Blizzard has released Overwatch's Public Test Region for North America, which will allow PC gamers to try out the beta version of the popular online shooter's Competitive Play.
Gamers who are interested in participating in the public test should have Overwatch installed on their PC with a link to their Battle.net account, and it should not be associated with any bans or suspensions.
To jump into Overwatch's Competitive Play beta, gamers would first have to restart the desktop app for Battle.net, and then head to the Overwatch tab in the menu on the left. PTR: Overwatch should then be selected from the drop-down menu for Region or Account, and then the Install option clicked.
After the installation of the PTR client, gamers can click on the Play button to enter the beta mode of Overwatch's Competitive Play.
The PTR client is currently only available for Overwatch gamers on PC, but accounts across all regions, excluding those from China, can participate in the beta testing. It will be Blizzard's Americas region that will be hosting the PTR though, so gamers trying out the beta from outside the region could experience increased latency and lowered performance.
The progress that gamers have made so far in the main game of Overwatch will be transferred to the PTR. However, all progress made in the PTR will not be transferred to the live game, with all real-money purchases disabled in the client.
Blizzard has also applied a player cap of 10,000 in the beta testing. Only such a number of players can be logged on the PTR at a time, with gamers to be placed in a queue if the client has the maximum number of players on it.
The point of the PTR is to uncover any technical issues and major bugs before Competitive Play is brought to the main game. The patch will be released later on in the month.
As for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One gamers, beta testing for Competitive Play is not yet ready, though Blizzard is planning to make an announcement on an update for the mode for both platforms within the coming week.
Competitive Play was a part of Overwatch up until the beta version but was taken out upon its release for a major overhaul. Compared to the previous iteration, which saw players ranked in a tier-based structure, the new Competitive Play will implement skill ratings for gamers that will fluctuate as matches go on.