A change to how competitive play works in Overwatch 2 has left some players planning to stop playing until the season ends.
With the release of Overwatch 2, there have obviously been a range of changes implemented in the game. Loot boxes are gone, the battle pass is in, for example. There have been changes to competitive too, but one change obviously wasn't clear for some players. Season 2 recently kicked off, and players have found that they aren't receiving the level of rewards they expected to in ranked, as it turns out that rewards are based on the rank a player is at the end of a season now (thanks, PCGamesN).
Previously, at the end of a season, Overwatch players would receive rewards based on the highest rank they achieved, no matter what rank they were by the end of it. As a result, some players have decided they're just going to stop playing ranked until the season ends, as discussed on the game's subreddit. A number of players made the point that they just worked towards a certain rank, and left it there. Others even made the point that that's what they will do now they know that's how it works.
The official Overwatch Twitter account clarified the changes last week in a statement, writing "At the end of every season, your final rank will be based on any matches played since your last rank update. End-of-season competitive rewards are based on your final rank."
The statement also made the point that players will find some rank decay on all roles at the start of a season, and that over the course of a season they should be able to work back up to a rank that reflects their true skill level.
"We understand that we need to do a better job making these systems more understandable and will be addressing these issues and other parts of the system in the future."
Why this change was made isn't particularly clear. It could be that Blizzard wanted to encourage players to keep their rank up, but if it just stays the same there's no reason to keep playing. This kind of thing might work if players are punished for being inactive, but that also won't make players feel good, so in general this feels like a poor decision to make. At least grinding for the latest hero is easier than in season 1.