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'Overwatch' deathmatch modes are live

Ditch objectives and jockey for top kills in Blizzard's successful shooter.
David Lumb, @OutOnALumb
08.29.17 in AV
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Blizzard

For over a year since it launched in May 2016, Blizzard's Overwatch only let teams of players compete against each other in completing objectives -- none of that kill-more-than-the-other-team hogwash. Then the studio about-faced early this month when it announced that those Deathmatch modes would really be coming to the hero shooter. Today, both team-based and free-for-all modes go live -- along with a few balance tweaks to some heroes.

The two deathmatch modes will show up in the Arcade area for alternative modes. Free-For-All pits one player against seven others and the first to 20 kills wins (placing in the top four will count as a win for weekly loot box rewards). Team Deathmatch is 4v4 with the first to 30 kills winning, though Mercy resurrections will take a score away from the enemy team.

Maps have been modified to accommodate deathmatch play -- namely, objectives like capture points and payloads have been removed. But there's even a brand-new map dedicated to the mode: Château Guillard. In the game's lore, this is where the character Amelie LaCroix (née Guillard) resided before she was brainwashed and transformed into the Talon operative Widowmaker.

Overwatch team lead Jeff Kaplan explained their reasoning for bringing the classic first-person-shooter mode to the game in a developer update (below).

In short -- don't claim that Blizzard never listens, as it's clearly bowed to fan demand. Obviously, it's way too early to see if deathmatch starts entering professional competition, but the mode is slotted in the Arcade area for a reason. Another long-requested mode, Capture The Flag, was added to the game back in February and that hasn't filtered into competitive rotation. It's unlikely that Blizzard will consider deathmatch for their Overwatch League they're still getting off the ground, but with the studio's change of heart adding the traditional FPS mode to the game at all, anything's possible.

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