Blizzard has disabled the functionality of Overwatch's "Avoid This Player" feature, according to game director Jeff Kaplan.

Kaplan explained the feature change in a post on the official Overwatch forums regarding the game's matchmaking system.

The feature, which allowed players to block specific players from matchmaking with them, was designed so that players could prevent themselves from repeatedly encountering trolls or harassers.

But Kaplan said Blizzard later "realised that 'Avoid This Player' was wreaking havoc on matchmaking."

He cited feedback the Overwatch team had received from a top Widowmaker player, who "complained to [Blizzard] about long queue times."

It turned out that players had used the feature to block the skilled sniper "because they did not want to play against him, not because of misbehaviour."

"The worst part was, by the time he finally got a match, he had been waiting so long that the system had 'opened up' to lower skill players. Now one of the best Widowmaker players was facing off against players at a lower skill level."

"The system was designed with the best intent. But the results were pretty disastrous," Kaplan mused.

Avoid This Player has been disabled for now, with the UI set to disappear in an upcoming patch.

Blizzard has not announced a replacement for Avoid This Player to serve the feature's original purpose.