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Overwatch’s elimination mode deserves better from fans

This alternate way to play Overwatch turns a hero shooter into a horror game.

Blizzard Entertainment

If you head into the Overwatch Arcade, you’ll find that there’s a 6v6 competitive mode available to play in a ranked season. There are two kinds of players: those who enter that mode with open hearts and earnest minds, ready to conquer a new metagame and flex their skill across a variety of those heroes, and then there are the terrible layabouts who are just there to get their placements done so they can earn more competitive points. If you find yourself among the latter group, I beg of you: give elimination an honest shot.

Elimination mode is a big twist on the classic Overwatch game. Instead of escorting a payload or claiming an objective, you just want to kill the enemy team. First team to win three rounds takes the match home. Once you win a round, the heroes you’ve won with are removed from the pool, so one team can’t just lock in their best possible comp and then steam roll.

There are a few things elimination has over traditional Overwatch. First, it really breaks up the Dive metagame, as characters like Torbjorn and Symmetra have the ability to lay traps. If you lose your tank in Elimination, you’re automatically at a disadvantage and there’s no way to respawn and adapt. Therefore, you’ll see new heroes doing interesting things; it plays very differently than a standard match.

These games are also brutal. Seeing players go down causes a real feeling of anxiety, an exploding D.Va Mech becomes one of the scariest things around, and there are moments that feel more like they come from Alien: Isolation than Overwatch. Have you ever really felt the weight of responsibility that comes from playing Mercy until you find yourself tucked among the cyropods on Antarctica, holding your pistol in shaking hands, as a Roadhog roams nearby? Sure, you can’t see him, but his chain is rattling and he’s snorting...

I sincerely hope elimination mode remains a staple of the Overwatch buffet of game modes, and we see some iterations on the current formula. Right now, the games are thick with people who are only there for the competitive points; I’m eager to see what it would look like if the players were in it to win it. 3v3 is also a fun, more focused take on the quick and deadly gameplay; it’d be interesting to see that available for a competitive season.

Competitive elimination will be available until May 8th at 2:00 PM CEST for players who have yet to finish their placements (or want to climb the ladder).