What’s The Deal With The Overwatch Onetrick Drama?

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Like all good online games, Overwatch can have its share of drama. The latest kerfuffle is based around one tricking. One tricking is when a player dedicates themselves to a single character within a multiplayer game and ignores all others. It’s pretty common to see onetricks rise up the ranks of Dota and League of Legends, finding success due to their understanding of, and ability to play, an off meta champion.

Overwatch is a little different due to your ability to change your Hero while you play. This leads to a fluid game of counters that can make it tougher for onetricks to do their thing. Part and parcel of Overwatch is that players must become skilled with multiple Heroes, and be willing to switch when they need to, in order to get the win and play well within their team’s strategy.

The drama started with a ban that was handed out to a player named Xul who onetricks Torbjorn. Xul went to Reddit to complain about being banned for one tricking, which turned out to be a mistake. The players who had been in the game with him when he got his ban had been recording what had been happening. You can read all about it and view their video on this Reddit thread. Xul has since deleted his post, and apparently his Reddit account as well.

During the first round of the match the enemy team picked to heavily counter Torbjorn, and crushed the opposition. In the second round another team member grabbed Torbjorn to see what Xul would do. What he did was go repeatedly AFK when the other player wouldn’t switch characters. Sitting in spawn and allowing himself to be timed out, then quickly rejoining, meant that his team were consistently down a player. Xul was reported and banned for this behavior.

While Xul’s claims that his ban was for one tricking certainly seems to be an attempt to divert from his behavior, it didn’t stop a large discussion about one tricking from taking place. Eventually Blizzard chimed in, stating that one tricking was not bannable in and of itself, and they understood that some people prefer a single Hero in the game above all others. They did also state that a balance needs to be found between one tricking and also being a good teammate, and being able to react if the other team actively counters your Hero.

Overwatch Community Manager, Josh Engen, would end up making two relevant statements on the Blizzard forums. Those can both be read here and here. The gist of the messages is that there should always be a way to compromise between all players on a team, and as long as onetrickers and more traditional multi-Hero players are being polite with each other and trying to find a path to victory, then nobody needs to fear a ban. Blizzard will also be looking deeper into the issue moving forward.

As a guy with ninety percent of his time in Overwatch spent playing Reinhardt I understand how people can enjoy one Hero so much, but I also make sure I have a good ability to play other Heroes for when my main just doesn’t make sense or can’t get the job done. Overwatch is, after all, a team game.