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Overwatch’s third competitive season is coming back early with skill rating tweaks

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The countdown is on

Blizzard Entertainment

Season two of Overwatch’s Competitive Play mode is ongoing, but Blizzard Entertainment is already prepping for the third round. Ahead of season three’s kickoff on Dec. 1, principal designer Scott Mercer took to Battle.net to shed light on some of the upcoming changes players can check out on the public test realm right now.

One of these involves how skill ratings are determined. In the interest of keeping things fair at the start of each season without completely wiping players’ records, Blizzard will have players begin with a slightly lowered rating that remains more consistent as the season continues on.

This is a change from the start of season two, when Blizzard reassigned players new skill ratings based on a revamped, tier-based structure. Mercer said that players still may find that they’re at a lower tier than they were during Competitive Play’s second season, but this will balance out as the season continues on. Those playing on Windows PC can go check out how the tweaks change their rankings in the public test realm.

There are some other minor changes that all players will notice once season two wraps. An in-game countdown timer will appear to show how much time is left between seasons. Season two ends Nov. 24, giving just a week of downtime before Competitive Play’s third season picks up.

Competitive Play has been subject to revisions since it launched this summer. The mode, aimed at more serious-minded Overwatch players, kicked off in June and introduced a numerical skill rating system, rewards and penalties. These evolved for season two, which dropped the numbers in favor of tiers, upped the cost of golden weapon rewards and took away the sudden death tiebreaker.