Today marks the beginning of Season 4 for competitive Overwatch and with the new season comes a few changes to how the system works. The biggest change is the adjustment to skill rating decay which will now require high rank players to invest at least seven games a week to maintain their status.
In Season 2, Blizzard introduced a feature to competitive mode called skill rating decay. This feature required players in the Diamond, Master, and Grandmaster tiers to complete at least one competitive match every seven days in order to maintain their status.
It wasn’t a very difficult requirement to fulfill. If you were in those skill tiers, odds are you played Overwatch a lot as it is and investing one game per week to maintain your rank shouldn’t be too difficult.
But with Season 4, Blizzard has decided to change things a bit. In Season 4, players that have a skill rating of at least 3000 (which is the same tiers as before) are required to play at least seven games a week unless they want their skill rating to drop.
According to how Blizzard described the new system, each completed game will push back the amount of time until skill rating decay occurs by 24 hours and players can bank up to seven days per week. Which means that as long as they can manage to squeeze in seven games within a one week period, their rank will be safe. Players can opt to either play a single game every day or burn through all seven in one session, the decision is entirely up to them.
In addition to this, Blizzard has also introduced some other changes to the competitive format. For one, those in the Top 500 will no longer receive their reward as soon as they reach that rank. Instead, they must maintain their position in the Top 500 until the end of the season to receive the rewards associated with it.
They also adjusted the respawn timers for defenders in competitive play. If the attackers outnumber the defenders while taking a point, defenders will receive an increased respawn timer until either the attackers take the point or the defenders regain control.
A full list of changes and additions to the competitive format for the upcoming season can be found here. Season 4 is live now on all platforms with no end date announced as of yet.