Overwatch Competitive season 5 just ended today and season 6 is set to begin on 31 August at 5pm PDT (1 September at 8am SGT). Season 6 will have the most changes compared to previous seasons as the Overwatch team has decided to make several changes to it. Here are the things that you should take note of before hopping into a competitive game and wonder why is it different.Shorter Duration and Lower Competitive Points Gain
1. Shorter Season Duration and Lower Competitive Points Gain
Every season has been set to last for three months for players to grind up in ranks and earn themselves competitive points along the way, but not for season 6 as the Overwatch team has decided to shorten it to two months only. The reason behind this is because the player engagement in the middle of the season is much lower compared to the beginning and towards the end of every season. Shortening the season should make it more engaging to the players as there will be a sense of urgency to rank up before it's too late.
Furthermore, competitive points (CP) earned for season 6 will also be reduced as it will only last for two months. The good news is that players will be able to get more CP for each match won to balance it out. You will still get slightly less than before at the end of the season but in a long run, you will be earning a whole lot more.
2. Placements and SR Decay
The placements for season 4 and season 5 have always put players with a slightly lower SR than what it should have been. The problem was there were a lot of players complaining that this rank is not where they are supposed to be since they ranked higher in the previous season. So, Blizzard decided to place everyone more or less in the SR that players deserve to be in, making placements more accurate.
For SR decay for Diamond rank and above, the decay will be reduced to 25 SR instead of the current 50. Besides that, players in Diamond rank and above don't need to complete 7 competitive games, but only 5 to avoid SR decay.
3. Rank Demotion
Players in Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond will now be moved into lower skill tiers if they cannot consistently maintain the minimum skill rating for that tier. After a loss, the game will check to see what a player’s current tier and skill rating are. If their skill rating has not exceeded the minimum for their current tier for the past five games, they will be demoted. (Players will never be demoted on a win.)
If you're wondering what about the CP earned at the end of the season, you don't have to worry as it will still be based on your season high SR. For instance, if you reached Platinum during Season 6, but ended the season in Gold, you will still receive a number of Competitive Points based on your Platinum ranking.
4. Control Maps
Control maps, also known as King of the Hill maps, like Ilios, Lijiang Tower, Nepal and Oasis will now be best of 3 rounds instead of 5, just like in Quick Play. The reason given by Overwatch Game Director, Jeff Kaplan is because games in Control maps have a much longer match time as compared to Assault, Escort, and Hybrid maps.
5. Balance Changes and New Map
Numerous balance changes took place in the Overwatch PTR for testing before hitting live servers. Junkrat, Orisa, Roadhog, Widowmaker and Reinhardt received buffs to their kits, while D.Va got nerfed slightly but gained a new ability called Micro Missiles, and Mercy got reworked. All of these changes will most likely make it into live servers soon, except for Mercy as her rework made her a rather OP hero to play and Blizzard already has plans to nerf her. You can check out the PTR patch notes in the Overwatch Forum (August 10 and August 24).
Besides the balance changes, a new map will be added into the game, Junkertown. An Escort map located in the harsh and unforgiving Australian Outback, Junkertown is constructed from the remains of a destroyed omnium, it's now the home to a band of lawless scavengers known as the Junkers, led by their cutthroat Queen. When they aren’t pillaging the omnium's skeleton for anything of value, the Junkers blow off steam in the Scrapyard—a massive gladiatorial arena whose combatants fight for glory, riches and to survive.
Junkertown will most probably be unavailable in competitive play for the first week it is released, like when Horizon Lunar Colony was added into Overwatch. So, hop into custom games, Arcade games (if there is one for this map), or even the Overwatch PTR to familiarize yourself with the map to have an edge over your enemies. Good luck and all the best in season 6!