Overwatch Season 3 kicks off December 1, and you may find yourself starting in a different skill tier

By Brenna Hillier, Wednesday, 26 October 2016 00:13 GMT

Overwatch Competitive Mode gets a shake up when Season 3 kicks off, but don’t worry – if you’ve been demoted, it’s probably only temporary.

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Overwatch Season 3 will begin on December 1, Blizzard has announced.

That’s just one week after the conclusion of Overwatch Season 2 at midnight November 24, in response to community requests for shorter downtime between ranked seasons.

As usual, Blizzard will be tweaking its systems with the launch of a new competitive season, with the goal of avoiding the drastic changes in skill rating competitive Overwatch players experienced between the first two seasons.

In a post on the Overwatch Battle.net forums, principal designer Scott Mercer explained that Blizzard won’t be completely resetting skill rating between seasons.

“If we completely reset everyone’s Skill Rating (SR) at the start of a new season, then players of all skill levels would end up playing against each other and having poor quality matches until the system could reevaluate each player’s skill,” he wrote.

“Because of this, we don’t fully reset your SR when a new season begins, and instead use your SR from the previous season as a starting point. We’re leaning more towards trying to keep things fair rather than giving everyone a fresh start.”

That said, there will be some changes, and many Overwatch players can expect to find themselves in a different skill tier than they expected.

“We’re also going to initially tune your SR to be slightly lower to start. In turn, fewer players should start the season having their Skill Rating drastically drop despite having close to even wins and losses,” Mercer said.

“This change will mean that some players will not start in the same tier for Season 3 that they were placed in for Season 2, and that your SR gains from winning will be a little higher at the beginning of the season. After you play enough matches, however, your SR gains and losses will go back to normal.”

These changes are being tested on the Overwatch PTR right now, and may be tweaked before they go live in the core build. Blizzard has promised to let testers now well in advance if it is going to reset the rankings.

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