In an Overwatch 2 developer PVP livestream on Thursday, May 20, game director Aaron Keller announced that the forthcoming sequel will reduce the number of players on each team from six to five by cutting one tank. As a result, team compositions will consist of one tank, two DPS and two support characters.
While the way that Overwatch plays has changed throughout its existence, this is the first time that Blizzard Entertainment has changed the number of people on each team. Previous changes have included limiting players to one of each hero on their team and restricting the number of hero roles.
Why did Overwatch 2 drop one tank?
Overwatch 2 developers have adapted the map design in the game to compensate for the lack of a second tank. However, they admitted this change should allow individuals to carry the game for their team more effectively. Additionally, there is now less of a focus on strict protection. Some heroes even received more notable changes. For example, Winston gained a secondary fire with significantly more range than his Tesla Cannon.
According to the development team, this change was made due to play feedback from the original Overwatch. They said that players continually complained of shooting shields and barriers too often, which slowed the game down remarkably. In a similar vein, players have enjoyed metagames when gameplay is faster, which Overwatch 2 will reflect.
Imagine spending 5 years to perfect your role…..Just for it to be deleted while knowing your role does not translate to another your expected to give all you got till the end of season (:
— Gator (@Gator_OW) May 20, 2021
Changes for all Overwatch players
While this change will greatly alter the way that everyone plays Overwatch, dropping from 6v6 to 5v5 matches will significantly impact professional players in the Overwatch League. Currently, teams are required to employ at least six players. Of course, by dropping a tank, this will no longer be the case. It is unclear whether teams will still want additional tank players on the roster to widen their options as the meta game develops.
Furthermore, players like the Atlanta Reign’s Blake “Gator” Scott expressed their frustration on Twitter.
“Imagine spending 5 years to perfect your role, just for it to be deleted while knowing your role does not translate to another,” Gator said. “Your [sic] expected to give all you got till the end of the season.”
There is still no release date for Overwatch 2. However, the team has promised more updates about how the game is shaping up during the development process.