A large number of Overwatch matches are apparently being ended early on South Korean servers after Blizzard’s new anti-cheat system went live.
Overwatch’s anti-cheat system was rolled out to the PTR in June and most players were on-board with the new feature almost immediately.
The new system “will automatically shut down a match where we detect cheating is happening," Overwatch Director Jeff Kaplan said. "And we will make sure that nobody on either side of the match is penalized for that match being shut down."
Why all the action now?
Overwatch’s anti-cheat system just went live in Korea in August, while in the US it was live at the beginning of July after arriving on the PTR in June.
According to Reddit user " target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">veotrade, close to one out of every three Overwatch games on Korean servers have been ended due to cheaters since the service went live.
Veotrade didn't say where they got the information from, so there's no way to verify if the number is entirely accurate, but looking at the extensive ban lists posted by Overwatch in Korea in the past, it's not hard to believe.
That's not to say that every player in these matches was cheating, though. The system will end a match if it detects just one hacker, so it only takes one player out of 12 to ruin the match for everyone.
Cheating in Overwatch is supposedly a bigger problem in Korea than in other regions, so hopefully the new anti-cheat system ends up making a difference for players.
Cheating in Korea could get you more than just banned
South Korea has some of the strictest real laws against boosting and account sharing in the world and it's now even possible to be jailed for it.
It will be interesting to see how long the hacker purge lasts in Korea and if it will do anything to really cut the number of players giving themselves an unfair advantage.
Even professional Overwatch players have been in hot water for boosting in the past, with the most high-profile example being Dallas Fuel’s Son ‘OGE’ Min-seok, who was handed a four-match ban in Season One.
Philadelphia Fusion’s Kim ‘SADO’ Su-Min, was even handed a 30-match ban for his even more egregious boosting record.
Cheating has been one of the biggest problems with Overwatch since the game came out, but as with a lot of major fan complaints, Blizzard finally seems to be trying to do something about it this summer.