Boosting in Overwatch could now get you jailed in South Korea - Dexerto
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Boosting in Overwatch could now get you jailed in South Korea

Published: 26/Jun/2019 14:30 Updated: 26/Jun/2019 14:52

by Calum Patterson

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Boosting, account sharing and ‘duo gaming’ in games like Overwatch could land you in jail in South Korea, as new laws have gone into effect on June 25.

The new law, first passed in December 2018 by the South Korean National Assembly, aims to curb boosting in popular games by handing out harsh punishments.

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Prison sentences up to two years or fines of up to 20 million won (~$17,300 USD) can be meted out to players found guilty of a variety of different offenses, under an amendment to the law on Game Business Development.

OverwatchPlayers are placed in ranks or divisions in Overwatch – but can use boosting to illegitimately climb the ranks.

What is boosting?

The term ‘boosting’ refers to a highly-skilled player using another player’s account to artificially ‘boost’ their rank in competitive playlists. For example, a skilled Overwatch player may accept payment to level-up a lesser-skilled players’ profile.

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Games like Overwatch and League of Legends rely on these rankings to determine skill groups, and the very best players can often reach professional status.

As the new law describes it: (Boosting): the act of playing on a client’s account in his or her stead and raising his or her points/achievements.

Twitch / Overwatch LeagueDallas Fuel player OGE was handed a four-match ban for account boosting.

Even professional players have boosted in the past, with the most high-profile example being Dallas Fuel’s Son ‘OGE’ Min-seok, who was handed a four-match ban, and Philadelphia Fusion’s Kim ‘SADO’ Su-Min, whose even more egregious boosting record earned him a 30-match ban.

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It’s not just boosting

The new law primarily targets boosting but also covers other related ‘offenses’, such as ‘Duo Gaming’ (the act of playing with a client to raise their points/achievements) and even game coaching (the act of playing with a client and coaching him or her to improve). 

Advertising boosting services is also covered in the legislation.

The decision on whether prosecution takes place is based on three factors: “whether the game company authorized it, whether there was payment, and the frequency of the act,” according to an English translation on Reddit.

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English translation of the new law, thanks to Reddit user u/Evenstar6132
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Blizzard’s own rules on duo gaming and ‘smurfing’ might render these parts of law ineffective when it comes to Overwatch, as the developer allows duo gaming, meaning any potential violations could be covered by the prosecuting criteria that the game company authorized it.

The law will also not be applied retroactively, meaning players with a record of boosting can rest easy – provided they don’t do it again.

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Overwatch

Jeff Kaplan reveals his ideal competitive Overwatch meta

Published: 8/Oct/2020 3:13

by Theo Salaun

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Blizzard Entertainment’s Vice President and Overwatch’s beloved Game Director Jeff Kaplan has revealed what he thinks is the ideal competitive meta for the expansive title.

Overwatch exists in many forms, from its highest ranks to its lowest, but the game’s competitive meta at the professional level has also varied greatly since the original release back in May 2016. 

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In the olden days, teams prioritized dive compositions led by Winston’s jumps and Tracer’s blinks. Then, in 2019, fans around the world either groaned or cheered as the divisive GOATS meta took center-stage, featuring a hefty squad built entirely with tanks and supports. 

Now, Kaplan is explaining his perspective on the game’s ideal state, following criticisms he levied back in July against the game’s double-shield reliance. Examining the game’s departure from a static, Orisa and Sigma-dependent environment, he dissects his compository ideology. 

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Brigitte stuns Junkrat on Volskaya
Blizzard Entertainment
Barriers have held an uncomfortably powerful role in Overwatch for a long time.

As discussed in an interview with the Loadout, Kaplan is both aware of the professional scene’s interests and the casual base’s tendencies. Coupling those factors, he believes the game is at its best when there is some blend of high skill caps and diverse team compositions.

“The most ideal, healthiest state of the game is when the meta is somewhat fluid, when the meta is more map dependent or team match up dependent than it is static. We’ve all seen those moments when the meta has been completely static and all six players will just play the same six heroes every time. I think that’s fun from a mastery standpoint, but I think it’s a lot more exciting for viewers when creativity and curiosity come into play,” he said.

When Kaplan refers to a “static” meta, the simplest example is 2019’s GOATS, where three healers (Brigitte, Lucio, and Moira) were coupled with three tanks (D.Va, Reinhardt, and Zarya) and would barrel into opponents.

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It took tremendous teamwork to be pulled off successfully against other professional teams, but many fans considered it more tedious than entertaining after months of gameplay.

In its current state, Overwatch is not completely balanced, but there is a degree of variety to it. That diversity seen in the Overwatch League spans downward into the casual ranks. Kaplan indicates that this is in line with his department’s hopes.

“I think most of our players would say in the ideal meta, all our heroes would be viable in some way competitively. I think as a competitive goal from a game designing and game balancing perspective that is extremely challenging, but it’s obviously what we strive to achieve.”

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While he assures that Overwatch would be completely balanced in an ideal world, in the meantime, his team would at least like to push toward a game that varies to some extent based on coaching, player preference, and map.

It remains to be seen if current and upcoming patches can accomplish that, but Kaplan’s emphasis on “fluidity” is a welcome driving force.

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