“Penalties for boosting and throwing are about to increase dramatically.”
That’s the message from Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan, as he’s taken to the game’s forum to reveal the company’s distaste for practices that fiddle with the game’s internal metrics for ranking players.
“Having a second account you play on is fine. New accounts very rapidly adjust to play at the proper skill level.
Doing anything to manipulate your internal MMR or Skill Rating (i.e. Boosting or Throwing) is not fine.
Penalties for boosting and throwing are about to increase dramatically. Please report the behavior (reporting is being worked on for Console but is not ready yet).”
In short, those of you boosting and throwing on the PC? Your days are numbered. Smurfs? You’re good to go. Keep doing what you’re doing.
Throwing is the practice of deliberately losing games to lose rank. Players could do this for a variety of reasons. They might want to drop rank so they can play easier games and slaughter easier opponents, but they may throw games in order to help other players boost.
Boosting, to answer your unasked question, is to go the other way. It’s to be carried to victories by a higher skilled played in order to get a higher rank. There’s no real reason for this, beyond having a shinier rank to boast about. However, it’s still a reasonably common practice, despite the fact it’ll likely leave players completely unable to play the game in ranked again, lest they be completely stomped.
Dot Esports have more on the story.