The changes come with the release of Season 9.

Season 9 of Overwatch 2 is nearly here. We already got a quick look at some of the general changes coming, as well as a teaser for a Cowboy Bebop crossover. Now, Blizzard has shared details on the big changes coming to heroes, competitive ranking, and more.

The biggest changes in Season 9 have to do with how competitive ranking will be handled. There is a new progression system, a new skill tier beyond Grand Master (called Champion), and more. Blizzard says that the new system will be "more accurate while also helping convey the meaning behind the mathematical complexity of a modern matchmaker and bring clear insights about what impacts your rank in every match".

Competitive Updates originally worked to provide updates that reflected your growth as a player across multiple matches, but with the goal to provide greater transparency in each individual match, we’re going back to updating your rank after every match and showing how much progress you gain or lose between each Skill Division. We’re also displaying Modifiers that affected your last match below the rank progression bar. Some modifiers help provide transparency in the matchmaking for each match, like getting a boost when you defeat a team that was more favored to win. While other modifiers show if your rank is calibrating, like going on a huge win streak, proving you belong in a higher rank.
Chart showing how ranks increase or decrease in Season 9 of Overwatch 2.

Placement Matches and a reset to everyone's competitive Skill Rank are also in store when Season 9 launches. This is due to how drastic these competitive changes will be compared to prior seasons.

Season 9 will introduce new Jade Weapon Variants. These pseudo-exclusive skins are unlockable by using Competitive Points earned from competitive play. Old Competitive Points will be converted to Legacy Competitive Points, which can be used to unlock Golden Weapon Variants.

Big changes are also coming to core gameplay mechanics.

When it comes to aiming as a mechanical skill requirement, even players with excellent aim often mention how it can feel random whether a shot hits or not. Due largely in part to the whip speed movement acceleration heroes have when changing directions, combined with all of the dashing/leaping/teleporting abilities, hitting your target can be very difficult. Crisp, responsive movement is important to the core gameplay feel, so we wouldn’t want to just slow down player movement. Instead, we’re improving hit consistency by making both damage-dealing hitscan and travel time projectiles larger. Heroes that have weapons or abilities that don't benefit from any projectile size changes will receive additional balance changes.
Changes to Heroes and projectiles in Overwatch 2 Season 9.

Health pools are also being adjusted across all class types. Heroes that were in the 150-175 HP range will get a bump of 25 HP. The 200-300 HP heroes get a bump of 50 HP. Those with over 300 HP will see health increases of 75-100 HP.

New Hero passives are being added in Season 9. All characters will get a passive health regen of 20 HP per second after not taking damage for 5 seconds. Those in Damage roles that deal damage will reduce their target's healing received by 20%. Support players will now begin regenerating health after 2.5 seconds. Tank roles will get reduced knockback received, but will earn less Ultimate charge from healing and damage received.