Overwatch 2 Will Punish Cheaters In A Surprising Way

Overwatch 2 will now ban cheaters and those who are teaming up with cheaters.

By Jason Collins | Updated

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Blizzard just announced that it’s going to rain punishment on players who cheat or engage in abusive communication in Overwatch 2 with its new Defense Matrix Initiative—a system that’s monitoring the voice chat and punishing players who associate with known cheaters and hackers. It’s worth mentioning that Blizzard has already marked more than 50,000 Overwatch 2 accounts found to be cheating since the game’s launch; that number is likely higher when we factor in those associating with cheaters.

This is a rather aggressive approach to combating Overwatch 2 cheaters, according to Kotaku, but it’s a rather necessary one. Blizzard is looking to discourage any incentive to take advantage of cheating, which also includes anyone grouping with cheaters and hackers. Starting with Season 3, Blizzard will begin identifying players who willingly team up with those flagged for cheating, and both cheaters and their accomplices will face account action, even if the latter isn’t actually relying on cheats to win matches.

Blizzard’s decision warrants the gaming public’s approval since even a single cheater in a team can turn the tide of a gaming match. In most cases, at least when it comes to Overwatch 2, accounts that have been reported for cheating undergo an investigation; following a confirmation, Blizzard instantly bans the account permanently, asking no further questions and denying any pleas or requests. But this allows teams to organize in a manner in which one cheater carries the entire match, and the rest of the players, knowingly engaging with the cheater, progress and gain credit.

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Since they themselves technically aren’t cheating, they’re not being punished, despite willingly engaging in dishonest progression methods. Well, those days are now over. Blizzard stated that it would target both the cheaters and accomplices, but since the latter aren’t perpetrators themselves, their punishment won’t be as severe.

We’re looking at severe suspensions for extended amounts of time at best; however, repeating offenders—those who continue associating with known cheaters—will eventually receive an account ban.

And while Activision continues to deal with Call of Duty cheaters in its own way, either by making them blind or having them drop their weapon, Blizzard decided to go full surveillance mode on with Overwatch 2. The new Defense Matrix Initiative system was in testing during Season 2 and has proven to be exceptionally accurate and effective in identifying cheating and in-game verbal abuse. Those who are identified will be suspended or silenced—threatens Blizzard, referring to in-game cheaters.

The extension of Overwatch 2 moderation doesn’t end with banning cheaters and their associates. It extends to custom games that contain any inappropriate content to titles, as well as attempts at stream sniping. For those who aren’t familiar with the latter, stream sniping refers to a person within the streamer’s audience effectively trying to find and queue into the same game, either to disrupt the gameplay or gain an unfair advantage.

This is often done by finding the streamer by name, and one of Blizzard’s implementations will be to hide the streamer’s BattleTag.