Still undergoing play testing, Overwatch's competitive mode keeps getting pulled forward and pushed back internally.

Though developer and publisher Blizzard has yet to complete the mode and commit to a release, the studio is at least able to offer new details on what players can expect from the restoration of competitive play.

Blizzard is still targeting an end-of-the month release for the mode. That goal is "looking good," but the studio wants to leave itself room to accommodate a scenario in which "something goes sideways," according to Jeff Kaplan, Overwatch game director.

One of the things players can expect from ranked play, when it returns, will be the introduction of "heroic rank," a listing of Overwatch's most elite players. Some players in the game's community misunderstood heroic rank, which isn't a level every player can eventually hit with enough grinding as previously thought.

"The perception of our system was off," Kaplan said in an interview with Eurogamer. "So the new system, when we unveil it, I think you'll see that it's much more skill-based."

The return of competitive play will introduce to the game longer seasons, which will give players more time to bask in the glory of their tournament victories before having their ranks reset. Seasons will be extended to about three months in duration, though Kaplan indicated that there will likely be some mid-season down time.

"We're hoping that this speaks to the competitive community and addresses what their concerns were," said Kaplan. "There's obviously way more details than that, but we're not fully ready to unveil the system as a whole, but I think those were the things that people were most concerned about."

Overwatch's competitive mode was ripped from the game ahead of the arena-shooter's May 24 release date, due to some alarming feedback Blizzard received from the community during beta testing.

Blizzard was "pleased" with the early version of competitive play for the most part, but admits the mode felt unfinished. However, Kaplan pointed out that much of the feedback the studio received seemed to disregard features Blizzard promised would arrive later.

Considering how fast eSports continues to grow, Blizzard appears to be taking care to get competitive play right to avoid putting players off from the mode early on.

The audience for competitive gaming is expected to swell to 214 million viewers by the end of the year, according to SuperData Research's Spring 2016 eSports report. Overwatch opened up its first 48 hours by attracting 5.4 million views on Twitch, more than the 4.2 million Fallout 4 saw.

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