Overwatch bug unfairly punishes players for leaving uneven games

Marta J. July 12, 2019

Although Overwatch players are allowed to leave a match early if a team member has disconnected, some players are getting punished unfairly for the action due to a bug.

Competitive Overwatch games have a penalty set in place meant to discourage players from leaving a game before it’s finished. Once a player does leave, the rest of the team’s members should be allowed to leave within the next two minutes free of penalty, since playing with fewer members almost guarantees a loss.

However, even though they should be safe to leave during the two-minute period as the in-game notice shows, players are still getting punished for it. Players have been reporting this issue for a while, but the bug still persists.

Developer Blizzard has been receiving reports about this bug for quite some time. Even so, the development team is yet to publicly acknowledge it. A quick search on Blizzard’s forums shows many complaints about the bug, as well as players’ disbelief that Blizzard is actually working on a solution without publicly addressing the issue.

The immediate punishment for leaving a game is a penalty of 25 SR, as well as an additional 25 SR penalty after the next game.

In a situation in which a player is not the first one to leave the game but rather follows the first leaver, players often won’t get the immediate 25 SR punishment, but will get unfairly punished after the next competitive game they play. Players that have been unfairly punished by this system therefore either gain a small amount of SR for the next win, or lose a whole lot of it for the next loss.

The only way to avoid the punishment in this scenario seems to be staying in the uneven game until the bitter end, regardless of the disadvantage of being outnumbered by the opponent’s team.

A recent Reddit post shows that the Overwatch community has been trying to draw attention to this issue for the past two years, and yet remains saddled with the effects of the bug.