Over the spread of multiple blog posts, Blizzard has finally given us the details and solid confirmation that Role Lock will be coming to the pro league as well as the introduction to a much-desired queue system for Ranked play for those getting into the action on their own.
News broke a month ago when recently retired Seoul Dynasty main-tank Fissure decided to out plans to bring a 2-2-2 Role Lock into the Overwatch League. Now, coming out of the shadow of Stage 3, Blizzard details what’s changing ahead of the final Stage of the season.
“Here’s how it works: role lock is in place an entire map, so players can swap to any hero within a role but can only change roles between maps. This functions the same way as a player substitution, which also can only occur between maps.
To make it easier to identify roles as a viewer, players will be seated onstage by their roles and will also be ordered that way in the game’s onscreen user interface. From left to right, when the viewer is facing the stage, players will sit in order of damage-damage-tank-tank-support-support. If players change roles, they will also move into the seats for those roles.”
Most fans are on the fence when it comes to Role Lock being introduced to the Overwatch League. On one hand, it will surely spell the end to any sort of GOATs meta. However, it will also keep us from seeing crazy team compositions like the 5 DPS heroes that the Chengdu Hunters ran on multiple desperate moments this season.
For the ranked players at home, Role Lock will also be coming to the general queue system. Players will be able to select a specific role before queueing up for Ranked Overwatch matches, which will do great things to dissolve the frustration and role arguments in team chat.
“It’s also going to relieve some of that social pressure players feel,” says Kaplan.
Following in the footsteps of ranked games like League of Legends--though they have since taken it out of the game--Overwatch will also implement a role-specific ranking system. On top of that, players will be presented with unique opportunities to earn loot by queueing up in the less populated roles.
Currently, Role Queue is available for testing on the PTR servers and will be arriving on public servers as part of the Patch 1.39. The initial state of Role Queue upon launch will act as a Beta with two testing sessions between August 13th and September 1st.