Overwatch Competitive Season 18 will be the first full season of competitive play that utilizes the new Role Queue system.
The game is entering a new era with the introduction of role queue, which allows players to select between Tank, DPS, and Support before joining a game, and locks teams into a 2-2-2 composition.
While players have gotten a taste of role queue through the beta season in Competitive play, the system is now about to be rolled out completely, as Competitive Season 18 arrives and role queue is introduced to Quick Play.
Here’s everything you need to know about Competitive Season 18.
When does Season 18 start?
Competitive Season 18 is due to kick off on September 1, following the conclusion of the role queue beta season. As in the beta season, players will have a separate rank for each role, and will need to complete five placement matches for each to be assigned a rank.
Unlike the beta season, which will have lasted for less than three weeks, Season 18 will be the first full competitive season using role queue, and will last roughly two months as usual.
The arrival of the new competitive season will also coincide with role queue being expanded to Quick Play as well as Competitive.
Will there be a rank reset?
One of the main issues some players have had with the role queue system so far has been a lack of a proper rank reset.
In theory, the role queue beta season included a “soft” rank reset, but many players have nevertheless reported that their ranks for all roles have seemingly been boosted by their previous MMR. Félix ‘xQc’ Lengyel, for instance, got a Support rank of around 4300 SR, which even he acknowledged was far too high for his ability in that role.
However, Blizzard have stated that there won’t be an SR reset due to the impact it would have on the quality of games.
“When you queue for a match with an SR that doesn’t accurately reflect your skill, the quality of the match drops tremendously. Therefore, we try to quickly change your SR as a new player to more accurately determine your SR, and we can’t ever really consider implementing a full SR reset. Match quality would be harmed for months until everybody played a lot of games and the matchmaker could properly identify everyone’s skill again”
Do the beta season ranks affect Season 18?
While the main purpose of the role queue beta season was to preview the system and allow Blizzard a period in which to respond to testing from the full player base, it will have some impact on players who participated.
Though the stats from the beta season will only be available for a short time and will not be added to players’ career profiles, the matches will have an impact on their hidden MMR, and therefore influence the ranks players receive when they complete their placements for Season 18.