The announcement follows a recent incident from the DreamHack Austin Hearthstone tournament last week. Finalist Terrance “TerrenceM” Miller had many racist comments thrown at him during the event.
In an interview with Polygon, Blizzard president Mike Morhaime stated, “We’re extremely disappointed by the hateful, offensive language used by some of the online viewers during the DreamHack Austin event the weekend before last. One of our company values is ‘play nice, play fair.’ We feel there’s no place for racism, sexism, harassment, or other discriminatory behavior, in or outside of the gaming community”
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During the event, mods were overwhelmed by hate speech. Twitch’s R9K mod to stop any repetitive spamming would be turned on only to be turned off soon afterwards. A similar thing happened to slow mode. One Twitch moderator, Carling Filewich, believes there just wasn’t enough of them to contain it.
Luckily all the racist comments didn’t affect Miller too much. However, that doesn’t make it any less of an issue. “I have thick skin. It doesn’t personally upset me,” said Miller. “But I don’t think it should be happening. As far as what they should do about it, there should be a stronger punishment for it. If you’re just banned from one chat, you can go somewhere else and continue to do it. Maybe a bigger punishment for constantly doing things that are just meant to be malicious.”
We wish livestream racism, or any form of racism, wasn’t an issue in today’s society. Sadly, it still lingers in many places. Hopefully Blizzard and Twitch can find a solution to this.