“Stream-sniping” has been a hot topic in the PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds community lately, and recent developments will only further its usage.
Stream-sniping is when a player watches a broadcaster’s livestream to learn something about them—usually their exact location—to use as an advantage to defeat the player. It’s against PUBG’s rules of conduct and is listed as a bannable offense.
This week’s controversial situation began with a Reddit post by “Novaren_X,” who explained that their friend received a seven-day ban from PUBG for stream-sniping because they killed a popular streamer: CS:GO pro player Michael “shroud” Grzesiek. Shroud was playing in a game with another streamer, Summit1g, so there were a lot of eyes on the exchange.
In the clip, the broadcasters claimed that they were stream-sniped by Novaren_X and his friend, but the Reddit post claims innocence and says that they were mistaken for another group who were indeed stream-sniping. The post received 17,000 upvotes, and the PUBG Reddit community began a rallying cry.
Today, Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene responded to the situation, further stoking the flames.
“I have seen the data the community team looked at before issuing the ban, and the ban was indeed justified,” Greene said. “The tracking data shows that the player in question tried to join the same lobby as their target multiple times. While we understand we cannot prove that this player was watching the target’s broadcast, we see no other reason why they would consistently attempt to be in the same lobby as someone who is broadcasting live other than to have an advantage in the game.”
Novaren_X and their friend now claim that their game froze and they needed to reconnect to the servers, which they believe explains the data that Greene is speaking of.
“We have tracking in place that allows us to verify unfair play like this, despite what some players may think,” Greene said. “For example, we can track when a player joins and quickly disconnects from multiple lobbies, only staying in a game when they are in the same lobby as their target. We are constantly developing new tracking systems and ways to ensure fair-play from all players.”
Stream-sniping is bad, no one can deny that. But situations like this are certainly exacerbated by streamers who have high viewership numbers of fans who are watching them play. If the streamer cries foul, their viewers are able to fill out forms to report players, and it creates something of a witch hunt problem.
It’s been nearly two weeks since PUBG updated its method of reporting, and there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the game and bans in it ever since. It seems that maybe the method is either not working as intended, or working quite well.