Overwatch 2 cuts PvP teams from six players to five

Overwatch 2 will cut PvP teams from six players to five, according to today's livestream. 

During the Overwatch 2 PvP reveal event, game director Aaron Keller (who replaced Jeff Kaplan after he left Blizzard last month), made the announcement that there will only be five players per team. 

This means that role queue, a mechanic introduced last year, will also change. Role queue makes players choose between healer, damage-per-second, and tank roles prior to starting matchmaking, and stacks teams of six with two of each role type. With the teams reduced to just five players in Overwatch 2, the role queue stack will shift to 2-2-1: two DPS, two support, and one tank. 

This will effectively remove the off-tank role, which serves to support the main tank who blocks damage and establishes space. Typically players consider heroes like Dva, Zarya, Roadhog, and Hammond to be off-tanks, as they can't produce shields. What this will mean for the Overwatch League professional players is unclear, but expect it to have a huge impact. 

"There are a lot of reasons for why we wanted to make this change," Keller explains during the stream. "Overwatch has changed over time... we feel like this is the next step in the way that Overwatch ought to be played. If you think about it, there's a lot going on in an Overwatch map. It's incredibly fast-paced. We have always tried to make our combat easy to read and very understandable, and even with all of the work that we put into that, sometimes it's just hard to track what 11 other players are doing on the battlefield." Keller suggests that removing two of these players will make it easier to understand what's happening around you. As a support main, I concur.

Overwatch 2 will also change some of the heroes' abilities, including Winston, Mei, Zarya, and Reinhardt. Plus, all support players will now have a passive healing ability. Just how these changes will pan out remains to be seen, but we'll know whenever Overwatch 2 debuts (a release date was not one of the things Blizzard revealed in the stream).

Make sure to check out the Overwatch Anniversary Event 2021

Alyssa Mercante

Alyssa Mercante is an editor and features writer at GamesRadar based out of Brooklyn, NY. Prior to entering the industry, she got her Masters's degree in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Newcastle University with a dissertation focusing on contemporary indie games. She spends most of her time playing competitive shooters and in-depth RPGs and was recently on a PAX Panel about the best bars in video games. In her spare time Alyssa rescues cats, practices her Italian, and plays soccer.