The Overwatch esports program, Overwatch League, hosted a Mother’s Day celebration that included a major misstep. The official stream managed to display an image of a notorious British serial killer couple, which had been sent in by a viewer.
The Mother’s Day celebration involved displaying tweets sent in from fans celebrating their mothers. While the tweets were presumably scanned for inappropriate content or language, it seems that no one thought to reverse image search the pictures. If they had, the team would have saved themselves the shame of displaying an image of notorious British serial killers Fred and Rosemary West.
The tweet, which is assumed to have been from a troll, came from an account in the name of bcafcjames with a message that read, “My mom can’t be with us right now but I know she’d be happy knowing the shock are doing so good! #OWLMOMS”
While the killers' photos are most likely not known to most of the US, they are very well known over in the UK, and it didn’t take long for the mistake to be picked up.
It’s unclear how many people spotted the mistake when it was broadcast live, but it has been retweeted over 1,700 times on Twitter after @TheMasterKronk posted a screenshot of the image and its original source.
The official Overwatch League Twitter has not posted about or acknowledged the mistake, so it is unclear if they have even realized.
Over on social media, some fans have been calling for tighter controls on official social media channels, especially since the Overwatch League are strict on its players.
Former professional Overwatch League player Félix ‘xQc’ Lengyel (the controversial streamer with the dirty desk) was suspended from the game last year for being abusive in in-game chat. Prior to the suspension, he was dropped from the Dallas Fuel team for similar offenses. He wasn’t the only one either, with Timo “Taimou” Kettunen (Dallas Fuel), Ted “Silkthread” Wang (Los Angeles Valiant), and Tae-yeong “TaiRong” Kim (Houston Outlaws) also facing disciplinary action in the past for violations of the League’s code of conduct.
When players are held accountable for their conduct, it's only fair that the companies themselves are also held responsible for their actions. While the mistake could have been much worse, itis one which a quick reverse image search could easily have prevented.
Here’s hoping that Blizzard learned the lesson most of us already knew: never trust the internet.