Overwatch: Controversial Region Lock Change Causing Major Issues

Overwatch Crossplay
Overwatch Crossplay Blizzard

Overwatch’s recent update has enabled cross-play. However, an undisclosed feature was added that resulted in some players losing SR due to high ping and latency.

While you can now match up with others regardless of platform, you may have noticed that you can longer change regions manually.

New Feature Not in the Patch Notes

The game’s cross-play update was released on June 22. It was headlined by the Deadlock Challenge but it also included the much-anticipated cross-play feature.

That said, players were originally unaware that there was also an update to the Battle.net launcher, which prohibited them from changing regions manually. People assumed this was a bug but it was later clarified by the community manager, Josh Nash.

According to Nash, the “bug” was actually an intended feature. The regions that players were able to choose back then no longer exist. 

“The simple answer is, you are placed into the best match based on a variety of factors including player skill and ping,” he posted.

This doesn’t mean that you can no longer play with your friends in other regions. 

Nash explained: “In the case that you’re in a party, our systems work to place you in games with the lowest ping and best skill level for you or your party.”

Aside from being matched to any server based on certain parameters, you may also notice that you can now read messages from people all over the world. Nash revealed that the game's Global Chat is no longer locked to a specific region.

Players Not Happy with the New System

While the intention is good, players are actually not happy with the new system. Redditor @Glackwin posted that as a player from South America, they’ve got two games from the EU that resulted in a high ping of more than 350 ms.

As a result of the poor latency, the Redditor claimed they’ve lost 125 SR in competitive play. This made the user not want to play the game anymore.

Although some people are hopeful that the company might revert the update, another Redditor explained that it is a fundamental change and Blizzard is unlikely to drop it.

On the flip side, some users have reported that the queue times have drastically improved since the update, so at least something positive came from it.

Have you played Overwatch recently? If so, were you matched in the best possible server? Or did you experience high latency as well?

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