The Ball And The Overwatch: What Happened And Why It Blew Up Out Of Nowhere

The Ball And The Overwatch: What Happened And Why It Blew Up Out Of Nowhere
Credit: Overwatch

If you’ve been plugged into Overwatch in general forums in excitement of the League coming back this Saturday, you’ve likely stumbled across a Twitter account posting bizarre Hammond techs that show a user playing Hammond and almost instantly deleting full-health Reinhardt’s and various other heroes.

It’s been strange, and a bit disconcerting, to watch these clips surface from nowhere from a relatively unknown account instantly burning down anything he comes into contact with. The tech is relatively simple once you know what you’re looking to do.

In a nutshell, you’re attempting to stop acceleration while Hammond is in ball form and has turned red, which occurs at a certain speed. Properly doing this results in you infinitely hitting whatever enemy you’re in contact with until they expire, which explains why the user Ball has been posting videos of him rolling through entire teams.

For many, the immediate question was about what Blizzard was doing to stop the apparent exploit from continuing, and that ended up bringing light to precisely what Ball was attempting to do by exposing the tech.

Ball attempted to bring this exploit to light to Blizzard months ago, warning them of the potential to simply kill entire enemy teams with very little recourse or counter-play, and Blizzard simply never responded. After waiting four months, a teammate says, they decided to make it public to attempt to force Blizzard in stopping it, as it had started to appear in matches online.

If you’re curious as to how game-breaking this actually is, the player for AvoidedGG posted some astonishing clips on Twitter that shows how devastating the tech is.

After the tech became more well-known, Blizzard wasted virtually no time in affirming that the ‘new’ ball tech is considered to be an exploit, meaning that there could be long-term repercussions for users that attempt to take advantage of the exploit to steam-roll their matches between their announcement (yesterday) and when it finally gets patched; if it does.

There’s a side serving of drama with this as well, stemming from Daisuke ‘Niko’ Fujikawa; the player that is now on the Paris Eternal was accused of cheating back in Team Fortress 2 days by scripting, and he proved that he could type the commands that quickly in the console.

Ball shifting his Twitter and Twitch tag from ‘Ball_Overwatch’ to Ball_gdh’ seems to be a direct mockery of the situation, where many have accused the tank player of scripting to reliably execute the tech.

Regardless, this will likely all be patched out in the next update and it’ll just be a fascinating moment in Overwatch history. Unfortunately, it also sets a precedent that Blizzard isn’t likely to patch out existing exploits unless the community grows frustrated by them. Perhaps when Overwatch 2 releases they’ll be a bit faster on the uptake.