Update June 7, 2016: Jeff Kaplan has confirmed more details about the reintroduction of competitive play, including rank progression and season length changes, in an interview with Eurogamer.
Will Overwatch join the ranks in our list of PC's best multiplayer games?
During beta, the competitive mode would not allow you to slip down to a lower rank once you were in one of the five categories (challenger, advanced, expert, master and heroic). Kaplan was aware that some complained this would allow anyone to eventually work their way into the top bracket with no punishment at the fringes.
"There was a misunderstanding among our playerbase that everyone was going to get to heroic rank, which is not true, just like it's not true that everybody will get to legendary in Hearthstone," Kaplan told Eurogamer. "The perception of our system was off. So the new system, when we unveil it, I think you'll see that it's much more skill-based."
As well as the progression method changes, the season has been extended to three months (or two-and-a-bit-with-a-break-in-between) mirroring the weather seasons so you'll have longer to settle and climb and all the other things ladderfiends get up to.
Kaplan also confirmed that the ranked matchmaking would use "Dynamic Queue" rather than solo and grouped splits, so groups of any number will be able to play and be thrown in with however many team-mates they're missing. League of Legends fans will be upset again, then.
Update June 1, 2016: Remember earlier when the Overwatch Twitter account confirmed another delay for competitive mode? Apparently it was a mistake.
In another tweet from the official Overwatch account, Blizzard clarified that competitive mode would still be coming this month. It seems the social media person just made a boo boo. See the tweet below:
@adrianmaturell Sorry about this! Competitive Play will be coming later in *JUNE*, not July. Apologies again for the error.— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) June 1, 2016
Update June 1, 2016: The Overwatch Twitter account has confirmed that competitive mode has been further delayed to mid-to-late July.
In the Facebook Q&A, Kaplan was sure to mention that things were not set in stone as far as the return of Overwatch ranked goes. That's not been confirmed, as the Twitter account has posted twice to say that July is looking more likely than June as far as a date goes.
The tweets, spotted by Eurogamer, are embedded below.
@adrianmaturell We'll be introducing our Competitive Play (hopefully) later in July. Stay tuned!— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) May 27, 2016
@jurizar3 We're aiming for mid-to-late July.— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) May 27, 2016
That's a full month longer than was initially teased, but as always with Blizzard, they'll want to get it right.
Original story 23 May, 2016: Blizzard's Jeff Kaplan has spent the last hour or so being subjected to questions from people with access to Facebook, which must be one of life's most harrowing prospects. Luckily for us, there were at least two questions out of the many, many questions that actually generated newsworthy answers. Well done, team.
Following feedback from the closed beta, Overwatch's confusingly named Competitive Mode (what are all the other modes if not competitive?) was dropped for launch while Blizzard had another look at it.
Overwatch's Competitive Mode was added to the game in early April. Available at level 25, the mode allowed players to 'rank up' through a series of divisions and tiers in month-long seasons. The progression rewards include new sprays, player icons, and voice lines.
According to an answer given during tonight's Facebook Q&A, the Blizzard developers confirmed they were aiming to re-release Competitive Mode towards the end of June.
On top of this, Weekly Brawls - left-field, one-off game modes with specific rules like 'snipers only' - could end up informing other game modes, acting as a test bed for some of the more crazy ideas the development team has. The more popular of these could perhaps see their way into the game as a regular playlist, which is kind of cool.
Other than that, the developers confirmed that they want to make more animated shorts post release, which is mega news, considering how brilliant they've been so far. Speaking of which, here's the most recent one: