The beta for Overwatch 2 will be arriving in “late April”, Blizzard has confirmed, after months of delays and speculation. The revamp of the FPS game shakes up many of the heroes and gameplay we know from Overwatch, with reworks for Sombra, Doomfist, Orisa, and Bastion, a brand new hero, Sojourn, and a switch from 6v6 to 5v5.
The late April release will also ensure it is out for professional players to use in the 2022 Overwatch League season, which is billed to start soon after this date on May 5. Game director Aaron Keller has revealed that Blizzard employees and key partners, including Overwatch League pros, will have access to a Closed Alpha build of Overwatch 2 from “this week”. Prior to this, teams have been practicing and scrimming on a workshop build of the original Overwatch using stats and conditions altered to reflect some of the Overwatch 2 changes.
According to Keller, releasing a beta version will allow people to access the PvP side of Overwatch 2 much sooner as it continues to work on the PvE aspect of the new revamp.
“We’ve taken some time to rethink Overwatch 2 with the singular goal of ensuring it’s a living game serving our players with exciting content on a regular basis,” Keller says. “We’re shifting our plan for Overwatch 2 to enable you to play it sooner. This starts with us decoupling the PvP features of the game from the PvE systems, so we can bring you PvP sooner.”
Those wanting to participate in the beta in late April can sign up here.
There has still been no update on an exact full release date for Overwatch 2 in its entirety, but with this focus on PvP to get it in players hands sooner, a staggered release for PvP and PvE seems likely.