Overwatch Beta: Competitive Play Preview

Overwatch Beta: Competitive Play Preview

"I play to win." – D.Va

Earned some battlefield experience and ready to step up your game? Prove yourself in Competitive Play!

Designed for those seeking more of a challenge, Competitive Play is our new game mode in which players can compete against one another and "rank up" through a series of divisions and tiers on a seasonal basis. We've been working and iterating on this feature for a while now, and are excited to give testers a chance to try it out an in-development version of the system in the Closed Beta.


To join a Competitive Play game, select "Play" from the main menu and then select "Competitive Play" from the list. You can queue up for Competitive Play games solo or in a group (of any size). Once queued, the system will do its best to match you against other players who've also queued solo or, if you're playing with friends, against players who queued in similarly-sized groups.


We know that most players who are interested in Competitive Play are likely looking for more serious games and would prefer not to be matched up with people who are brand new or still relatively inexperienced. As a result, and unlike our other Play modes, Competitive Play will be locked until you reach level 25.While it doesn't take very long to get to level 25, we feel that by time you hit that milestone, you should have the right level of familiarity with the game, maps, heroes, and key gameplay concepts to be ready for this


Once you've queued up for Competitive Play, the game will begin searching for a match based on a variety of factors, inclulding your division and tier (see below for more details). After two teams have been found, a map will be randomly selected for the match.


If the map selected is an Assault map or an Escort map, two full games will be played so that each team will have the opportunity to play on offense and defense. If a team wins both games, they are considered to have won the match. If each team wins one game, then the match enters Sudden Death. During Sudden Death, the two teams will play one round on a random objective of a Control map. The team that wins the objective wins the match!

If the map selected is a Control map, only one full game will be played. However, to win a game on a Control map in Competitive Play, a team must take three out of five randomized objectives (instead of the normal two out of three in Quick Play). The goal here is to have Competitive Play matches played on Control maps be roughly the same duration as matches played on Assault and Escort maps.

Unlike Quick Play, after a Competitive Play match is complete, the two teams will not automatically be rematched, nor will the game automatically place you back into the queue. You'll need to re-queue separately for each Competitive Match you want to play.


Providing players with a sense of progression is an important part of any competitive system—in Overwatch's Competitive Play mode, advancement comes through a system of divisions and tiers.

Competitive Play features four distinct tiers: Challenger, Advanced, Expert, and Master. Each tier also has five divisions, ranked 1 through 5. Challenger 1 is the lowest tier and division (all players will begin here) and Master 5 is the highest tier and division. To progress, you'll need to earn a specific amount of points. You’ll gain points for winning competitive matches and, depending on the which tier you're in, lose points for being defeated. The number of points awarded or deducted varies depending on the tier and the specific win/loss condition.


With this, while you can always be promoted to a new division or tier by earning enough points, you can never be demoted out of a tier once you've reached it—regardless of how many points you may lose, you can only ever move to a lower division.

Additional details:

  • Players will start at Challenger 1 with 0 points
  • Players will earn 20 points for a victory
  • Players will lose 20 points for a defeat
  • Progressing from one division to next requires 100 points
  • Progressing from one tier to the next requires 100 points while at that tier's final division
  • While in the Challenger tier, players will not lose points for a defeat
  • While in Challenger, Advanced, or Expert tiers, players will earn 40 points (instead of 20 points) for consecutive victories
  • While in Advanced or Expert tiers, players will lose 10 points (instead of 20 points) for a defeat if the match is lost during a tie-breaking round
  • Players may only queue as a group if they are within 10 divisions of one another

Players at Master 5 will also have the opportunity to advance to a special fifth tier: Heroic! This tier has no divisions—instead, every player who reaches Heroic will receive a unique numeric rank* relative to other players in the tier. In the future, we also want to provide in-game leaderboards to showcase the top-ranked players in Heroic each season. Learn more about our plans for seasons below.

*Please note that this functionality won't be available during our pre-season testing phase.


Competitive Play in Overwatch is designed to be seasonal, with progression (including divisions, tiers, ranks, and eventually leaderboards) resetting on the first day of every month. We hope to launch our first official season sometime after the game is released in May, at which point the monthly rotation will begin. We're also planning to provide light, cosmetic rewards like sprays, portrait borders, and other visual items for players who participate in seasonal play. These rewards are still in development, and we hope to share more information about them soon.

Prior to the first season, Competitive Play will be in "pre-season," during which certain features and functionality may not be available—including Heroic ranks, leaderboards, and seasonal rewards. Pre-season will last throughout the duration of Closed Beta, and will likely continue for a period of time after the launch of the game. We'll be using the pre-season to tune and improve Competitive Play based on your feedback, so be sure to tell us what you think!


Competitive Play has been one of the community's most requested features for a while now, and we're excited for players to have a chance to check out our work-in-progress in the Closed Beta. We'll keep you posted on updates as development continues, and we look forward (as always) to hearing your feedback.