Today, during an Overwatch 2 PVP livestream, Aaron Keller, Overwatch’s new game director taking over for Blizzard veteran Jeff Kaplan, announced that teams in Overwatch 2's PVP will be reduced from six players to five.
“Overwatch has changed over time. We’ve gone from having no hero limits...to having a hero limit. We ended up introducing a role lock over the course of the game. We feel like this is the next step in the way Overwatch ought to be played,” Keller said.
Now instead of a 2-2-2 format consisting of two support heroes, two damage heroes, and two tanks, teams will still play with two support and damage heroes but with only one tank.
The livestream offered the chance for fans to finally get a glimpse of Overwatch 2 in action. Since its announcement at Blizzcon 2019, Blizzard has been tight-lipped about the game’s progress. During Blizzconline 2021, the team offered some insight as to how the game’s coming along but nothing concrete.
Push, a new game mode introduced at Blizzcon 2019, was also shown off during the livestream. In Push, two teams fight for control over a robot that will push special barricades depending on which team is controlling it. Rounds last for eight minutes and the team whose barricade has been pushed the furthest wins.
Interspersed throughout the livestream were short videos highlighting the hero changes coming to Overwatch 2.
In addition to the Mei and Winston changes above other tweaks include:
- Zarya having two charges on her bubble shield ability
- Tanks take less damage
- Reinhardt now has two Firestrike charges
- All support players will now have a passive healing effect
The reduction in team size will have drastic ramifications on the Overwatch League. Reducing the number of tanks from two to one will effectively eliminate the role of off-tank, meaning players in that role could lose their positions.