Overwatch Competitive Play Penalty Fixes Coming Soon

July 4, 2016Written by Alex Co


Following last week’s Overwatch Competitive Play roll out on the PlayStation 4, some of you might have experienced a little niggle or two when it comes to how matches are decided on when someone quits. Well, if you are, you’re not the only one.

Over on its official forums, Overwatch Game Director Jeffrey Kaplan has acknowledged the Overwatch Competitive Play penalty issues in response to numerous complaints and confirmed a fix is on the way.

Hey CrowdControl,

We’re super sorry you had a bad experience. I know this won’t be much of a consolation, but we’re working on a bunch of fixes to the way disconnecting/losing/leaving works right now. We’re hoping to have fixes in soon.

Again, apologies. We’ll try to make things better.


How soon? According to Kaplan, they are hoping it comes next week (which is this week). Mind you, this could be most likely for the PC version first since it doesn’t have to deal with console certification like the PS4 and Xbox One versions.

Finally, confused how Competitive Play losses are handed out when someone on your team quits? When is it safe to quit when someone on your team leaves? Here’s the meaty stuff straight from Kaplan.

I wanted to take this opportunity to briefly explain some of the systems we have in place regarding leaves and losses in competitive play, and why they’re there and why they work the way they do.

When we determine someone has quit a competitive match before the first 30 seconds of game time has completed, we note that the match is now invalid and it collapses after 30 seconds. The person who left receives BOTH a loss and a leave, while everyone else can then leave without penalty or loss.

After the first 30 seconds of game time, how we handle someone leaving a competitive match changes. After determining that someone has quit, we begin a 1 minute timer. The missing player can return during that timer, but if they do not then the remaining team members are now given a choice. Depending on the match situation when the player left, that team might want to play on since they still have a chance to win. If the situation is hopeless, we don’t want to force players to stick around while the other team finishes the match. So we allow the rest of the team to quit the match without a leave penalty, but they still do receive a loss.

Why do the remaining team members still receive a loss? How is this fair? The unfortunate answer is that the alternative would be worse. We don’t want to create an awful situation where players who think they’re losing are now encouraged to do whatever it takes to get someone else on their team to leave. By removing any possible incentive for anyone to “tactically” leave, it also means that more matches will complete normally. When someone leaves, Overwatch is less fun to play for everyone.

To further discourage someone from leaving a match, competitive play has a different leave penalty system than a quick play game. Leaving won’t simply reduce your XP gain, instead you can be suspended from playing competitive play. The time a player is suspended time increases on repeated leaves, and in extreme cases a player will earn a ban from competitive play for the current season. Banned players also forfeit any rewards granted at the end of the season.

As someone who’s experienced two nasty losses due to disconnects from Overwatch Competitive Play (one discon was me, with the other being a teammate), I’m extremely happy that Blizzard has acknowledged the issue. 

Now, let’s hope Blizzard also has a fix for the weird grading and matchmaking stuff as well. Well, one can dream, no?

[Source: Battle.net (1), (2), (3)]