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Overwatch quietly adds new protection for matchmaking with cheaters

Rebekah D. July 2, 2019

Overwatch players have noticed that a new anti-cheat system is in place on live servers. 

The update comes as a surprise to many, though it seems to have been included in a patch made at the end of June.

Multiple players have taken to social media in recent days to share their discovery found within Overwatch. After being a part of a match that had suddenly ended for reasons they weren’t immediately aware of, some of these users noticed a new message pop up on their screens. 

The message informed players that the match had been cancelled due to the server detecting cheating from one of the other players involved in the matchmaking game. As a result, neither side can win or lose the match and the cheater is banned from the game. 

The official patch notes have not been updated by Blizzard since June 18 and its accompanying release of the Baptiste cosmetic event, so players were unaware that the game had even been tweaked since. It makes sense however that Blizzard wasn’t keen on warning hackers and cheaters of the update. Dropping the update silently likely allowed the developer to catch some cheaters unaware.

This isn’t the first time that Blizzard has attempted to combat hackers within the game.

In 2017, Blizzard Korea introduced a new system that meant players in the country had to enter their social security numbers when creating a Battle.net account. At the time, PC players were able to sign into the game for free at local PC bangs, or gaming cafes, all across the country. The new step meant players were not only easier to ban, but meant they could no longer create a potentially infinite number of accounts while using public computers.

An automatic system used to ban cheating players is a big step for Blizzard to take for western audiences, and should improve the game’s quality of play for many. Players can now rest assured that confirmed cheaters will no longer cost them ranks in competitive play as matches are cancelled as soon as a cheater is detected. 

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