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Changes for Overwatch’s competitive season four

The fourth season of Overwatch‘s popular competitive ladder just kicked off this week. Developer Scott Mercer posted on the official forums to clarify a couple changes going forward. First, they’re adding in some degree of rank decay. Second, they’re altering the matchmaker to make it more picky.

Most players won’t see much of a difference in either of these changes. Rank decay will only kick in at SR 3000 so, as Scott noted through internal statistics, this will only affect roughly ten percent of the Overwatch population. You need to play seven matches per week to avoid decay, and at such a high rating players will have to play really frequently to keep their skills honed anyway.

The matchmaker changes are mostly aimed at slightly exploitative behavior from people in less populated regions. Currently, if you queue in the middle of the night with six of your high-rating buddies, eventually your team will be lobbed an uneven softball match with whatever poor solo queue people happen to be waiting. Not anymore. In season four, if the players in queue can only be placed in games which are ultimately uneven, the game just won’t be created — ever.

In later posts down the thread, Scott offered additional clarification about things like placement matches and the constant struggle of dealing with leaver penalties.

We’ll see how this works out through season four. If things don’t play out how the devs would like, it can always be walked back in time for season five.

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