Overwatch 2 introduces stricter skill-based matchmaking for Competitive queues

Michael Gwilliam
zenyatta uses Transcendence in overwatch

The latest Overwatch 2 patch has made balanced matchmaking a higher priority for Competitive matches than Quick Play games.

Overwatch 2’s matchmaking has faced heavy criticism since its launch, with many users experiencing lopsided games featuring bronze players in GM lobbies.

Although the issues have been addressed many times by the devs, who say the matchmaker is still a work in progress, the most recent March 7 patch made some big changes to help with competitive integrity.

A new blog post by Game Director Aaron Keller reveals that up until then, the matchmaker was the same with Quick Play and Competitive, but now all that has changed.

Overwatch 2 updates Quick Play and Competitive skill differences

According to Keller, when players queue up for matches, the matchmaker will search for players of an equal skill level – but it will often have to expand to players with larger skill differences.

“Over the past week, we’ve made changes to the system that have brought down the skill gap between players in a match significantly for high and low MMR matches,” he explained.

overwatch 2 Cassidy grenade
More changes to OW2’s matchmaking are coming.

Keller further stated that in Season 3, they modified how the matchmaker expands over time, but it ended up removing their control over per-queue behavior, meaning that skill differences would be the same in Quick Play and Competitive.

It’s not clear why the devs’ control over queues was removed, but now it has returned and it’s stricter than before.

“In the patch we released on Tuesday, we implemented the first of a series of systemic changes (more are coming in Season 4) that give us back the flexibility to tune these modes separately and gives us new ways to tune the system,” he revealed.

“This week we will be tuning these values to tighten the skill gap in Competitive as much as possible while keeping an eye on queue times for that mode.”

Overwatch 2 Winston Mercy
Ranked matchmaking is becoming a lot stricter.

Of course, this could very well result in longer queues for ranked players, but that may be a small price to pay for better quality matches.

Hopefully, we’re one step closer to Overwatch’s ranked play being perfected and we can finally put the horrors of seeing golds in Top 500 matches behind us.

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