July 20, 2019

Overwatch’s new Role Queue and why you should care

Role Queue is a new matchmaking system for Quick Play and Competitive Play where a player selects which class of hero they want to play before queueing to search for teammates. After selecting between Tank, Support, or Damage, the system will search for other players to build the team so that there are two tanks, two supports, and two damage heroes that go into the hero selection.

This update changes two major aspects of the game, the hero select part of the game and team compositions. Players can then only select heroes in their chosen role and must reselect a hero class before searching for the next game. Search times are naturally affected by this with longer queue times for inflated roles with too many players – looking at you, DPS mains.

Source: Blizzard

Along with the Role Queue update, Blizzard will now force all teams to have two heroes of each role. This is a colossal change for both casual and professional players with both pros and cons. Casual players can now have much fairer games with optimized teams. It does steer away from troll picks and that kid in voice chat encouraging everyone to do a full damage team. Good or bad, take it as you will.

Overwatch is notoriously known for all the fun and chaotic combinations of heroes crafted in a team’s composition. This upcoming patch and new feature will limit that flexibility. 

The hero select stage of the game is one where issues come up. A very common issue is the situation in which nobody wants to play support and players look for a more risky carry style of play. Someone must then change their hero, leading to at least one dissatisfied player before the match even starts.

Presetting what role a player will enter hero select as will finally resolve this problem. Every game will guarantee heroes played by people who wanted to make that choice without pressure or guilt from teammates.

Professional play will take a big hit with this update. This update completely ends the GOATS meta that used three tanks and three supports to abuse large health pools and frequent healing, relying on slow charging ultimates for game changers. Blizzard and fans have wanted this gone for a while as it leads to unexciting gameplay. Perhaps DPS centered teams will kick off the next meta after the recent upset with Shanghai Dragons beating the strong GOATS teams by playing around Pharah.

The exciting feature is currently live on the PC public test region and will hit all public servers on September 1 for the start of Season 18 Competitive Play. The Overwatch League will begin the 2-2-2 role lock restriction on July 25 at the start of Stage 4.

Credit: Justin Amin

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