How are Overwatch bans applied?
Overwatch bans are applied when selected members of the CS:GO Community, known as “investigators”, review a replay of a reported player’s game and vote on the infraction(s) they believe the player, known as a “suspect”, has committed.
Overwatch cases are generated based on a number of factors, and once a case is created, it is sent to a number of Overwatch investigators, who vote on penalties for annoying behaviour, cheating, both infractions, or neither. If the Overwatch investigators are unanimous in their verdict of guilt, the suspect is given a minor or major infraction block.
What evidence is available to investigators?
The investigators are shown a replay of a randomly selected eight-round segment of a game of the accused player. Their task is to determine whether or not that player committed an infraction during that replay.
Suspected players are referred to as “The Suspect” and the names of the other players and the text and voice chats are omitted. The investigator is expected to make a decision based solely on the suspect’s actions.
I have received an Overwatch block for a minor infraction, what does this mean?
Minor infraction Overwatch bans are for disruptive in-game behaviour and last for a minimum of 30 days. For the duration of the ban, you will not be able to play on VAC-protected servers or trade or sell your CS:GO items.
When the ban expires, you will be able to resume playing on VAC-protected servers and trade and sell your CS:GO items. Please note that a second Overwatch ban for a minor infraction may result in your account being permanently blocked.
I received an Overwatch block for a major infraction, what does this mean?
Overwatch Major Infringement bans are for cheating and are permanent. From now on, you will not be able to play on VAC-protected servers or trade or sell your CS:GO items. If you want to play CS:GO on VAC-protected servers, you will need to create a new Steam account.
How does a player become a suspect in an Overwatch case?
Players become suspects when their reporting pattern is higher or stands out from that of other players. They may have a sudden spike in complaints or have accumulated many over a long period of time. In any case, our data shows that suspects in Overwatch cases should be investigated for a range of possible infractions.
Can I appeal my Overwatch ban?
No. No, it is not possible to appeal any Overwatch bans and Steam Support cannot remove them. Since these are only issued when the investigators unanimously agree on a sanction, we are confident that any Overwatch bans that have been applied should be upheld. It is sufficient for a single Overwatch investigator to disagree with a guilty verdict for the suspect to receive no block at all.
I believe I was reported by lower skill level players who thought I was cheating and that caused me to be blocked from Overwatch. Can this block be removed?
No. Even if you were reported by lower skill level players, Overwatch investigators are culled from various higher skill groups to ensure we have coverage of different types of CS:GO players.
It is not necessary for a player to be exceptionally skilled to be a good Overwatch investigator. For example, we would expect commentators to be good investigators, regardless of their skill level, given their experience in observing high-level matches.
Can I transfer my CS:GO items to another Steam account?
No. It is not possible to transfer items or games from an Overwatch-locked account to a different account. However, new games can still be purchased and registered on an Overwatch-locked account, and the account can still receive items, but not ship them.
Players with Overwatch minor infringement bans will be able to trade and sell items once the ban expires. Players blocked from Overwatch for major violations will no longer be able to trade or sell their CS:GO items because the block is permanent.