Overwatch community divided over Blizzard’s shock 5v5 change for Overwatch 2

Overwatch 2 WinstonBlizzard

Blizzard shockingly announced that Overwatch 2 PVP will be switching to a 5v5 format, opposed to the standard 6v6 players have grown accustomed to. Here’s how the community reacted to the dramatic shakeup.

During a May 20 deep-dive into Overwatch 2’s competitive side, Blizzard locked in a shocking change – multiplayer will no longer boast teams of six. While the 2-2-2 split has been part of the core experience for years now, the upcoming sequel will be shifting to 5v5 gameplay instead.

This means each team will have two Supports, two Damage heroes, and just one Tank. As a result, the entire role is morphing into something new rather than maintaining the current Main and Off-Tank labels.

With nearly three hours of gameplay to sift through, players were given a first glimpse at how the new structure plays out. While some walked away optimistic for the franchise, others couldn’t have been more infuriated.

Overwatch has always been a ‘busy’ game. Some believe the drop to 5v5 will smooth out the experience.

Negative reactions to the 5v5 shift in Overwatch 2

In light of the announcement, a good number of pro players were quick to vent their frustrations on social media. Some labeled 5v5 a “boring concept,” asking why they should “even try” to compete at the highest level anymore.

“Imagine spending five years to perfect your role…” Atlanta Reign’s popular Off-Tank Blake ‘Gator’ Scott said. “Just for it to be deleted, knowing your role does not translate to another.” Not only did it cast doubts on his future as a pro, but it also impacted his motivation for the remainder of the 2021 season. 

“You’re expected to give all you got til the end of the season.”

Two-time Overwatch League champion Matthew ‘super’ DeLisi was even hesitant upon hearing the news. “I won’t pretend to know the answer,” he said.

“But coordinating with a Tank, building synergy, and dominating is probably one of the most fun things I’ve done in a game.” Without another Tank in the lobby, that simply won’t be an option in Overwatch 2.

Positive feedback for 5v5 gameplay in Overwatch 2

On the inverse, many vocalized their support for this drastic shakeup. Rather than singular hero changes or various tweaks to key roles, the entire makeup of a team composition is changing. To many, this is an exciting prospect for competitive play.

“Overwatch has dealt with a lot of clutter/barrier issues,” Boston Uprising president Chris ‘HuK’ Loranger said.

“Both from a player POV as well as viewing experience.” With two less players to worry about in every lobby, he’s “bullish on 5v5 being better than 6v6 for both playing and viewing.”

While many were concerned the change might outright trash the efforts of Off-Tank players, William ‘Crimzo’ Hernandez of the Houston Outlaws had a different approach.

“OT players will be fine in OW2,” he stressed. “There’ll still be a need to play those heroes. You can’t expect one Tank player to be able to cover all Tanks in the game.”

Former Overwatch League pro Dafran offered a more optimistic takeaway in general, outlining how “changes are fun. I’m exciting for Overwatch 2.”

Regardless of where you fall, there’s no denying this is one of the biggest shakeups Overwatch has ever seen. For the past five years now, players have grown accustomed to the 6v6 format. Half a decade of experience later and now, we’re set for a complete reset when Overwatch 2 arrives.

We’re sure to hear plenty more over the coming months, so keep your eyes peeled for further information as the Overwatch sequel draws near.