Home Overwatch 2 DDoS attack causes major issues for players

Overwatch 2 DDoS attack causes major issues for players

The hugely popular online multiplayer game Overwatch 2 was hit with a major DDoS attack on Wednesday (Feb 28) which left some players unable to play the game.

According to a post on X from Blizzard Customer Service, a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack caused disconnects, latency, and more issues for Overwatch 2 players.

Some users could not access the game at all and were experiencing frequent disconnects. While others were able to connect to the game’s servers and join a match, but very high latency made the game all but unplayable.

Blizzard seems to have resolved the issue fairly rapidly, posting an update around three hours later stating that the issues should be resolved and users should be able to play the game as expected.

Causing additional frustration for users who attempted to push through the attack is the Overwatch 2 rule that “Repeatedly leaving or disconnecting during competitive matches in Overwatch 2 can result in Competitive Play restrictions being placed on the account.” Several frustrated fans have reported that repeated disconnects caused by the DDoS attack have resulted in automatic temporary bans being placed on their accounts.

In January, Microsoft laid off nearly 2000 Activision Blizzard staff. This included letting go of a large portion of its e-sports division, people who worked on online games such as Overwatch 2 and Call of Duty. A popular Call of Duty X account reported that just 12 of the previous 72 staff remained in the e-sports division.

This leaves questions open as to the capacity of the decimated department to maintain Blizzard’s reputation for excellent service and much-loved fan events such as The Overwatch League and to handle the fallout of such attacks such as resolving user suspensions caused by the attack.

What is a DDoS attack?

A distributed denial of service attack is one of the most common cyberattacks performed by malicious actors. Frequently performed using hijacked computers, in a DDoS attack hackers use many machines to flood a service with so many requests that it gets overwhelmed. This means that legitimate service users – in this case, people who want to play Overwatch 2 – can’t use the service.

In some cases, users will be completely unable to connect to the service, and they may connect but have the connection interrupted with a disconnect. Often they will experience an extreme slowdown due to high latency – often referred to as lag.

Featured image credit: Blizzard

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Ali Rees
Tech journalist

Ali Rees is a freelance writer based in the UK. They have worked as a data and analytics consultant, a software tester, and a digital marketing and SEO specialist. They have been a keen gamer and tech enthusiast since their childhood in are currently the Gaming and Tech editor at Brig Newspaper. They also have a Substack where they review short video games. During the pandemic, Ali turned their hand to live streaming and is a fan of Twitch. When not writing, Ali enjoys playing video and board games, live music, and reading. They have two cats and both of…

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