Anyone who plays Overwatch at a competitive level is aware of the game’s biggest problem. Ranked play is plagued with throwers and unmotivated teammates who tilt far too quickly. One of the primary causes of this is one tricks and role insta-locks who prioritize what they want to play over what their team needs. The few that choose to pick late and play less desirable roles are called ‘fillers’.
Most don’t fill because they want to but rather because they feel they need to. If a game doesn’t go quite right or their team isn’t playing up to their standards, tilt is inevitable. Why should they have to play a role they don’t want to for an uncooperative team?
The solution to this is a role queue. Role queue would be a feature where people could search for competitive games in a specific role rather than gambling on what their teammates can play. They are guaranteed to want to play the role they end up with and will have teammates who share the same positive outcome.
Blizzard was not keen on this idea for some time. They felt it was forcing a meta and against the spirit of counter picking Overwatch was meant to be designed around. There are also concerns about queuing times. In an interview with popular Overwatch YouTuber Stylosa, Jeff said the following:
…with no behaviour change, what would happen today if we put roll queue live is that if you wanted to play a damage character [like Soldier 76]. Right now our queue times are around one to two minutes to get into a match. Your average queue time [with role queue] as a DPS player would go up 13 to 26 minutes.
However, Blizzard seems to have shifted in favor of role queue at last. Talking to the off-tank player and Twitch streamer, Emongg, Kaplan conceded that a world where everyone plays what they want would be “a huge benefit,” for the community.
Unfortunately, you should not expect a role queue anytime soon. Even though Blizzard is now on board with the general idea, Kaplan is not happy to introduce it to live in its current state. Concerns over a forced meta and queue times are big enough that forcing it into live could be risky. Even if they were willing to, Blizzard isn’t exactly known to rush their work. Jeff told another streamer in Fareeha that Hammond and Soujourn have been in the works since before Overwatch was even released. That means it took them over 2 years to finish Wrecking Ball and it will be at least three years for Soujourn.
Despite this, I am optimistic that Overwatch could see a role queue announced by the end of 2019. It’s the next big step if Overwatch wants to once again become that iconic hero shooter it once was.
I’m a passionate games critic who has been writing actively since 2015. I have a particular interest in both racing games and JRPGs as well as a love for Overwatch and its eSports scene. I consider gaming and writing my two big passions in life. So much so that I’m currently studying a one of a kind degree that covers both in one! My goal in life is simply to become a renowned critic who is respected for his opinions.