Yesterday, a Blizzard employee announced one of the first of many changes to Overwatch matchmaking. The change blocks Grandmaster players from queuing up in groups of three or larger. This forces Grandmaster players to only queue in solos or duos, a change that has been requested for some time now. Many players would be overwhelmed by groups of top-tier players mowing down the competition as they queued together. The change will take effect starting with Season 16 of competitive play.
blizzard has reduced overwatch grandmaster play to only solos/duos. This is a great step forward for the future of competitive overwatch.
sources tell me that this is the first of several bigger changes to overwatch, many of which I have talked about. It's about time. pic.twitter.com/tZ5q18XrUX
— high class leakboy Slasher (@Slasher) April 30, 2019
Several players have been asking for changes to be made to Overwatch matchmaking for some time now. The 3-3 meta, also known as GOATS, has left many people feeling burnt out or tired of the structure of matchmaking. The debate has heated up in the past couple of months, with some suggesting role queues or 2-2-2 role locks. Jeff Kaplan, the face of the Overwatch team, has hinted at the possibility of role queue in the past. There is a growing need for change if Dallas Fuel’s Timo “Taimou” Ketteuen is to be believed (Warning: strong language):
I really want to play ranked and improve but it's fucking impossible to play and like it. From a scale from 1-10 i'd give OW ranked experience a 0.
— Taimou (@DF_Taimou) October 12, 2018
If you don’t believe him, maybe Boston Uprising’s Jeffery “blase” Tsang might convince you:
(pls kill goats bro pls i dont want to play another stage of this pls bro)
— Jeffrey Tsang (@blaseOW) April 21, 2019
What’s next in Overwatch matchmaking?
Both Taimou and blase made names in the Overwatch competitive scene through stellar Widowmaker and Pharah plays respectively. GOATS is a controversial meta as it leaves out the entire DPS roster in favor of more sustainable and better team fight potential. Players in the Overwatch League who were once DPS stars are now relegated to playing Brigitte and learning an entirely new brand of Overwatch. In the case of Taimou, he has been relegated to the bench. The pressure has only increased on Blizzard as Overwatch League players and journalists alike call for changes.
As seen in the linked tweet, Rod “Slasher” Breslau hinted at possible other changes through some sources. However, nothing has been announced as of yet. The tweet does give the Overwatch community hope for desperately wanted changes. In the meantime, the recent Workshop update is one of the biggest changes in Overwatch history. The Workshop opens up a wealth of potential previously locked behind developer doors. Additionally, it may help quell some of the community frustration with the slow pace of change for Overwatch matchmaking and add overall longevity to the game.