In hero-based games like Overwatch, it’s not uncommon for players to pick one character and try to master them instead of playing a variety of characters. However, it’s possible that main-ing a character in Overwatch could now lead to a ban.
This is according to some reports online of players that specialize in specific Overwatch characters seemingly being banned for doing nothing more than main-ing those characters. The controversy started last weekend when a top 500 streamer was hit with a 24-hour ban from Blizzard for no reason other than he wouldn’t stop playing Torbjorn.
Josh Engen, the Overwatch community manager, released a statement on the matter that attempts to explain Blizzard’s reasoning for the ban:
“We take both sides of the issue very seriously. We believe that players should be able to choose their favorite heroes, but playing as a team (which includes building an effective team composition) is a core part of the Overwatch experience. It’s a delicate balance, and we’re still working on getting it right (and probably always will be).”
Another Overwatch player, who goes by the Twitter handle Steveooo, was recently banned for “disruptive gameplay,” seemingly for main-ing Symmetra. It’s worth pointing out that Steveooo reportedly has a history of Overwatch bans, and it’s possible that some other behavior led to the disruptive gameplay ban, but it does look as though the main reason was for his hero choice.
If Blizzard is truly banning players for main-ing certain characters, then it seems the studio is going against the game’s own design philosophy. Overwatch is all about players selecting their favorite heroes and trying to use their abilities strategically to win matches, and while some players may groan whenever someone picks Torbjorn, banning someone for main-ing him seems a bit overboard. If Blizzard doesn’t want certain characters to be “mained,” then maybe they should be removed from the game or given a complete overhaul so they don’t frustrate as many players.
It seems silly for Bizzard to ban players just for choosing to play as one character every game, but luckily this issue doesn’t seem to be widespread. Unless one is in the top 500 players, most Overwatchenthusiasts should be able to play any character they want without having to worry about feeling the wrath of Blizzard’s banhammer.