Heroes of the Storm has always been plagued by its reporting system and the perceived ineffectiveness of banning toxic players from online play. Whether it's innocent players being wrongfully punished or truly toxic players getting away with 3 straight-days of purposeful feeding, the community at large will never pass up on an opportunity to vent about the frustrating state Blizzard's behavior enforcement.
Which is why the latest chapter of reporting system drama is particularly important towards setting a clear precedent of the type of justice the majority of players demand. This week, Redditor Genbu_2459 created a Reddit thread calling to question this moment taken from Mewnfarez's stream:
If you aren't familiar with the EU professional scene, you may not realize that the grieving ETC is none other than Maksym "Mopsio" Szczypa, tank player for the HGC team Zealots. Currently ranked fifth out of eight teams participating in the EU HGC, Zealots is most known for crushing the open division and their dark horse status against more seasoned teams.
So it's no surprise that seeing one of their players single-handedly throw a game of Hero League out of nothing but petty spite drew the ire of the most active members of the Heroes community.
Fans were calling for Blizzard to enforce the toxicity clause in the official HGC contract and even providing evidence of other pro players acting in a similar manner. With over 930 comments in the initial thread, it was clear that this opened up the all-too-sore topic of HL match-making and toxicity in Hero league.
Blizzard clearly needed to put out this fire quickly and that is exactly what they did:
Within 24 hours of the incident being brought to the communities attention, Mopsio was banned for 7 days. This ban extends to this weekends HGC matches, meaning one foolish ETC dance may have just cost Team Zealots big time. Considering the race for BlizzCon qualification is relatively close in EU, most viewed the punishment fitting of the crime.
But the entire event raises more questions than it answers.
What would have happened if this Reddit thread was never made? How many other games has Mopsio ruined, but gone unpunished because it wasn't on stream? Do pro-players deserve to be banned from professional matches because they didn't take Hero League seriously? While the sentencing temporarily quenched Reddit's thirst for blood, the situation places an ugly light, once again, onto the match-making and reporting system in Heroes of the Storm.
Anyone familiar with Heroes of the Storm could look at Mopsio's behavior in-game and deem it worthy of a ban. Ruining the game for others is a big no-no in all Blizzard games, and their swift decision on the matter has undoubtedly caused HGC players to take notice. Hopefully, this public display of ban hammering is a reminder that the "play nice, play fair" creed is more than just words, but an actual expectation that Blizzard demands of its player base.
What's the takeaway from this story? Keep reporting in game and, who knows, maybe the fear of banning might set toxic Hero League players straight.
Warcraft 3 is my one true love and I will challenge anyone to a game of Super Smash Brothers Melee.