New Bug Triggers Occasional Season Bans in 'Overwatch'

Blizzard is aware of the issue, but that doesn't mean a quick fix is on the way

A rare bug is resulting in some Overwatch players either losing hundreds of points from their skill rating, or, more severely, receiving immediate season bans.

First posted over on Reddit, the bug seems to occur if someone leaves a competitive match right when it begins loading. "The match goes into a 'waiting for players' state, odd for competitive. The match tries to start, fails, and returns to 'waiting for players' with the same players and repeats," Reddit user Chromega1231 explained. Once this is triggered, that's when the bug hits, wiping memory and banning players. Chromega claims they've been dealing with this issue for more than three weeks now.

Other reports of these issues claim to have lost between 250 and 600 skill rating points, with bans, at best, lasting 20 hours, and, at worst, for entire seasons. The main indicator this is a bug, Chromega points out, is users shouldn't be able to lose points that quickly. Incremental suspensions would prevent losses occurring that quickly, so what these users are claiming should be impossible based on the game's systems.

Cases of this bug appear few and far between, meaning that while, yes, it's severe, it's rare. According to Chromega, while Blizzard customer support asks users to post the bug in in the report forums, it "can't fix it." This prompts the user to say Blizzard won't help those afflicted, which is likely a oversimplification of what's going on here. Given the rarity of the bug, it stands to reason that, as of right now, it's not high on the developer's list of bugs to tackle – oftentimes when fixing bugs in a game a developer will address bugs most likely to be seen by mass amounts of players first; it's a tiered system of importance and prevalence.

However, that doesn't mean the company is entirely washing its hands of these issues. A representative from Blizzard told PC Gamer the company was "aware of the situation and working to address it, and is also investigating individual reports of the bug." It might not be the call to arms some users were hoping for, but it isn't the denial Chromega seems to think.

As of right now, it's unclear when these issues will be rectified for users, or if they will be paid back their lost points. We've reached out to Blizzard to inquire about how or if players will be compensated for having to deal with this issue.