The Overwatch servers are down all of today for maintenance, but that’s good new for most fans of the games—Blizzard is preparing for this weekend’s stress test which should feature a huge influx of new players, giving many the first taste of the new shooter.
When the servers come back up around 9am PT on Friday, a huge batch of players will get the opportunity to play Overwatch through the weekend, ending at 9am PT on Monday, Nov. 23.
If you’re selected to play this weekend, you’ll receive an email at your Battle.net email address and you’ll get that elusive “Install” button under the Overwatch tab in your Battle.net launcher. So be on the lookout if you’re waiting to play. Make sure you’ve opted into the Overwatch beta on your Battle.net profile if you want to nab a chance to play the game.
This weekend’s stress test will feature a limited map selection; only King’s Row, Watchpoint: Gibraltar, and Hanamura will be available to play, compared to the eight maps currently in the closed beta. Players will still have access to a full roster of 21 heroes. The goal of the stress test is really just that—to stress the servers and receive feedback on bugs and other technical issues with the game.
Even if you don’t happen to be one of the many who will gain access to game for the weekend, you can catch some great Overwatch action during the weekend, assuming the servers hold up. On Saturday, the Fishstix Invitational begins at noon PT, a stopwatch tournament featuring eight of the best teams in the game including the team of Team Fortress 2 players that won last week’s Sombrero Cup No. 1 (a team that I play on), the runner-ups in that event, Pubstars, the talented multigamers of team Hubris, and now a squad of Blizzard quality assurance testers that feature incredible teamwork. Even better—the Fishstix tournament will be the first to utilize a stopwatch format, making it the most fair competition so far. And it doesn’t even have a prize pool.
It should be an exciting weekend for fans of Overwatch. Many new players will get their first taste of the game, and, assuming the servers hold up decently, it’s likely we’ll see more invites into the closed beta shortly after the test. It’s been a long three weeks for many players, but many will finally get their chance to play.
Image via Blizzard