Competitive Play

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Competitive Play is the ranked Play Mode of Overwatch. In this mode, players are matched with others of similar skill level that is of greater accuracy than the matchmaking system in Quick Play. It is a more serious game mode where players compete in order to rank up. Competitive Play will have each team take turns attacking and defending until the match is decided.

Players must achieve level 25 before this game mode is unlocked.

Scoring[edit | edit source]

  • On Escort maps, the attacking team which escorts the payload the farthest wins. If both teams manage to move the payload the exact same distance without reaching the destination or fail to move it at all, the match ends in a draw. Note that the furthest distance the payload has been moved is what counts, even if the payload moves back. If both teams reach the destination, a new rotation is played using the time bank rules.
  • On Assault maps, the attacking team which captures the most control points and/or makes the most progress on capturing a control point wins. If the first attacking team does not fully capture a control point but makes at least 33.3% capture progress, the second attacking team must exceed the first team's capture progress in order to win. If neither team reaches at least 33.3% capture progress on the same control point or if both teams reach the exact same capture percentage (<100%) on the same control point, the match ends in a draw. If both teams capture both control points, a new rotation is played using time bank rules.
  • On Hybrid maps, the attacking team which achieves the most capture progress on the control point and/or escorts the payload the farthest wins. If neither team reaches at least 33.3% capture progress on the control point, if both teams reach the exact same capture percentage (<100%) on the control point, or if both teams capture the control point but manage to move the payload the exact same distance or fail to move it at all, the match ends in a draw. If both teams escort the payload to its destination, a new rotation is played using the time bank rules.
  • Control maps are a best-of-three and is the same as Quick Play.

Time Bank (Extra Rounds)[edit | edit source]

If a match is tied after both teams have played on attack and defense, a new attack and defense rotation will start, using the time bank system.

Escort Rules[edit | edit source]

If both teams have escorted the payload to the destination, the game examines their remaining time:

  • If both teams have 120 seconds or more left in their time bank, then a new rotation begins. The team with the smaller amount of remaining time has their time decreased to 120 seconds, while the other team's remaining time is also decreased the same amount (i.e. if Team A has 165 seconds and Team B has 250 seconds after a full rotation, Team A's time bank is reduced by 45 seconds for a total of 120 seconds, while Team B's time bank is also reduced by 45 seconds for a total of 205 seconds).
  • If both teams have between 60 seconds and 119 seconds left in their time bank, then a new rotation begins with both teams playing an attacking round with no changes to their time bank.
  • If Team A's remaining time is between 0 seconds and 59.9 seconds, and Team B has 60 seconds or more, then a new rotation begins. Team A is granted additional time to increase their remaining time to 60 seconds, and Team B is also granted the same amount of additional time to their time bank. This rule also applies if both teams have between 0 seconds and 59.9 seconds remaining. (i.e. if Team A has 20 seconds and Team B has 150 seconds after a full rotation, Team A's time bank is increased by 40 seconds for a total of 60 seconds, while Team B's time bank is also increased by 40 seconds for a total of 190 seconds).

Whenever a new rotation starts, the team with the least time remaining starts the next rotation on attack. No bonus time will be added when the payload reaches a checkpoint in the extra rounds.

Assault Rules[edit | edit source]

If a match is tied after both teams have played on attack and defense, the game examines their remaining time:

  • If both teams have 120 seconds or more left in their time bank, then a new rotation begins. The team with the smaller amount of remaining time has their time decreased to 120 seconds, while the other team's remaining time is also decreased the same amount.
  • If both team's remaining times are between 60 seconds and 119 seconds, then a new rotation begins with both teams playing an attacking round with no changes to their time bank.
  • If Team A's remaining time is between 0.1 seconds and 59.9 seconds, and Team B has 60 seconds or more, then a new rotation begins. Team A is granted additional time to increase their remaining time to 60 seconds, and Team B is also granted the same amount of additional time to their time bank. This rule also applies if both teams have between 0.1 seconds and 59.9 seconds remaining.
  • If Team A has no remaining time but Team B has at least 60 seconds of time left, then only Team B plays an attacking round with their remaining time. If Team B reaches at least 33.3% progress on the first map objective during their remaining time, they win. If they do not, the match results in a draw.
  • If neither team has any remaining time left after capturing point B, both teams are given one minute to their time bank and a new rotation begins.

Whenever a new rotation starts, the team with the least time remaining starts the next rotation on attack. Only 30 seconds of additional time will be added to the attacking team if point A is captured in the extra rounds, instead of 3 minutes.

Hybrid Rules[edit | edit source]

If a match is tied after both teams have played on attack and defense, the game examines their remaining time:

  • If both teams have 120 seconds or more left in their time bank, then a new rotation begins. The team with the smaller amount of remaining time has their time decreased to 120 seconds, while the other team's remaining time is also decreased the same amount.
  • If both team's remaining times are between 60 seconds and 119 seconds, then a new rotation begins with both teams playing an attacking round with no changes to their time bank.
  • If Team A's remaining time is between 0.1 seconds and 59.9 seconds, and Team B has 60 seconds or more, then a new rotation begins. Team A is granted additional time to increase their remaining time to 60 seconds, and Team B is also granted the same amount of additional time to their time bank. This rule also applies if both teams have between 0.1 seconds and 59.9 seconds remaining.
  • If Team A has no remaining time but Team B has at least 60 seconds of time left, then only Team B plays an attacking round with their remaining time. If Team B reaches at least 33.3% progress on the first map objective during their remaining time, they win. If they do not, the match results in a draw.

Whenever a new rotation starts, the team with the least time remaining starts the next rotation on attack. No bonus time will be added when the payload reaches a checkpoint in the extra rounds.

Ranking[edit | edit source]

A player must play five placement matches to receive their ranks, with the ranks in each of the three roles (tank, damage, support) being separate. The player's ranking is represented as a Skill Rating (SR) between 1 and 5000, with a higher number representing a higher level of skill. After each match, players will gain or lose a certain amount of SR. The amount gained or lost depends on several factors, including the difference between each team's average SR, the win rates of heroes on a given map, and individual performance. Players do not gain or lose any SR when a match ends in a draw.

Alongside the 1 - 5000 scale, players are assigned tiers depending on their SR which is publicly displayed on their portrait:

Badge 1 Bronze.png Bronze - 1 - 1499 SR
Badge 2 Silver.png Silver - 1500 - 1999 SR
Badge 3 Gold.png Gold - 2000 - 2499 SR
Badge 4 Platinum.png Platinum - 2500 - 2999 SR
Badge 5 Diamond.png Diamond - 3000 - 3499 SR
Badge 6 Master.png Master - 3500 - 3999 SR
Badge 7 Grandmaster.png Grandmaster - 4000+
Badge 8 Top 500.png Top 500 - Given to players that have 1st to 500th highest SR in their respective region and platform (Americas. Asia, Europe), (PC, PS4, XBox, Switch).

Players in Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond will be moved into lower skill tiers if they cannot maintain the minimum skill rating for that tier over five games, while players in Master and Grandmaster will be immediately moved into lower skill tiers if they fail to maintain the minimum skill rating for that tier.

Players can participate Competitive Play as a group, though the following restrictions will be applied:

  • For Diamond and below, the SR of each group member must be within 1000 of the participating group members. This SR range between the group members is reduced to 500 for Master players, and 350 for Grandmaster players.
  • Players who have not completed their placement matches may not group up with any player at Diamond tier or above.

Top 500[edit | edit source]

Two weeks after the start of a season, the Top 500 system starts. After that point, if a player manages to attain a Skill Rating that is within the highest 500 of all ranked players within their role and region and has also played at least 25 competitive matches that season, they will rewarded with the Top 500 icon on their portrait and have their BattleTag be visible on the leaderboard. They will also receive a special a player icon and an animated spray unique to those that achieved the Top 500 status. PC players must have Blizzard SMS Protect enabled on their account to be eligible for the Top 500.

Suspensions[edit | edit source]

As this mode exists to players wanting a more serious experience of Overwatch, harsher punishments are given to players who abandon their team before the end of the match. As opposed to Quick Play, players who exit a match from Competitive Play prematurely will not be able to join another game of any Play Mode until their original match is concluded, and departed players will not be backfilled. Players that fail to rejoin their match before it ends will be temporarily suspended from Competitive Play, with repeated offenses extending the duration of the suspension until an eventual permanent ban from the game mode.

Seasons[edit | edit source]

Season Start Date End Date Notes
1 Jun 28, 2016 Aug 17, 2016 Had a 1-100 Skill Rating scale and a Sudden Death system if both teams finished their objective in the initial attack/defense rotation. During Sudden Death, one additional round was played where the attacking team chosen by a coin flip. The attackers had to capture or escort the payload to the first point within 1 minute and 45 seconds.[1]
2 Sep 02, 2016 Nov 24, 2016 Time bank system implemented.
3 Dec 01, 2016 Feb 21, 2017
4 Feb 28, 2017 May 28, 2017
5 Jun 1, 2017 Aug 28, 2017
6 Sep 1, 2017 Oct 28, 2017 Duration of each competitive season reduced from three months to two months.
7 Nov 1, 2017 Dec 29, 2017
8 Jan 1, 2018 Feb 25, 2018
9 Feb 28, 2018 Apr 28, 2018
10 May 1, 2018 Jul 1, 2018
11 Jul 02, 2018 Aug 28, 2018
12 Aug 31, 2018 Oct 28, 2018
13 Nov 1, 2018 Jan 1, 2019 Off-season duration reduced from three days to two hours.
14 Jan 1, 2019 Mar 1, 2019
15 Mar 1, 2019 May 1, 2019 Off-season removed. Next season begins immediately after the previous season ends.
16 May 1, 2019 Jun 30, 2019
17 Jun 30, 2019 Aug 13, 2019 Ended early to implement a special three week season of Competitive Play between seasons 17 and 18 that introduced the Role Queue system. Referred to as "Role Queue Beta" in player profiles to those that participated in it.
18 Sep 3, 2019 Nov 7, 2019 Role Queue system implemented with players having independent Skill Ratings for each of the three roles. Number of placement matches required decreased from 10 to 5.
19 Nov 9, 2019 Jan 2, 2020 Limited map pools introduced.

Map pool:

  • Assault: Hanamura, Temple of Anubis, Volskaya Industries
  • Escort: Dorado, Havana, Watchpoint: Gibraltar
  • Hybrid: Eichenwalde, Hollywood, King's Row
  • Control: Busan, Lijiang Tower, Nepal
20 Jan 2, 2020 Mar 5, 2020 Map pool:
  • Assault: Hanamura, Temple of Anubis, Volskaya Industries
  • Escort: Dorado, Havana, Rialto
  • Hybrid: Eichenwalde, King's Row, Numbani
  • Control: Busan, Ilios, Oasis
21 Mar 5, 2020 May 7, 2020 Hero pools introduced, changing weekly.
Limited map pools were removed on April 14, 2020.

Map pool (until Apr 14):

  • Assault: Hanamura, Horizon Lunar Colony, Volskaya Industries
  • Escort: Dorado, Junkertown, Watchpoint: Gibraltar
  • Hybrid: Blizzard World, Hollywood, King's Row
  • Control: Busan, Lijang Tower, Oasis

Hero pool (bans):

  • Mar 5 - Mar 12: Orisa, Hanzo, Mei, Baptiste
  • Mar 12 - Mar 19: Reinhardt, Reaper, Ana, Moira
  • Mar 19 - Mar 26: Roadhog, Sigma, Doomfist, Brigitte
  • Mar 26 - Apr 2: D.Va, McCree, Soldier: 76, Sombra, Widowmaker, Baptiste
  • Apr 2 - Apr 9: Wrecking Ball, Hanzo, Mercy
  • Apr 9 - Apr 13: Zarya, Pharah, Symmetra, Lúcio
  • Apr 13 - Apr 19: Reinhardt, McCree, Widowmaker, Brigitte
  • Apr 20 - Apr 26: Orisa, Echo, Tracer, Moira
  • Apr 27 - May 3: Wrecking Ball, McCree, Widowmaker, Mercy
  • May 4 - May 10: Reinhardt, Ashe, Reaper, Brigitte
22 May 7, 2020 Jul 2, 2020 Hero pools changed to be applied only to matches with an average team SR of 3500 or greater, and altered to be "based on usage from the Overwatch League" when in season, and "Grandmaster and Top 500 matches" when not in season.[2]

Hero pools were removed from Competitive Play on June 8th, 2020.[3]

Hero pool (bans):

  • May 4 - May 10: Reinhardt, Ashe, Reaper, Brigitte
  • May 11 - May 17: Orisa, Mei, Tracer, Moira
  • May 18 - May 31: None
  • June 1 - June 8: D.Va, Echo, Sombra, Brigitte[4]
23 Jul 2, 2020 Sep 3, 2020 Open Queue system implemented.
24 Sep 3, 2020 Nov 5, 2020
25 Nov 5, 2020 Jan 7, 2021
26 Jan 7, 2021

Arcade modes seasons[edit | edit source]

Starting with Copa Lùcioball introduced with the Summer Games 2017 event, Blizzard started adding Competitive Arcade modes from time to time. Usually the duration of a Competitive Arcade mode season is about 3 weeks long.

The rewards for Competitive Arcade modes differ from those from regular Competitive. As the seasons are shorter (as well as the matches duration), you earn less Competitive Points per win and less Competitive Points for your rank at the end of the season.

Mode Season Dates Notes
Copa Lúcioball 1 Aug. 2017 Introduced with the Summer Games 2017 event.
Competitive CTF 1 Feb./Mar. 2018 Introduced with the Lunar New Year 2018 event.
Competitive 6v6 Elimination 1 Apr./May 2018 Was not part of an event.
Competitive Deathmatch 1 May/June 2018 Introduced with the Anniversary 2018 event.
Competitive 3v3 Group Elimination 1 June/July 2018 Was not part of an event. Introduced with the Looking For Group (LFG) feature.

You had to be in a group of 3 players to be able to queue for the mode.

Copa Lùcioball 2 Aug. 2018 During the Summer Games 2018 event.
Competitive Team Deathmatch 1 Oct./Nov. 2018 Was not part of an event.
Competitive CTF 2 Jan./Feb. 2019 During the Lunar New Year 2019 event.
Competitive 6v6 Elimination 2 Mar./Apr. 2019 Was not part of an event.
Competitive Deathmatch 2 June/July 2019 Was not part of an event.
Copa Lùcioball 3 July/Aug. 2019 During the Summer Games 2019 event.
Competitive 3v3 Elimination 2 Oct./Nov. 2019 During the Halloween Terror 2019 event.
Competitive Team Deathmatch 2 Nov./Dec. 2019 Was not part of an event.
Competitive CTF 3 Jan./Feb. 2020 During the Lunar New Year 2020 event.
Competitive 6v6 Elimination 3 Mar./Apr. 2020 During the Archives 2020 event.
Competitive Open Queue 1 Apr. 2020 Was not part of an event.
Competitive Deathmatch 3 May/June 2020 During the Anniversary 2020 event.
Competitive Open Queue 2 June/July 2020 Was not part of an event. Is part of the main game now.
Competitive 3v3 Elimination 3 Sep./Oct. 2020 Was not part of an event.
Competitive Team Deathmatch 3 Oct./Nov. 2020 During the Halloween Terror 2020 event.

Rewards[edit | edit source]

See Competitive Points.

Eligible Maps[edit | edit source]

As of 14 Apr 2020, Paris and Horizon Lunar Colony are not eligible to be played in competitive modes pending map design changes.

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]