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A number of Overwatch bans in South Korea have been publicly reported, with over 18,000 players being locked out of the ever-popular multiplayer game. Blizzard Entertainment has recently been taking action against perceived toxic behavior and this latest wave of bans is so long that the username list spanned three posts on the game’s official forums.
Blizzard Entertainment perceives toxicity as a major problem in Overwatch. Typically, toxicity is defined in the game as offensive language, harassing players, not playing the game, or playing badly on purpose, and a handful of other criteria. A recent analysis of players has led to 18,188 Overwatch bans in South Korea alone. Interestingly, the developers of the banned accounts posted a public list on the game’s Korean forums. The list of account names was so long that it hit the forum’s character limit twice, necessitating three separate posts to list them all.
The Overwatch bans in South Korea come during a time of change in the small peninsula nation for gamers. The practice of account boosting was recently made illegal in the country. Account boosting is typically defined as a higher-skilled player teaming up with a lower-skilled player in order to artificially inflate the weaker players ranking in a matchmaking system. This is, of course, a bannable offense in Overwatch and some of the accounts on this list may have been banned for boosting others or receiving the benefits of boosting. Some of the more extreme cases may very well result in legal action being taken.
Blizzard believes toxic behavior is a serious problem in their game and the Overwatch bans in South Korea are a sign that they’re keen on following through with its beliefs. Although the company’s internal stats show a decline in perceived bad behavior, it remains to be seen if these punishments will have a lasting effect on the state of the game.
[via Dot Esports]