A new year is here, and it brings with it a brand new season of Overwatch‘s Competitive Play. Competitive Season 8 is now live in Overwatch, giving fans of the game the chance to compete in placement matches and earn an SR rank. However, this new season of Competitive has some changes that fans should be aware of before they jump into the game’s online battles.
Perhaps the most notable change is that the maximum skill rating difference between players on a team has been reduced. Those ranked Bronze through Diamond have to be within 1000 SR of each other, while those playing on the Master level must be within 500 SR. Grandmaster players will now need to be within 250 SR of each other.
By reducing the maximum skill rating difference, Blizzard hopes Competitive Overwatch matches will be more balanced. Whether or not this works remains to be seen, however, and Blizzard may end up tweaking the maximum skill rating difference again for the next season of Competitive Play.
Another change introduced in the latest season of Overwatch‘s Competitive Play will only impact higher level players. Diamond tier players will no longer have their personal performance factor into their skill rating. This is to make it so people aren’t prioritizing their personal performance over playing as a team and winning matches.
Whether or not the community responds positively to these changes remains to be seen. Each season of Competitive Play in Overwatch has been slightly different as Blizzard continues to look for the perfect balance, so if fans don’t like these changes, expect some tweaks next season.
In the meantime, fans can expect Blizzard to release other updates for Overwatch during season 8 of Competitive Play. It’s likely that some characters, such as the new healer character Moira, may receive some changes to make them more balanced. Anyone hoping to succeed in the game’s new season of Competitive Play should keep that in mind.
Overwatch is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.