How to Unlock Competitive in Overwatch 2

Updated: Apr 22, 2024
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Are you new to the game or considering creating another account?  This guide explains how to unlock Competitive in Overwatch 2.

How to Unlock Competitive in Overwatch 2

To unlock Competitive Play in Overwatch 2 as a new OW player, you must win 50 matches in Unranked (known as Quickplay in the original game). You can track your progress unlocking Competitive by going to “Challenges” in the main menu, clicking on “Lifetime” on the Challenges page, and finding the “Competitive Play Qualification” challenge.

Unlock Competitive Play In Overwatch 2 Challenge

While you can complete this challenge in as few as 50 games if you win all of them, many OW2 players will need to play 100+ games if their win percentage is 50% or lower.

If you played the original Overwatch game, you can avoid this requirement by linking your Blizzard account to your OW2 game. However, you can only do this for one OW2 account per Blizzard account.

After 50 wins, you can start your placements in Competitive and begin climbing the Overwatch 2 ranks.

Why Requiring 50 Wins in Unranked to Unlock Competitive is a Good Idea

While achieving 50 wins might seem like a lot to unlock Competitive play in Overwatch 2, there are good reasons for this requirement.

The requirement of 50 Unranked wins to unlock Competitive helps maintain the quality of Competitive games for existing Overwatch 2 players. It helps new OW2 players learn how to play the game, while simultaneously making it more difficult to smurf and cheat.

New Overwatch 2 players have a lot to learn. Within Competitive and Unranked, multiple game modes include Control, Escort, Flashpoint, Hybrid, and Push. If that wasn’t enough to learn, there are 40 heroes split into 3 roles. Each of these heroes has their own unique abilities. Playing 50+ games will give new players time to learn all this in less intense games.

Unlike the original Overwatch game, Overwatch 2 is free to play. In the past, having to buy the game helped limit players creating new accounts to smurf and cheat. Now that the game is free, OW2 needs a new way to make these practices less appealing.

While there’s no longer a financial cost, the time cost to unlock Competitive arguably does more to discourage smurfing and cheating. Personally, if I wanted to smurf, I’d be far more willing to spend $40 to $60 to buy a new account than I would be to spend hours playing Unranked.

While regular smurfing isn’t against the terms of service in OW2, cheating, boosting, and other shady practices are. Requiring 50+ games of Unranked creates more time to catch players breaking the ToS before they reach Competitive play.