Overwatch’s Crossplay Update Has Fans Upset Over Server Lockout
Overwatch received one of its biggest updates yet with crossplay going live but the community is not happy with how it has been implemented. While players can finally play with their friends from other platforms, the game has now locked everyone to their local servers. Even if players change their region from the Blizzard App, they will automatically be redirected to their nearest servers. If players from multiple regions try to play together, they are getting thrown into random servers. At first glance, it was thought to be a bug but it looks like the change is intentional and the community has voiced its concerns over the new update.
Why the server lockout is making Overwatch players unhappy
Prior to the new Crossplay update, players could choose any region they wanted by switching regions in the Blizzard app. But with the new 22 June update which brought Ashe’s Deadlock challenge and crossplay, players can still choose servers but they get locked into the nearest servers regardless of the selected region.
After a number of players voiced their concerns with the latest update, one of the Blizzard tech support staff revealed that “anyone of any region can be put into a server more distant than their closest one in order to accommodate matchmaking at low-peak times or extreme ranks. In Europe, the Bahrain datacenter is relatively low-populated, so it often pulls players who normally connect to Versailles or Amsterdam in order to fulfil a match.” This change removes player choice as they may be put into distant servers and be forced to play at suboptimal latency.
There are major issues with the way Blizzard has implemented the change and the community at large including pro players, content creators and Overwatch League analysts have voiced their concerns over the recent decision. By being locked into a single region, higher ranked players from less populated servers will not be able to change servers and get faster matchmaking times. Additionally, even if two players queue up together the game seems to choose a random server based on the location of the players. There is no way to get into a specific server without using a VPN and even then, players are getting mixed results.
Ex-Overwatch League pro and current OWL Desk Analyst Scott ‘Custa’ Kennedy talked about how he found himself in the South Korean servers despite playing in North America. The change is not good for the competitive community and it is unknown if the feature is working properly in the first place.