Following the announcement that permabans could be coming to Overwatch‘s Competitive Play, it appears that this wasn’t the only penalty that Blizzard plans on implementing into is massively-popular multiplayer shooter. In response to a thread about smurfing over at the Blizzard Forums, Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan has stated that penalties for Competitive Play players who manipulate their Skill Rating via boosting or throwing are about to increase dramatically.
For those who are unaware, boosting is where someone pays another player to play Overwatch‘s Competitive Mode for them in order to increase their Skill Rating, whereas throwing is the complete opposite scenario where players purposely lose matches in an attempt to drop their Skill Rating as low as possible. As for players who have more than one account for non-cheating reasons, Kaplan has stated that having a legitimate second account is completely fine, as the ranking system quickly adjusts players to their appropriate skill level.
While Kaplan didn’t state when these heavier boosting and throwing penalties are coming in, the director has encouraged players to continue reporting such behaviour. For console players, who have yet to receive Overwatch‘s planned reporting system, Kaplan revealed that the development team is still working on the feature but it isn’t quite ready yet, thus reporting boosters and throwers won’t be possible just yet for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners.
Having established itself as a company that holds a very strict stance against negative sporting behavior, these new Overwatch penalties from Blizzard are just the latest among the long list of anti-cheating measures that the studio have implemented into the game. Blizzard’s stance on promoting a positive playing experience for the game is so strict that not even professional players are exempt from the studio’s metaphorical ban hammer, with (former) Overwatch pro Defran recently being banned for encouraging fans to cheat.
As for when players can expect these new penalties to be implemented, there’s a good chance that it will be introduced as part of the upcoming June 20th patch, which will contain various fixes, character re-balances, and the new Horizon Lunar Colony map. With season five of Overwatch‘s Competitive Play well underway, not to mention an expected rise in competitive players once this new Horizon Lunar Colony map is patched in, hopefully these new boosting and throwing penalties will come in sooner rather than later.
Overwatch is now available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.