Overwatch’s Current Queue and 2 – 2 – 2
Queuing for a game in Overwatch is simple. For quick play and competitive alike, all a player has to do is select what mode they want to play. They’ll enter a queue until they find an available match around their skill level. It’s simple, but it leaves a lot to be desired.
A common problem in teams, be it competitive or casual, is the ability to pick any role. While this doesn’t seem negative inherently, it can prove quite problematic when queuing with strangers. For example, if your queue places you in a team where five of the members want to play DPS, you’ll be in for one wild ride.
The new queue system will hopefully alleviate some of this suffering. Players will have to choose what role they want before they queue for a game, and the system will automatically put two tanks, two damage dealers, and two supports on each team. Players won’t be able to switch off their role mid-game, but they can still pick other heroes within that category.
2 – 2 – 2 in Competitive Play
This new enforced role queueing system will also affect how players earn their competitive skill rating. Instead of playing ten placement matches and ranking, players will have three distinct ratings for support, tank, and damage. Each role requires five placement matches before a player earns a rank. The three separate skill ratings will be used to calculate the end-of-season rewards.
Overwatch League is already utilizing the 2 – 2 – 2 queueing system. While some players had to switch their primary role, it so far seems to be a beneficial decision. Instead of watching virtually the same GOATS game on repeat, teams can now utilize the unique skills of each teammate. In other words, Widowmaker duels are back in action! Of course, these are the pros, and they’ll soon find a new meta with the enforced changes. Enjoy this honeymoon phase while it lasts.
There are always problems with games, and players know Overwatch is no exception. This new change in queueing brings up new issues. Anyone who’s played competitive has had to switch roles because someone wasn’t carrying their weight, and role lock won’t change this. Players will no longer be able to trade roles to best benefit their team.
Look at it this way; if your team needs a Lucio and neither of your support players knows how to play Lucio, you’re out of luck. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Lucio main because you queued as a tank. The same thing can happen for every role and a majority of the heroes.
It’s also kind of a bummer that we’ll no longer be able to see some crazy team compositions in the Overwatch League. Occasionally teams would run some ridiculous triple or quad DPS and pull off some intense matches. These games can’t happen anymore.
Fortunately, I think the benefits of this system outweigh the cons. Enforcing role lock will keep matches from turning into squabbles about having too many DPS players or not enough tanks. It also eliminates boring metas like GOATS.
Lastly, this new system requires a few character reworks. Brigitte, a hybrid tank/support character, will no longer be as effective as she currently is. Because she fills more than one role, she’ll have to be reworked to fit the support role better. Of course, other characters will receive balance changes, but I doubt we’ll see a whole bunch of complete reworks.
All in all, this change will benefit Overwatch more than I think we currently know. Maybe role lock will give the game a new breath of life? Regardless, I’m looking forward to how this impacts the game in the future.
Role queue will be fully available for quick play and competitive beginning on September 1 for the start of Competitive Season 18.