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Blizzard Entertainment released a new developer video talking about the competitive mode for Overwatch and how they plan on implementing it into the game now that they have 10 million concurrent players running around killing each other across the Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
The video was posted up over on the official Overwatch YouTube channel, where game director Jeff Kaplan discussed how the new mode would work, in addition to revealing that they have new heroes and maps in the pipeline right now.
Kaplan reveals that before June is out they want to roll out the competitive play update. It's explained that the competitive structure of Overwatch will see the game played through a seasonal mode. The season was originally going to go for only a month, but the hardcore Overwatch community wanted the season to be extended, so Blizzard will extend the seasons to three month quarters.
The actual seasons will last for around two and a half months with a couple of weeks being used as a down period before the next season gets underway. Seasons will be latched onto the Northern hemisphere calendar, so this means Overwatch will have a summer competitive season, a fall competitive season, a winter competitive season and a spring competitive season.
Kaplan also talked about the competitive elements having limited sudden death features. It was explained in the video above that sudden death was happening about 35% of the time and it was just way too much for their tastes.
For those playing competitively, they also mention that they're getting rid of tiers altogether. The update will instead base a player's skill level and ranking around their matchmaking rating. In fact, for those playing in the competitive modes, they will be able to see where they match up against other players on an all new skill rating system that is numbered from 1 to 100. Based on play performance and cumulative matchmaking ratings, players will have their skill rating determined, and this will give them a gauge on how well they play compared to other players.
The matchmaking for competitive play will also show whether or not other players are teamed together in a pre-made party. This will help give competitive Overwatch players the heads-up on who they're facing off against and what to expect from the opposition.
Kaplan rounds out the video by explaining that Blizzard will be modifying, updating, fixing and iterating the new competitive system for Overwatch over time. They will be taking feedback into consideration and will be improving the game regularly.
They will also be implementing specialty icons, sprays and a new golden gun cosmetic system as a means of rewards for high-level seasonal play. They plan on rolling out more details on the update ahead of its official release at the end of June.