Overwatch 2 launch derailed by major DDoS attack

Sombra from Overwatch
(Image credit: Blizzard)

Overwatch 2's launch on Tuesday has so far been less of a launch and more of a line: thousands of players, including a few at PC Gamer, have been stuck in a lengthy login queue, only to run into a connection error after making it to the menu. Blizzard president Mike Ybarra tweeted this afternoon that this isn't just the result of too many players trying to get in—Overwatch 2 is currently suffering a DDoS attack.

"Unfortunately we are experiencing a mass DDoS attack on our servers," Ybarra wrote. "Teams are working hard to mitigate/manage. This is causing a lot of drop/connection issues."

Distributed denial-of-service attacks direct large amounts of internet traffic to specific servers, overwhelming them with more connections than they can keep up with. Cloudflare simplifies a DDoS attack as "an unexpected traffic jam clogging up the highway, preventing regular traffic from arriving at its destination." Cloudflare has an approachable breakdown of how hackers create botnets and use them to carry out DDoS attacks if you're after a deeper understanding of how they work.

This isn't Blizzard's first DDoS rodeo: we've reported on DDoS issues affecting Battle.net and World of Warcraft in 2020, 2019, and years prior. A DDoS attacker who targeted WoW in 2010 even got jail time for knocking the MMO offline.

With an overwhelming amount of traffic pummeling Blizzard's servers, it may be hours until Overwatch 2's login issues smooth out; we'll update with more when we have it.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).