Overwatch’s Season 18 of competitive play was supposed to begin this past weekend, but Blizzard has elected to delay its release due to a significant bug impacting players’ experiences. The bug made it so that players weren’t matched appropriately against others which led to imbalanced matches as different tiers were mixed in with each other. After disabling competitive play to address the issue, Blizzard announced that it would be extending the Role Queue Beta Season to work on the bug with Season 18 expected to resume early this week.
News of the Overwatch problems first surfaced over the weekend when the season should’ve started as players sounded off on the forums and other forms of social media to share evidence of their matchmaking oddities. Even the pros found themselves placed in matches they definitely shouldn’t have been in as seen in the image below from San Francisco Shock player Hyo-bin "ChoiHyoBin" Choi.
i'm a gold pic.twitter.com/7peZTYN3o5— Choihyobin (@Shock_CHB) September 1, 2019
Responding to the issues players were encountering, Blizzard confirmed that the problem with the competitive season dealt with matchmaking values from the past season not carrying over properly. This meant that players were essentially starting over fresh instead of having their last season’s rank accounted for when determining how Season 18 would begin. The announcement on the forums confirmed that the season would be delayed until the issue was resolved.
“Hey everyone, when Season 18 went live matchmaking values from prior seasons weren’t being respected,” Blizzard said. “We’re extending the Role Queue Beta Season while we work on a fix for this bug, we expect to be ready for Season 18 early next week.”
Season 18 has been delayed. The role queue beta season has been extended until season 18 releases— Overwatch (@OverwatchEU) September 2, 2019
The role queue system referenced above is the format Blizzard adopted during the summer. This system sees players queueing up for specific roles that they’re guaranteed to get to form teams consisting of two tanks, two supports, and two damage-dealing heroes. Estimated wait times will appear for each role to give players an idea of how long it’ll take to find a game where they can play their preferred position.
“Several factors go into those estimates, but they’ll generally reflect the number of players queuing for a particular role,” Blizzard said about the system. “To help incentivize a more even distribution of players across all roles, players who queue for roles that are currently in high demand may get a reward.”
Blizzard hasn’t yet shared another update on the status of Season 18, but expect to hear more about the season sometime this week.