In reality, Tier Division still represent the same skill levels as SR, “but they give players a higher-level view of where they’re placed in Competitive.” According to Blizzard, each division represents approximately a 100 SR range.

And rather than seeing your ranking or standings change after every match, which can create a sense of pressure and cause players to tilt, you’ll only receive an update every seven wins or 20 losses. Again this alleviates the pressure of each individual game and will instead show your collective progress (hopefully).

How you are initially placed is also changing. Rather than playing five matches and getting a rank based on those outcomes, you’ll remain unranked until your first competitive update (seven wins or 20 losses). Blizzard warns that players will likely start in lower Skill Tier Divisions, which should give a good feeling of improvement as you rank up through the season.

And lastly, players who participated in Competitive play in the original Overwatch will have their rank modified in Overwatch 2 post-launch. Again, your rank will be slightly lower when you start out.

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Overwatch 2 is set to launch on October 4, 2022.