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Season 16 of the Overwatch competitive mode begins tomorrow and brings a big change for high-level players, including Overwatch League professionals.
According to a forum post by Overwatch developer Scott Mercer, players with a skill rating above 4,000 will only be able to duo—or group up with one other person—as they play the competitive mode. Groups above two won’t be allowed at this skill tier.
In Overwatch‘s competitive mode, players often “stack” together with friends or teammates to make the experience more enjoyable. At every skill tier of the game, “Overwatch actively tries to place parties of similar sizes together to create fair matches,” Mercer said. This becomes difficult at the Grandmaster level, where there are fewer players available to create fair matches when three, four, or more of them are partied together.
Grandmaster players have achieved a skill rating (SR) of over 4,000. This tier includes the top 500 players in any region. Most Overwatch League players fall into this Grandmaster competitive level. Professionals in the league have already said that they’re restricted to “stacks” of three or fewer when playing with other Overwatch League players.
Reactions from the community on the official Blizzard forums and social media have been mostly positive, with many people excited that the “advantage” of stacking will be reduced. Prominent players and coaches in the Overwatch League, such as Dallas Fuel assistant coach Justin “Jayne” Conroy and Houston Outlaws DPS Jake “JAKE” Lyon have shown their support for the changes on social media.
Season 15 of Overwatch competitive ends tomorrow, April 30 at 6pm CT. Season 16 begins immediately after with these changes in effect.