​The off-season of Overwatch's competitive mode is the only time players can participate in ranked Overwatch without worrying about losing hard earned Skill Rating. The only other alternative that players have to Competitive is queueing for quick play -- and that rarely goes as well as one might hope it does. 

Competitive Overwatch has a lot of appealing aspects. A mode that is supposed to be ​more reliable than quick play, and the promise of getting shiny golden weapons for a hero of your choice. But, at the same time, competitive can be one of the most stressful and bleak parts of Overwatch if you find yourself unlucky enough to be grouped with throwers or toxic players. 

Losses seem to take away more SR than you gain, which only increases the frustration that comes with trying to ​climb out of competitive tiers.

If you aren't into competitive for the golden guns, or the flashy title of being in grandmaster or Top 500, then the only thing that's left is the game mode. And that's completely valid. A single match of quick play has a team doing one job -- defending or attacking -- and once the game is over, a victory or defeat screen will appear. The teams do not switch sides, there are no other rounds. 

In competitive, teams get to attack and defend, and the winner is decided after one team has more points than the other. Quick play does not have this, and matches are often left "unfinished" in that aspect. 

​​Quick Play is meant to be just that: a quick game. But there is no actual middle ground for players who want something more than Quick Play, without the pressure of Competitive.

If Blizzard allowed competitive's off-season mode to last year round, or added an alternative game mode that used competitive's rules, this would be the perfect middle ground between quick play and competitive. This could be used as a warm up for competitive games, too, because there would be no SR penalty for losses. 

A non-competitive competitive mode can be the bridge for players who want to play with the competitive rules, but want to have the casual experience of quick play.

Cover photo courtesy of Blizzard