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Overwatch’s new competitive season releases with queue changes, ranked rewards

Season 8 is ready and playable with some changes to help high ranked players in queues

Blizzard Entertainment

A new ranked season has begun for Overwatch, and with it players have a whole new chance to climb the ranks, earn Competitive Points and prove their worth as a top tier Overwatch potential pro (or at least best their score from last season down in bronze or silver, which is also an accomplishment worth celebrating.)

Season 8 will last two months, and any player who completes their placement matches will earn a Watchpoint: Gibraltar themed spray and icon. As always, the top 500 players will earn an animated version of the same spray. You’ll also receive a lump sum of Competitive Points at the end of the season based on your ranking.

Blizzard Entertainment

In addition, this season has some changes for high level players. The first is that the maximum Skill Rating difference is being reduced, which means that you won’t have teams made up of widely varied players with different rankings. If you’re Diamond or below, you will not be ranked with someone 1000 Skill Rating higher (or lower) than you. In Master, that boundary is 500, and Grandmasters will enjoy a rating bracket of 250 for players they are matched with. In short, everyone should be playing with players closer to their own skill level, and we should see less stomps or mismatches as a result.

Players in Diamond and above will also see the Skill Rating modifier for individual performance removed. In short, if you were racking up gold medals, you would lose less SR if your team lost, and gain more if your team won. In theory, this is a great way to reward standout players. In practice, players would scramble to minimize a loss or maximize a gain as they climbed the ladder. Now, high ranked Overwatch is all about that good, old-fashioned teamwork, just like the developers intended.

Ranked play will now be a part of Blizzard’s Path to Pro system, so it’ll be interesting to see how the systems behind the competitive ladder evolve in the months to come. For now, players can focus on earning those sweet, sweet Competitive Points for their next golden gun.