BATTLEGROUNDS Player Banned For Allegedly Looking At Another Player's Stream

Moderators for the popular shooter BATTLEGROUNDS banned a player this week for what they said was "stream sniping", or watching another player's stream to identify his location. The banned player denies any wrongdoing, which raises a fascinating question: How do you prove that someone is watching someone else's stream?

Yesterday on Reddit, a user named Novaren_X wrote that he had been playing BATTLEGROUNDS with a friend, Lotoe, when they encountered and killed a streamer named Shroud. Shortly afterwards, Lotoe received a message saying he was banned from the game for seven days. "We didn't even know he was in the game until we noticed the names in the killfeed and thought it was pretty cool, but this is just unacceptable," Novaren_X wrote.

BATTLEGROUNDS is a frenetic player vs. player rumble in which competitors battle to see who can be the last one standing. Stealth and surprise are a big part of the game's strategy, so by nature, a streamer who is broadcasting his location to the world is at a disadvantage. In May, the people behind BATTLEGROUNDS promised that they'd be clamping down on stream sniping, but that just raises questions.

How can moderators possibly know whether a player is watching someone's stream? (The developers of Battlegrounds have not yet responded to a request for comment.)

On the death clip from Shroud's stream, you can see a number of his viewers accusing Lotoe of stream sniping. Sammie Kang, a lead community manager for BATTLEGROUNDS, said on Twitter that they were convinced it had happened. "Our team had enough evidence to make a decision," she said. "We do not instantly ban someone after getting reports about only ONE incident."

Lotoe denies any wrongdoing. "There was no hard evidence that I was stream sniping", he said on Reddit, "just the popular streamers crying".


    I'm inclined to believe he was stream sniping (which I only learned was a thing just now) due to the noise he is making. Usually cheaters or trolls tend to have a big whinge on an open forum to play the victim card because most people hate it when you catch them doing the wrong thing. Just like when you get a ticket for breaking the road rules, it is suddenly the Police Officer 's fault they were doing their job and he person was breaking the rules.

      And innocent people tend to get really vocal when they are accused of something they didn't do. But hey the social media courts have spoken.

      If the guy is streaming the game he has to know that is bound to happen. With that type of game it is part of their nature, if he can't learn to accept it maybe stream other games in which it isn't an issue

        Good call. Whether the other guy "stream sniped" him or not I'd suggest that if you're silly enough to live stream a game where you're supposed to be stealthy then you deserve it.

        Hell, just delay the stream by a minute and you'd be fine.

          Exactly this. If you are broadcasting your location to all and sundry, how can you complain if someone finds out where you are? Watching someone's stream goes 'outside' the game, but then, so does streaming itself.

    Next time on PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds...


    Blind players upset they can't see people stream sniping them! Demand justice!

    Last edited 29/07/17 2:45 pm

    Ok I get its a shit of a thing to do, but if people are going to put their streams out there, what do they expect?

      The problem a lot of these types of streams have however is that they are community focused, if they put a delay on their streams it makes it really hard to keep everything running smoothly, so it is catch 22. I get what you are saying and while I think a ban is pretty ridiculous, I am not really sure how else the developer (who is pretty much only advertising through high popularity streamers) is going to deal with stream snipes.

        Personally, this is just my thought, I think the dev should stay out of it. It basically comes down to a form of Caveat Emptor. Buyer Beware, in a sense. If you're going to put a stream up, if you're going to put your location out in the public domain, then quite frankly you're willingly exposing yourself. I mean, yes, it's definitely a dick thing to do watching it, but they have put it out there to be watched? Bad sportsmanship for sure, but this is something the community should deal with, not the developer imho.

          If I was a game developer, I'd probably want more people to stream my game than less though. Some percentage of people watching the streams are going to turn around and buy the game, after all.

          So they do have an incentive to protect streamers to some extent, whether you think the streamers deserve it or not.

            They don't really have a strong incentive to protect streamers, because streaming is a source of revenue which yields it's own internal reward, and ultimately streamers will stream whatever games are most popular at the time. If PUBG backs the streamers they risk damaging the reputation and, by extension, the popularity of the game, as we have seen. If PUBG backs the stream snipers, they risk turning streamers away. There's no winning outcome here. PUBG should really just steer clear of it. As someone else said, stream sniping seems like it is just an acceptable risk for streaming your game live.

      THIS. Seriously. Just play the game and accept that if you are going to broadcast your movements, then people will take you out.

      Protecting the streamers is the most ridiculous thing I've heard of since 'earning an income from streaming'.

        It's seriously like a grand master of Chess vocalising their thoughts while playing, honestly.

          And then complaining that people were listening. And having the tournament organisers trying to deduce who was listening and punish them for it.

    How can moderators possibly know whether a player is watching someone's stream?
    Was the player dumb enough to stream their game, while looking at another stream and the viewers noticed they paused and then suddenly did an about turn and chased them down. Twitch viewers dont like cheaters.

    Screencheat may be part of Twitches API and offered to developers. Maybe something they developed for Hearthstone!
    If Player is streaming "PUBG" it flags them looking at any other "PUBG" streams at the same time?

    This is exactly the same as when streamers complain their wards are always being dewarded in DotA 2. Streaming is not mandatory, you can choose not to stream. Or as someone else said, delay the stream.

    The banned person isn't usually any mods or hacks to win his way to the top. He's using the stupidity of other players.

    Twice now, like an idiot, I've squeezed too hard on my mouse which has a numberpad on the side and switched to my pan during the middle of a gun fight and died. Should I then report the guy who killed me because he took advantage of my stupidity? No.

    A streamer I watch (Sing_Sing, former pro DotA 2 player) gets streamed sniped all the time. He laughs it off, because it's just a game after all. Sure he'll abuse the guy, but then he'll just say that next match I'll kill you first, and laughs about it.

    Absolutely ridiculous that this would be a bannable offence.

    Ditto with intentional team killing to be honest. How many other games can you name where you're globally banned (as opposed to banned from a single server by an admin) for anything less using external programs to cheat ('hacking') or extreme griefing?

    Something like CS:GO's escalating temporary bans might be appropriate for repeated team kills, but 'stream sniping'... seriously? That's outside the realm of things the developers should care about at all, let alone ban people for.

    I'm gonna assume the evidence is either the "cheater" was logged into twitch and visible in the victims chat?
    Either that or he had 100 kills for the day and 10 of them were this one guy.

    I don't believe the issue with stream snipers is anywhere near as bad as streamers make it out to be. It's about ego (something a lot of streamers appear to have an abundance of). Streamer goes down and 'stream sniping' is the go-to get out clause for their poor gameplay. Sycophant followers believe the lie and it snowballs.

    Impossible to enforce. The only way they can know for certain someone is "stream sniping", is if the perpetrator announces it, or shows footage of them watching another stream while they play.

    A few ways of dealing with this problem:

    1) Have popular streamers use a fake, randomly generated name - that way, when they play, other players won't know it's them and switch on to the stream. The company would know the real identity of all players, so they wouldn't be able to use it as a cover for harassment.
    2) Delay the stream by a few minutes
    3) Accept that this can happen and that this is the price you pay for streaming.

    Any of the above options would solve the issue.

      Actually it could be simple to enforce in some situations. You can already link your Twitch account with your PUBG account. They could have a data sharing agreement, and check if you were in a game with someone and simultaneously watching their Twitch stream.

      Of course, that would be very easy to evade by simply not linking your accounts, but if they never announced it was happening then I wonder how long it would take for people to connect the dots.

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