Over the course of the past few weeks, there have been a few VALORANT streamers who have been exploiting the Twitch drop system to gain viewers by streaming 24/7 and broadcasting VODs as “live” content. After much vocal frustration from top influencers in the community, like Summit1g and TimTheTatman, the platform finally responded to the criticism today and made an update to its community guidelines.
“We’ve heard concerns about creators continuously streaming VODs while tagging the channel as ‘Live’ to farm Valorant Drops,” Twitch said. “This harms the integrity of our Drops Program so we’ve updated our Community Guidelines to clarify that cheating any Twitch rewards system is prohibited.”
The change to Twitch’s guideline was short but left a lot of room open for interpretation by the platform moving forward. Because Twitch deemed this exploitation to be a form of “cheating” the viewership incentive system, the amendment was put under the “Spam, Scams, and Other Malicious Conduct.”
The main portion of the section reads: “Any content or activity that disrupts, interrupts, harms, or otherwise violates the integrity of Twitch services or another user’s experience or devices is prohibited.”
At the end of a list of activities deemed to be a part of this violation, the company added a new bullet point making “cheating a Twitch rewards system (such as the Drops or channel points systems)” against the guidelines.
In this situation, Twitch sees 24/7 channels as a form of “cheating” because of the deceptive approach that channels have used in their titles indicating that they’re “live” when they’re simply playing a prerecorded VOD.
By being “live,” streamers can have drops enabled, making it more beneficial for them to be deceptive instead of simply playing a VOD categorized as a “rerun,” which is a Twitch feature.
The policy changes gained immediate attention from streamers. Even VALORANT game director Joseph Ziegler chimed in on Twitter, commending Twitch for the move.
“Twitch has been a great ally in helping us ship our beta, and they are continuing to support the best efforts to ensure drops stay fair,” he said.
Twitch has not yet announced any plans for disciplinary action against channels that have been generating massive amounts of hours watched based on inflated airtime from playing VODs. But based on today’s announcement, it’s safe to assume that some streams might be in trouble if they continue to exploit the system.