Blizzard Arena censors another meme for racist connections

Some Overwatch League fans think that Blizzard has taken censorship a bit too far.

The “OK” hand sign is now banned from the Blizzard Arena. On April 4, a fan in the audience held up the “OK” symbol during an interview with the Los Angeles Gladiator’s Gui-un “Decay” Jang following their victory over the Shanghai Dragons.

Check out where the controvery started here

In response, one Twitter user called the fan “human trash,” and said they should be banned from further matches for flashing the “white power hand symbol.”

The fan identified themselves on the same social media platform to explain their use of the hand sign.

“I want to apologize for not knowing the context behind it. The superfans have been using it for the old ‘gottem’ game all season, but now that we know the context it is unacceptable,” they said.

The fan added that they will not be using the “OK” sign during any future Overwatch League games.

Many people came to the fan’s defense, noting that the “OK” symbol being used as a white supremacist symbol is simply a meme created by 4chan. This is in reference to the “Operation O-KKK” post on 4chan in 2017, which aimed to make a connection between the emoji and high-powered politicians and celebrities that are thought to be connected to white hate groups.

While some OWL fans went on to say that even Zenyatta flashes an “OK” symbol in the game, the hand sign was also used by actual white supremacists, like the Christchurch shooter in New Zealand.

Either way, the Blizzard Arena did not want to take any chances and immediately banned use of the “OK” sign after the Twitter exchange.

This isn’t the first time that memes were banned from the Blizzard Arena. Last year, Pepe the Frog memes were openly discouraged by Blizzard, who called it a “symbol associated with or used by hate groups.” Overwatch League players were even required to remove references to the meme from their official streams.

Blizzard suspend collegiate team for sign supporting Hong Kong

Jessica Scharnagle Oct 17, 13:35

Blizzard has suspended three collegiate Hearthstone players who held up a sign that read “Free Hong Kong, Boycott Blizz” during an official competition stream. Although only three players...

ryujehong gets emotional after Seoul Dynasty lose in OWL playoffs


Jessica Scharnagle Sep 09, 17:00

The Seoul Dynasty’s Overwatch League playoff run ended at the hands of the Hangzhou Spark, and Jehong “ryujehong” Ryu delivered a heartfelt apology to the team’s fans in an exit interview. In the...

Overwatch League teams fake out fans for April Fools' Day


Rebekah Drake Apr 01, 18:01

Multiple Overwatch League teams have taken part in a joke rebranding exercise celebrating April Fools’ Day. The Chengdu Hunters, Seoul Dynasty, and Hangzhou Spark all introduced new names and logos...

Former Blizzard Arena employee opens up after company layoffs


Olivia Richman Feb 15, 19:03

Activision-Blizzard’s massive employee layoffs quickly became a topic of discussion within the esports community. An anonymous former employee took to Reddit to open up about their experience...

Fans in uproar over poor quality Overwatch League jerseys


Jessica Scharnagle Feb 13, 12:04

Fanatics, the new Overwatch League merchandise store, is already getting negative attention for one of its core products. Reddit user PyroSSBM posted a picture of their new Atlanta Reign jersey,...