Overwatch Competitive Season 3 Changes

Overwatch Competitive Season 3 Changes

Today, Scott Mercer announced upcoming changes to competitive season 3 which will be tested on PTR until December 1 when we'll get the new season. Here are the changes.

Off-season duration

Right now on the PTR, we’re starting to test out changes for Season 3 of Competitive Play. While there’s one big change to Season 3, there are also some behind-the-scenes adjustments to how we’re calculating Skill Rating and Skill Tier placement that I wanted to discuss with everyone.

The largest visible change to Competitive Play will be to the off-season between Season 2 and Season 3. Based on community feedback, we’re going to shorten the off-season downtime to just one week, with Season 2 ending at 00:00 UTC on November 24, and Season 3 beginning on December 1. Additionally, during the off-season, we’ll display an in-game countdown to when the next season begins. 

The off-season duration gets shorter - only one week long, so no more month-long quick play sessions out of necessity, plus we get a countdown! Yay!

  • Season 2 ends on November 24

  • Season 3 starts on December 1

Changes to ranking system

  • We will start placed lower than in Season 2, but will get more SR per win in order to place players more accurately
  • We should see Gold and Platinum less populated with players belonging to Bronze and Silver now
  • We aren't getting a "fresh start", our results from Season 2 will affect placement in Season 3, but only to an extent
  • Blizzard is interested in "keeping things fair" rather than "giving everyone a fresh start"
Another area of Competitive Play we’re trying to improve for Season 2 is how we distribute everybody into their Skill Tiers (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, etc.) based on their SR. When Season 2 started, we had WAY more players in Gold and Platinum than we initially intended, and way fewer in Bronze and Silver. This was the result of how we calculated your initial SR for Season 2. We tried to partially reset player SR at the start of Season 2, but the results were not as we expected. Instead, below-average players started Season 2 at a higher SR than they should have been given their performance in Season 1. This meant that as they played in Season 2, their SR would often drop to a lower value, which didn’t feel great. It also meant that there was a much wider variation of skill in the Gold and Platinum tiers than we wanted. This is something we want to avoid in Season 3.

As a result, we’re testing a different way of determining your starting SR for Season 3 on the PTR. We’re leaning more towards trying to keep things fair rather than giving everyone a fresh start. We’re also going to initially tune your SR to be slightly lower to start. In turn, fewer players should start the season having their Skill Rating drastically drop despite having close to even wins and losses.

This change will mean that some players will not start in the same tier for Season 3 that they were placed in for Season 2, and that your SR gains from winning will be a little higher at the beginning of the season. After you play enough matches, however, your SR gains and losses will go back to normal.

For more detailed information and backstory, check the official Blizzard post.

 

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