During the Overwatch 2 PvP livestream, we were given an in-depth look at what competitive gameplay will look like in the sequel, including details about map design, abilities, damage and crowd control changes, and player roles. We got to see multiple complete PvP matches of Overwatch 2, including a demonstration of the new competitive mode, Push.
Team size and roles
The biggest change players should be aware of is that PvP will be a 5v5 game across all Overwatch 2 PvP modes. This change impacts every aspect of PvP, with the two biggest differences coming in the areas of team composition and time-to-kill (TTK.) With fewer players facing off, there is less firepower flying around, which means taking players down will usually take just a little bit longer. Game director Aaron Keller described the gameplay of Overwatch 2 as “more fluid,” largely because of the higher average TTK.
The changes to character roles and team composition are a crucial reason Overwatch 2 will play like a different game. In every showcase game, we saw the new default 2-2-1 composition: two DPS characters, two supports, and one tank. 2-2-1 is how Blizzard chose to demonstrate the current build’s flow, and it will be the designated role queue in Overwatch 2. Although many players will be glad to see the entire concept buried, for now, it seems role queue will stick around in the sequel.
Tanks will altogether change in Overwatch 2. We know that the role is shifting thematically from protecting your team and zoning for them to a more aggressive, in-your-face playstyle. In Blizzard’s own words, tanks will be more like brawlers and will play a less reactive role. They will trade damage with enemies rather than just absorbing or shielding it, and will have a passive resistance to crowd control effects. Blizzard will be tuning the extent of this resistance over time, but we can certainly expect a lot less ledge-bopping and stuns in Overwatch 2.
Many of the current Overwatch PvP modes will be included in Overwatch 2, including Hybrid, which is arguably the most dynamic mode in the game. One mode is going away: 2CP, or Assault, will not be featured in Overwatch 2. Instead, we get the brand new mode Push, which has each team fighting a tug-of-war to push the objective deeper into enemy territory.
The objective, in this case, is a mildly confused robot named TW0, which spawns in the middle of the map 40 seconds into the match. When controlled by a team, TW0 starts slowly moving towards the opposing team’s spawn room, pushing that team’s control marker along the way. If the enemy team takes over the robot, it turns and starts going the other way, but the marker remains in the spot it was pushed to. This way, each team can continue pushing from wherever they got to before losing control of the robot, and progress towards victory is never permanently lost.
The maps of Overwatch 2 are built with the new 5v5 teams and higher TTK in mind. Keller noted that maps will have noticeably more cover than they do in Overwatch and many more flank routes. The Push maps, in particular, feature a lot of S-shaped layouts, allowing players to switch positions and ambush enemies from different angles. To cut down on the walking after a respawn, Push maps will also have capturable spawn points – once a team pushes their marker to one of those points, it becomes their new spawn room.
In general, PvP maps in Overwatch 2 should be more about flanking and less about holding and slowing advancing through fixed positions.
This is everything we know so far about PvP in Overwatch 2, at least in the game’s current build. Between now and the official release of Overwatch 2, some things may change, though the fundamental factors of team size and role queue almost certainly won’t.