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Overwatch 2: How Competitive Works & What’s Different

All your questions about Overwatch 2 competitive, answered.

If you’re coming to Overwatch 2 and want folks to know exactly how good you are – whether or not you’re actually any good – you’re gonna have to dive into competitive mode, which is back again. But this time, it’s different.

Aside from the obvious shift from 6v6 to 5v5, here we cover how to unlock the competitive play, whether the Overwatch 2 competitive mode has crossplay, what has changed between games, and more.

How To Unlock Overwatch 2 Competitive Mode

While returning players who had unlocked the mode in the original game will have access to competitive play immediately, newcomers will first have to work their way through the “First Time User Experience.” This is the curated, and honestly kinda overly-long introduction to the game, and how you’ll unlock everything beyond the handful of available heroes – game modes included. 

The short answer here though is that you need to win, not just play, 50 quick play matches before you’re allowed into Overwatch 2’s competitive mode. Of course, as is often the way with free-to-play games, you can just spend your way around this hurdle by buying the Watchpoint Pack.

Does Overwatch 2 Competitive Have Crossplay?

Overwatch 2 Key Art

The answer here is, sort of. While Overwatch 2 is fully crossplay between PC and consoles on all other modes, there are two groupings for players in competitive mode: one for PC players, and one for console players. 

That is to say, if you are on PS5, and you wanted to play competitive mode with your pal who is on Xbox, that would work. However, your PC master race buddy is gonna have to make new friends. And it’s about time they did so – what are the odds you’ll fancy a round of CS:GO any time soon? 

What Competitive Modes are There in Overwatch 2? 

Much like the unranked multiplayer, Overwatch 2 has a ranked Role Queue mode and a ranked Open Queue mode at launch. 

You get one overall rank for playing the competitive Open Queue mode, and teams are free to pick any wild combinations of heroes that they fancy. The Role Queue however forces teams to adhere to the structure of one tank, two support, and two damage heroes – you make your choice before queuing for a match, and will receive a rank for each role. 

What’s Changed For Overwatch 2 Competitive Mode? 

overwatch 2 competitive scoreboard
Skill Rating is now Skill Tiers

SR has been replaced entirely by seven skill tiers, ranging from Bronze to Grand Master – the latter being, of course, the most precious of metals known to man. Each tier consists of five divisions, designated numerically, with 5 being the lowest, and 1 the highest. Perfect sense. 

A demonstration of how this works in practice is that if you’re ranked Platinum 1 and go up a division, you’re now Master 5. These will only update across the season whenever you achieve either seven wins or 20 losses, whichever happens first. The first time you hit this skill tier criteria also serves as your placement matches. 

Skill tiers and divisions also aren’t displayed when entering a competitive match. Instead, players can show off their titles and name cards. 

KDR, FR

The scoreboard has been overhauled too – medals have been removed entirely, and you can now see your team’s stats at a glance. This includes eliminations, assists, deaths and damage output. Finally! 

How Do Groups Work in Ranked Modes? 

Groups in ranked matches have a few restrictions around who they let in now. Players who are ranked between Bronze and Diamond can group up with up to four other players, providing they’re within two skill tiers of their current rank. Master players are also unlimited on group size, but teammates have to be within one skill tier. 

Grandmasters, however, can only group with a single other player, and they have to be within three skill divisions as them. And Top 500 players can pair with a single other Top 500 player. That one mate who’s much, much better, and doesn’t have a job? Say goodbye to playing with them in ranked. 

Game Reports

Blizzard have also added game reports, which offer a deep dive into how you’ve been playing. They let you recap all the matches you’ve played this session, and give stats on your performance, match information, heroes, and what game modes you’ve been performing like that in. 

Where’s My Rewards?

Your loot has seen some changes too. The seasonal commemorative icons and sprays earned as competitive rewards are gone, and in their place are unique titles for your name card. These are earned for progressing through skill tiers, and can only be used in the subsequent season. 

There’s also now a cap on how many competitive points you can earn at the end of a season, determined by your highest skill tier across both Role and Open Queues. You’ll earn 15 points for a win, 5 for a draw, and need 3,000 of ‘em to unlock a golden weapon.