Overwatch developer Blizzard Entertainment has begun issuing warnings to players using third-party statistics applications like Pursuit and Visor. Players that use these programs could be permanently banned from the game should the applications stay enabled.
Programs like Pursuit and Visor use artificial intelligence systems to analyze gameplay and provide feedback to players. Visor, which recently raised $4.7 million in funding to update its program, gives instant feedback, while Pursuit offers feedback following a match. Both games run during Overwatch matches and track what happens in-game to create their own statistics-based analysis. Pursuit is currently partnered with Overwatch League season one finalists Philadelphia Fusion, among a number of other Overwatch World Cup teams.
“Recently, we’ve investigated third-party applications designed for use while playing Overwatch and we’d like to reiterate which of these applications are not permitted in Overwatch,” community manager Tom Powers wrote on the Overwatch forum. “To provide more clarity, any third-party application that impedes on the competitive integrity in Overwatch is not allowed.”
Any third-party program that uses information on enemy positioning, enemy health, enemy ultimate usage, or ultimate readiness “creates an uneven playing field for every other player in the map,” Powers wrote. Blizzard found these programs in violation of the Blizzard End User License Agreement. Neither Pursuit nor Visor were explicitly named in the Overwatch forum post, but were singled out as in violation of the user agreement in warnings that were sent out to Overwatch players. Pursuit’s co-founder and CEO declined Dot Esports’ request for comment.
Blizzard will not immediately ban or suspend players. Instead, it’s sent out warnings to players that have used the programs while playing Overwatch. Should a player continue to use the programs, Blizzard will take action against a violating account “up to and including a permanent ban.”
“We take competition very seriously in Overwatch,” Powers wrote. “The foundation of good competition is every player being equally-equipped to compete against one another, but many third-party applications erode the level playing field in Overwatch we strive for.”