Overwatch 2 Update Prevents Intentional Losses

As part of a wider campaign against toxic conduct, Blizzard hero shooter Overwatch 2 has received a patch designed... Stalingrad | 22. March 2024

As part of a wider campaign against toxic conduct, Blizzard hero shooter Overwatch 2 has received a patch designed to stop players from “throwing” games–meaning they intentionally lose matches. This tactic of players deliberately underperforming or defying their team’s best is a recurring complaint among Overwatch fans.

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The update, released on March 15, 2024, adds a new system to flag and discourage players from intentionally tossing matches. In a statement, Blizzard said the system uses machine learning algorithms and player reports to detect erratic behavior patterns that could signal deliberate throwing.

The new system measures in-game statistics like damage done, healing given, objective time, and more to find out when a player is performing significantly below their regular level of skill. If the system finds a pattern of underperformance that can not be independently brought on by external factors like internet connectivity issues or hardware issues then it will flag the player for disciplinary action.

The update also features a new reporting system for players to report intentional throwing incidents. Now teammates can describe the offending behavior, which will be considered in the system’s analysis.

Intentional throwing carries quite a few penalties, ranging from short account suspensions to complete bans, based on the seriousness and frequency of the offenses. Blizzard has also hinted that more severe consequences–including rank resets or competitive point deductions–could be imposed on repeat offenders.

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Reaction to the update has been mixed among Overwatch 2 players. Even though many players considered the move a good step in the right direction, other players asked whether there might be false positives and whether the system might differentiate between deliberate throwing and real underperformance because of different factors.

Blizzard acknowledged the concerns and said the system “will be continuously monitored and refined to remain accurate and fair.” Developers have also stressed the role of player reports, which add context and nuance that data alone can not capture.

Beyond the throwing update, several other updates and additions have come to Overwatch 2 in recent months. These include new heroes, maps, game modes, and a reworked competitive ranking system to more accurately reflect players ‘abilities.

As Overwatch 2 evolves and develops, Blizzard remains dedicated to providing a fair and positive gaming experience. With the deliberately added throwing update, the designers wish to create a far more pleasurable environment for players to play the game without having to deal with those who actively undermine the efforts of their teammates.

Whether the new system works well remains to be seen, though one thing is sure: it is effective. Blizzard is cracking down on toxic behavior, and players caught throwing may soon be the target of swift and decisive punishment.