Pictured: Jeff Kaplan announcing my ban in the next Developer Update.
So, in my downtime when I’m not playing video games for a living, I like to play video games. More specifically, I like to play Overwatch. As far as multiplayer shooters go, Overwatch nicely blends skill, speed and the need to play with a team just right for my tastes, making it a go-to staple whenever playing online. Unfortunately, it appears my time with Overwatch is running out, as the game’s director Jeff Kaplan has a friend who seemingly wants me banned from the game.
Allow me to explain.
Overwatch, as much as I love it, is a game that makes me incredibly tilted. If it’s not lag, terrible teammates (no, honest, it was my team’s fault) or those accursed Bastions, it’s “smurfs”. Overwatch, on console at least, has become plagued with high level players creating new accounts just to crap on the lower levels. It’s become a bit of a joke, and has turned online matchmaking into a hellscape guaranteed to anger and frustrate.
Fortunately, smurfs are only really a problem in quick play, as competitive play requires player accounts to reach level 25 before the mode opens up. It’s become a bit of a paradox really, as quick play is now the home of try-hard smurfs looking to boost their fragile little egos, while competitive play feels more casual and relaxed. I’m not sure how I feel about this paradox, but it’s the truth either way.
Last night, in order to relax and de-tilt from some particularly draining quick play matches, myself and my girlfriend made the executive decision to jump onto competitive. While you’re queuing for a match, players can enter various skirmish lobbies which offer a great way to mess about, practice with various characters and generally warm-up before each game.
Because we’re not some sweaty cretins, we like to use skirmish lobbies as a way to make friends with the enemy, charging headfirst into their team only to spam voice lines and perform various dancing emotes. Results vary from reciprocation to a quick respawn, but it’s something we’ve found that helps us take the game less seriously, reduce the blood pressure and all that.
One particular skirmish on the map Paris saw our team’s Widowmaker, going by the moniker Aimbotz (the actual name was a bit more complicated than that, but let’s not dox them, eh?), consistently headshotting the enemy team. Fair play to them, they were a good sniper, but the other team subscribed to our ways of playing skirmish, dancing and spamming voice lines without a care in the world. Still, our Widowmaker seemed determined to piss on everyone’s fun, despite our protests using the “no” chat command every time they got a kill.
Clearly, I’d have to get creative.
Swapping characters to Mei, I used their Ice Wall skill, which creates a massive barrier that can’t be broken by your own team. Specifically, I used the skill to block the “friendly” Widowmaker in the spawn room, allowing myself, my girlfriend and the two players on the enemy team to dance the night away in peace, or for a few seconds at least.
Dear reader, you cut the tension in the lobby with a knife. Aimbotz immediately stopped moving, which if anything just made the situation funnier to me because I could sense there was a hate message coming. Of course, I was proven right, and while the message you see below is fairly tame compared to some of the hatemail you’d typically get online, it’s still hilarious to me.
Naturally, my first instinct was to thank this person for their helpful advice. I’m glad they were truly able to teach me proper etiquette regarding skirmish. It’s good that I know now, so I don’t repeat my silly mistake in the future. My girlfriend, however, sensed the opportunity for more shenanigans and changed to Mei as well, creating a two-pronged attack on Aimbotz’s idea of fun. As you’d guess, they weren’t happy, voicing their displeasure in a separate set of messages to her. In fact, they were going to get us banned, invoking the name of Overwatch’s director to do so.
Apparently, they’re only best bloody mates with Jeff Kaplan, of all people. Mr Kaplan follows this person on Twitter it seems, and, I assume, hangs on Aimbotz’s every word. There isn’t a balance patch, change or update that Jeff doesn’t run by Aimbotz first. While we were unable to confirm whether or not their dad works at Nintendo, it’s reasonable to assume that Aimbotz’s claim of having friends in high places is “legit”. Looks like I won’t be playing Overwatch for much longer, now that the banhammer is looming. Sorry to have upset you, Lord Aimbotz of the Overwatch Xbox EU servers.
Alright, so as you’ll have no doubt figured out, this person is a bit of a bullshitter. The claim is ridiculous in and of itself, obviously, but it’s made even funnier by the fact that Jeff Kaplan doesn’t even have Twitter. If you’re going to lie to try and intimidate someone online, at least do the due diligence first to ensure that the lie is actually plausible. Is that too much to ask for, trolls?
What really tickles me, and what prompted me to write this post, is the fact that they’re sending toxic messages over a game of skirmish. Losing a close, competitive game and I’d understand the frustration, but pulling out the fake “mah mate wurkz at blizard n u’ll get banned” card over someone trying to encourage you to take skirmish mode less seriously is utterly ridiculous. If you’re reading this, don’t be like Aimbotz. Play your games, have fun, and just don’t be a dick.
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