Role locked and ready to go

Overwatch is set to gets it biggest game changing feature since the introduction of one hero limit on Tuesday, August 13th, when role queue is patched onto the live servers. Thus far we’ve gotten our first glimpse at role lock through the Overwatch League as the change was introduced 2-2-2 before the start of stage four. Role lock has turned the Overwatch League on its head with an otherwise struggling team in the Washington Justice becoming sudden standouts sitting atop the stage four standings.

So how does role queue work and how big of an impact will it have on the game as well as its community? For starters, no change has been so widely embraced from the casual player base to the professional scene. Role lock will put team four in their best position to date to bring balance to the game. While the team may not be tackling balance changes head on right out of the gate (at least in regards to widespread changes across), a number of heroes saw tweaks for Patch 1.39.

Role queue will be fully available for quick play and competitive play beginning on September 1 for the start of competitive Season 18. Before then, we’ll get our hands on role queue in a special two-week role queue beta season. The season will start on August 13th and run until September 1st. During the role queue beta season players will still be able to earn competitive points and qualify for the top 500 leaderboards, however, stats will not count towards your permanent competitive season stats.

Players will earn separate skill ratings for each role in competitive play with role queue on live giving players three distinct SRs. No longer will you have to dread playing an off-role in your diamond games knowing you’re a silver DPS player. Being able to select what role you want to play will give you the opportunity to play off roles without punishing your current SR or teammates. With each role having its own SR players will need to complete their placement matches. The number of placement matches required has been dropped from 10 to 5. You’ll be able to complete placement matches on each role. If a player would like to earn their seasonal SR across roles they’ll need to complete 15 placement matches in total.

Anyone who finishes their placement matches in any role during a competitive season will receive a special spray and player icon. You’ll still earn competitive points to spend on golden weapons and players will receive points based on the highest skill tier they obtained during the season per role. Rather than having a single pool of points they’ve been separated across the roles. The change allows players to earn more points overall should they finish placements across all three roles.

Leaderboards will remain in place for the top 500 and will now have one for each role. A fourth leaderboard will be active combining the average skill rating across all three roles. Finishing in the top 500 for any of the leaderboards will grant you an additional player icon and animated spray.

Role queue won’t just be hitting competitive play as it will soon make its way over in quick play.  The role queue system will allow player’s matchmaking ratings to be determined on a per-role basis. This should lead to more fair and competitive matches for everyone. For fans of the prior classic quick play rules – classic quick play will be added as an arcade mode.

Role queue has been in the works for over a year now and the landscape is about to change. What are you most looking forward to about the new feature? Do you have any concerns with matchmaking pairing you with the same role (ie – getting matched with another main tank, flex support, etc)? Let us know!

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