Blizzard’s 2017 begins with huge Overwatch ban wave

Not even halfway into January, Blizzard has unleashed three ban waves.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Cheaters have plagued Overwatch’s South Korean servers since the game was released in May, introducing new ways to swindle the system as quickly as Blizzard can swat them down.

Now, we know just how busy Blizzard’s been. Less than a month into 2017, the Overwatch developer has already banned more than 10,000 South Korean accounts, according to a post on Blizzard’s Korean Overwatch forums. This follows a ban wave in June, just a month after the game was released, in which 1,500 accounts in China were permabanned.

The most recent wave of bans cleared out 7,038 cheating accounts—many of which were likely used at South Korean gaming centers as a way to avoid getting caught. PC bangs—gaming cafés—allow customers to play videogames by the hour, instead of buying an account outright.

The most recent cheating problem is an attack called “nuking,” which basically spams the enemy’s IP address—sort of like a DDoS attack. Your match in Overwatch will come to a screeching halt when nuked, making the game unplayable. What makes this sort of attack even worse is that it’s incredibly hard to report nukers because the game is barely able to run.

Blizzard is aware of the problem and is assuring players it’s taking action. Players are encouraged to continue reporting players using cheating software, either by right-clicking on the player’s name in-game or by reporting it through the website.