It looks like the Overwatch player base will be decreasing by a fair amount after Blizzard bans over 10,000 Overwatch accounts for the use of cheating software and cheating in game. This comes on the day of the game’s five-year anniversary.
The new ban wave
This was announced by Overwatch Community Manager, Josh Nash on a forum post on the Blizzard website. They are taking a significant action to combat the major issue of cheaters in the online multiplayer title. This is not the first time that they have done such a large ban wave, but it is the first time that they have been so open about their reasons.
They don’t want to give the cheaters and their software any free advertising nor do they want to give out any details about how their anti-cheat software works. It looks like they want to catch the bad actors off guard and not give them any chance to react. This is hugely important if you are ever planning to bet on Overwatch, especially if there are ever any esports betting sites that offer odds on lower-tier or amateur tournaments where the use of cheats could be more likely. It is rare for any of the best Overwatch players to even consider using cheat software.
The change this time seems to be an attempt to prove to the community that they are serious about preventing cheaters in game. This is especially important now that the game has reached its fifth year and the sequel is not too far away from release. They want to prove to the community that they can still be trusted.
Comment from the developer
Overwatch Community Manager, Josh Nash, took to the forums to explain the importance of removing cheaters from the Overwatch community:
“Over the course of Overwatch’s five-year history, we’ve been monitoring and taking action against software used to cheat the game. A number of teams are dedicated to not only actioning accounts found guilty of hacking, but also improving our systems to help with automatic detection. Overwatch developers, security engineers, cross-functional risk experts, and multiple customer service support teams work in tandem to frequently and meaningfully take action against bad actors.
“Sophisticated cheat developers take extreme measures to hide their programs, running them as kernel drivers or hypervisors. These cheats take extra effort to analyze and detect, which is why periodically we do large banwaves. These waves typically target tens-of-thousands of accounts for action based on new detection criteria. Given the high amount of accounts actioned within a short period of time, these are usually the only times that it’s obvious that we’ve rolled out new anti-cheat updates. We still stay busy between these larger banwaves, banning around a thousand accounts for cheating every week. Today, we’ve rolled out a banwave that affected more than 10,000 accounts.”
Overwatch and their fight against cheaters
According to the post, the developers are still banning around 1000 accounts per week for cheating and they will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. This is a very important announcement for the developer. According to a study published by the VPN company Surfshark, Overwatch is the second most cheated on game, beaten only by Fortnite. They need to do all that they can to improve the situation in their multiplayer title. The developers have also urged their players to use the in-game reporting feature if they feel that they are in a game with someone using malicious software.