'Overwatch' Season 5 Changes: Here's how Blizzard can improve competitive play


Overwatch season five starts on Wednesday, and we're hoping for a few changes to how competitive works. 

The big Overwatch competitive changes people would like to see actually occurred last season, so there isn't a huge standard being set and we might actually see some of them reversed. Still, here's what we'd like from season five.

Overwatch season 5: Here's what we're hoping for

In season four, Overwatch competitive got a bit stricter on some rules. Rank decay, for example, occurred if you were above a 3000 skill rating and didn't play seven games a week — basically one game a day or the equivalent. 

According to data provided in a blog post by Scott Mercer, Overwatch's principal designer, over half the player base sits right between 2000 and 3000 SR — this kind of rule could be pretty demotivating for people who are right on the cusp.

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Another change that is along the same lines, but that would impact less people, is the rules for Top 500. In season four, the rewards system changed so that you needed to be in Top 500 at the end of the season to get the rewards, rather than just needing to reach it. 

Although this won't impact a huge population of players, reaching Top 500 is still a dream for players of any rank, and this makes that dream seem further away and ultimately gives less incentive to aspire for it. 

Finally, a change that has been consistent since day one is how Blizzard handles leavers — people who leave in the middle of a competitive match. With the current system, players lose about the same SR even if their entire team leaves them. 

This gives players a huge weight on their shoulders if someone just decides to rage quit or throw a game. 

The video below from Overwatch Central illustrates similar points pretty well.

More Overwatch news and updates

For more on Overwatch, check out the rest of what Mic has to offer. Here is an essay about how Efi Oladele was a missed opportunity for Overwatch, a deep dive into the issue of sexual harassment in Overwatch voice chat, an unintentionally hilarious infographic showing the most popular Overwatch characters in each state, a criticism of Blizzard's failures in its design of Symmetra and a dive into a cool trend on Tumblr that converts your most-played heroes into a psychedelic illustration.