Overwatch 2 closed beta begins next month, and pros can play starting this week

Overwatch 2 will get its first public tests this week, followed by a closed beta next month.

In a new dev update, game director Aaron Keeler said that while Blizzard was confident in its work so far, it wanted to ensure it got the game into players’ hands as quickly as possible. Thanking fans for their ongoing support and apologizing for the team’s lack of communication, Keller also said that Blizzard was “committed to more updates on all things Overwatch 2.”

With that in mind, he says the team has taken time to “rethink” Overwatch 2 to ensure its status as a “living” game, with new content on a regular basis. The first part of that process is a “decoupling” of the PvP and PvE systems, allowing players access to PvP aspects – including the 5v5 format, new maps, hero reworks, and the Push game mode – sooner. There’ll also be a new ‘ping’ system, presumably similar to the one popularized by Apex Legends, in what Keller describes as Overwatch’s most significant update since launch.

As part of an attempt to help increase the rate of change for the live game in the longer-term, Keeler confirmed that live testing of the PvP modes begins this week, with a closed alpha and a new hero – run under a non-disclosure agreement – limited to Blizzard employees and Overwatch League pros. That’ll be followed by a closed PvP beta in late April, which you can sign up to via the game’s website. Following that test, there’ll be more betas later in the year.

Keller says that this latest video is a key part of ensuring a better communication strategy going forward, with regular updates to ensure more community feedback.

The beta doesn’t come as a total surprise, as developer updates in February hinted at Overwatch 2 testing, and Blizzard lead Mike Ybarra hinted at more Overwatch 2 news in 2022 back in January. Given a lengthy development process marred by internal issues and an eventual delay for both Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 into 2023, however, don’t expect the finished project to be ready anytime particularly soon.

Check out our Overwatch 2 guide for everything we know about Blizzard’s new shooter.

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