With the launch of Season 23, Overwatch players will be able to enjoy a new option in Competitive mode with the addition of Open Queue, available starting today. Open Queue, which will live in the Competitive Play menu, will allow players to team up using different compositions from the 2 Tank/2 Damage/2 Support makeups in Role Queue. Furthermore, the Skill Rating (SR) earned in Open Queue will be separate from the SRs earned in Role Queue.
Michael Heiberg, principal game designer on Overwatch, says the decision to add Open Queue to Competitive Play came off the heels of its success in the Arcade, where players can face off in rotating non-standard game modes.
It all started with a simple experiment.
“We were looking at how popular Quick Play Classic has been,” says Heiberg, “and we wondered how successful an open queue alternative for Competitive would be.”
In keeping with some of the team’s main goals for Overwatch this year—fast balancing, lots of experimentation, and rapid iteration—they decided to try putting a Competitive Open Queue mode in the Arcade to gauge interest.
Not only was the mode popular, it had an unexpected impact on Competitive Play proper. The team found the existence of both Competitive options decreased queue times in both.
“The Open Queue format attracts more damage players than tanks or supports, which draws them out of Role Queue and helps balance out the roles there,” says Heiberg.
The coexisting queues drove down wait times—but perhaps more importantly, it supported different ways of queuing for different types of players.
“I personally love the gameplay of having balanced comps, having separate SRs for each role, and not having to worry about switching roles,” says Heiberg.
“But I’m also sometimes in the mood for a looser format, where we get to try out crazier strategies.”
Open Queue is live now—choose how you want to compete today!