Blizzard is introducing a severe punishment for Overwatch that will hopefully reduce the toxicity levels and other unruly behavior in Competitive Play.
From next week, any player that earns three or more seasonal bans while playing ranked games will be permanently banned from ever entering the ranked queues of Competitive Play again.
“Seasonal bans do not need to be consecutive to qualify for a permanent Competitive Play ban,” community manager Josh Engen explained on the official forums. “For example, if a player earned seasonal bans in seasons two and four, and then earns another ban in season seven, he or she will be eligible for a permanent ban from Competitive Play as soon as that third seasonal ban is issued.”
Blizzard has made it clear that once an account has been issued a permanent ban, the player can do nothing to return in the good books of the developer. All they can do then is to continue playing casually and must say goodbye to the ranked mode, or else purchase the game again through a brand new account and lose all progress.
Bans in Competitive Play can be issued for toxic behavior, cheat, trolling, griefing, inactivity or disconnection. The rules are not that strict and only repeated violations eventually lead to seasonal bans. That being said, those with unstable internet connections will most likely be worried by the new policy of Competitive Play. It only takes a couple or more disconnections to get punished. In other words, prepare to read a lot about players getting permanently banned from ranked games due to power failures or worse.
Last week, game director Jeff Kaplan noted that the levels of toxicity are rising in Overwatch. More than 480,000 accounts have been punished in various forms since the game was launched last year, more than 340,000 of which were a direct result of the in-game report button.