Olivia R. February 27, 2019
Blizzard has given out its first ever permanent ban from competitive Overwatch.
Team Stop Feeding support “tuxouxi” received a permanent ban during a recent boosting crackdown in Contenders Trials China. The rest of Team Stop Feeding, which placed first in the Trials competition, received suspensions ranging from one season to one year. This resulted in the team being disqualified from Contenders Season 1 despite not having dropped a single map.
Five other players from Team For Victory, Alter Ego, and CQUPT also faced similar consequences for account boosting. Second-place finisher Team For Victory will remain in the competition, albeit without DPS player “Qingli,” who was given a one-year ban. Alter Ego was promoted back to Contenders following Team Stop Feeding’s disqualification, but will also be without players for the year.
Account boosting occurs when highly ranked players purposefully drop to a lower level in order to help a lesser ranked player more easily climb up the ranks. Players can also have a person of a greater skill log into their account and compete in matches for them, artificially inflating their rank. This has become a major problem in esports, especially in China.
In December of last year, Blizzard announced that only 408 accounts remained of Season 12’s Top 500 on Chinese servers after the banning of hundreds of boosters.
While the recent permanent ban blocking tuxouxi from all Blizzard tournaments is the first of its kind, cracking down on boosting is nothing new for the game's developers. The Overwatch League is currently keeping a public list of players’ illegal activities, including boosting.