You may have to pay for some of Overwatch 2’s new heroes
Fans may have to grind to acquire Overwatch 2’s new heroes on October 4. Jon Spector, Overwatch’s business lead, tweeted that more heroes will be accessible on the free battle pass track.
Spector’s tweet appears to reference Overwatch 2’s Watchpoint Pack, a bundle that includes skins, in-game money, and the season 1 premium battle pass.
The Competitive Overwatch subreddit says premium battle pass users get Kiriko. The latest support hero was mentioned in Overwatch 2 advertisements, but details were never confirmed before her name leaked here and through a streamer.
Later, the Watchpoint Pack’s description removed references to Kiriko and the premium battle pass. Spector’s tweet confirms that new heroes would be locked behind battle pass progression, but not the paid track.
Since Overwatch’s 2016 premiere, new heroes are free. Overwatch 2 is transitioning from a boxed retail model to a free-to-play model. Fans pointed out that gating heroes behind battle pass progression is a typical feature in Apex Legends and Valorant.
In Overwatch, unlike Apex or Valorant, players can switch heroes midmatch to counter the opposition’s heroes and composition. As Overwatch is now, new heroes are generally significantly more strong (i.e., busted) and dominate all levels of play, especially competitive tiers. Rock, paper, scissors-like. Brigitte, Tracer’s support hero, was his rock. In the Overwatch League and competitive ladder, teams without Brigitte had a low chance of winning. Competitive gamers are hampered by not being able to unlock new heroes.
Overwatch League player Dante “Danteh” Cruz remarked on Spector’s tweet, noting that while such a feature is standard in free-to-play games, “you are at a huge disadvantage if you do not play them.”
Cruz and others have reasonable worries about competitive viability, but they are a minority of players. In rapid play, people will target Torbjörn, Wrecking Ball, and Symmetra, worrying about Platinum to Grandmaster players.
Blizzard has not confirmed how Overwatch 2’s new heroes will work. Spector’s tweets suggest that hero unlocks will be related to the battle pass. More details will be released before Overwatch 2’s October 4 debut.