Overwatch competitive season is back after the new role queue feature broke it

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Role queue in Overwatch is already causing problems. As we covered before, the controversial role queue format establishes a 2-2-2 team (two DPS, two tanks, two supports) for every match, and locks players into a role before allowing them to search for a match. It was initially rolled out in the professional Overwatch League, then brought to Xbox One, PS4, and PC in a Beta Season on August 13.

That season was meant to acclimate players to the new format, which disallows you from swapping roles mid-game, no matter how much your team might be struggling. Role queue is designed to prevent certain comp types from dominating play, but it also means that players have to broaden their abilities in each role, as a healer can no longer swap to a tank they might be equally competent with. The Beta Season was meant to end on August 31 and roll right into competitive Season 18 while adding role queue to Quick Play mode as well. 

But when the sun rose on August 31 and players logged on to play the placement matches that would determine their ranking for each individual role, problems arose.

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It seems that, no matter the ability of the player, every person was placed in the same tier - including professional players. San Francisco Shock player Hyo-bin ‘ChoiHyoBin’ Choi placed in mid-gold (a fairly average ranking), but was even more surprised to see that he only gained two ranking points after winning a match (normal gains/losses hover around 20-40 points). Fans flooded the forums to inquire if Blizzard had done a complete MMR reset - MMR, or match-making rank, is an invisible stat the helps Blizzard calculate fair matchups. 

Shortly after the wave of negative feedback on Twitter, Reddit, and Blizzard forums, developer Bill Warnecke posted an update that read, "Hey everyone, we’re looking into a bug with competitive matchmaking. We’ve temporarily disabled competitive play while we dig into the issue." I logged in shortly after the hullaballoo, and was promptly presented with a message that informed me that Season 18 was postponed until later in the week and the Beta Season was extended until then. 

But don't worry, the worst is behind us. On September 3, at around 7 PM ET, players reported that Season 18 was live, role queue was available in Quick Play mode, and a new Quick Play Classic mode was available, which lets you enjoy the old school, role queue-less version. Season 18 will last precisely 57 days, so get to queuing. 

If you haven't played Overwatch yet, why not try it out on the Switch? Looks like Overwatch Switch could be releasing as early as next month, according to new retail leak. 

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.