Overwatch had a nontraditional approach to keeping score. Typically, competitive shooters like Apex Legends and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds keep a running list of kills, points, and team ranking on a shared scoreboard. Overwatch, instead, used a less specific system that awarded an individual gold, silver, and bronze medals based on objective kills, objective time, damage done, and healing done.
If you weren’t a fan of the medal system, you’ll be happy to hear that Blizzard has completely rearranged scorekeeping for the Overwatch 2 beta tests (which, by the way, you can still gain access to by watching the Overwatch League’s opening weekend) by implementing a more typical scoreboard. Let’s walk through everything you should know about the change so you’ll never have to crouch in a corner crying about how little Overwatch 2 scoreboard knowledge you have. We’ve all been there.
What am I looking at here?
I hope you weren’t attached to little personal trophies sparkling across your screen at the end of a match, because medals have been completely eliminated. They are gone. Goodbye, shiny medals viewable only by me. While we’re committing murder, Overwatch’s fire system—a meter that would fill based on activity and reward your character by framing its icon in Gatorade-blue flames—has also been found dead in the street.
According to patch notes Blizzard released on April 28, there is no longer a need for fire and medal systems since the new scoreboard presents “key statistics in real time for all the players in the game, including eliminations and deaths.” The scoreboard also intentionally “mirrors other competitive games and sports,” which is even visible in its current design: It’s a reclining, rectangular layout with sleek navy, pink, and white categories spilling all the gossip-y details of your team’s performance and the enemy team’s performance.
So I can’t die 4,500 times in peace anymore?
No, you can’t. The new scoreboard allows everyone in both teams to see each other’s enemy kills, assists, deaths, damage, and healing, though there is still some level of individualized breakdown which shows your character’s weapon accuracy, defensive assists, and kill streaks.
Ultimately, according to those patch notes, Blizzard says that the change’s main goal is to provide “a more accurate and easier-to-read view of each player’s performance-related data.” Notably, Blizzard also writes that it plans “on revisiting the Fire system in the future,” and since we’re still very much in beta, you can likely expect changes to the finer details of the board.
Is my significant other going to leave me because now they can see that I’m a terrible support player?
God, I hope not. Actually, hopefully they will. Sounds like you’re better off without them. Either way, that brings up an important conversation players are having about the scoreboard and the quality of their Overwatch 2 experience.
Again, since we’re still in beta, this is mostly hypothetical, but some players are concerned that the very public scoreboard will encourage aggression in chat. Of course, the existing state of Overwatch’s voice chat wasn’t an idyllic Garden of Gamer, either.
Women are well-versed in how frustrating and predatory chat rooms can be, and no matter who you are, strangers online will not hesitate to berate you into the ground. Competitive shooters like League of Legends are notorious for breeding ill will even within your own team—a disappointing side effect of living in a world where people occasionally care more about winning than everyone having fun.
Personally, I think it’s possible that the scoreboard will negatively impact Overwatch 2 chatrooms, though existing hostility in competitive gaming tells me the problem is much deeper than whether or not stat count is public or private. As a game mechanic, though, the scoreboard is incredibly useful for players who want to more accurately evaluate their performance. Most beta testers have been seeming to find the board a beneficial and welcome revision, but there is still time for everyone to provide Blizzard with feedback.