Blizzard Admin Forces Pro Team to Play 5v6 during Overwatch Contenders
Overwatch Contenders admins are facing backlash from the game’s community after forcing a pro player to opt out of a game. Noble faced off against Ardour on 14th July in the losers round 2 at Overwatch Contenders July and during the fifth map, Noble’s Alex ‘Seeker’ Taylor faced technical issues. Taylor said that he disconnected due to a power outage and was not allowed to return. While according to official rules, players are not allowed more than 10 minutes, Ardour tank player, Leo ‘SNZS’ Gzebb, was willing to allow Seeker to get more time. However, the admin did not allow it and it led to the match continuing in a 5v6 situation.
Overwatch community reacts to Contenders controversy
After the admins denied the request from both teams to pause the game, the match was forced to continue. Towards the end of the match, SZNS quit the game which led to yet another pause. Following the match, Noble tank, Rick ‘GiG’ Salazar said, “Denied and did not give the time that is in Ardour’s bank and their right to use, spectator went on a power trip and egoed everyone.”
SZNS talked about how it is possible for both teams to feel bad about a result only in Contenders. Multiple members of the Overwatch community including pro players and streamers voiced their opinions on the incident. Streamer Francine ‘Fran’ Vo stated that it was unprofessional of the admin to force the match into a 5v6 situation. Top 500 Overwatch tank main, Flats, pointed out that Dallas Fuel received “like an hour long intermission” due to technical issues and that ample time should have been provided in the controversial Contenders game when both teams clearly agreed to wait.
Blizzard responds to the situation
Blizzard issued a statement via the official Overwatch Contenders Twitter account saying, “While the rulebook was followed, we recognize that it negatively impacted the results of the map, and apologize to players and all Contenders fans. We will work on the rules to create better escalation paths for situations such as this one.”
It is not known if any action will be taken against the admin or if exceptions will be made during future Overwatch Contenders games, if both teams agree to pause a game due to technical issues. However, it should be noted that Ardour showed sportsmanship during the event by willing to wait for Noble to get its sixth player back.