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Overwatch 2 To Decrease PVP Team Size to Five Players, New Changes Teased

May 20, 2021 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Overwatch 2 Image Credit: Activision Blizzard

Overwatch 2 will undergo a major structural change from the current game, with the team sizes in PVP being changed from six to five. During a PVP livestream that took place on Thursday, it was announced early on by game director Aaron Keller announced that teams in the game will go from six players (two tanks, two DPS, and two support) to five. The drop will come in the tank role, meaning that teams will only have one tank for the PVP games.

During the livestream, which you can see below, Keller was joined by lead hero designer Geoff Goodman, associate art director Dion Rogers, and various Overwatch League talent and streamers to discuss the current state of PVP and what they’re working on. Keller and Goodman noted that the change was done to make games less chaotic and that tanks are being adjusted to compensate for not having a partner in the role. Reinhardt, the most popular shield tank in the game, will get two fire strikes for example and will be able to cancel his charge, which will allow him to be more aggressive. Dive tank Winston will get an alternate fire that allows him to charge eand fire a lightning bolt at distance from his Tesla cannon, and current offtank Zarya will get two each of her protective bubbles for herself and a teammate instead of the current one.

“We always tried to make out combat easy to read and very understandable,” Keller said. “And even with all of the work that we’ve put into that, sometimes it’s just hard to track what eleven other players are doing on the battlefield,” says Keller. “Removing two of those simplifies everything, and it allows players to understand everything that’s happening around them and to be able to make better choices because of it.”

The livestream also featured several other looks at new content including several new maps in New York and Rio de Janeiro, both of which are Hybrid maps, Toronto and Rome which are for the new Push PVP mode, and new Escort map Monte Carlo. The team discussed how the games will now have role passives — tanks will have lessened knockback from crowd control as well as give less ultimate charge when they take damage, while DPS characters will have a movement speed increase. Support heroes will have a small self-heal similar to Mercy’s current and much stronger self-heal. Other hero changes such as Mei no longer freezing characters (but still slowing and doing more damage) were shown, and several games within the current build of Overwatch 2 were shown.

The game does not yet have a release date, but when it does release it will feature crossplay for PVP with players who have Overwatch 1. It will also feature new updated graphics and an extensive PVE mode for the first time. You can see a look at Winston and Mei’s changes below, as well as the full video from the livestream.

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Overwatch 2, Jeremy Thomas