Blizzard plans to take its anti-cheating efforts to a new level and will start automatically ending matches where a cheater is detected. The change was revealed in Blizzard’s July 2019 developer update, where the game’s director Jeff Kaplan explained how the new anti-cheating effort will work. Though game matches will automatically end, regular players who weren’t cheating won’t be penalized.
This anti-cheating method is part of Blizzard’s ‘next evolution’ in cheat detection, according to Kaplan, who says Overwatch matches where cheating is taking place will simply end to prevent the cheater(s) from continuing. Regular — non-cheater players, that is — will not be penalized as a result of the match’s end.
It’s unclear how Blizzard is detecting these cheaters during matches, though the company likely won’t reveal this information in order to make it harder for cheaters to evade the penalties. Players caught cheating can expect ‘very harsh actions,’ according to Kaplan, but he didn’t elaborate on what those actions will be.
For everyone else in the match, players don’t need to worry about losing their Skill Rating as a result of the early termination in competitive matches. The decision is ultimately a welcome one as it will prevent non-cheating players from having to go through an entire match where it’s impossible to play properly due to the presence of a cheater.
Beyond the new anti-cheater method, Kaplan said the game’s anticipated hero 31 will be arriving later than players had anticipated, but he didn’t say when the hero will arrive. Finally, Kaplan talked about Overwatch summer games, which will include mini-challenges each day of the event during which players will be able to unlock an epic skin.