It’s unclear if this means Overwatch 2 will actually release in 2022 in some form, but it does mean players will be able to try out Overwatch 2’s remastered PvP later this year. Closed Alpha begins today, featuring “Blizzard staff, Overwatch League pros, and a few other select groups.” Blizzard is also hosting a PC beta of Overwatch 2 at the end of April so you can sign up now on the official Overwatch website.
“This closed beta will feature a large group of testers who we will ask for gameplay feedback,” reads a blog post published by PC Gamer. “Our goal at this stage is to test our new features, content and systems before we move on to stress testing servers with a wider player base in future beta tests.”
The April beta, which Blizzard is calling “Overwatch 2 PvP Beta 1”, will include a lot of new stuff for experienced players, many of which we’ve previously only seen in demo videos:
- New Damage Hero: Sojourn
- New Game Mode: Push
- Multiplayer 5v5
- Hero Rework
- 4 new cards
This announcement confirms that 5v5 is still the plan for Overwatch 2. This will likely prove to be the biggest change in PvP as the removal of one tank role from each team will drastically change the course of Overwatch group combat. The “hero overhauls” mentioned above will likely include previously announced tank changes that will make heroes like Reinhardt, Winston, and Orisa more aggressive fighters.
Blizzard says today’s announcement is “the first step” in expanding communication with players and establishing a “permanent pace of updates.” At the moment, Overwatch players haven’t seen a new hero added to the game for two years, but if Blizzard keeps its promise for 2019, Overwatch 2’s new heroes, maps, and modes will also be coming to the original Overwatch at no additional cost.