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How The Priority Passes Update Will Impact the Competitive Experience

What are Priority Passes?

Presented by Overwatch’s Game Director, Jeff Kaplan, the most recent Overwatch’s Developer Update presented us with information on what is being developed for the game. During this video among other things, Jeff mentioned the development of a Priority Passes system.  The introduction of this system aims to reduce waiting times for players in high-impact roles such as DPS.

Priority Passes would work by allowing the players to queue for a flex role on their competitive games. In that way, the player could get a game in any of the three roles depending on what is most needed at the game servers. After the game is concluded, the player will receive a determined amount of Priority Passes.  Then, these Priority Passes could be used by the players to increase their queuing speed on whichever role they desire to play. Every player will be able to gather up to forty Priority Passes which is the limit. Furthermore, Priority Passes will also be available when queuing in a group so that their waiting time is reduced.

Priority passes explanation in Overwatch
Priority Passes will work the following way

Why were they needed?

It is obvious that certain roles are more popular than others in the game. The DPS role specifically possesses the highest number of players. Because of that, DPS players normally need to wait around ten minutes to find a game. Meanwhile, the role of Tank often only needs to wait around two minutes for a game.

This can be frustrating as a DPS or Support player if you have a limited amount of time to play. Because, most of the time you have to play would be spent waiting.  However, with Priority Passes this will not be an issue. Even if you need to play on another role, you will be rewarded with more than one pass. As a result you will be able to queue for more than one game on whichever role you desire.

Some people are worried that the quality of competitive games will decrease since there will be more players off-roles’ players. Because they are playing off-roles, some may claim that these players would not play seriously.

Nevertheless, Priority Passes serve a purpose. If the player wins their flex games, they will be rewarded with more passes than if they lose. In this manner, off-role players are incentivized to try to win if they want shorter queues on their main role. This function has already been implemented on the Public Testing Region launcher and is expected to come live soon.

While we wait to see what these changes bring to the future of the game, make sure to check our “[LIVE] Overwatch League 2020 Offseason Tracker” to keep informed with the latest movements of Overwatch League on real time. Also, make sure to take a look on “why this offseason is harder for OWL’S free agents”.

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