| 29. January 2021

Valve Introduces Overwatch to Fix Dota

It’s no secret that Dota 2 does not have a friendly community. People are fiercely competitive, even at low MMRs, and everyone hates losing. You can tell yourself all day that it’s just a game. But ultimately, when you’re emotionally invested in something and want to either experience the feeling of triumph or avoid the pain of defeat, things can escalate very quickly. One minute you’re having a nice conversation with your team and the next one you’re boiling with rage. This creates toxicity, which in turn contributes to an unhealthy community that’s extremely resistant to newbies. Valve wants to change the situation with a tool called Overwatch.

What Is Overwatch

Overwatch is a tool that allows members of the community to verify the validity of reports. As you probably know, players can report other players when they don’t like something. Whether they suspect them of smurfing or simply because they are sabotaging the game, the option is there to let the system know that someone’s ruining the experience of others with their behavior.

If you’re a good-standing member of the community, you get the chance to review cases of reports. As a reviewer you earn an accuracy score for your effort. If you falsely convict someone, your score decreases. If it gets low enough, you can lose your ability to use Overwatch.

The reporting system has also changed. You can now report someone via the scoreboard, during a match. So instead of waiting until the end, you can act as soon as you think it’s necessary. This allows reviewers to identify the key moments that need to be analyzed in a match, thus making the whole system more efficient. Marking such moments provides the people who analyze the case with the evidence they need to draw the correct conclusion.

The Overwatch system does not include communication reports. These reports will continue to be made just at the end of matches.