Josh Engen, a community manager for Overwatch, said Wednesday permanent bans for competitive play will be levied to toxic Overwatch players starting next week.
“Any player who accumulates three or more seasonal bans may be permanently banned from competitive play, removing their ability to participate in any future matches in that mode,” he wrote.
Engen explained the three seasonal bans don’t have to be consecutive for a player to be considered for a permanent ban. If a player received a seasonal ban every other competitive season of Overwatch, the permanent ban would be delivered as soon as the third. Neither seasonal bans nor permanent bans will be reset or decay over time, so any players who have been dealt seasonal bans to this point will have them counted toward possible permanent bans.
Seasonal bans in Overwatch can be delivered if a player consistently leaves or becomes inactive in the middle of a competitive game. The first few offenses will result in restrictions from competitive play, with each offense lengthening the time of the player being suspended. Playing full competitive games without leaving can put the account back into good standing, but continued penalties can result in seasonal bans.
As Overwatch continues to find ways to combat undesirable behavior from its players, the development team has updated its in-game report system, added reporting in the console versions of the game, and increased punishments for players who are reported consistently. The issue is a larger concern in competitive play, as skill ratings that determine the rank of each player and end-of-season rewards are on the line. Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan previously assured players that the team will continue to improve systems, but lamented that it has so far delayed development of content for the game.
Cover photo courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment