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For Competitive Play in Beta period, see Competitive Play (Beta).

Competitive Play is one of Overwatch's game modes that can be accessed from the Play menu. Competitive Play is designed to be a more serious experience where players compete and rank up on a seasonal basis. It is currently the only game mode which rewards players with Competitive Points, a currency to unlock special cosmetic items, currently only Golden Guns.

Players may join Competitive Play as groups, but there is a restriction on the group skill rating (effective from Season 2). Newly released maps and characters are not usable in Competitive Play until 2 weeks later.

Seasons Edit

Current season: Season 12 

Competitive Play is divided into segments called seasons. At the end of each season, rankings will be reset and there will be a period of time called off-season. Players will also be required to participate in placement matches again at the beginning of each season. Each season has its own unique rewards for its participants.

During the off-season period, players are still able to queue for Competitive matches using the Competitive Play ruleset, but their skill rating will not be affected and no Competitive Points will be awarded. However, players still receive experience for participating in off-season matches.

Past seasons Edit

Icon Seasons Starting date End date Duration Theme
Season1 icon Season 1 1 July, 2016 19 August, 2016 50 days Ilios
Season2 icon Season 2 1 September, 2016 23 November, 2016 83 days Route 66
Season3 icon Season 3 1 December, 2016 22 February, 2017 83 days Volskaya Industries
Season4 icon Season 4 1 March, 2017 29 May, 2017 89 days Hanamura
Season5 icon Season 5 1 June, 2017 29 August, 2017 89 days Numbani
Overwatch Competitive Season 6 Icon Season 6 1 September, 2017 29 October, 2017 58 days Temple of Anubis
Season7 icon Season 7 1 November, 2017 29 December, 2017 58 days Nepal
Season8 icon Season 8 1 January, 2018 25 February, 2018 55 days Watchpoint: Gibraltar
Season9 icon Season 9 1 March, 2018 27 April, 2018 58 days Hollywood
Season 10 etc etc (2)
Season 10 1 May 2018 28 June, 2018 56 days King's Row
Note:
All dates are at 00:00 UTC.

Match format Edit

For former match formats of older seasons, see their specific season's pages.

Competitive matches have different formats than other modes such as Quick Play to create a balanced gameplay. All of the Control, Assault, Escort, and Hybrid maps are available for this mode. However, each type of maps has a specific format.

Control Maps Edit

  • Match rule:
    • Two teams play in a best-of-three format. There are at least 2 games and at most 3 games (this was changed from a best-of-five format with at least 3 games and at most 5 games at the start of Season 6).
    • If one team succeeds in fully capturing a control point, the round ends immediately and the team gains a point. The score will be updated and announced after every round.
    • If one team achieves two points, the game ends immediately and that team wins.

Escort Maps Edit

  • Match rule:
    • Both teams play two games as a rotation: one attacking team and one defending team, and both teams change sides after one round. The final score, the distance, and the remaining time will be announced after each round.
    • The attacking team gains a point any time a checkpoint is reached, and the distance is reset to 0 meters.
  • Time rule:
    • Each team is given 4 minutes at the beginning to reach the first checkpoint.
    • The attacking team is given bonus time for each checkpoint reached (2:30 minutes for reaching the first checkpoint, 1:30 minutes for reaching the second checkpoint). But the bonus time is only given in the first rotation.
  • Conditions for winning:
    • If the first attacking team did not deliver the payload to the final checkpoint, there will be a light-up yellow mark on the ground in the second game of that rotation, marking the furthest point of the first attacking team's payload.
      • If the second attacking team pushes their payload over the mark, they will get a point and will be the winner.
      • If the second attacking team cannot push their payload to touch the mark, the other team will be the winner.
      • In the rare case of both teams push the payload to the same distance, the result will be a draw.
    • If both teams reach the final checkpoint, meaning the scores are tied. An extra rotation will begin.
  • Extra rotation rule:
    • The team with the least time remaining starts the next rotation as the first attacking team.
    • If both teams have more than 60 seconds left, a new rotation will start in which both teams use their remaining time.
    • If either team or both teams have less than 60 seconds remaining, then the team with the least remaining time is granted additional time to bring their new total to 60 seconds. And the other team is also granted the same amount of time. A new rotation will begin.

Assault Maps Edit

  • Match rule:
    • Both teams play two games as a rotation: one attacking team and one defending team, and both teams change sides after one round. The final score and the remaining time will be announced after each round.
    • The attacking team gains a point at any time a control point is captured.
    • The attacking team gains percentage based on the maximum amount of the control point they have captured greater than 1 tick.
  • Time rule:
    • Each team is given 4 minutes at the beginning of the match to capture the first point.
    • When capturing point A, the attacking team is given a bonus of 4 minutes during the first rotation and 30 seconds during subsequent rotations.
  • Conditions for winning:
    • In a rotation, if the first attacking team fails to capture a control point when the second attacking team beats their capture percentage of at least 1 tick, the match ends immediately and the second attack team wins the match.
    • If after a rotation both teams fail to capture both control points, the score and capture percentage are tied, and both teams use up all of their time, then the game ends immediately and the result is a draw. Otherwise, extra rotation will begin.
  • Extra rotation rule:
    • The team with the least time remaining starts the next rotation as the first attacking team.
    • If both teams have more than 60 seconds left, a new rotation will start in which both teams use their remaining time.
    • If only one team has less than 60 seconds remaining time (but more than 0 seconds), they are granted additional time to increase their remaining time to 60 seconds. And the other team is also granted the same amount of time. A new rotation will begin.
    • If both teams have less than 60 seconds remaining time, the team with the least remaining time is granted additional time to increase their remaining time to 60 seconds. And the other team is also granted the same amount of time. The final rotation will begin, and the match will end after this rotation regardless.
    • In the special case of one team have at least 60 seconds remaining time, and the other team have 0, no additional time is given to any team. The team which still has remaining time will start the final game of the match on attacking side. If the attacking team win a tick within that time, the match ends immediately and they are the winner; otherwise, the match ends in a draw.

Hybrid Maps Edit

  • Match rule:
    • Both teams play two games as a rotation: one attacking team and one defending team, and both teams change sides after one game.
    • The attacking team gains a point any time the control point is captured or the checkpoint is reached. If the control point is captured, the distance meter will start.
    • In the beginning (while capturing the control point), the attacking team gains percentage based on the maximum amount of the control point they have captured greater than 1 tick.
  • Time rule:
    • Each team is given 4 minutes at the beginning to capture the first point.
    • The attacking team is given bonus time for capturing the control point and reaching the checkpoint (2:30 minutes for capturing the control point, 1:30 minutes for reaching the checkpoint). But the bonus time is only given for the first rotation.
  • Conditions for winning:
    • While capturing the control point, if the first attacking team fails to capture the control point when the second attacking team beats their capture percentage of at least 1 tick, the match ends and the second attack team wins the match.
    • If both teams fail to capture the control point, the capture percentage is tied, and both teams use up all of their time, then the game ends immediately and the result is a draw. Otherwise, pushing the payload will begin.
    • If the first attacking team did not deliver the payload to the final checkpoint, there will be a light-up yellow mark on the ground in the second game, marking the furthest point of the first attacking team's payload.
      • If the second attacking team captures the point and pushes their payload over the mark, they get a point and will be the winner.
      • If the second attacking team cannot capture the point, the match will end and the other team will be the winner.
      • If the second attacking team are able to capture the point but cannot push their payload to touch the mark, the other team will be the winner.
      • In the rare case of both teams push the payload to the same distance, the result is a draw.
    • If both teams reach the final checkpoint, meaning the scores are tied. An extra rotation will begin.
  • Extra rotation rule:
    • The team with the least time remaining starts the next rotation as the first attacking team.
    • If both teams have more than 60 seconds left, a new rotation will start in which both teams use their remaining time.
    • If only one team has less than 60 seconds remaining time (but more than 0 seconds), they are granted additional time to increase their remaining time to 60 seconds. And the other team is also granted the same amount of time. A new rotation will begin.
    • If both teams have less than 60 seconds remaining time, the team with the least remaining time is granted additional time to increase their remaining time to 60 seconds. And the other team is also granted the same amount of time. A new rotation will begin.
    • In the special case of one team have at least 60 seconds remaining time, and the other team have 0, no additional time is given to any team. The team which still has remaining time will start the final game of the match on attacking side. If the attacking team win a tick within that time, the match ends immediately and they are the winner; otherwise, the match ends in a draw.

Requirements Edit

This section mentions terms like "skill rating", and "tiers". Please see Skill rating section below for more information.

The only necessary requirement is that players must progress to level 25 before being given access to Competitive Play.

Placement matches Edit

In addition, each player will be required to complete 10 placement matches each season to determine their skill rating. In season 1 and 2, the starting skill rating is determined by performance in 10 placement matches only. Since season 3, the starting skill rating is determined by placement matches' performance along with last season's skill rating.

Because all of these 10 matches are counted as eligible Competitive matches, competitive rules and penalties are applied, along with Competitive Points (for the winning team) and experience for every match. Completing the 10 placement matches will give the player a special reward (i.e. player icon and spray corresponding the current season).

Group skill rating restriction Edit

There are also skill rating restrictions for Competitive grouping.

  • Players who are queueing for their placement match are unable to group up with players who are in Diamond tier and above.
  • Players who are in Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond tier are unable to group up with other players which have a skill rating difference of more than 1000.
  • Players who are in Master tier are unable to group up with other players which have a skill rating difference of more than 500.
  • Players who are in Grandmaster tier are unable to group up with other players which have a skill rating difference of more than 350.

Skill rating Edit

For the former competitive skill rating, see: Season 1 Skill Rating

Skill rating is a number between 1 and 5000, indicating the overall performance of a player (with the higher number representing the more skilled players). Skill rating will be initially determined by playing 10 placement matches. After that, the skill rating will increase or decrease with each win or loss, respectively. How much the player gains or loses depends on two factors: the player's own performance and the skill of the other players in the match. For example, winning against a stronger team will give the player a bigger boost in skill rating than winning against a same-level team.

Furthermore, to discourage people from deliberately throwing matches in an effort to reach the lowest attainable skill rating, skill ratings lower than 500 will be shown as "<500".

Overwatch-Season-Rewards-4

Skill rating tiers and their icons along with icon for Top 500.

Tiers Edit

There are 7 skill tiers:

  • Bronze (skill rating: 1-1499)
  • Silver (skill rating: 1500-1999)
  • Gold (skill rating: 2000-2499)
  • Platinum (skill rating: 2500-2999)
  • Diamond (skill rating: 3000-3499)
    • The icon for Diamond has a flickering light shining in the middle.
  • Master (skill rating: 3500-3999)
    • The icon for Master has a sparkling effect.
  • Grandmaster (skill rating: 4000-5000)
    • The icon for Grandmaster has a sparking effect and an anamorphic lens flare in the middle.

Players in the range of Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond may possibly drop out of their tier level if they do not have the minimum requirement over 5 games. However, players in Master and Grandmaster will drop out of their tier rating immediately once they fall below the minimum rating required for that level. Prior to Season 6, only players in Master and Grandmaster would be able to drop out of their rank.

Starting skill rating and gain bonus Edit

Since season 3, season-starting skill rating is determined by last season's skill rating along with placement matches' performance. From seasons 3-6, the resulting skill rating was purposely placed lower than the player's season end and "true" skill rating. [1][2] As of season 6, this adjustment is no longer in place.

Rating decay Edit

Players in the tiers of Diamond, Master, and Grandmaster are subject to rating decay. The players who are in those tiers are asked to play at least 5 matches within 168 hours (7 days).

There will be a timer for displaying the amount of time until skill rating decay occurs. After playing one match, the timer will be pushed up 36 hours; players can bank a maximum amount of 168 hours into the timer. When players achieve Diamond, Master, and Grandmaster tiers (either by climbing up the tier ladder or finishing their placement matches), their timers will be visible for them in the Competitive information menu. The initial time on timer they have at the time depends on previous matches they have played, thus it will be ranged from 24 to 168 hours.

If the player's timer runs out of time, the decay will occur immediately, meaning their skill rating will drop 25 points initially and will continue to drop 25 points for every 24 hours thereafter. The decay stops when the player returns to play one Competitive match, which will push the timer up 36 hours, or when their skill rating drops to the rating threshold of the Diamond tier (3000 skill rating).

Top 500 Edit

Top 500 players of the season have a special icon for their skill rating (which has a distinct sparkle lightning and anamorphic lens flare effect, identical to the in-game effects surrounding a readied ultimate ability meter.). No matter what tier they are supposed to be in when they achieve the Top 500 status, their icon will change into the special icon. Any player who achieves the Top 500 status will be informed when reaching it, along with their position in Top 500.

In order to reach the Top 500 status, players must win at least 50 Competitive matches.[3] Getting skill rating decay will eliminate that player out of the TOP 500.

The Top 500 leaderboard for each season is released 2 weeks after the season's start. Players are unable to achieve Top 500 status until the leaderboard is released.

Rewards Edit

Match rewards Edit

Each match won in Competitive Play yields Competpoints blackborder 15, and each match drawn in Competitive Play also gives Competpoints blackborder 5. Prior to Season 6, each match won yielded Competpoints blackborder 10, and match drawn yielded Competpoints blackborder 3.

End-of-season rewards Edit

At the end of each season, two tiers of unique items are rewarded:

  • Competitor: Every player who has completed their 10 placement matches will receive a unique Player Icon and Spray to match the season.
  • Hero: Every player in the Top 500 list on their region and platform at the end of the season will receive an animated variant of the Competitor spray and two unique player icons: a common one for being in the Top 500 and another seasonal one for being in the Top 500 of that season.

Players will also receive a set amount of Competitive Points at the end of the season, based on their highest recorded skill rating tier in that season. End-of-season Competitive Points reward will still be granted for players at the hard cap.

  • Bronze: Competpoints blackborder 65
  • Silver: Competpoints blackborder 125
  • Gold: Competpoints blackborder 250
  • Platinum: Competpoints blackborder 500
  • Diamond: Competpoints blackborder 750
  • Master: Competpoints blackborder 1200
  • Grandmaster: Competpoints blackborder 1750

Prior to Season 6, end-of-season Competitive Points were rewarded as follows:

  • Bronze: Competpoints blackborder 100
  • Silver: Competpoints blackborder 200
  • Gold: Competpoints blackborder 400
  • Platinum: Competpoints blackborder 800
  • Diamond: Competpoints blackborder 1200
  • Master: Competpoints blackborder 2000
  • Grandmaster: Competpoints blackborder 3000

Player conduct Edit

Penalties in Competitive Play are much more severe than in normal play.

  • When a player leaves an ongoing Competitive match, the matchmaking system will not find a backfill for the match, forcing the remaining teammates to continue to play under the disadvantage. There are two possibilities, which lead to different resolves:
    • If a player becomes inactive (thus leading to be forced out of the game) or leaves within the first two minutes of the game, the entire match will be canceled.
    • If the infraction happens after the two-minute mark, leaver's teammates will have to continue to play for 2 minutes and any player who leaves the match will be counted as a new leaver. If the leaver does not come back within that two-minute period, the remaining players in their team will be given the option to leave without receiving leaver's penalty, but they will receive a loss for that match along with the decrease in their skill rating. Leavers can rejoin the match anytime while the match is still in progress.
      • The leaver will have to forfeit all of their data; their scoreboard will be reset. Even if they rejoin the match, the lost statistic will not be recovered and the scoreboard will start again from scratch.
  • Players who leave an ongoing Competitive match will be marked as having lost the match, their skill rating will be decreased, and they will receive a 10-minute penalty (within 10 minutes they cannot join another Competitive match) if they did not have any infraction penalty in place.
    • Continued infractions will lead to more restrictions on future Competitive matches. As the violations start to pile up, Competitive Play will be locked for an increasing amount of time. Repeated violations can also result in a ban from Competitive Play for the current season, including the forfeit of any rewards.
    • Completing matches without incurring further penalties will decrease the penalty accumulation, eventually returning the account to good standing. From Season 2 onward, players who leave mid-match will need to complete more matches without leaving to be pardoned any penalty.
    • Leaver Penalty will also be applied for match leavers following the same rule as Quick Play, but it takes less leaving match than Quick Play to incur the penalty.

Patch changes Edit

  • Overwatchemblem black September 11, 2018 Patch: Grand Master players can now group with players within 350 Skill Rating, up from 250 Skill Rating
  • Overwatchemblem black April 27, 2017 Patch: On Assault and Assault/Escort Maps, teams now need to capture at least 33% of the objective before the tie-breaking system is activated.
  • Overwatchemblem black April 17, 2017 Patch: Fixed an issue that could cause inaccurate results when breaking ties based on capture percentage on Assault and Assault/Escort maps.
  • Overwatchemblem black April 11, 2017 Patch: A tracking system has been added to Assault and Assault/Escort Maps to break ties based on the progress that was made toward capturing the objective.
  • Overwatchemblem black March 21, 2017 Patch: Fixed a visual bug that prevented your current medals from being displayed in the setup phase between rounds.
  • Overwatchemblem black March 3, 2017 Patch: Fixed an issue preventing players from loading the Season 1 and 2 leaderboards.
  • Overwatchemblem black February 28, 2017 Patch: Skill ratings below 500 will no longer be displayed. Changed rating decay from 1 match to 7 matches over 7 days. Stricter rules to receive Top 500 reward. Fixed a bug preventing “60 seconds remaining” and “30 seconds remaining” voice lines from playing during the second round of a match. Respawn delay added to Assault, Assault/Escort, and Escort Maps
  • Overwatchemblem black January 31, 2017 Patch: Fixed a bug that allowed Competitive matches to continue indefinitely.
  • Overwatchemblem black January 24, 2017 Patch: Fixed a bug preventing players from receiving XP for playing off-season games.
  • Overwatchemblem black December 20, 2016 Patch: Fixed a bug that sometimes allowed Symmetra to place Teleporters and Shield Generators inside her team’s spawn room in a competitive match.
  • Overwatchemblem black December 13, 2016 Patch: Fixed a bug that allowed more than one player to select the same hero in rare situations.
  • Overwatchemblem black November 15, 2016 Patch: Implement some preparation for Season 3. Fixed a bug that could cause overtime to continue indefinitely on Assault maps. Fixed a bug that could cause matches to begin with only 11 connected players.
  • Overwatchemblem black October 19, 2016 Patch: Fixed a bug causing multiple issues when displaying data on the leaderboards.
  • Overwatchemblem black October 11, 2016 Patch: Leaderboard is added. Players who leave or are disconnected from a competitive match can now rejoin anytime while the match is still in progress; teammates of a disconnected player can now exit a match after 2 minutes have elapsed (formerly 1 minute), and they will not receive a leaver penalty but still receive a loss.
  • Overwatchemblem black September 23, 2016 Patch: Fixed an issue that was incorrectly displaying a top 500 icon for certain players, even though they had not yet broken into the top 500.
  • Overwatchemblem black September 13, 2016 Patch: A new Competitive Tier legend has been added to the Competitive Play info screen. A new Match Complete splash screen has replaced the former Round Complete splash screen in competitive matches. Fixed several issues causing some players obtain a skill rating that's higher than their actual rating.
  • Overwatchemblem black September 1, 2016 Patch: Season 2 begins. New skill rating with skill rating tiers and skill rating decay, Gameplay changed for maps, along with draw mechanic. Competitive Point system changed. Increase penalty. Matchmaking UI is now purple in the Competitive Play queue. Competitive play leaver messaging no longer overlaps with the PvP HUD at the top of the screen. Fixed a bug causing the end of season banner to pop up while the player is in a match.
  • Overwatchemblem black August 9, 2016 Patch: Fixed a bug that prevented user interface elements from displaying in some languages. Fixed a bug that caused the placement matches screen to display when some players would disconnect and rejoin a match.
  • Overwatchemblem black August 2, 2016 Patch: Players who leave a competitive match before its conclusion will now have to wait for at least 10 minutes before joining another competitive match; During subsequent rounds on Assault maps (Hanamura, Temple of Anubis, and Volskaya Industries), the amount of time provided for team assembly has been reduced.; Fixed a bug that kept grouped players from being able to rejoin a match when disconnected; Fixed a bug that caused a player’s Skill Rating to be displayed incorrectly when rejoining a match in progress.
  • Overwatchemblem black July 21, 2016 Patch: Attacking teams now have 4 minutes to capture the first point on Assault maps (down from 5 minutes). Fixed a bug in Competitive Play that caused the numbers on the post-match skill rating bar to not increment correctly.
  • Overwatchemblem black July 19, 2016 Patch: Competitive Play matches can now only have one of each hero per team.
  • Overwatchemblem black July 6, 2016 Patch: The duration of Sudden Death has been adjusted across all maps. Fixed a bug that caused the 'Top 500' icon to incorrectly display for certain players in various places throughout the game UI. Fixed a bug that sometimes caused players' Skill Rating to display as '64' during placement matches. Fixed an issue where if you left and rejoined an in-progress Competitive Play match, the game would still track the match as a loss in your placement match history and when determining the amount of Skill Rating you receive for completing a match even if your team won. Fixed an issue where you would still receive a Competitive Play 'leave' penalty even if you rejoined a match and completed it.
  • Overwatchemblem black June 28, 2016 Patch: Competitive Play added.


ReferencesEdit

  1. Scott Mercer about skill rating bonus after placement matches
  2. Bonus skill rating
  3. Overwatch Twitter 1:31 PM - 24 Oct 2016