The Public Test Region for Overwatch is available in North America, and that means Windows PC users can try out Competitive Play.
In order to participate in the test, you have to have an Overwatch game licence for Windows PC attached to Battle.net, and it has to be in good standing (you haven't been suspended or banned). In addition, you must have installed and logged into the game at least once. Progress won't transfer over, but the full patch will be made available later this month.
Here's how you get in:
Step 1: Restart the Battle.net desktop app.
Step 2: Navigate to the Overwatch tab on the left-hand menu.
Step 3: Select "PTR: Overwatch" from the REGION/ACCOUNT drop-down menu.
Step 4: Click "Install" to begin the installation process.
Step 5: Once the PTR client is installed and updated, click "Play" to begin!
Competitive Play will be available for players who have reached level 25, and is meant to be more serious. Prior to actually getting in, you'll have to play 10 placement matches, which will assign a skill rating from data collected about your abilities in order to match you with similarly skilled players.
Earlier today, we shared more details about the customizable "Golden Gun" reward system that's coming when competitive mode launches for real - complete with a snazzy gallery - with items you can purchase with Competitive Points, which you earn from - you guessed it - doing well in Competitive Play. Blizzard also warned that penalties for leaving matches will be more severe than in other modes.
"Because Competitive Play is more serious in nature, we want to make sure that player behavior is acceptable," Blizzard warns. "This means that the penalties are more severe than in the Quick Play or Weekly Brawl! modes. Leaving a game early or stepping away from your computer will make you ineligible to join a game until the previous game has ended, and continued infractions could result in restrictions or removal from Competitive Play."