Overwatch

Overwatch role queue: Everything you need to know - Release date and more

by Michael Gwilliam

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The long-awaited role-queue featured will finally be coming to all versions of Overwatch very soon, including PlayStation and Xbox. For those wondering when it will go live, how it will work, and what game modes will be affected, we got you covered. 

Overwatch has made its biggest change since adding hero limits back in 2016. Now, three years later, the game is evolving yet again with the addition of 2-2-2. This means every time you play in competitive or quick play (more on that later), your team will consist of two damage heroes, two tanks and two supports.

How will role-queue work? 

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Before queuing for a match, you will have to select which role you want to play. This means if you want to play as a damage hero like Hanzo, Tracer or McCree, you will need to select the damage role.

Then, once in a match, your teammates will consist of one other damage player, two tanks and two supports. All of these players, just like you, selected which role they wanted to play as. 

You won’t be able to switch roles during a match, even if someone leaves, so you’ll need to be ready to play what you select for the duration of the game.


Won’t queue times be longer? 

It’s possible that you may need to wait a bit longer if you want to play a popular role. Luckily, Blizzard is providing queue-time estimates so you know what you’re getting into.

You can also queue for as many roles as you like and the game will put you into the first available game. Plus, there is a chance that if you select a role in high demand, you can earn a free loot box.

Hero 31, Sigma, is coming very soon.

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How will role-queue change how competitive works? 

With role-queue, you will now have three unique skill ratings (SRs) depending on what role you play. Your skill rating on tank could be different than your SR as a support, for instance. As such, you will be matched with and against people of a similar skill level on their respective role.

Placement matches have been changed too. Now, you will only be doing five per role instead of the previous ten. Once you’ve completed your placement matches, you will be giving an SR based on what role you played. 

Additionally, there will no longer be any SR decay so your skill rating won’t automatically drop after not playing the game for awhile.


There will now be four different Top 500 leaderboards 

Because there is role-specific SR, Top 500 will now be split into four categories. One for damage, one for support, one for tank and one for an average across all three roles. 

To qualify for a leaderboard, you will need to play at least 25 games in that role. To qualify for the overall leaderboard, you must be eligible for all leaderboards and play the minimum amount of games on each.

There will be special player icons and sprays awarded for Top 500 finishes in each role. 

Players will need to select their role before queueing

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When does role-queue hit the live servers? 

Role-queue will be coming to the live game on Tuesday, August 13 alongside a slew of balance changes to better enhance the game given the role restrictions. 

Tuesdays are standard patch days for Overwatch and this will be no exception. This monster patch will not only include role-queue, but it most likely also bring the game’s newest hero Sigma with it. 

Additionally, Brigitte is receiving a slight rework with major changes to her shield health and healing abilities. It’s possible that there may be other tweaks to her kit in the future too. 

Role-queue will be introduced with a competitive beta season

Once role-queue goes live, Season 17 of competitive will end and there will be a two week break before the start of Season 18. During this time, a role-queue beta will start to get players familiar with role-queue and provide additional feedback to Blizzard. 

The good news is that while this isn’t a typical season, you will still be able to earn competitive points and qualify for Top 500.  

Season 18 will start on September 1. This is also when Jeff Kaplan told Seagull he believes Sigma will be allowed in competitive play.

Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
Role-lock is already implemented in the Overwatch League

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Will role-queue be in quick-play too? 

Yes, according to Blizzard, role-queue will help determine each player’s matchmaking rating and in order to create a fair environment, role-queue will be fully implemented come September 1. 

However, if you’re still looking to play without role restrictions, Blizzard announced there will be a special arcade mode called Quick Play Classic where you can play any role you wish if you so choose.

Personally, we can’t wait to try it out and see how it changes the ranked experience.