You can drop out of all Overwatch skill tiers in Season 6 (except Bronze)

Overwatch competitive season 6

Update August 24, 2017: Blizzard have said more about the coming changes to Overwatch Season 6.

One major change is that players in Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond can drop into lower skill tiers, according to community manager Stephanie ‘Lylirra’ Johnson.

Here’s what’s going on in Overwatch patch 1.14, coming to live servers next week.

“After a loss, the game will check to see what a player’s current tier and skill rating are,” Lylirra says. “If their skill rating has not exceeded the minimum for their current tier for the past five games, they will be demoted. (Players will never be demoted on a win.)”

Competitive Points awarded at season end will still be based on the highest tier achieved in that season. Lylirra also mentions some adjustments to the way skill rating is calculated after a win or a loss. She doesn’t say much more than this, but the goal is for everyone to feel able “to play the hero they feel gives their team the best chance to win a competitive match.”

Game director Jeff Kaplan has also followed up his comments yesterday about adjustments to skill rating decay. In response to a thread that theorised high-skill players were getting placed in lower-skilled games due to decay, and thus kicking tail, Kaplan explains that your internal matchmaking rating is distinct from your SR. Your MMR is what’s used to match you against other players, and it doesnotdecay.

“I’m not saying that you weren’t placed in an unfair match,” Kaplan says. “I am just trying to clarify that if that did indeed happen, it wasn’t because of SR decay.”

Some of the changes in Season 6 should help with some occurrences of mismatches. Season 6 kicks off on August 31 – check out our original story below for more on what’s changing.

Original story August 23, 2017:Blizzard sneaked out their announcement about the big changes coming to Overwatch’s competitive mode in season 6 with the usual developer update earlier today. You can see the whole thing above or get the notes below.

Here are the quickfire hits:

  • Seasons will now last two months, down from three.
    • To compensate for this, competitive point rewards at the end of a season will be lowered slightly, but should still be the same year round.
    • You’ll also receive more competitive points per win, meaning individual matches matter more and your overall gain should go up.
  • Skill rating decary at Diamond and above is being reduced to 25, and only triggering if you don’t play five games in a week, down from seven.
    • There are longer term plans in the works to make SR decay a thing of the past, but they aren’t ready quite yet. Kaplan didn’t go into details, but chances are it means making it so people who just want the rank but don’t want to play comp regularly don’t see the need for the rank either.
  • Control maps will now be best of three, down from best of five, the same as in quick play.
    • Control maps were taking far longer to finish than other games, and it was very frustrating to lose in overtime on point five and come out of the match with nothing, especially when that match was twice as long as any other.
  • Placement matches will no longer deliberately place you lower than your actual rank.
    • Previously, this was to give a sense of climbing and achivement at the start of a new season. It wasn’t really working.
    • Obviously, performance in your placement matches will still matter.
  • The matchmaker has been tuned and will no longer place high skill players in unfair matches. This means those players will have to wait a bit longer for games, but should have more fun.
    • Further changes to the matchmaker, as laid out in our Overwatch updates post, are always in development.

That’s the lot this time around, with Kaplan mentioning that developments were already ongoing for Season 7 and Season 8. Patch 1.14 has been taken down from the PTR in the past 24 hours as well, so expect 1.15 (with Mercy changes, D.Va changes and enough to make another video, apparently) up soon. I’m personally just hoping it’s not before the end of the week, because there is already so much going on.