Overwatch did launch with a penalty system for players who frequently abandon matches midway. However, we only now have the specifics regarding how the system actually works.
Blizzard has explained that compared to other games, players can actually choose to leave matches in Overwatch. There isn’t any tight threshold forcing everyone to finish their games. However, leave enough matches and the system will penalize you by reducing the amount of XP gained and slowing down the rate at which you level up.
According to the developer, Overwatch is designed to continuously monitor the number of games completed in the last twenty games played by a player. There’s a fixed percentage set in this regard. If it drops too far, Overwatch will warn the player about impending penalties for abandoning too many games through a message in the bottom-left corner of the screen.
If the player still continues to leave games, the percentage will drop further from the threshold. In this case, Overwatch will hit the player with a 75 percent XP penalty for future matches. Blizzard didn’t share as to just how many games will it take to end the penalty period. The player must keep on playing until his/her ratio of completed matches is back in the safe-zone. That being said, since the system monitors only the last twenty games played, the number of games required to end a penalty shouldn’t be that many.
“Leaving a couple games in a row won’t cause you to be penalized in any way,” explained Blizzard. “We understand that there are circumstances, either in or outside of your control, that may necessitate you needing to step away from a game before it ends. It’s only if you repeatedly leave games in succession, to the point where it could be considered a habitual behavior, that you will be penalized.”
Overwatch has so far launched to a brilliant reception. Except for the lack of a Ranked mode, the game has been experiencing smooth sailing. Blizzard is currently working on a major update scheduled for the end of the month which will introduce not only the competitive aspect, but also several other improvements and balances.