According to a new blog post on the Overwatch website, new players in Overwatch 2 will have to play 100 matches to unlock all the characters from the original Overwatch game .
“New players begin with access to a limited set of game modes, heroes, and some other restrictions to onboard them more gradually,”
“The first phase of our new [First Time User Experience] rapidly unlocks all the game modes and the ability to chat in-game, and the second phase unlocks all the original Overwatch heroes over the course of approximately 100 matches.”
The idea is to keep new players from feeling overwhelmed and give them the chance to learn all the modes and characters at their own pace. But it also says this.
Restrictions are lifted while in a group, so new players can team up with their friends at any time to play almost any game modes. Competitive is the exception to this rule because new players must complete a specific challenge to access this game mode.
This means that these restrictions only exist when it comes to competitive games and not if you run practice matches with family and friends.
Overwatch 2 will be released in Early Access on October 4th and will be completely free to play. Blizzard has promised that the game will have no loot boxes and will have a seasonal format. Season 1 starts on the 4th followed by season 2 starting later in December. There will also be a PVE mode released at a later date, but no date has been set there yet.