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Overwatch 2 reduces team size to five players, buffs tanks to compensate

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Overwatch 2, the sequel to the mega-popular competitive shooter franchise launched by Blizzard in 2016, has confirmed a slew of interesting details following the game’s PvP livestream hosted last night. The stand-out bits of information will likely come as a surprise to many fans of the game, as the biggest nugget of news is that Blizzard is shrinking team sizes. The original Overwatch involved two teams of 6 players whereas the sequel will only include 5 players a side. Both teams will have two damage dealers, two support healers, and one tank. This sounds bad for tank players but wait until you see how they’ve tweaked those chunky dudes.

Across the board, tanks will take less damage making them more effective at… well, being a tank. Reinhardt now has two charges of his ranged Firestrike attack while Zarya has two charges of her energy bubble that allows her to build up energy. All support characters have passive healing. Non-tank heroes have also been updated, with some of the known changes being Mei’s endothermic blaster slowing down enemies but never outright freezing them and Winston’s Tesla Cannon now having a long-range alternate fire to deal with those pesky Pharahs more effectively.

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“Overwatch has changed over time. We’ve gone from having no hero limits… to having a hero limit. We ended up introducing a role lock over the course of the game. We feel like this is the next step in the way Overwatch ought to be played,” said Aaron Keller, Overwatch’s new game director following the departure of Jeff Kaplan a few months ago. While the PvP livestream did show off some cool new features coming to Overwatch 2, we still don’t have a solid release date for the game. Ah well, maybe next time.

Last Updated: May 21, 2021

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