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Defense Matrix Season 9 Update – Endorsing Positive Players

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Defense Matrix Season 9 Update – Endorsing Positive Players

The Defense Matrix Initiative is continuing to go strong in 2024. Previously, we shared our efforts to deter leavers in Overwatch 2, promote positive communication, and show the impact of your reports.  As we head into Season 9, we have more to share on our ongoing improvements to Endorsements and disruptive behavior.

Giving Endorsements More Impact

A common theme of feedback we’ve heard is to give Endorsements greater impact. In the last few seasons, we have already made significant steps to deliver on that. In the Season 7 midseason update, we implemented multiple bug fixes that prevented players from dropping their endorsement rating too quickly and stopped penalizing players who chose to group up with their friends. In Season 8, it is now easier for players to build their endorsement rating than ever before, without worrying about their rating decaying too quickly.

There’s also a rule that friends can’t endorse each other.  While this was intentional when we first introduced Endorsements, we don’t want to discourage anyone from celebrating their teammates, even if they are already friends on Battle.net. So, starting in Season 9, we’re removing the restriction to endorse players if you are already friends.

Update to Discouraging Leavers

We’ve previously shared that we adjusted how players who leave too many games in Quick Play are penalized. This has yielded some positive results, with the number of leavers dropping significantly. In previous game update, players are restricted from queuing for games and can be suspended for up to four hours if they leave six of their last 20 games played.

Starting in Season 9, we’re extending these leaver queue restrictions to Mystery Heroes, along with Hero Mastery: Gauntlet, when it is released later this year. Again, we acknowledge there may be reasons for players to step away from their unranked games. However, leaving four or more games will activate queue restrictions until you can play your games to completion.

Hammer Down on Cheating

Our efforts to fight against cheating are ongoing, and we’re pleased to share our continued progress. Cheats like aimbots and wall hacks take away the competitive integrity of our game. Using cheats also goes against our In-Game Code of Conduct and End User License Agreement. Those identified using cheats will be removed from playing Overwatch 2.

Since the launch of Overwatch 2, we have identified and banned over 380,000 accounts that were found to be cheating. In addition, we have suspended or banned over 35,000 accounts that have knowingly grouped up with cheaters. Remember, if you encounter a player in your games that you suspect to be cheating, report them in-game.

Transparency Around Account Actions

Overwatch 2 is a highly competitive PvP Hero Shooter, and players enjoy different heroes and play styles. This creates exciting matches among friends and players worldwide, but unfortunately, some players may become disruptive and harm that experience for others. When a player is reported across multiple matches, we will take action to suspend or silence those players and will notify them by email when we do. If necessary, we ban repeat offenders from playing on that account.  

It’s important to be making sure we are being fair and transparent when we communicate to a player about taking action on their account. We’ve seen a trend in online communities when players share about getting their accounts suspended or banned. In most cases, many of these cases often prove that a player is disruptive, but there are also some cases where we can do a better job at addressing disruptive behavior.  If you feel you’ve been actioned unfairly because someone else may have compromised your account, you may choose to appeal the action, and we’ll review and make a final decision. Keep in mind that you are responsible for your account and should not share it with others for any reason.

Remember, saying anything that harasses or ridicules your teammates is inappropriate, regardless of any language used. When you play Overwatch, you are playing with up to nine other players who are just as passionate to play as you are, so it’s up to each of us to make each game the best it can be. Thanks for making Overwatch 2 a fun and positive experience for everyone. We’ll see you when Season 9 launches on February 13.
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