Overwatch Season 6 will begin a new phase of competitive play on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
But it wasn’t scheduled to arrive until later in September, leaving a gap of a few days following the end of season 5.
Blizzard have confirmed that Season 5 officially ended on Monday, August 28 at 5:00 p.m. PDT (or Tuesday, August 29 at 01:00 BST).
Season 6 – launching following a big Overwatch patch – arrives today, August 31 at 5:00 p.m. PDT (or Friday, September 1 at 01:00 BST).
And If you completed your placement matches during Season 5, you are now eligible to receive a special spray and player icon.
These will be unlocked automatically when you log into your account the first time after the season ends.
If you are placed within the Top 500 players on your platform (and in your region) at the end of the season, you’ll receive an extra player icon and animated spray on top of the other seasonal rewards.
Aside from sprays and icons, you’ll also receive a number of Competitive Points based on the maximum skill rating you achieved during the season.
Here’s the Skill Rating (SR) to Competitive Point (CP) breakdown for Season 5, which is worth checking out before things kick off later today.
- SR 1-1499 (Bronze): 100 CP
- SR 1500-1999 (Silver): 200 CP
- SR 2000-2499 (Gold): 400 CP
- SR 2500-2999 (Platinum): 800 CP
- SR 3000-3499 (Diamond): 1200 CP
- SR 3500-3999 (Master): 2000 CP
- SR 4000-5000 (Grandmaster): 3000 CP
Blizzard has also made big changes to Competitive Season 6, which will only last for two months instead of three.
As game director Jeff Kaplan told fans, this will make it feel like less of a grind and ultimately a bit more exciting. Points will be adjusted to account for the shorter season.
Blizzard is also addressing the issue some players have with skill decay and skill placement.
After artificially lowering skill placements to create a sense of progression, Blizzard will now place people at the appropriate level from the start.
Likewise, skill decay won’t be quite so severe in Overwatch Competitive Season 6.
Diamond level players will only need to play five games a week to avoid decay, and the number of points deducted will be reduced from 50 to 25.
On the downside, higher level players might have to wait longer to find games, as Blizzard tries to better balance teams.
Having been confirmed earlier in August, the latest Overwatch update – weighing in at around 6GB – made its debut this week and includes a lot of changes for the game on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
Blizzard have been testing several additions to the game, some of which are now ready for launch.
This includes the new Deathmatch modes, which were recently confirmed in Blizzard Overwatch patch notes.
The two new game modes have been added to the Arcade: Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch; the official description can be found below:
“In Deathmatch, eight players go head-to-head until one player scores 20 points. Players will earn 1 point whenever they land the final blow on an opponent and will lose 1 point whenever they die to environmental damage (ex: falling off a cliff) or self-inflicted damage.
“This scoring will be tracked in a brand-new scoreboard. The first player to 20 points wins.
“In Team Deathmatch, two teams of four players face off until one team scores 30 points. Players will earn 1 point for their team whenever they land the final blow on an opponent and will lose 1 point for their team whenever they die to environmental damage (ex: falling off a cliff) or self-inflicted damage.
“If players are resurrected before they respawn, the corresponding point for their death will be deducted from the enemy team’s score. This scoring will be tracked in our default scoreboard. The first team to 30 points wins!”
Blizzard have made several modifications to many of the compatible maps for deathmatch, including restricting play to a specific area and developing a special respawn system.
A brand new map specifically built for Deathmatch: Château Guillard, has also been launched today.
“Château Guillard is located near Annecy in southeastern France. For hundreds of years, it was the estate of the influential Guillard family, until it gradually fell into disrepair after the family’s power waned in the decades after the Revolution.
“Recently, the château has found a new owner: the Talon agent Widowmaker, who has returned to her family’s ancestral home.”