Just yesterday, there was a leak from Blizzard that basically unveiled the 2-2-2 role lock for Overwatch League 2019 Stage 4. The Watchpoint Stage 4 Preview Special (the video that was leaked) was uploaded today at 7am Malaysia time and the role lock has been confirmed.
The role lock will extend to all Overwatch modes which means regular players like you and me will also have to play according to the 2-2-2 team composition. Starting from 01 September 2019, all teams must consist of two damage heroes, two tanks, and two supports.
Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan explained that these changes were made to mitigate some social and gameplay issues that have been plaguing the game’s online matchmaking. One of the scenarios Jeff mentioned was the very common case of having to play a support hero because no one else wants to. That’s an all too familiar feeling.
To facilitate the role lock, a new role queue feature will be implemented where players will be asked what role they’d prefer to play after they select a game mode. When you enter a game, you’ll only be able to choose heroes of that role. There will be an estimated queue time for each role, allowing players to know which roles are in high demand. Players who go for high demand roles may even get a reward such as a loot box.
The current overall skill rating that measures your performance across the board will be replaced by three different skill ratings that correspond to the different hero roles. So instead of just examining how good you are, the game will take a closer look and check how good you are at playing particular roles.
If you’re playing on PC, you can test out the role lock right now on the public test region. The official Role Queue Beta Season for consoles and PC will be running from 13 August 2019 to 01 September 2019. The final day of the beta season will also be the starting date of the role queue being fully implemented for Quick Play and Competitive Play.
So for those of you who felt burned out from Overwatch and have stopped playing for a long time, I think this is a pretty good reason to give the game another chance. There’ll be a lot of new and creative team compositions that players will try to formulate and there’s a lot of incentive for everyone to try out heroes they’ve never played as before.