Overwatch 2 has banned at least 50,000 cheaters, and their friends are next
The Defense Matrix is hard at work.
In a blog update to the Defense Matrix Initiative, Blizzard has revealed that over 50,000 cheating accounts have been banned from Overwatch 2, and more are on the way. Starting in Season 3 next week, players that regularly group up with cheaters will be flagged, suspended, and potentially banned, for taking advantage of those players they are grouping up with. Only people who have played a lot with those found guilty of cheating are in danger of the upcoming bans.
When addressing why Blizzard is moving its attention toward people who knowingly play with cheaters, the blog post mentions how doing this allows players to boost their profile while seemingly trying to look innocent. This can negatively affect the MMR of many other players at the same time. It drastically creates unfair and imbalanced matches, although the post mentioned that, unlike the cheaters themselves, most cases (outside of drastic ones) would not result in a lifetime ban.
Putting the focus on people who play with cheaters wasn’t the only point of this blog post. The recently implemented voice-to-text transcription and AI learning algorithm used in games to see what people are saying was found to be “exceptionally accurate and effective in identifying abusive chat and language.” In Season 2, this was only implemented in certain regions, but it seems they will be rolled out to more servers in the near future.
Additionally, a feature to prevent stream sniping is being put into work. With the new season, players will be able to hide their Battletag as well as the names of all the players in their lobby on their game client. The queue time displayed when looking for a game can also be hidden and randomized to make it much harder for people watching that stream to get into the same match as them.
Related: Overwatch 2 is taking the first step to be more rewarding, with free Credits and cheaper skins in Season 3
So far, it seems that the Defense Matrix initiative has seen some positive first signs. With additional new features and updates, this can hopefully continually improve the gameplay experience in Overwatch 2. Remember to report unruly players as soon as you notice them for the software to see what they have said faster.