The move from 6v6 to 5v5 will ring in some massive changes.

Winston has a new ability and a quality of life improvements in ‘Overwatch 2′
Blizzard Entertainment
As shown during a gameplay stream on Thursday, Overwatch 2 will herald some massive changes for the Overwatch player-vs-player modes. The biggest one by far is the removal of one player per team. In the future, teams will run just one tank alongside two supports and two damage heroes.
If you missed the stream, you can rewatch the entire thing here:
MORE FROM FORBES’Overwatch 2’ PvP Gameplay Stream: How To Watch The Two-Hour EventBy Kris HoltMany of the changes Blizzard discussed on the stream are built off of that enormous move to teams sizes, so lets dive into all of the planned updates that were revealed.
MORE FROM FORBESMore ‘Overwatch’ April Fool’s Gags Are Coming To The Live Game, Including Tank ChangesBy Kris HoltThere are going to be lots of changes to heroes, largely because of the 5v5 shift. Tanks are being shifted from primarily acting as protectors to make them more brawly. Reinhardt will have two Fire Strike charges and more steering control over his Charge ability, as well as the option to cancel it. Zarya will still have two bubble charges, but she can choose to give both to herself or to teammates.
Winston has an alt fire, a longer-range charged shot of lightning. Mei, meanwhile, wont be able to freeze enemies with hew primary fire anymore, but shell still slow them and the Endothermic Blaster will deal more damage.
MORE FROM FORBESOverwatch 2: Mei Won’t Freeze Enemies In Place With Her Primary FireBy Kris HoltThere are some other major reworks on the way, including for Bastion and Orisa. Although they werent present in the build that was shown off today, there could be some changes on the way to crowd control abilities.
CC could be reduced across the board, which means heroes like Brigitte, Doomfist and McCree could be in for a serious rework. Team 4 still feels that tanks should have CC abilities, so its mostly considering changes to DPS and support heroes on that front, hence the planned Mei change. As long as Anas Sleep Dart stays, Im fine with that.
Role-based passive abilities
As mentioned at BlizzConline, Blizzard is working on role-based passive abilities for all heroes. For tanks, that means reduced knockback as well as providing less ultimate charge to attackers. Damage heroes, in the words of Lúcio, will get a speed boost. Support heroes will heal themselves passively, though at a lower rate than Mercys self-heal. These changes make a lot more sense with the removal of a tank on each side, but theyre not finalized.
Elsewhere, movement acceleration has been slowed down a touch for all heroes in the current development build. Overhealth and overshield will now be the same color on the health bar to simplify things.
One of the biggest focuses of the stream was a closer look at some of the new maps. We saw five new maps, with one match on each: New York City, Toronto, Rio de Janeiro, Rome and Monte Carlo. Theyre all gorgeous in their own way.
You can check out Torbs new look right here:
MORE FROM FORBESOverwatch 2: Blizzard Reveals Torbjörn’s RedesignBy Kris HoltUseful UI and HUD changes
Updated UIs will be very useful for a number of heroes and abilities. Itll be much clearer which heroes Zenyatta has placed his orbs on, as well as which teammate Mercy is healing or buffing. Theres a more obvious directional indicator for Mercys location whenever her beam is on you too. Winston players will also see a timer that indicates how long his shield will remain up, as long as it isnt destroyed first.
Remember that everything shown on the stream is a work in progress. Some of this might change by the time Overwatch 2 is released, whenever that might be, but the 5v5 move is almost definitely staying.
Overwatch 2 map Rome looks absolutely stunning.
Blizzard Entertainment
Theres still much more in the works, including another game mode that Blizzard hasnt announced yet to replace Assault/2CP maps in Competitive and Quick Play. There are also more heroes to be revealed. None of them were shown on the stream, and we didnt get look at Soujourn in action. And bear in mind that PvP will only be part of Overwatch 2 there are also the co-op modes and story missions.
Theres no release date for Overwatch 2 as yet. As things stand, I expect it to be released either in early 2022 or after next years Overwatch League season wraps up.
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