Blizzard Entertainment's first-person shooter Overwatch will be introducing a permanent tier of bans from the game's Competitive environment beginning on September 27, 2017, according to a post from Community Manager Josh Engen on the game's official forums.
Competitive Games in Overwatch are split into "Seasons" which last for around three months. Excessive amounts of poor in-game behavior may result in a ban from Competitive gameplay for the remainder of the Season. Unless an account is permanently banned from the game as a whole (for issues such as hacking), a player banned from one Season will be able to return in the following one.
One of the primary issues that cause player bans is disconnecting from a game, either through leaving deliberately or going AFK. If a player leaves or is kicked for inactivity within the first minute of a game, the match is canceled. If a player leaves or is kicked for inactivity after the first minute of a game, they'll have two minutes to return to the game. Leaving or disconnecting in the first minute (or failing to return after leaving/disconnecting after the first minute) will result in gradual restrictions being placed on your account. If this occurs too many times, you're liable to end up getting banned for the remainder of that Season.
Beginning September 27, 2017, this will no longer be the case. Players who receive three total Seasonal bans will have their account banned from Competitive play permanently. Seasonal bans and permanent Competitive bans will never expire. The Seasonal bans do not have to be consecutive; a player may have been banned in Seasons 2, 5, and 6 and ended up with a permanent ban.
This latest change in policy is yet another step by Blizzard aiming to improve the player experience in Overwatch. Game Director Jeff Kaplan recently addressed the toxicity from some elements of the community in a Developer Update.
What do you think of Overwatch implementing permanent Competitive bans? Do you think this is a step in the right direction? Let us know in the comments below!