Given that Overwatch is largely being billed as an accessible competitive experience, it was always going to be a matter of time before some form of competitive matchmaking was rolled into the beta.
Unlike Heroes of the Storm, however, Blizzard's calling Overwatch's serious mode Competitive Play. It's being rolled into the beta as of today, and here's what it looks like.
To take part in Overwatch's competitive queue, you'll need to have risen to level 25. The official patch notes says there will be a range of divisions, tiers and month-long seasons.
The seasons won't actually be live during the beta, however, with game director Jeff Kaplan saying the seasons will kick off from the first of each month after Overwatch launches. No rewards will be given out before Overwatch launches for those who rise in the competitive ranks, and even after the game launches you'll only receive light, cosmetic items.
"Competitive play is not supposed to be about rewards," Kaplan said. "The types of players that are drawn to these systems are more there for the healthy competition against one another and seeing their standing against other players."
Perhaps just as important, although not as flashy, is the added penalties for people who leave games. You'll get a warning every time you quit mid-match, and if you keep leaving games after that prompt you'll be docked 75% XP from future games. Once you complete enough games to raise your completion rate above the required limit — and this is calculated on your previous 20 matches — you'll earn XP as per normal.
Those quitting competitive matches will get extra penalties, although the patch notes don't specify what those are.