Blizzard has already taken a stern stance against cheaters in Overwatch, dolling out permanent bans for anyone caught doing so. The punishment for leaving isn’t nearly as strict, but don’t expect a pleasant experience if you leave more games than you finish, and the penalty is even harsher in Competitive Play.
A 75% Experience Penalty is Just the Beginning for Leavers in Overwatch
In Quick Play, leaving too much will incur you with a 75% experience penalty, making it much harder to earn those precious loot boxes which might contain those precious legendary skins. Going AFK from inactivity will also count toward this leaver penalty, which is understandable even if the inactivity detection has some kinks to work out. You’ll earn full XP once again if you play enough games without leaving, and prove to Blizzard that you are – at least temporarily – reformed.
Leaving in Competitive Play will slap you with the same XP penalty, but on top of that, leaving too much can also get you suspended, and if you’re an especially rampant leaver, then you can be flat-out banned for the remaining duration of a season (up to three months). If you’re someone who habitually leaves games in Overwatch, then you probably have no place in Competitive Play to begin with, and the ban will help to make sure you don’t even try, especially since nobody can take your place if you do abandon the match.
It’s nice to see Blizzard taking such a harsh stance on both cheaters and leavers in Overwatch. The AFK timer could definitely use some work. You shouldn’t be marked as AFK if the game hasn’t even started yet; sixty seconds is plenty of time to run to grab a drink, or to relieve yourself in the bathroom, but I’ve seen plenty of people get dropped before the game even starts.