If you’ve ever wanted to play competitive, ranked Overwatch 2 games with your friends but have been foiled its rank restrictions, Blizzard is adding a new mode that will help alleviate some (but not all) of the rules that prohibit that.
Team Queue is a new mode outlined in the game’s latest update (live today, July 11), and the patch notes explain that to enter this mode, you’ll have to get together a full five-stack team. That means you can’t simply matchmake with randos, but gather four other competitive sickos to fill out all five slots. Instead of queuing for specific roles, each member will choose their role at the character screen similar to open queue matches, but it will still be limited to the standard 5v5 layout of one tank, two damage, and two support heroes. This offers some flexibility for your team to decide who wants to do what each match, rather than you all selecting before queuing for a match.
The biggest difference is that Team Queue won’t require you to group up with people within your rank. This has been one of the biggest deterrents I’ve had playing Overwatch 2’s ranked modes over the years. I typically only play quick play matches, and several of my friends play ranked. Whenever they want me to join them in ranked mode, we can’t queue up together, because I haven’t put the time into playing competitively and establishing my rank. Now, as long as you play with a full team, you can queue up together regardless of how low or high everyone’s rank is.
Despite removing that restriction, you still can’t play competitive mode between PC and console players. So, as a PlayStation 5 player, I still won’t be able to play Overwatch 2 competitively with many of my friends who play on PC. But given the perceived advantage mouse and keyboard gives to shooters, this is probably for the best.
For those who are looking for a more casual Overwatch 2 experience, the first of the game’s planned story missions is just a month away and set to launch on August 10. If you don’t know much about the hero shooter’s story, here’s a lengthy guide on where to catch up before the story finally moves forward next month.