If you’ve been playing Overwatch this week, you’ve likely noticed the new face in the roster. The game’s first post-release character, Ana, joined the live roster just a few days ago. Since then, she’s been popular with players wanting to try out her abilities and get the hang of what makes her unique from the other 21 characters. One element that makes her unique: she can get you booted from a match in very, very specific circumstances.
Here’s how it works. Overwatch has a pretty short “AFK timer,” meaning that if you’re idle for more than about 30 seconds, you’ll drop from the game to make room for someone who’s available to participate. This helps keep matches balanced and active. One of Ana’s special abilities is a sleep dart. If you’re hit, you drop, and all you can do is watch as the world passes you by for a few seconds. If you have three Ana players in the match – this doesn’t work with two thanks to the ability’s cooldown timer – and you surround a player, pumping them full of sleepytime juice, the player will eventually drop for inactivity.
On the one hand, this is going to be extremely rare. In competitive play, each team can only feature one of each character. In quick play, action is still moving fast enough that any attempts to do this will likely be broken up by one of Junkrat’s tires or a detonation of D.Va’s mech. It does point out that the AFK timer is based on character movement not user input.
While it is definitely a possible way to troll players, it doesn’t seem like it’ll be viable unless both teams are participating in the effort. It remains to be seen yet if Blizzard will make any changes to account for it.