Over the past couple of years, Blizzard has been looking into more and more experimental ways to approach Overwatch. This is both on the casual and the competitive side. One of the game modes that appears to have taken off is the Competitive Open Queue mode, which has offered hardcore players a bit of a respite from the standard Role Queue competitive mode. With that in mind, Game Director Jeff Kaplan took to a video address on Monday to reveal that Competitive Open Queue is about to become a permanent fixture in Overwatch.
"Very shortly, Competitive Open Queue will come down for a little while," Kaplan said during Monday's Developer Update video. "We are going to work very quickly, as quickly as we can, to bring back another shortened Arcade version of Competitive Open Queue that will go live sometime in June. We're thinking probably mid-June, but don't hold me exactly to that date. But we'll have a very short Competitive season for Open Queue that will probably land in mid-June. Then, in early July, when Season 23, the normal Competitive season starts, Competitive Open Queue will now become an official mode that will be supported alongside the Role Queue Competitive Queue, if that makes sense. So, what it will look like to you as a player is you will go to the Play menu off of the main menu in Overwatch. You'll select the Competitive Card. Then, underneath the Competitive Card will be two options. One will be for the Role Queue, which is the official Competitive mode that the game will be tuned and balanced around. So that means we're tuning and balancing around 2/2/2 compositions. But alongside of that will also be Competitive Open Queue. It will no longer be an Arcade mode. It will sit side-by-side with Competitive Role Queue."
For the uninitiated, Competitive Open Queue is indeed a competitive mode, however it does not follow the restrictions of the normal Competitive Role Queue. Lineups can be made up of any composition, provided the same hero is not chosen twice.
Kaplan offers some interesting factoids about the Competitive Open Queue, noting that it's particularly popular in the Korean region, whereas North America gravitates more towards Mystery Heroes as a novelty mode. However, he also notes that Competitive Open Queue's existence has led to improved waiting times across different game modes.
The rest of the Developer Update includes upcoming changes to the Experimental Card (with changes coming to Bastion, specifically), slight changes to Hero Pools, and how Hero Pools will be determined. For more changes, be sure to keep it on Shacknews, as well as the official Overwatch website.