In the heat of Overwatch season, Blizzard has released a summary of Overwatch League rules alongside its code of conduct. The expectation is that OWL competitors will now be publicly accountable for certain regulations which are meant to discourage harassment and discrimination. Below are the rules, directly from Blizzard.
“Among other things, the Code of Conduct requires that team members and owners:
- observe the highest standards of personal integrity and good sportsmanship
- compete to the best of their skill and ability at all times
- comply with all applicable laws at all times
- not engage in any activity or practice which brings him or her into public disrepute or scandal
- not engage in any form of harassment or discrimination
- not place bets on any games, matches, or tournaments involving Overwatch
- not make any false, defamatory, libelous, or slanderous remarks, comments, or statements
- not use or attempt to use any bugs or exploits in Overwatch”
This season is already off to a rocky start, so this really couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. According to Blizzard, these purposefully loose guidelines are "designed to ensure the integrity of the game; to safeguard the public image of the league, its players, teams, and owners; and to provide a competitive game environment that is free from harassment and discrimination."
Officials are meant to have a broad scope in terms of regulations so that they are able to begin an investigation in any number of situations. The hope is that this will make players and teams be on their best behavior.
Unfortunately, the full list of expectations for OWL participants is far from explicit, and we aren’t sure if it will ever be released to the public in its entirety. If it was ever released, it would be a great step forward for not only Overwatch League teams and Blizzard itself, but also for its fans. Public accountability keeps everyone very aware of the limelight the players and teams live in. By being more transparent, Blizzard will help keep the peace by outlining what exactly should happen when inappropriate actions are taken by players and teams.