Overwatch developers had originally claimed that the release of season 18 would be delayed until “early next week,” but the mode became available approximately 6pm CT today.
Season 18 had an original release date of Aug. 31 as soon the Role Queue Beta Season ended. The season began as expected, but within an hour of release, high-ranked players reported that they were being put in ranks far lower than they were used to. Overwatch developers quickly shut down the mode and extended the Role Queue Beta season.
Around 6pm CT today, players began reporting on social media and streams that season 18 was live. An update was posted on the official Blizzard forums after the season went live.
This season of competitive Overwatch will bring many changes for players to get used to. The Role Queue Beta Season acted as an opportunity for players to test out role queue, which will be enabled for the first time in season 18. Additionally, role queue is now available in Quick Play mode. A mode without role queue locks is now in the arcade section, listed as “Quick Play Classic.”
Season 18 is currently available on live Overwatch servers. There hasn’t been any update from developers on what bugs were responsible for the original delay of season 18 on Aug. 31 or what steps were taken to repair those issues. According to live servers, season 18 of Overwatch competitive mode will last another 57 days.