The Overwatch update bringing the new Role Queue beta season to PS4, Xbox One and PC is launching tomorrow, August 13.
The patch is expected to arrive between 6pm and 8pm in the UK, meaning a much earlier launch in the United States.
It’s also worth noting that this week could also see the launch of new hero Sigma, who has been in PTR testing.
Tomorrow’s update will be the first phase of launching the new Role Queue system on live servers.
This will start on Tuesday, August 13, with the Role Queue beta set to last until September 1.
The plan is that the new two-week beta will only be available as part of seasonal play, meaning it won’t be part of Quick Play.
This means that Competitive Season 17 has been shortened by approximately two weeks to accommodate the Role Queue Beta Season.
If everything goes with the live server test, Role Queue will be made fully available for Quick Play and Competitive Play beginning on September 1 for the start of Competitive Season 18.
“Players can earn Competitive Points similar to other competitive mini-seasons and qualify for Top 500 Leaderboards during the beta season,” a message from Blizzard explains.
“However, beta season stats will only be available for a limited time and will not count toward a player’s permanent Competitive Season stats.”
Role Queue is being added to the game to help organise the team-building side of the game.
The matchmaking and queuing systems in Competitive Play and Quick Play are changing so that players will be able to choose which role they want to play—tank, support, or damage—before a match begins.
“The matchmaking system will then match two tanks, two supports, and two damage heroes to create a team, and upon entering the match, players will select heroes within their chosen roles,” the message from Blizzard adds.
“At the end of a match (in both Competitive Play and Quick Play), players will return to the main menu and select their role before queuing for the next game.
“Each of the three roles will have its own queue, and players will be able to see estimates for the wait time for each at the role-selection screen. Several factors go into those estimates, but they’ll generally reflect the number of players queuing for a particular role.
“To help incentivise a more even distribution of players across all roles, players who queue for roles that are currently in high demand may get a reward.
“In Quick Play, the Role Queue system will allow us to determine each player’s matchmaking rating (MMR) on a per-role basis. This enables us to matchmake Quick Play games based on the MMR for each player’s chosen role.”
The other big question is whether this week’s Overwatch update will bring Sigma to live servers.
The new character has been in testing for some time and is probably ready for a live launch on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
But it’s currently unclear if Blizzard wants to launch Sigma at the same time as the new Role Queue Season Beta.
Will find out soon enough whether the development team have decided to wait until September 1 for the big Overwatch hero launch.