Up until now, the only thing you could truly do with bad players on Overwatch was mute and hope to not run into them again, because the reporting system on the game was ridiculous. People screaming at the top of their lungs about how bad you are at the game, using racial and homophobic slurs at other players, people leaving mid-match because a loss was about to happen—it was basically social carnage on a level I personally didn’t have to deal with since my days in Halo 2. But even then, Microsoft had a reporting system in place that was semi-competent. Now with the latest updates, not only can you report somebody for abuse, the system is quite effective on how quickly it takes notice.
The above video shows a PC user scrolling through the new options a player now has available to them. You click the down arrow by the player’s name to report, choose the offense, and submit. Now to be clear, the system doesn’t operate off of a single player’s digital testimony, that would be an insane invitation for abuse, especially if it’s a high-ranking player doing it just to get rid of lower-ranked players from their match. The system evaluates a player’s performance based off the way they were playing the game and, along with a person checking the findings later, determines whether the person was in the wrong or not.
A good example of this would be the Poor Teamwork category. You can’t just report a person who stood back and played sniper or chose a healer and didn’t engage in the fight. People play the game in various ways. But it can determine if that player actively chose not to participate based on the work they did in the game, which includes the amount of shots fired, shields thrown, health recovered, area they most frequented, etc. So if someone sits on their hands back at the base, or they go to the front lines just to be killed over and over, they can be punished for it under those terms.
So far, players have noticed individuals have been getting kicked out of matches after the competition is done, which is a sign that the system is working and abusive players are feeling the sting. What kind of punishment they’re receiving has yet to be talked about, but if the Reddit forums are any indication, we’ll be seeing complaints soon.