Overwatch 2 To Monitor Voice Chat And Punish Those Who Play With Cheaters

Overwatch 2 has announced that it's further clamping down on cheaters and abusive communication with its new Defense Matrix Initiative, which will involve monitoring voice chat and punishing players who associate with hackers.

As reported by VG247, Blizzard will punish those who frequently team up with cheaters, even if they themselves are not using any cheats. This is because Blizzard wants "to discourage any incentive to take advantage of cheating". As such, starting in season three, any accounts regularly playing with cheaters will be flagged and face account action.

One of the problems this will help with is boosting, which is when a player rockets through ranks unfairly. By associating with cheaters, a player who would otherwise be placed in Bronze may end up in Gold or Platinum, which is unfair to their teammates. As for the punishment, while cheaters are often permanently banned, those who group up with known cheaters will be suspended or, "in extreme cases," banned themselves.

Blizzard will also monitor voice communication with a new voice-to-text transcription software that has already "proven to be exceptionally accurate and effective in identifying abusive chat and language." Those who are identified will then be suspended or silenced.

This expansion on Overwatch 2's moderation will also impact custom games as Blizzard stated that it is introducing new technology "that works behind the scenes to automatically remove custom games containing inappropriate titles or content, along with issuing restrictions or account actions to those who create and post such custom games."

Finally, Blizzard is attempting to curb stream sniping by implementing stream protection features that will allow players to hide their BattleTag as well as the BattleTags of other players in the same game. Stream sniping, for context, is when someone in a streamer's audience tries to find and queue into the same game to disrupt or gain an unfair advantage, and they often do this via key details such as names.

All of this will begin rolling out with season three, which is set to launch on February 7.

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