Three days ago, Overwatch Principal Designer, Scott Mercer, took to the Battle.net Forums to announce some upcoming changes to the game. Although still in Season 7, we can expect to see a couple of changes for Competitive Season 8, which is set to begin in January.

Firstly, the maximum Skill Rating (SR) variance (the difference between the highest SR player and the lowest SR player on the same team) will be decreased. This means that when searching for a game, the server will try and connect you with players of a similar SR, leading to improved matchmaking quality and subsequent match experience.

Although this change was implemented in patch 1.17.0.3 towards the end of November, it was not applied as strictly as the Overwatch team would have liked. Now, the new, narrower SR variance limitations will be tested during December, and in the beginning of the New Year (January 2, to be precise), the range will be reviewed, finalized, and implemented just in time for Season 8.

Secondly, the personal performance SR adjustments for players in Diamond tier or above will be removed. I’m assuming this won’t affect the vast majority of us (sorry for the assumption guys). However, for our readers who do have an impressive SR of 3000+, or for those interested, the changes are outlined below.

Currently, when winning or losing a Competitive match, your SR is altered depending on a number of different factors; after losing a match you performed quite poorly in, you lose more SR than if you snagged yourself a couple of medals. In addition to this, players who have completed a larger number of matches will have their SR altered to a lesser extent at the cessation of a match, and if you have a higher than 50% chance to win a match, you’ll gain less for that win, and lose more for that defeat (this also works the same in the alternative, too, i.e. less than 50% chance to win a match will mean a larger gain and a smaller loss of SR).

In Season 8, personal performance SR adjustments will cease to apply to players in the Diamond tier or above. Nonetheless, the other factors determining how much SR you gain or loss will continue to be applied; the personal performance factor is the only one we’ll be saying goodbye to at the moment.

The personal performance factor has always been a constant source of controversy and debate, so Mercer has outlined that the team’s intention is for “players to not be distracted and worry about how to optimize around the personal performance adjustment. They should just be trying to WIN.”

Season 7 ends on the 29th of December and Season 8 is set to begin sometime early January (assumingly January 2nd). Click here to read Scott Mercer’s post in its entirety.