CS:GO community to regulate itself through "Overwatch"

Valve are beta testing a community-run self-regulation system for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive . It will allow certain experienced players to review reports of "disruptive behaviour", watch replays, and issue temporary bans where necessary. Naturally, Valve have called this program "Overwatch", which was also the title of the transhuman Combine soldiers of Half-Life 2. Not that there are any parallels. This is just an enforcement squad, working under a larger body that has ultimate power over... Oh...

Valve explain how the Overwatch will function in a post about the now-live beta. "Prospective Overwatch Investigators are presented with an active Overwatch button in the main menu, which indicates that there is a pending case for them to evaluate. The investigators can then choose to participate by watching a replay (eight rounds' worth or roughly 10 minutes) and selecting a verdict.

"If the investigators collectively agree that an offense has occurred, a ban will be issued. The ban duration will depend on the severity of the offense and the suspect's history of convictions, if any."

Investigators are selected around a variety of conditions, including account age, game time, and a low report history. And the more an Overwatch member participates, and the higher their resulting accuracy, the more weight their decisions will carry in the future.

For now, though, the scheme is just being trialled. Overwatch cases will be reviewed and analysed before any bans are enforced, giving Valve the chance to ensure they aren't creating a force of power-mad storm troopers.

You can read the full details of the Overwatch program here .

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.