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 (opens in new tab), only to run into a connection error after making it to the menu. Blizzard president Mike Ybarra tweeted (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab), 2019 (opens in new tab), and years prior. A DDoS attacker who targeted WoW in 2010 even got jail time (opens in new tab) 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.