Overwatch players aren't happy as cross-play beta changes up regional matchmaking

(Image credit: Blizzard)

The Overwatch cross-play beta is now finally live in a new update, but it's causing a headache for plenty of players.

This week, Overwatch finally initiated cross-play between console and PC platforms, over five years after it originally released in 2016. While this should have been a pretty momentous occassion for Blizzard's online hero shooter, it's now being talked about for another reason entirely.

It turns out the new cross-play update has changed the way players are placed into lobbies and regions. Simply speaking, the update has removed the option to select a region if you're playing solo, and has effectively merged all regions, so now if you're playing Overwatch in the UK for example, you could be automatically placed into a sever in North America.

The update has made it so that anyone playing Overwatch can be placed into any datacentre in the world, no matter how far away they are from it. According to Blizzard technical support, as you can see in the tweets just below, this is to help players find a match during periods of low player counts, but it's resulting in some players registering over 100ms ping, drastically increasing the game's reaction times whenever they move, shoot, or use an ability.

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As you can probably imagine, this has caused a pretty significant uproar among the Overwatch community, with players being placed into datacentres on the opposite side of the world. Even Overwatch League personnel are speaking out against the changes made by the game's development team, as seen in the tweet below from OWL analyst and former pro Scott Kennedy.

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It's hard to guess where Overwatch goes from here. The changes have obviously been made with good intentions, aiming to reduce queue times for solo players who want to get a quick game in, but it's the unfortunate side effect of taking away the option to pick your region that is really upsetting the game's community. We'll have to wait and see what Blizzard chooses to do in the face of all this feedback.

For everything you need to know about the game's forthcoming sequel, head over to our complete guide on Overwatch 2 for more.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.