After successful testing of a "High Bandwidth" option back when the game was in beta. With the server refresh rate, or tick rate, being primarily responsible for the responsiveness in an online shooter, this has been a particular issue for a number of players since launch. Especially when viewing the competitive possibilities of Overwatch as an esport. The new high bandwidth option is being rolled out on PC, with Blizzard also looking at bringing the feature to consoles.
The announcement was made via a community post
When we implemented the “High Bandwidth” option to Custom Games back in beta, we also noted that—if the feature performed well and players responded positively to it—we would investigate adding it to other games modes. We’re holding to that promise and are currently in the process of rolling out high bandwidth support globally for PC. This process may take a few weeks for all regions, but once fully deployed all games including those in Quick Play and Competitive Play will be running in high bandwidth mode by default.
So what does that mean? In Overwatch, our high bandwidth option adjusts the game’s client update rate (the frequency at which your client gets updates from the game server) from 21 updates per second to 63 updates per second. This reduces the amount of time between when you complete an action and when your client hears back about the result, which in turn will help make the game feel more responsive.
Great news as Overwatch wraps up its first season of competitive play. So I guess now we can all go back to blaming general lag for getting dominated as opposed to blaming the tick rate.