Following extensive analysis of public response, Blizzard is removing Sudden Death from season two of Overwatch Competitive Play.
The decision is anything but knee-jerk. Blizzard used a Public Testing Region (PTR) to get patch feedback on June 21st. On the 23rd, they announced their findings. Besides some general tweaks, the greatest complaint was the Sudden Death system. At the time, they hoped that short-term solutions such as reducing match and Sudden Death time would alleviate the problem, but while some match types dropped from 35% chance of triggering Sudden Death to 9%, other types still remained as high as 29%– still nearly 1/3 of all matches. As a result, the developer has now decided to remove the system entirely.
Overwatch’s principal designer Scott Mercer explains in an interview with PC Gamer, “The thought was that the coin flip … would be balanced so that the chance for the attacker or defender to win would be really close. But it turns out it wasn’t close enough and in some cases wasn’t close. We pulled back from that, decided that, hey, for season two we’re going to remove sudden death and allow for the concept of ties to take place.”
Mercer also discusses the addition of a time bank system to all game modes. Proposed in the June 23rd post a “time bank” system is where the game remembers how long it takes each team to complete an objective. Already used in Assault, Blizzard will implement the feature in the other modes going forward, such as the Escort/Hybrid missions. Blizzard hopes it can further alleviate Sudden Death mismatches across the board.