Blizzard Cracks Down on Overwatch Ties, Polarises Fans

By Nathan Grayson on at

Draws are the bane of competitive Overwatch players’ existence. All that work, and instead of the sweet taste of victory or the bitter agony of defeat, you get the sour milk breath of anticlimax. Late last week, Blizzard took the first steps to fix that. Some players, though, think they might have gone too far.

Blizzard’s currently testing a new tie-breaking system, which they describe as “very aggressive,” on the PTR. Here’s how it works, according to principal designer Scott Mercer:

“A team no longer has to completely capture one more objective than their opponent to gain a win. If both teams have the same score and run out of time, we now compare the maximum capture% of each team on the last objective they were both trying to complete. The team with the highest capture% on that objective wins. This is not based on the progression points at every 33%, but is on a completely granular scale of 0-100%. The three ‘pie pieces’ still function as before, so if attackers take 50% of a map but wipe out then the minimum capture% decays down to 33%.”

So basically, if both teams make it to the same point, the highest capture percentage wins, even if it decays down to a lower percentage after a failed capture attempt. That is to say, if one team made it to 73 percent and decayed down to 67 percent by the time the match ended, the other team would have to make it to 74 percent or better to win.

On paper, this sounds pretty good. It’s extremely difficult to draw under these circumstances, and that’s what a lot of players want. However, it can lead to some awfully abrupt resolutions. For instance, this gif of Sombra stealthing in and ending a game in 24 seconds has been making the rounds (via PVP Live):

So, why did this happen? Because in the previous round, Sombra’s team prevented their opponents from getting a single percentage point, so the second they put even one precious digit on the board, they won. Still though, feels a little unfair, doesn’t it? There’s no margin for error, little hope of eking out a comeback.

As you might expect, there’s been a pretty broad range of reactions to the change:

Some have argued for scoring via percentage chunks of the capture wheel instead of individual points. That, however, opens the door to Drawsville, USA again, so I doubt Blizzard will go down that road.

It’ll be interesting to see if Blizzard tweaks the system at all, as well as what’ll happen when it goes live. I’m expecting some interesting new team comps in the near future. If nothing else, I imagine Sombra will become a much more popular pick for a week or two!