Overwatch Competitive Play Beginner's Guide

Skill rating, rewards, and more.

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Blizzard has released detailed information Overwatch's newly launched Competitive Play feature.

In a blog post on the game's official website, the studio discusses how players can get started in the mode, how the skill rating works, the new penalty system, and the rewards for winning, among other things.

For those interested in taking their Overwatch play to the next level, the competitive ranked mode is the place to go. But it's important to know about the ins and outs of the ranking system.

The key information can be found below, courtesy of Blizzard. For more check out the official blog post.

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Getting Started

Competitive Play is designed for those who truly want to put their skills to the test, and offers a more serious experience than our Quick Play or Weekly Brawl! modes. To make sure everyone has a solid understanding of the game's mechanics, maps, and heroes, Competitive Play will be locked until you hit level 25.

Skill Rating

Every new player must first compete in 10 placement matches in order to obtain their initial skill rating. This rating will be a number between 1 and 100, with higher values indicating a greater skill level. Skill ratings will be visible at the beginning of every match. As you compete, your rating will increase or decrease with each win or loss based on a number of factors, including your own performance and the skill of the other players in the match.

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Seasons

Competitive Play will consist of four seasons, each lasting two and a half months. During that time, players can increase their skill rating and battle their way up the ranks before the stats are reset at the end of the season. This is followed by a two-week offseason, after which a new season will commence, beginning with a new set of placement matches.

Rewards

In addition to experiencing the thrill of victory, players can earn new rewards that are only available through Competitive Play. At the end of a season, anyone who has completed the 10 placement matches will receive a special spray and player icon, with a new set of designs being released every season. On top of that, your weapons locker is about to get a little shinier. As you win matches, you’ll earn Competitive Points. Based on your performance, you’ll also receive a number of points at the end of the season. These Competitive Points can be exchanged for cosmetic Golden Weapons for your heroes.

At some point during each season, we’ll also activate a leaderboard system that will highlight the best players in the Overwatch community--so if you manage to fight your way into the top 500 players on your platform, you'll receive an in-game notification, certifying your competitive credentials for as long as you can hold the position.

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Player Conduct

Leaving a game early or stepping away from your computer during a match will make you ineligible to join a new game until the original match has been completed. There is an option to rejoin an in-progress game--however, failure to rejoin will result in a penalty.

Continued infractions will lead to restrictions on future competitive matches. As the violations start to pile up, Competitive Play will be locked for an increasing amount of time. Completing matches without incurring further penalties will, eventually returning the account to good standing. But repeated violations can also result in a ban on Competitive Play for the current season--including the forfeiture of any rewards.

  • If you become inactive or leave within the first two minutes of the game, the entire match will be canceled. Leaving before the end of a match will make you ineligible to join a new game until the original match has been completed.
  • If the infraction happens after the two-minute mark, you will be given one minute to reconnect. If you return, the match will resume normally. If not, the remaining players will be given the option to leave without receiving a penalty, but they will receive a loss.

Overwatch's competitive mode is currently only available on PC. The highly anticipated mode comes to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One next week.

"We don't have an exact date to share, but we can confirm that the patch is going through approvals right now on both platforms," the company said.

Overwatch's first Competitive Play season will be shorter than expected. It will span two months instead of three.

"This is because our Competitive Play patch is launching in the middle of the summer 2016 season, which technically began on June 1 (a minor side-effect of our real-world season system)," Blizzard said.

"As a result, our inaugural season will include approximately 1.5 months of play rather than the full 2.5 months, ending on August 18 across all platforms. The Fall 2016 season will then begin as scheduled following our standard two-week off-season break."

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