Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds has been at the center of several negative stories surrounding the game over the past couple of weeks, and the latest bit of controversy isn’t any different. It’s a little weirder, however, than the rest of the reasons PUBG has been in the spotlight recently. The latest debacle revolves around “stream sniping,” a practice you may not have heard about in passing.
You’d be forgiven for having no idea what it encompasses, especially if you’re not very big into watching video-game streamers to begin with, but it’s an issue several other titles — like H1Z1: King of the Hill — cite as unfair and wholly against the rules.
Stream sniping is the act of watching someone’s video-game stream live to discern their location to either kill them or deliver loot/items in a manner that’s considered cheating. As the H1Z1 guidelines state, stream sniping goes against matches being “competitive, even and fair for all.”
Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds: How one player was banned for stream sniping
As described on NeoGAF, this particular incident involved a player who goes by the name of Lotoe. As a third-party NeoGAF user named SteveO409 stated, his friend Lotoe was banned from Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds for seven days after supposedly being caught “stream sniping” popular streamer Shroud.
As the story goes, Lotoe “unknowingly” encountered players who had thrown grenades into a room and ended up taking out another streamer named summit1g (I have no idea who these people are, either.) After said player mentioned how much they enjoy watching the stream, Lotoe killed Shroud. This reportedly resulted in a ban as stream viewers began to “report” Lotoe.
According to SteveO409, the duo had no idea the streamers were even in the game. You can see the death go down in this clip from Twitch, but be forewarned: There’s plenty of vulgar language to be heard. The salt is real.
Of course, this could all be a convenient cover-up for people who are indeed stream sniping, which isn’t allowed per the game’s terms of service. But this begs the question: At what point can you reliably verify the veracity of such a situation, and how you can keep this type of thing from happening in the first place? Delays for streamers would be a good idea to quell this type of behavior, for example.
It seems immaterial at this point whether Lotoe did, indeed, do this on purpose, but it does raise questions about what type of actions should be banned, the power of a streamer’s followers and how incidents like these are handled in the event of accidents that allow for the benefit of the doubt. This only resulted in a short ban, but there could be future incidents with other players that end up with much more serious in-game consequences.
More gaming news and updates
Check out the latest from Mic, like this deep dive into the cultural origins of Gamergate. Also, be sure to read this essay about what it’s like to cosplay while black, a roundup of family-friendly games to play with your kids and our interview with Adi Shankar, producer of the animated Castlevania Netflix series.