The recent Dreamhack Austin Hearthstone tournament sparked some serious (and highly unnecessary) comments in regards to second place winner Terrance Miller (TerrenceM). He hadn’t been one of the popular names in the tournament, yet he pushed up the ranks and landed himself in a top spot. Unfortunately, many Twitch users participating in the chat decided to make it about his race. There were many derogatory and racial terms being carelessly tossed around.
Miller knew that there would be some type of issue however, while speaking with polygon he said “I knew it would be bad, but I didn’t think it would be that bad.”
Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime spoke with PCgamer and made a statement about the inconceivable turn of events and issued the following statement:
“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. This is obviously a larger, societal problem that affects us on many levels. We can only hope that when instances like this come to light it encourages people to be more thoughtful and positive, and to fully reject mean-spirited commentary, whether within themselves or from their fellow gamers.
“To help combat this type of behavior during live events, we’ve reached out to players, streamers, and moderators, along with partners like Twitch, DreamHack, and others, to get consensus and collaborate on what to do differently moving forward. To that end, we’re investigating a pilot program that Twitch has in the works to streamline moderation and combat ban evasion. We’re also updating our esports tournament partner policies with a stronger system of checks, balances, and repercussions to provide a better chat experience around our content.”
“We believe these are important steps to take to help address the related issues, but we acknowledge that they only address part of the problem. This is ultimately an industry-wide issue, and it will take all of us to make a real impact.”
Twitch as well spoke with PCgamer and said they have “a responsibility to broadcasters and players to provide a welcoming environment” and they’re “exploring new tools and processes to increase awareness and mitigation of these issues.