The Overwatch System is a system that Valve introduced into CS:GO that, along with the anti-cheat, helps keep the gaming environment safe and free of players who cheat and hack and exploit the game in any other way.
The Overwatch System basically consists of a council of some of the best Counter-Strike community members and allows them to review gameplay footage that is suspected of featuring foul play. These players are known as Investigators and can vote whether the suspect is guilty or not based on the footage that they reviewed. The System itself then determines whether the player is guilty based on the votes received.
How to Participate in the Overwatch System
If you have played CS:GO, then you probably know that not everyone can participate in the Overwatch System, which is probably a good thing as it makes sense that Valve would want to ensure that the system is not abused by malicious players, and you need some experience with the game before you can accurately call out hackers and griefers.
In order to try and ensure that the system remains in the right hands, Valve has not revealed the exact way of how one can earn their spot in the Overwatch System. However, we do know that the system itself takes many different things into consideration such as the age of your account, the number of hours played, your skill group, competitive wins, as well as your report count.
How Does the Overwatch System Work?
If you were skilled and lucky enough to earn your participation in the Overwatch system then you should know how it works, so let’s get into it.
In CS:GO, players may notice a shield icon displayed in the main menu. This indicates that there is an Overwatch case that requires the player’s evaluation. This is where you would receive eight rounds of footage from a single player who is suspected of hacking or cheating. The footage will be shown from the suspect’s perspective. You also get X-ray vision which helps a lot when deciding whether or not a suspect is guilty. All player names have been anonymized in an Overwatch video.
After reviewing the footage, you will be asked to deliver a verdict which will either deem the suspect guilty or free them of all charges. However, your opinion will not be the only one as the Overwatch system will collect the verdicts from many different players. At the end of it all, the system will count the votes and decide whether the suspect was guilty or innocent.
When you first get Overwatch, you may receive a couple of test cases (where the system already knows what the correct verdict is) and your judgement on these will decide how reliable your verdicts are. There is no visual feedback on this, but players who have a history of making the wrong calls with get very little influence on the actual verdict of Overwatch cases. This is done to prevent wrongfully banned players, and it seems to work too. When players get an Overwatch ban, this will almost always mean that they’ve been cheating, griefing, or breaking the game in some other way.
Will There be Overwatch in CS2?
At the time of writing, it is extremely difficult to tell whether the upcoming Counter-Strike 2 update will feature the Overwatch System. At this point in the beta, no such system has been implemented. Furthermore, numerous sources have revealed leaked information stating that Valve is developing a new type of Anti Cheat system, so it is hard to say.
However, it is worth noting that many features have been ported from CS:GO to CS2, and while some have undergone small tweaks and alterations, at their core, they remained the same systems and mechanics so it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that the Overwatch System will make its appearance in one form or another.
In conclusion, there is not much information available regarding the Overwatch System in CS2 and whether it will even be making an appearance at the launch of the game. However, based on other elements that have been retained from CS:GO, as well as the presence of similar systems in other Valve games, it seems that the Overwatch System will likely be introduced to CS2 at some point in some shape or form. We will keep you updated if any new information surfaces.