Season 8 of the Overwatch Competitive mode kicks off today, bringing in much-welcomed changes to the mode’s matchmaking which will hopefully improve players’ experience throughout.
As discussed in an Overwatch forum post earlier in December, Blizzard’s main aim in Season 8 was “to increase match quality,”. One of the key ingredients to make this work, was to create more fair matches, starting with how teammates are matched up.
Overwatch principal designer Scott Mercer wrote “The first change is limiting the maximum skill rating difference between the highest SR player on a team and the lowest SR player on the same team.”
“This will especially help players at both the lower and higher limits of SR, where there are typically fewer players available.” he added.
In short, while you must still be within 1,000 SR to play together in a group from Bronze to Diamond, 500 SR for Masters, and 250 for Grandmaster, your skill ratings within your teammates will be much closer and will also be matched more closely with those with a similar skill rating to yours. In addition to that, the new season will see the removal of personal performance skill rating adjustments for higher skilled players (Diamond and above). This means that while performance are taken into account in determining how much SR you gain or lose in a match, players ranked Diamond and above just need to focus on winning and playing to the objective.
We are yet to try the new and ‘improved’ matchmaking and once we do, will alert you on how we fared. We reached a high of 2400+ for Season 7 before hitting a very bad streak, closing Season 7 at 1800+. Here’s to us climbing up in Season 8.