Overwatch competitive play enters its second season with several updates and refinements designed to improve the experience based on Season 1 feedback. Matches in Season 2 are one minute shorter, and there is no Sudden Death. Blizzard details all the changes made in a recent blog post.
Since there is no sudden death, how efficiently each team completes their attack or defense mission will carry more weight in the event of a tie. A tiebreaking round gives the two teams a chance to face off one last time, but only using the time that was remaining on the clock from the previous rounds.
Another one of the major changes is to the Skill Rating system, which is now measured on a 5,000 point scale instead of a 100 point scale. Game Director Jeff Kaplan has previously stated that the extended Skill Rating range and addition of Skill Tiers is designed to help minimize the feeling of defeat when Skill Ratings fluctuate throughout the season.
The new Skill Tiers are used for matchmaking and determining end of season rewards. Players are put in a Skill Tier based on the highest Skill Rating received during the season. Levels include Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master, and Grand Master. For Diamond level and below, players won’t downgrade their tier even if their Skill Rating changes. However, Master and Grand Master tiers have a minimum Skill Rating requirements that must be maintained.
Players enter the Diamond tier at a Skill Rating of 3,000. Players with a Skill Rating over 3,000 must complete at least one match every seven days to maintain their ranking. There is a 50 point penalty per day when inactive, but the player’s rating will not drop below 3,000.
There is also a new penalty system in Season 2 for those who disconnect while in the middle of a competitive match. Players will be unable to play for 10 minutes after disconnecting from a competitive match. Those who leave matches repeatedly will also have to finish more matches without disconnecting to have their account return to good standing.