Update, September 27: Blizzard are working on a fix for the bug, and in the meantime are reversing the bans and restoring skill ratings.
A nasty bug causing seasonal bans and the loss of skill ratings has caught Blizzard’s attention and they’re in the process of fixing it, according to a forum post from Jeff Kaplan. They don’t yet have a timeframe for a permanent fix, but Kaplan says it’s a “high priority” for the team.
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In the meantime they’re removing mistaken bans and restoring affected skill ratings. “To date,” says Kaplan, “this bug has impacted fewer than 200 accounts, but we’ll continue to monitor for additional occurrences and provide assistance until we can implement a permanent fix.”
We first heard of the bug through Reddit, and the numbers Kaplan has provided indicate that it is indeed a pretty small percentage of players. Nonetheless, it’s good to see Blizzard taking action, and helping affected users while a fix is in progress.
Original Story, September 26: A bug is causing season bans and losses of hundreds of skill rating points in Overwatch. The bug, highlighted on Reddit, effects players who disconnect as competitive matches are loading, as well as their teammates.
A Reddit user described the bug, which “seems to happen if someone leaves right as the competitive match is loading.” If that happens, “the match goes into a 'waiting for players' state,” which is uncommon in competitive play. It then repeatedly attempts to start, failing every time, with the bug affecting the same players every time the cycle repeats.
Players affected by the bug receive instant season-bans, even if they have no prior offences, and also lose hundreds of SR. One example proffered in the Reddit post saw a player lose 767 SR in just four hours, which is far faster than should be possible due to the incremental suspensions the game puts in place.
It’s thought that this bug affects everyone in the match if it occurs, although that hasn’t been confirmed. There are at least eight examples listed by this user alone, and further down the thread there are suggestions this has been happening for at least six months. Blizzard customer support are apparently unable to undo the changes, and if you’ve been affected by the bug, your best bet is to head to the forums to see if you can find a helpful developer to fix the issue for you.