Overwatch’s Avoid as Teammate feature will hit the game’s live server next week.
It’s been available on Overwatch’s PTR since March 24, but Blizzard is finally bringing it to the live server with the Overwatch Archives patch, according to Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan.
Kaplan explained the feature in a Developer Update posted in late March. Avoid as Teammate is for those moments “when you’re frustrated with a teammate but it’s not necessarily a reportable offensive,” Kaplan said in the video. It’s a feature you’d use for the players who repeatedly badger you to switch heroes, but not in an aggressive way—just annoying.
Adding players to the Avoid as Teammate list could impact matchmaking queue times, since the game will be actively looking to avoid certain players. It shouldn’t be an issue for low- to mid-tier Overwatch games, but higher-tiered players with large Avoid lists could see delays.
Blizzard will also issue warnings to players who’ve been avoided a bunch of times. Those players may also experience longer wait times.
Overwatch used to have an Avoid Player button, but it was removed shortly after its release; people were using the feature to avoid players who were too good—which, of course, is the wrong way to use the feature. The Avoid as Teammate button wipes out that problem, since you’ll want to keep those good players on your team.
“As with all of our systems, we’re paying very close attention,” Kaplan said. “We hope that you enjoy having more control over your experience in Overwatch, and we’re going to continue to bring features to you that let you craft the experience exactly how you want it to be.”