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Overwatch: Season 4 guide

Our continuously updated guide to Season 4 of Overwatch.

Our regularly updated Season 4 guide for Overwatch contains everything you need to know about the game's fourth round of Competitive Play.

UPDATE: 1st March

Season 4 of Overwatch has just kicked off on the live servers.

We'll be tidying up this guide considerably in the morning UK time, but here's the lowdown on what's known right now.


Time flies when you're having fun, eh? As we approach Season 4 of Overwatch - not to mention the game's first anniversary - you have to take your hat off to the devs for reacting reasonably nimbly to community concerns about Competitve Play, and working with the players to refine the mode over time.

Placement grumbles aside, we feel like Competitive Play is in pretty good shape as a result. The broadening of the Skill Rating system made progress feel more tangible, timer tweaks have resulted in far less draws, and all but the very best players no longer have to fear losing their highest rank to a losing streak.

There are definitely some improvement we'd like to see though. Further refinements to the placement match system in Season 4 will hopefully see players start off in their natural skill level, rather than somewhere perhaps a little lower than they should be. It also feels like the right time to shake up the rewards system a little, and provide a few extra goodies for taking part.

Let's see what we get when the promised Season 4 announcement blog post goes live. For now, here's all of the best information we currently have about the next round of Competitive Play.

We will, as always, update this guide continuously as and when new details are confirmed by Blizzard, so check back regularly!

Season 4 start date and time

It's been confirmed by Blizzard that Season 4 of Overwatch will begin on Tuesday 28th February at 16:00 PST.

For those of you located outside of that timezone, here's when it all kicks off in your corner of the world:

00:00 GMT (01/03)16:00 PST08:00 CST (01/03)
01:00 CET (01/03)17:00 MST09:00 KST (01/03)
03:00 MSK18:00 CST09:00 JST (01/03)
19:00 EST
21:00 ADT
21:00 BRT
21:00 NDT
08:00 (01/03)
10:00 AEST (01/03)
12:00 NZST (01/03)

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Season 4 placement system

In previous Competitive Play Seasons, we've had to finish up a series of placement matches before starting the climb up the ranked ladder itself. Performance in these matches determined your starting position on the ladder.

We know that Blizzard intends to make some kind of changes to the structure of Competitive Play when Season 4 rolls around. Given the upset about the placement system in certain corners of the community (where players felt they'd been placed lower than their natural skill level) it seems like a safe bet that we'll see changes to how initial starting positions are determined.

The developers have referenced a blog post that's currently being finalised, and which will outline all of the changes coming with Season 4. The moment that blog is published, we'll strip out all of the pertinent details and add it to this section of our Season 4 guide.

Season 4 Skill Rating Tiers

We're going to assume at this stage that no further changes will be made to the various ranks and point thresholds that were used in the previous Season.

Here's how things currently look, but we'll adjust the figures if necessary once the Season 4 blog post is up:

Season 4 RankPointsRewards (CP)

Season 4 rewards

Typically, you receive a certain number of Competitive Points for reaching specific thresholds at the end of each Season. You also receive a special Spray and a Player Icon for completing your placement matches, while the highest ranking players get an animated version of the Spray.

This approach has been so consistent over the last three Seasons that we expect at least these current rewards to make it into Season 4. We've a feeling Blizzard might look to expand on the goodies you get out of Competitive Play, however. We'll just have to see what gets confirmed in that announcement blog.

As soon as we have confirmed details of all the rewards involved, we'll grab the assets from the PTR and add them to this guide.

Comment on this article

  • OldFighter #1 2 months ago
    Just a correction. The dates listed as the 29th should be the 1st! Sorry all you leap year babys. No Birthday for you this year
    Sign in to reply
  • Bedders #2 2 months ago
    @OldFighter Oh way, that's embarrassing! Thanks for letting us know :-)
    Sign in to reply
  • fcrone #3 2 months ago
    " and all but the very best players no longer have to fear losing their highest rank to a losing streak."

    Why that? is there a change that I missed? What is used for the "highest" rank?

    Sign in to reply
  • Bedders #4 2 months ago
    @fcrone Sorry if that's not very clear. What we mean is that when you push through to a new rank tier, you can't fall down into a previous tier no matter how badly you do - you can't drop from Gold to Silver. You can fall out of Grandmaster though.

    I should point out that there's a new blog post coming later on today, and everything could change - we'll be updating this asap tonight.
    Sign in to reply
  • fcrone #5 2 months ago
    @Bedders Ah ok, understood. But a bad loosing streak does matter, because if you drop from 2200 to 1500 for instance, then you will have to climb again all this gap to get paired with good partners. You don't loose gold, but you get really far from reaching platinium.

    Or does it reset to your max season's value when a new season begins?
    Sign in to reply
  • Bedders #6 2 months ago
    @fcrone RE: your last point. This is the great unknown while we wait for the blog post to turn up.

    After Season 3's placement matches, a lot of people were unhappy as they got placed further down the rankings than they believed their natural positioning was, which made it hard to rise up* (for the reasons you rightly mention earlier in your post). I suspect this is the big thing that will change for Season 4, but we'll have to wait and see.

    *I've changed my mind since I wrote an article about how the Season 3 system wasn't as broken as people believed, and got stuck deeper into it myself. In Quick Play, my MMR gets me in a group of broadly equivalent team mates in terms of skill, game knowledge/awareness and so on - you know it when you see it, and it's obvious you are at the same level. The result is a pretty even 50:50 winrate across hundreds of matches, which is how it should be.

    Running two sites on Hearthstone and Overwatch means I get almost zero time to play competitive Overwatch though, and so I had almost zero time in Season 1 and 2 to go towards my CP rating. Even though I had a good run of placement matches in Season 3, I got tanked into bottom Bronze.

    Playing the game at that level is pure, unadulterated hell and so I just didn't have the heart to grind through it when a lovely, "balanced" QP experience was only ever a click away. Life's just too short when you're working full-time.

    Fingers crossed that there's something better coming tomorrow.
    Sign in to reply

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