Why the New Role Queue is the Best Thing for Overwatch Right Now

The Meta goes down a notch.

by Alex Levine

Overwatch is easily one of the biggest online multiplayer games out there. Since it launched in 2016, it’s been on an almost nonstop train ride of dominance. Blizzard has tried to keep things exciting with new updates, heroes, and game modes. They haven’t changed the formula, but honestly, their isn’t any reason to. With that said, something did need to change, the hero selection process. Blizzard finally acknowledged this when they introduced the Role Queue, a brand new feature for the game where it gives you the chance to actually pick which type of Hero you want to play as BEFORE you enter the queue for a match.

The upcoming feature will essentially stop players from leaning towards whatever the current meta is, and instead engage in an ease-of-access type of matchmaking. This will also ensure that you’ll get to play as the DPS, Healer, or Tank you want rather than rushing at the selection screen with only 30 seconds before the match begins. There will be three different queues to get into a game, one for each class type. Depending on how heavy the traffic is online, there may be a longer wait time for certain classes, but that should be ironed out over time.

This is also very similar to how another Blizzard game, Heroes of the Storm, does their Quick Match selection. You select the class type, pick the Hero, then jump into a queue for a match, easy as that. The reason why this is the best thing for Overwatch right now is because of two main factors. First and foremost, it re-balances the game for any one who is sick of trying to go for their preferred hero and ends up settling for another just to satisfy the team composition.

It gives you the chance to actually pick which type of Hero you want to play as BEFORE you enter the queue for a match.

I can’t count how many times I’ve wanted to play as Junkrat, only to end up tanking as Reinhardt or Orisa because no one else went for a tank class. It works the other way too, sometimes the tank class is gobbled up upon loading the selection screen, and the healer side as well. Blizzard took notice of this shortly after it launched, but they obviously couldn’t make such a huge change right away. They had to let the game become acceptable not just by Blizzard Entertainment standards, but the fans too. On top of that, this will also be a great way for new players to check out the game, as well as make it more enticing for returning veterans.

Another reason why this is a big step in the right direction is that the current meta is a complete mess. This is most evident in the Overwatch League, where most teams go into matches with a composition of three healers and three tanks. This leaves the DPS class completely overlooked, which is an injustice to say the least as most of the Heroes in the game are classified as a Damage Dealer. Blizzard also realizes this and will be implementing the changes in the League with the Role Lock. This forces the teams to go with a specific 2-2-2 composition, 2 tanks, 2 DPS, and 2 healers. This nullifies the unnecessary aforementioned meta and finally makes the matches more exciting.

Not everyone will be on-board with this new feature, mainly the players who play Competitive as there will now be three different scores for each role in every Season. That change is a bit questionable, but for those who don’t partake in Competitive that often can just ignore this. Other than this tidbit, the Role Queue is a more than welcome addition to a franchise that is in desperate need of a serious face lift. It will take time, and there will be some challenges, but I believe that Overwatch will benefit greatly from this in the long run, especially the Overwatch League. The feature is live in the PTR (Public Testing Region) and will be brought to the public servers in the form of a Beta from August 13 to September 1.