Overwatch developers unveiled a massive update to the game on June 22 that introduced the Cross-Play Beta Program. But the new addition seems to have had unwelcome consequences for some solo players.
Some PC players seem to have been “soft region locked” by the Cross-Play Beta update, according to posters on the official Overwatch forums. In addition, some high-level competitive mode players are being placed in lobbies across the world.
The focus of the Cross-Play Beta update is to allow players of different console brands, as well as console and PC players, to join up for the first time. To better integrate these groups, the update includes a Global Friends List on Battle.net, removing the need for players to change regions to talk to or group up with friends.
When those groups queue up for Overwatch, the system will place them into whatever region requires players for faster games. While this is an intended feature, solo players are also reporting a lack of regional selection within their games.
Multiple posters in a Blizzard forum thread, many from Europe, noted that they couldn’t intentionally opt to queue on North American servers anymore even if they selected “North America” from the Battle.net menu. While many assumed this was a bug, a forum MVP said this was an intended function.
The MVP later said this could happen to players queuing for competitive mode in any region “in order to accommodate matchmaking during low-peak times or at extreme ranks,” like Grandmaster. According to this poster, who isn’t employed by Blizzard, players could be sent to any server region necessary to make queues shorter.
Around 5pm CT, reports started coming in from high-ranked players stating that they’d been sent to servers that were not in their selected region with no warning. Overwatch League analyst Scott “Custa” Kennedy was sent to a high-ranked game on South Korean servers while Florida Mayhem partnered streamer Jay3 queued into a European server from North America.
A thread is now live on the Blizzard forums where players can report these “out of region” matches to tech support.
Update June 23 1pm CT: Community manager John Nash updated the original forum thread with developer information. Nash explained that individual regions technically no longer exist, so crossing over to other servers is more likely when partied with players from other regions for the lowest possible ping. As for high-level players being placed into other regional servers, the issue is being worked on.