The painful, week long wait is over kids, Season 4 of Overwatch competitive play is here with a few important changes to how everything works. Taken from the official Overwatch site.
Skill Rating Changes:
Season 2 introduced a skill rating decay system, which required players in the Diamond, Master, and Grandmaster tiers to complete at least one competitive match every seven days in order to maintain their status. This season, players with a skill rating above and including Diamond level will need to complete at least seven games per week—a change that will improve the accuracy of the player’s skill rating, make maintaining multiple high-level accounts more difficult, and making upper-tier placement much more meaningful.
After completing a competitive match, the skill rating decay is pushed back by 24 hours. That means as long as you manage to play seven games over a one-week period, either one a day or all at once, your skill rating will be safe.
Placement match mechanics were retooled last season to more accurately place players into an appropriate tier. But because some players are deliberately losing their placement matches, season 4 has changed to make it a little more difficult to hit the lowest and highest possible ratings: 0 and 5000.
Top 500 Changes:
Previously, any player who managed to break into the top 500 at any point throughout the season would receive a special spray and player icon at the end of the season.
This meant that many players no longer had an incentive to maintain their status as the season progressed, and in Season 4 these rewards will only be granted if the player is in the top 500 leaderboard at the end of the season.
Arguably the most important of the changes, this season has implemented a respawn time delay that’s activated when the attackers outnumber the defenders on a contested point.
If the point hasn’t been captured and the defence hasn’t regained the advantage after a specified time, the defender respawn timer will slowly begin to increase until it hits a maximum value. If the defence manages to gain the upper hand, the timer resets to zero. This will hopefully allow attackers to actually be able to hold their own, and give defenders a reason to group up
Season 4 is live right now on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, so grab your controller or mouse and good luck with your placement matches!