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Oops? As of approximately 8:40pm CT, Overwatch developers have temporarily disabled competitive mode after multiple players, including Overwatch League professionals and top-ranked streamers, noticed their placements for competitive season 18 put them in incredibly low tiers of play.
Competitive season 18 began at 7pm CT on Aug. 31. As is standard, top streamers and Overwatch professionals jumped in immediately to get their placements done. The past two weeks, competitive mode players have been testing the role queue system in a Role Queue Beta Season. Season 18 is the first competitive season with role queue instated.
Almost immediately, players noticed a troubling change. Hasan “crakinlakin” Alfardi, a former off-tank player for North American Contenders teams Wave Check and Uprising Academy, was placed with Bronze players in his placements. Bronze is the lowest rank of Overwatch competitive and crakinlakin is used to Grandmaster games.
Florida Mayhem streamer Annie, who is also normally in Grandmaster games, took a video of the enemy team’s ranks as she completed placements. The video clearly shows that members of the enemy team placed in Silver and Gold ranks during the Role Queue Beta season.
As the hours clicked by, Overwatch League players completed their placements and found that they weren’t as highly placed as they’d expected. Jeong “NoSmite” Da-Un, formerly of the Hangzhou Spark, achieved a skill rating (SR) of only 2356, placing him in Gold.
San Francisco Shock off-tank Choi “Choihyobin” Hyo-bin, who just won a Role Stars award for his exceptional performance in the Overwatch League 2019 season, also placed Gold. As a member of one of the top teams in the professional league, he obviously expected a higher ranking.
Many players on social media were hoping for a reset of the game’s Match Making Ratio, or MMR system. While this system has never been explicitly explained by Blizzard, it apparently decides what tier of games players should get.
Some Overwatch players have long asked for an MMR reset to make the game more fair; there’s even a Change.org petition for a reset. Higher-ranked players want the challenge of climbing to the rank they deserve while lower-ranked players often believe their MMR is far too low for their skill. Overwatch developers have stated that a competitive MMR reset was not something they’d planned for the future.
Just as conspiracy theories about a secret MMR reset began to emerge, developer Bill Warnecke posted to the Blizzard Forums that competitive mode would be disabled while they looked at a bug plaguing the system.
Update Aug. 31 10:30pm CT: Competitive mode has been enabled. Overwatch developers have decided to continue the Role Queue Beta Season until the bug has been fixed. They estimate this will last until early next week.