Overwatch’s Competitive Mode launched in a new update on PC yesterday. Unfortunately, due to the increased oversight on consoles, competitive mode will be coming to them at a later date. “We know this isn’t an ideal way to deliver new content, so we’re going to continue to refine our patching processes over the next few months in an effort to sync up our release dates across platforms as closely possible,” Community Manager Lylirra wrote on Battle.net.
Competitive Play will consist of four seasons throughout the year corresponding to summer, fall, winter and spring. Each season is two and a half months followed by a two-week break. Competitive Play is actually blocked until players reach level 25, “to make sure everyone has a solid understanding of the game’s mechanics, maps and heroes,” Blizzard wrote. At the start of every season every player must complete ten placement matches to determine their initial skill ranking, which will then rise or fall depending on performance during the season.
Blizzard has also instituted harsher penalties for leaving games early to coincide with the more serious nature they wish to instill in Competitive Play. Such penalties could get you banned from Competitive Play for varying amounts of time:
If you become inactive or leave within the first two minutes of the game, the entire match will be canceled. Leaving before the end of a match will make you ineligible to join a new game until the original match has been completed. If the infraction happens after the two-minute mark, you will be given one minute to reconnect. If you return, the match will resume normally. If not, the remaining players will be given the option to leave without receiving a penalty, but they will receive a loss.
Small changes have been made to the game modes, such as making Control best of five rounds instead of best of three, as it is in Quick Play. Players will also be able to earn exclusive cosmetic items through Competitive Play. Anyone who completes the ten placement matches will receive an exclusive icon and spray. Furthermore, as players rank up they will receive Competitive Points, which can be used to buy new cosmetic items such as golden gun variants.