Overwatch 2 players are stuck in queue because nobody wants to play support, and the battle pass is making it worse

Overwatch 2 hero Kiriko
(Image credit: Blizzard)

Overwatch 2 has a support problem, and a few weeks after launch, the lack of support players seems to be worsening queue times. 

Our own Alyssa Mercante said in May that it sucks being an Overwatch 2 support player, and a non-trivial chunk of the game's community now seems to have come to the same conclusion. Many players, including some of the best, are undeniably making support work for them, but recent discussions around the role are largely negative. 

"This game isn't fun for support," argues Blizzard forum user Darrington. "With an overemphasized focus on making damage players happy, and curtailing the 'Tank' role to become 'Bigger DPS,' I think that A LOT was lost in the transition."

LegendZach echoed this point in their own pointed post skewering known-support deleters Genji and Sombra, who many expect to be nerfed relatively soon: "Support is unplayable. For the first time ever I left a match tonight. Every match is literally Genji and Sombra constantly and nothing I can do about it. This game wasn't built for 5v5 and supports weren't made for this. Until something is done I'm only playing DPS."

Reddit user TheMeltingPointOfWax hammered this home: "I enjoyed playing support in [Overwatch 1] because I felt like I was actually SUPPORTING the team … But now every game feels like a run-from-Genji simulator." 

"I've went three matches back to back and these were the most painful and miserable matches of my life," Starlord says of support. "5v5 really screwed up this role even more." 

"This role has zero carry potential," adds Hysorn in a post appropriately titled "Now I know why no one plays support." 

Overwatch 2 support hero Mercy

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Hitting the nail on the head in a white-hot post from the past week, RobotWizard notes that "queue times are getting worse" partly due to a disproportionately small pool of support players. DPS and tank queue times are often several times longer than support queues, which goes to show how overly in-demand the role really is. As other players have observed, this is partly a consequence of Overwatch 2's 5v5 team setup and role distribution, but the widely shared frustrations that come with actually playing support are also a factor.

As Reddit user Hot-Silver-8140 pointed out, there's another potential underlying problem: heroes are now locked behind battle pass progression, including the new support hero Kiriko, which puts another barrier between players – especially new players with many heroes to unlock – and playing support. "They need to not put future characters behind a Battlepass," they say, "took me just under 50 hours to unlock her."

The more characters you have access to, the more likely you will find someone in a role that you vibe with and want to keep playing. Kiriko is an especially egregious example because, per our Overwatch 2 support tier list, she's one of the best supports in the game, but also one that players won't have access to when they just start playing unless they buy the premium battle pass (new hero trial periods notwithstanding). Backloading heroes by tying them to a minimum number of matches played can therefore stifle experimentation and role diversity, as players are seemingly seeing with these post-launch queue times. 

Kiriko is even better once you make two tiny tweaks to your settings. 

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.