Overwatch 2 PvP will move to 5v5 due to the power of tank heroes

Tracer in Overwatch 2.
Tracer in Overwatch 2. (Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

What you need to know

  • Blizzard Entertainment developers have announced that Overwatch 2's PvP will move to a 5v5 format as opposed to the traditional 6v6 matchup.
  • This change was made due to the oppressive feeling that multiple tank heroes often created on the battlefield.
  • The developers are committing to changing several heroes, such as Roadhog, to better fit this new direction.

In a new PvP-focused livestream, Blizzard Entertainment developers have announced that Overwatch 2 PvP will be moving to a 5v5 format that removes one of the tanks from each team's lineup. This means that each team will feature two damage heroes, two support heroes, and a single tank hero. This change will dramatically change the feel and flow of Overwatch PvP combat, but the developers ultimately feel that the shift is for the best.

In the stream, the developers explained that due to how powerful and impactful many of Overwatch's tank heroes are, having two of them on each team would often result in situations where they were oppressive and overpowered the capabilities of damage and support heroes. Therefore, by limiting the amount of tanks to one per team, the developers aim to make it so that tanks remain powerful and strong while also preventing them from overshadowing other heroes.

The developers also stated that they're aware of how some "off-tanks," such as Roadhog, wouldn't jive with this new direction well as they are now. Moving forward, the developers are working on changing characters like Roadhog so that they're more capable of serving well as a solo tank. We're not sure what changes will be made specifically, but hopefully the developers have more to share in the future. Some other tanks have gotten some changes as well, and these were shown off during the stream. These include Reinhardt being able to cancel and control his charge more, and Zarya getting two charges for her projected bubble shields.

What's your opinion of this change? Are you excited for 5v5, or do you think Blizzard is in the wrong here? Let me know. We're still not sure exactly when Overwatch 2 will release, but the original game is available now on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One consoles, PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Windows 10 PCs. You'll be able to play PvP with Overwatch 2 players if you buy the original game, though you won't have access to the game's PvE experiences. Make sure to check out our full Overwatch and Overwatch 2 heroes list for helpful tips, tricks, and information if you're a new player.

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.

  • Jeff really said "screw the tank mains" and then dipped out. I wish I could say I was surprised.
  • Hopefully they let players have multiple of the same hero on a map like when Overwatch 1 launched. Crossplay would be another great addition that I couldn't live without.
  • I don't think "tanks are too oppressive" is the real story. If you play the game, queues for tank are incredibly short, versus that of DPS (Support is usually in between the two, but more often close to DPS queues than tank). Tanks aren't so much oppressive as unfun, so the player base doesn't support two of them well. Matchmaking often leaves tanks in weird places, where someone at 2900 SR will end up in a game at 3600, then a game at 2300, because matchmaking is so desperate to get tanks into games. If people played the role more, I don't think the oppressive nature (of certain tanks) would be of concern for design change. The reality is this should speed up matchmaking times and make the game FEEL less dead because a lack of tanks (and overabundance of DPS) gives a lot of players lengthy downtime between matches while the game tries to scrounge up some tank players to put a game together. When a streamer is playing an RPG on the side between 15-minute queues of Overwatch comp on DPS, that's not a great look. At the highest levels, you probably have more time OUT OF GAME than in-game because it's so hard to find tanks to play the game.
  • that's a good point too.