Is 5v5 Bad for Overwatch? Players Share Their Thoughts From the Overwatch 2 Beta

Cheers love, the cavalry's... a bit undersized.

by Diego Perez

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The Overwatch 2 PVP Beta has been live for nearly a week at this point, and players still aren’t sure how to feel about the game’s switch to a 5v5 team composition. Despite the big number 2 in the title, Overwatch 2 is feeling a lot like a revamped version of the original game, at least in the PVP department. Still, the sequel has made some considerable changes to the game’s core mechanics, giving each role a unique passive ability, adding a new mode, removing some maps, and of course, reducing team sizes from 6 to 5.

Overwatch is traditionally played in a 6v6 format with 2 Tanks, 2 DPS players, and 2 Support players on each team. The game even enforces this team composition itself with a role queue, forcing players to choose their roles before they can start matchmaking.

Most Overwatch players will agree that the 6v6 structure and 2/2/2 team composition is what makes Overwatch Overwatch, and now that the beta is in players’ hands, everyone has an opinion on the new 5v5 structure.

Why is 5v5 a Big Deal in Overwatch 2?

The switch to 5v5 is a huge deal because the removed sixth slot was for a Tank, so now teams have to deal with only one Tank per team. That means less protection for Support players and leads to more aggressive pacing for matches overall. Also, some Tanks like Winston and Zarya weren’t designed to be the only Tank on a team, even with their tweaked kits.

When you pair this with the game’s other balance changes like the nerfs to shields and barriers and the complete removal of stuns and most crowd control abilities, Overwatch 2 feels like a much faster-paced and dive-oriented game than its predecessor. It’s a whole new beast, and the playerbase isn’t sure how to feel about it.

Support players are constantly getting killed because they only have one Tank to protect them, the nerfs to barriers make hitscan DPS heroes like Soldier 76 feel incredibly powerful, and the game feels much more like a deathmatch than the first game.

How Players Feel About the Switch to 5v5

Overall, players are split regarding the swap to 5v5 for Overwatch 2. Some players, mostly DPS mains, are happy about the new change since they can land shots much more easily and spent less time shooting at shields waiting for an opportunity to push.

Other players, namely Tank mains and Support mains, feel like their roles have been made much harder and haven’t been given the necessary tools to keep up with the new meta. The removal of a second Tank dramatically changes the game, and with every character in the game being designed around a two Tank structure initially, the whole roster will need some additional balance tweaks going forward.

Some players are hesitant, but acknowledge that the game is still in beta and the community needs time to adjust to the new structure. As it’s a beta without any skill-based matchmaking, matches are wildly unbalanced. Plus, people just want to mess around and try out the new features and abilities, not necessarily coordinate with their teammates.

Overwatch 2 is still likely a year away from its full release and many more betas are still to come, so Blizzard will likely address some of these complaints before the initial launch. There are other issues currently affecting the Overwatch 2 beta as well, such as Mercy’s Ultimate ability not working as intended and Orisa feeling a bit overturned compared to other Tank heroes.

The 5v5 discussion will likely continue throughout the launch of Overwatch 2, but with the sequel replacing the original game entirely when it releases, all Overwatch players are going to have to adjust to the new system regardless. Expect to see a lot of heated discussion in the Overwatch community as the game gets closer to release, especially as the Overwatch League starts to adopt Overwatch 2 as its main game.

The Overwatch 2 Beta is available now on PC and will last through May 17. Overwatch 2 is currently in development for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

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