Blizzard Targets Thousands of Overwatch Accounts in New Wave of Bans

Image courtesy of Blizzard

Blizzard is continuing to take steps to counter the number of cheaters in Overwatch, banning over 18,000 accounts.

Like many competitive multiplayers, Overwatch has been plagued with cheaters leaving many players to air their grievances online. Blizzard has been monitoring the various ways that cheaters are affecting the game, and have been taking steps to combat cheating players. Since May, Blizzard has taken action against over 24,000 accounts and made progress to identify and protect against software used to hack Overwatch.

Yesterday, Blizzard announced via a blog post that it was rolling out a new ban wave - one that will target an additional 18,003 accounts.

Blizzard have previously said that because of the certain methods used by cheaters, it takes extra effort to analyze and detect the instances in which they occur. By initiating large ban waves periodically, it allows Blizzard's cheat detection to target thousands of accounts in one go, based on the detection criteria.

Certain factors that are considered by the cheat detection include reports accrued against a player, machine learning models, and behaviors exhibited. A combination of these factors is what results in the ban.

This wave of bans is occurring as part of Blizzard's long-term mentality towards cheating in Overwatch, helping to reassure players that the publisher is committed to making the game a fairer space. Community Manager, Josh Nash, said of the plan "We want to remind everyone that one of Blizzard’s core values is to “Play Nice, Play Fair.” We stand by this and our teams will continue to work hard to take action against accounts identified as cheating."