The update means that all Overwatch players must set up a free Battle.net account (or connect to an existing one) and link it to their console accounts, regardless of whether they want to participate in cross-platform multiplayer.
Going forward, cross-play will be available to all Overwatch playlists, with limitations on the game’s Competitive mode. In Competitive, console players will be matched with one another, and PC players will only be matched with other PC players. Overwatch players can toggle an opt-out for cross-play, but that means they will only be matched with other players on their platform who have also opted out, which shrinks their pool of available matches.
In addition to cross-play support, Overwatch’s June 22 update introduces a new challenge — Ashe’s Deadlock Challenge — offering four new cosmetics, including a Legendary Ashe and B.O.B. Skin, for playing up to 27 games. Players may also watch up to six hours of Overwatch matches on Twitch to earn up to three more sprays.
The challenge ties into “Deadlock Rebels,” a new novel by Lyndsay Ely, which goes deep into the history between Ashe and another fan-favorite hero, McCree, and how they founded the Deadlock gang. A preview of its first chapter, localized in 14 languages, is also available for free beginning June 22.