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Blizzard has already banned thousands of Overwatch cheaters

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More than 1,500 players called out for cheating

Blizzard Entertainment promised Overwatch players ahead of launch that it would take serious, permanent action against those who cheat even once in the hero-based shooter. Just over a week after launch, the studio has banned a large number of hackers and other unfair players — and, in China, Blizzard is calling many of them out by name.

On its Chinese customer support forum, Blizzard announced that it had punished players worldwide who had cheated, either by using a popular hacking program or by other methods. The company reiterated that it wouldn't take those who violate the Terms of Use lightly, then went a step further by listing the Battle.net names of every user who had been permanently banned.

The list runs more than 1,500 names long. It's unclear if these players are China-based or represent a global pool, but the Western version of Blizzard's forums has its own post alerting Overwatch users of a recent spate of bans. It's a nearly identical message to that on the Chinese forum, albeit without the usernames attached.

The community thread posted yesterday states that the company has "recently taken action against Overwatch accounts worldwide which were found to be using cheat programs." Members of a forum dedicated to one such program have admitted to being thwarted by Blizzard, mentioning the company's particularly aggressive actions in taking out cheaters.

Despite Blizzard making it clear before releasing Overwatch last week that it wouldn't tolerate hackers, cheaters and everyone in-between, some owners of banned accounts are hoping for both a way back into the game — and a method to bypass Overwatch's cheat detection.

With a player base seven million deep, Overwatch still has plenty of non-cheaters left to play against. Watch below for our thoughts on the title, which is Blizzard's first new franchise in more than a decade.