It’s time to reset the clock on Overwatch 2 players finding something to be unhappy about with the rocky launch of Blizzard’s sequel hero shooter. Last time—which is to say, two days ago—players discovered that crossplay automatically deactivated aim assist for console players in matches with PC players, thus ruining the fun for console players. Now, various players are lamenting the state of Overwatch 2’s competitive system.
The four biggest points of contention for competitive players with Overwatch 2 at the moment are as follows: the competitive ranking system, matchmaking, cheating, and disconnecting from the game’s servers mid-match.
Read More: Overwatch 2 Is Buggier Than Blizzard Is Admitting [Update: Entire Characters Pulled ATM]
The new ranking system
Some players allege that the new way that Overwatch 2 ranks players is not only less satisfying and fun, but an intentional timesink meant to keep them logged in and playing even longer than they would normally.
In a post to the r/CompetitiveOverwatch subreddit, Redditor TooRealForLife said that, despite coming into Overwatch 2 with an open mind, they found its new competitive system is “a lot worse” than the first game’s and that it’s possibly their “least-favorite ranked system in any game” because of how ranking progress in competitive works. In contrast to the first game, where you saw your season ranking number fluctuate with every game, in OW2 you don’t see any movement until you’ve completed several games. “With no indication of how I’m tracking until I win seven games, I feel like I’m making less progress than ever,” they said.
“Where before you could play four or five games in a session and feel like you’d gotten somewhere, I now feel inclined to win seven games every time I log in to get some feeling of change one way or the other,” TooRealForLife wrote. “Even going 7-0 that’s at least an hour straight of play in lopsided games to feel...anything.”
Other Redditors chimed in suggesting that it was a “conspiracy” on OW2’s part to entice players to sink more time into the game. While Redditor PhoustPhoustPhoust had less hate to dish out toward OW2’s new competitive system, they did recognize that it causes players obsess more over their rank via wins and losses than improving their skills in the game.
“The focus should always be self improvement. I have a feeling that the seven wins or 20 losses system was set up so that, more often than not, you’re getting a rank update after a win,” PhoustPhoustPhoust said. “As someone said before, it also encourages longer play sessions, which may not be necessarily a good thing for players but is obviously what Blizzard wants.”
In a separate thread covering the same topic, Redditor SaucySeducer said that they are experiencing a love-hate relationship with how Blizzard rolled out its competitive rank system and making the rank update reveal take somewhere between 30 minutes to two+ hours.
“Personally, I don’t really care either way if they keep this system or not but I would prefer five wins or 15 losses to keep the updates more frequent,” SaucySeducer wrote.
The second item seeing complaints is matchmaking. What separates the youngbloods from the veterans is OW2’s ranking system. Play really well, you get a higher rank. Play like you’re new to the game, you get a lower one. If you jump into a competitive matchup, the assumption is that you’re mixing it up with people around your level, but some players have noticed that their games are uneven. Redditor ItsShorsey, for example, complained about diamond-ranked players matching with folks ranked silver. For the uninitiated, that’s like your gym teacher trying to break a Harlem Globetrotter’s ankles.
“I thought this was a Valorant post and just shrugged it off but hell nah it’s happening to Overwatch as well,” Fatalcurse7654 replied. Check up on your Valorant homies, I suppose.
“I’m a plat/diamond player with 2k hours in OW. I was placed bronze 5. The games are now absolute shitshows, with a mix of actual bronze and others who are obv not bronze in every match. It’s like they’re forcing a smurf problem,” wrote Redditor DwarvenChiliVacuum.
Matchmaking isn’t just an in-game, it’s also an issue for players to be able to differentiate their rank from their teammates and the ops because of how tiny OW2’s competitive rank medals are.
“I can’t see my competitive rank or really see what anyone else’s rank is because it is just a small icon that I am not familiar with and they don’t do a good enough job at explaining,” wrote ItsShorsey.
Cheating and disconnects
The last complaint is a twofer: OW2’s cheating and disconnect issues. The former speaks for itself. Despite OW2 being just shy over a week old, footage of players using aim bots has already hit the internet. Which…why? Like I get the whole mind goblin reasoning of receiving the happy brain chemical seeing OW2’s fanfare victory screen but if you play like ass you’ll still play like ass. Now all of the Overwatch community knows your crimes, I guess.
Anyway, players who are detected cheating have their accounts suspended which is nice, but what isn’t nice is the penalization that players receive for dropping out mid-game when it wasn’t their fault in the first place. OW2 doesn’t recognize the difference between ragequits and innocent players being booted by bugs, and players who drop from matches enough times receive a penalty that bars them from playing the game for a set period of time.
While in some cases, the disconnect just boots players to the start screen, others have experienced the game either completely restarting their PCs or shutting them down entirely. Players flocked to the Overwatch forums believing they were encountering a PC hardware issue only to discover that other people were running into the same issue despite their PCs running other demanding games without issue. Blizzard said it was aware of the issue in a tweet from ts official support account, and that it is investigating the matter.
A tumultuous first week
Pro-tip: Turn on the notification bell for that account so you can stay abreast of future pending developments on the Overwatch 2 issues front. That won’t do much to address the cheating or the perceived shortcomings in the ranking and matchmaking systems, though: The ball’s in Blizzard’s court on those. We can only hope it’ll catch a rebound and get its head back in the game, so to speak, after Overwatch 2's very challenging launch.
Update 10/14/2022 12:20 p.m. ET: Yesterday, Blizzard addressed Overwatch 2's competitive ranking issues in a developer blog saying it’d discovered a bug that caused players to rank as Bronze 5 in competitive play when they should have placed higher.
Our most recent patch included a fix that will help you get back to your true rank quickly, and that will be reflected the next time you receive a competitive ranking update. You will receive a boost as you continue playing to help you get up to the correct ranks. Players who haven’t yet placed in competitive won’t experience this issue after the fix goes live.
We’re also watching your feedback about how we present your skill tier and division and how you celebrate that in-game. While we don’t have any details we can share yet, expect us to make more improvements to Competitive, and we will continue to watch for your feedback.”