Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan revealed in the new developer update that there will be a special “beta competitive season” before Season 18 begins with the new role-queue feature.
Kaplan revealed the beta will begin on August 13 and will run for approximately two weeks. On September 1, the role-queue change will go live for everyone in the game.
The role-queue competitive beta will allow players to choose which of the three roles they want to play and once they have completed five placement matches, they will be given a role-specific SR.
One of the reasons for this change is to prevent a high-ranking support player, for example, from playing a damage hero despite their skill on damage not being as high. Now, their SR will match the role they queue for and will put them in matches better suited for the hero they want to play.
For players interested in competitive points, they’ll receive points just for placing in any role. Players who place in all three roles will be given slightly more points.
If you want to test out role-queue right now, it’s currently live on the Public Test Realm for PC players. Console players will need to wait for the PTR patch to hit the live client before they can queue up using the new features.
The competitive beta will be a much different experience than it is now because there are a multitude of balance changes coming too, completely changing how certain heroes play.
Kaplan said the developers, “think this is the biggest change we've added to the game since we went to the hero limit three years ago.”
Earlier on July 18, the Overwatch League website leaked the 2-2-2 role lock news well before the official announcement was scheduled.
The first Overwatch League match to feature 2-2-2 role lock will be between the Houston Outlaws and the Paris Eternal when Stage 4 kicks off July 25.