Designed for those seeking more of a challenge, Competitive Play is a game mode in which players can compete against one another and "rank up" through a series of divisions and tiers on a seasonal basis.
To join a Competitive Play game, select "Play" from the main menu and then select "Competitive Play" from the list. Players can queue up for Competitive Play games solo or in a group (of any size). Once queued, the system will do its best to match players against others who've also queued solo or, if playing with friends, against players who queued in similarly-sized groups.
Competitive Play is locked until level 25.
Once players have queued up for Competitive Play, the game will begin searching for a match based on a variety of factors, including division and tier (see below for more details). After two teams have been found, a map will be randomly selected for the match.
If the map selected is an Assault map or an Escort map, two full games will be played so that each team will have the opportunity to play on offense and defense. If a team wins both games, they are considered to have won the match. If each team wins one game, then the match enters Sudden Death. During Sudden Death, the two teams will play one round on a random objective of a Control map. The team that wins the objective wins the match!
If the map selected is a Control map, only one full game will be played. However, to win a game on a Control map in Competitive Play, a team must take three out of five randomized objectives (instead of the normal two out of three in Quick Play). The goal here is to have Competitive Play matches played on Control maps be roughly the same duration as matches played on Assault and Escort maps.
Unlike Quick Play, after a Competitive Play match is complete, the two teams will not automatically be rematched, nor will the game automatically place players back into the queue. They'll need to re-queue separately for each Competitive Match.
Divisions and Tiers
Competitive Play features four distinct tiers: Challenger, Advanced, Expert, and Master. Each tier also has five divisions, ranked 1 through 5.
Challenger 1 is the lowest tier and division (all players will begin here), and Master 5 is the highest tier and division. To progress, players need to earn a specific amount of points. Points are gained for winning competitive matches and, depending on the which tier players are in, points are lost for being defeated. The number of points awarded or deducted varies depending on the tier and the specific win/loss condition.
With this, while players can always be promoted to a new division or tier by earning enough points, they can never be demoted out of a tier once they've reached it — regardless of how many points lost, players can only ever move to a lower division.
- Players will start at Challenger 1 with 0 points
- Players will earn 20 points for a victory
- Players will lose 20 points for a defeat
- Progressing from one division to next requires 100 points
- Progressing from one tier to the next requires 100 points while at that tier's final division
- While in the Challenger tier, players will not lose points for a defeat
- While in Challenger, Advanced, or Expert tiers, players will earn 40 points (instead of 20 points) for consecutive victories
- While in Advanced or Expert tiers, players will lose 10 points (instead of 20 points) for a loss if the match is lost during a tie-breaking round
- Players may only queue as a group if they are within 10 divisions of one another
Players at Master 5 will also have the opportunity to advance to a special fifth tier: Heroic! This tier has no divisions — instead, every player who reaches Heroic will receive a unique numeric rankabout other players in the tier. In the future, we also want to provide in-game leaderboards to showcase the top-ranked players in Heroic each season.
Competitive Play in Overwatch is designed to be seasonal, with progression (including divisions, tiers, ranks, and eventually leaderboards) resetting on the first day of every month. The first official season is planned sometime after the game is released in May, at which point the monthly rotation will begin.
There light, cosmetic rewards like sprays, portrait borders, and other visual items for players who participate in seasonal play.