Overwatch League professional team Florida Mayhem has just been fined for using an “illegal maneuver” during a match on Circuit Royal, a new escort map in the Overwatch 2 beta.
Since the Overwatch 2 Beta Blizzard’s first public build, which just launched on April 26th, is expected to have its fair share of issues. In the opening days we have already seen everything from groundbreaking ultimatums to Bugs that crash the lobby hinder the experience.
When you add professional play that involves six figure prize pools to the mix, these issues tend to be a bit more significant. That’s how it was during the Opening week of the OWL season 2022 when Florida Mayhem found themselves in a heated series against Paris Eternal.
While the squads exchanged blows on the first two maps, Florida quickly came under scrutiny in the third round for using an as an “illegal maneuver” on one of the game’s all-new Escort layouts.
Florida Mayhem’s “illegal manoeuvre”.
As their attack phase began at Circuit Royal, Florida exited the spawn room with Symmetra and Mei in their composition. After rushing outside, the entire team soon fell over the roof of a nearby building thanks to the combination of Mei’s ice wall and Sym’s teleporter.
In just seconds, they soon descended on an unsuspecting Parisian force for an effortless team fight victory. “That’s ‘5Head’ from the Florida Mayhem right now,” Caster reacted at the moment.
With the momentum on their side, Florida finished with a full minute on the clock before a successful defensive streak to seemingly win the map.
Although the casters or the players involved weren’t aware of it, things weren’t quite that simple. Because of this innovative strategy, league officials called for a replay.
Consequences of the controversial Mei exploit
After being alerted to the rule violation, both teams reloaded at the Circuit Royal as Florida was forced to repeat the attacking round.
Ultimately, even without the flashy introduction of Mei and Symmetra, the results stayed the same. Florida sped through the map again to secure an undeniable win in the second run.
While the replay didn’t affect the score, this decision nonetheless caused a lot of discussion on the internet.
According to Blizzard, we broke this rule during the game. We really didn’t realize it was an exploit. I think this rule is very vague, but going forward we’ll check with Blizzard to be sure. pic.twitter.com/esAFouJMXc
— Gunba (@GunbaOW) May 8, 2022
As fresh as the Overwatch 2 beta is, it’s only been the fourth time Circuit Royal has been played at a professional level. As a result, those involved could not know that their tactics broke the rules.
“No exploits of known bugs are allowed,” says the 2022 Overwatch League rule book, according to a post by Florida coach Gunba. “This includes roof surfing (Doomfist on Midtown) or other known or unknown exploits.”
“According to Blizzard, we broke this rule during the game,” the coach explained. “We really didn’t realize it was an exploit. I think this rule is very vague, but going forward we’ll check with Blizzard to be sure.”
Boston Uprising President Chris ‘HuK’ Loranger also chimed in to criticize the ruling, calling it not only “bad for the league” but bad for “fun, innovation, [and] spectators” too.
“I can understand Paris/League’s point of view, but the rules should be reassessed,” he stressed.
No fun. just shoot.
Patch it out later and smother an exciting moment on a new map, in a new game, in a new season. At the very least, it gets Mayhem a lot of social content memes
— Aaron Atkins (@Aero_OW) May 8, 2022
“While we understand that this was a fun game, the ruling here is that using a Mei Wall to reach unusable locations with the Symmetra teleport is an exploit and was never allowed in OWL games,” explained Sean Miller, head of the Overwatch League, amid the wave of backlash online.
“This rule was shared with teams and players before the start of the season.”
While we understand that this was a fun game, the ruling here is that using a Mei Wall to reach unusable locations with the Symmetra teleport is an exploit and was never allowed in OWL matches. This rule was shared with teams and players before the start of the season.
— Sean Miller (@sean_mmills) May 8, 2022
Blizzard has not yet addressed the exploit in any meaningful way. This Mei Wall trick is still active in the Overwatch 2 Beta for players to abuse on the Circuit Royal map.
With several new layouts in play now, there’s no telling how many similar tricks there could be. This is unlikely to be the last time a pro team will be penalized for experimenting with strategies in Overwatch 2’s early build.
https://www.dexerto.com/overwatch/pro-overwatch-team-punished-illegal-maneuver-new-ow2-beta-map-1819389/ Pro Overwatch team penalized for “illegal maneuver” on new OW2 beta map