The next season of Overwatch 2, titled Champions, will introduce some of the biggest changes yet when it releases on February 13th, 2024. In addition to new cosmetics and maps, Season 9 includes a major competitive rework, new co-op mode, and a hinted collaboration with the classic anime Cowboy Bebop.
Complete Competitive Reset Aims to Improve Ranked Play
The most significant change in Season 9 is a complete reset and overhaul of the competitive system. All players will have their ranks reset to provide more accurate placements under the new changes. The update also introduces live progress tracking so players can monitor their skill rating (SR) improvement during matches.
According to Blizzard, these competitive changes are meant to improve the quality of ranked play based on over two years of feedback on the 5v5 format. The developers hope it will make rankings more meaningful and games more balanced.
New Co-Op PvE Mode Lets Players Master Heroes
For players hungry for more PvE content while waiting for the story mode, Season 9 adds a new cooperative mode called Hero Mastery: Gauntlet.
Teams of four will battle through enemy NPCs while using the same hero to encourage mastery of specific characters. Completing gauntlets will unlock unique rewards to show off your dedication.
The addition of this horde mode-style PvE provides fans more cooperative content to supplement the archives and limited-time events. It also lets players gain experience working together, which can translate into better teamwork in competitive matches.
Cowboy Bebop Collaboration Hinted at in New Trailer
The cinematic trailer for Season 9 includes a shot of an unfamiliar animal companion next to Echo while she admires a blossom. This creature bears a striking resemblance to Ein, the data dog from the classic anime Cowboy Bebop. The trailer zooms in on the corgi but provides no further information. Check out the trailer below.
Rumors suggest this teaser hints at a future collaboration between the two properties. However, Blizzard has yet to officially confirm if Cowboy Bebop content is slated for Overwatch 2. Either way, the possibility has generated plenty of excitement within the community.
Season 9 looks to address long-standing issues with ranked play, expand PvE options, and introduce exciting new cosmetics for heroes. The changes show Blizzard is still committed to improving on Overwatch 2’s foundations.