Kicking off the new year, Blizzard decided to sanction 1,916 accounts for the South Korean version of Overwatch, listing the user names as a shame tactic for players who had ill-manners, or as the general public calls it: toxicity.
The bans were listed in a post made by South Korean forum moderator, Haramunt on January 4th, 2019.
It states that the players were banned for “improper language”, “intentional abuse”, “non-participation in the game”, and “profanity”.
According to eSports Junkie, they reported on January 2nd, 2019 that a Korean user on Twitter linked to the same thread, claiming that Blizzard had banned 18,188 players.
오버워치 비매너 행위 플레이어 제재
2019년 1월 2일 오버워치 비매너 행위로 인한 18,188명의 계정이 제재되었습니다.
Overwatch Toxicity Player Sanction
January 2, 2019, Overwatch Korean servers 18,188 players were been punished or suspended for toxicity.
— Naeri (@OverwatchNaeri) January 2, 2019
Unfortunately it’s hard to verify if the 18,000 figure is legitimate since Haramunt updated the page with a new wave of banned players.
So it’s possible that every time a new wave of players get banned, they update the forum thread.
There’s a brief list of the players who were banned during the January 2nd, 2019 ban wave courtesy of Hype Break, but they don’t show the actual clip of the figure of players who were banned, so it’s still tough to tell if the figure is legitimate.
Of course, Blizzard mass-banning players is nothing new, even if it is for the South Korean version of Overwatch. It seems to be a pet project of theirs to see how much of a safe-space they can make it while driving out as many normal players as possible until there’s nothing left but the most fragile of souls.
If the 18,188 figure is true, then it means that within the first week of January they’ve banned a total of 20,104 players at the start of 2019.
In combination with Blizzard cracking down on players for only playing a straight white male, actioning accounts for off-site behavior, and constantly penalizing e-sports staff for what they show on social media, this latest name-and-shame tactic for Overwatch seems to fit right in with Blizzard’s over-policing of this dying game.
(Thanks for the news tip Ebicentre)