Overwatch has received Competitive Play for PC today, and it is due to come out for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 next week
Since it came out, Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI)’s Overwatch has become a phenomenon for gamers all around the world. Overwatch’s competitive play feature has been in the making for a while. Today, it finally released the PC version, and might mark the release of competitive on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One next week.
The delayed in release of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions has mainly been due to the approval process that the patches have to go through by developers from both Sony and Microsoft respectively. Due to the timing of the patch, Blizzard admits that the first season of competitive will be shorter than usual, lasting only two months instead of three.
“The patch will be going live on PC today, while PlayStation 4 and Xbox One players can expect it sometime next week,” said Blizzard in a blog post. “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.”
Like many competitive games, you need to reach a certain level in Overwatch before unlocking the feature. For Overwatch, you must have reached level 25 to be able to partake in Competitive Play. This should only take about a few days for regular Overwatch players, during which you can hone your skills and gain experience. You will also receive a skill rating based on your performance which will determine what level of players you face, just as the case is for most other e-sports.
There are other changes included in Competitive Play. First, Control Maps will consist of best of fives, instead of the typical best of three format. On Escort and Assault maps, you will have to play one round of attacking or defending team each. Points will be handed out for accomplishments such as reaching checkpoints and completing objectives. Once two rounds are complete, the team with the most points will win.
Blizzard is also getting rid of the “avoid player” feature, as it was being wrongfully used by players to avoid skilled players in matchmaking. The game is expected to further Blizzard’s push into uncharted territory via MMOs even after its Free to Play (F2P) Heroes of the Storm, despite having decent successes initially failed to rise to the level of Valve’s Dota 2 and Riot Games’ League of Legends. Overwatch, despite being a paid entity, does have the liberty of being more than simply the flavor of the month with a very active user base divided across various platforms. This allows Blizzard to monetize the game via micro transactions as well as via the initial purchase of a game copy by users.
Adding a competitive mode would be a crucial aspect of Activision Blizzard’s plan to push Overwatch as a powerful contender even as the world of Esports continues growing over time. Blizzard is already moving firmly against cheaters, a pattern which is expected to only intensify over time as it moves toward bringing in higher-stake competitive games in the coming months.