The shown footage seems to suggest as much.

01:04, 20 Feb 2021

Eagle-eyed? Tin-foil hat? Or the developers just trying things out? During the Behind the Scenes of Overwatch 2 panel, which clocked in at just under 40 minutes of run-time, the first seven minutes talked about significant changes to the tank role and the respective role passives that the development team is toying with for Overwatch PvP. As such, the team showed changes, specifically to Reinhardt, giving him more offence oriented abilities like two Fire Strike charges and a more controllable Charge ability allowing him to take tighter corners. Curiously, the team talks through their mindset approaching Overwatch 2 as a new game, looking to advance it by a significant degree and improve the current formula.

While the team is discussing all these changes, with Vice President of Blizzard Entertainment and Lead Designer Jeff Kaplan talking for the majority of this segment, the video is running footage of their current version, showcasing the new abilities and passives. However, as alert viewers may have noticed, not once does the footage containing several fights show a team with more than five players or a second tank player. The footage has since been uploaded to the official Blizzard YouTube account and you can watch approximately the first eight minutes for PvP action and judge for yourself whether or not this is a coincidence or not. 

What adds to the theory is that Blizzard Entertainment had already tested the switch to only a single tank on one of its Overwatch innate Experimental Cards before, significantly changing the abilities of tank heroes to adjust to the change. For the longest time, Blizzard has tried to solve the issue of the tank queue after they had introduced a 2-2-2 role lock in June 2019, requiring teams in the ranked and quick play queue to have two tanks to play a match.

Due to a shortage of willing tank players, long queue times had plagued the process of getting into a match especially for Damage players, often having to wait for several minutes for each match. Systems like the priority pass had been introduced to alleviate the issue, even though it could only be seen as a band-aid fix about the underlying problem of tanks appearing to be inherently less desirable to play for Overwatch's player base.

Officially, the development team only addressed a new approach that constituted a more aggressive conception of the tank role that doesn't just entail holding it down for your team, but instead becoming an active menace to the enemy as well. Based on the published footage it might now rekindle the speculation that the tank role will undergo even more severe changes in losing one of its slots for Overwatch 2 PvP.

Of course, we only received very early alpha footage with the possibility that we only just unluckily didn't get to see more than five players or a second tank. Other explanations may be that the player count are the current limitations of the face-lifted engine. The speculation should therefore definitely be taken with a grain of salt, as fun as speculation may be at this point.

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