What is Stream Sniping? Are Content Creators Responsible for Taking Action?

What is Stream Sniping Are Content Creators Responsible for Taking Action
Source: Konbini
  • Stream Sniping happens to every popular streamer. These individuals go out of their way to cause mischief and frustration to their intended target. But what exactly is stream sniping? And is it the responsibility of the streamer being targeted to take action or video game companies?
What is Stream Sniping?

One of the most popular streamers in the world, Ninja, was recently targeted by a stream sniper, and after eliminating him brought up the whole discussion of stream sniping. However, before getting into the discussion we’ll need to bring you up to par about the subject.

Simply put, stream sniping is when someone watches a streamer’s channel to gain pertinent information about them in the same game, and to eventually eliminate them by knowing their whereabouts. This is typically seen with popular streamers as there’s a nefarious motive behind the stream sniping. The way it works is through a sequence like this:

  1. ‘Streamer A’ goes live with a game.
  2. ‘Streamer A’ starts the matchmaking.
  3. As they are waiting to join a lobby, the ‘stream sniper’ is watching the ‘Streamer A’s’ channel and also joins matchmaking at the same time.
  4. The ‘stream sniper’ then waits to see if ‘Streamer A’ is in the same room.
  5. Once the stream sniper confirms he’s in the same lobby as ‘Streamer A’, he can then continue watching ‘Streamer A’s’ channel to know his every move.
Why Does Someone Stream Snipe?

So what would be the reasons behind this? Why would someone care to join the same room as the popular streamer? Perhaps it’s the opportunity of having a chance to play with or against them. However, that’s not likely the case. For one, the popular streamer probably has hundreds of thousands, if not millions of followers. So the “stream sniper” can have the opportunity to troll the popular streamer and annoy them, for one. Secondly, by finding the popular streaming in-game and eliminating them will get their name exposed to thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of viewers who were tuning into that popular streamers channel.

So the reasons are simple:

  • Some stream snipers are sadistic, and enjoy the frustration they cause on the streamer. Here is an example of one player who enjoys stream sniping Ninja.

  • Snipers want to steal the spotlight and have all the attention on them. They do this in hopes of gaining followers for disrupting a popular streamers channel, or simply have viewers head over to their channel.
Tfue Followers as of May 16 2019
Source: Tfue Twitch Channel

With the above image example, the streamer Tfue has close to 6 million followers on Twitch. He is frequently targeted by stream snipers as they are hoping to grab a piece of the pie, whatever the size. Currently, the most popular video game on Twitch is Fortnite Battle Royale. The game has a viewership of over 150k consistently every day (source). Because it’s the #1 rated multiplayer game in terms of viewership and users, it’s the game where most of the stream snipes happen. In the top 10 twitch streamers, 8 out of the 10 play Fortnite exclusively, with the other two streamers (Dr Disrespect and Shroud) occasionally playing Fortnite. So if a stream sniper is looking to disrupt a streamer and get exposure, they will be looking to target Fortnite players as it only makes sense with the above stats.

Additionally, most of the stream snipers have their gamer name ending with “TTV”, which stands for Twitch TV. What this tells viewers is that the stream sniper has his own Twitch channel and they can find him put entering his gamer name at the end of the twitch URL. So for example, if the stream snipers name was “LotusTTV”, then viewers could simply go to: https://www.twitch.tv/LotusTTV.

Ninja Brings Up the Topic of Stream Sniping

During one of Ninja’s recent streams, he was in a party with DrLupo, TimTheTatman and EG MoNsTcr. As they were playing together, there was a point where TimTheTatman has having a little trouble with one opponent. DrLupo was heard saying, “Is he outplaying you right now? Be honest?”. The only reason DrLupo would ask that is that he suspected something unusual with the players drop. That’s when EG MoNsTcr noticed that the player’s name was TTV Ur Trash LOL. As he said that, everyone else knew who he was. TTV Ur Trash LOL is a typical stream sniper who constantly snipes Ninja, TimTheTatman and DrLupo’s stream.

Ninja then started the topic of stream sniping, saying, “These guys won’t ever get banned either? Unless we go out of our way to tell epic”. Ninja has experienced countless of stream snipes during his streaming career, all which have been extremely frustrating. A lot of the times Ninja will ask the stream sniper to do an emote dance after they eliminate him to prove that he was stream sniped. Most of the situations lead to Ninja getting these users banned as stream sniping is against Epic Games Terms of Use. Here’s 7 times Ninja banned these snipers.


Epic Games EULA

Some of you might ask what’s the problem when there are no rules for stream sniping. Well, actually there is. Some companies like the PUBG Corporation flat-out say in their Terms of Service that stream sniping isn’t allowed, while Epic Games doesn’t exactly use that terminology, however, it falls under the definition outlined in their End-user license agreement (EULA). Specifically, here’s the section that talks about this:

“(i) behave in a manner which is detrimental to the enjoyment of the Software by other users as intended by Epic, in Epic’s sole judgment, including but not limited to the following – harassment, use of abusive or offensive language, game abandonment, game sabotage, spamming, social engineering, scamming, running or using methods which are not authorized by Epic and which interfere with the outcome and/or the course of the Software (including Cheats, bots, scripts, or mods not expressly authorized by Epic) by giving you and/or another user an advantage over other players who do not use such methods, or making or otherwise contributing to such unauthorized software” (source)

Essentially, stream sniping creates a bad user experience, and Epic Games does not want players to be affected by behaviors like stream sniping. So when Ninja reports one of these players, they get banned because of the frustration caused to streamers like Ninja. In his recent stream, he continued to go on about the issue saying “we have to address this issue“.

How to Solve The Issue of Stream Sniping?

This seemed to cause some confrontation between Ninja and TimTheTatman as Tim said, “how do you want to publicly address it dude?“. It’s obvious that Ninja wanted to take the moment and seriously discuss what options there are about the ways that stream snipers are handled. He continued going on saying that it should be the job of content creators to continuously report and deal with these snipers. He said,

“Do you guys feel like it should be up to us to get stream snipers banned?”

Everyone in the party unanimously agreed that it shouldn’t be up to them to get stream snipers banned. Ninja then wanted to continue talking about it and see what solutions there are to the problem. Someone suggested doing a delayed stream, where they wouldn’t be streaming in real-time, which could possibly be a solution. However, that would break engagement as viewers wouldn’t be able to chat in real time with their favorite streamer and it would cause a disconnect. Ninja went on saying,

“I feel like Fortnite owes it to their content creators, their streamers, to like try to protect them as we continue to broadcast the game to millions of people.”

Is it up to the streamers/content creators to police the game they are playing? Or is it up to Epic Games? The issue here is how would Epic Games know who is stream sniping and who isn’t. It’s subjective unless someone has actual proof; such as asking the suspect to do an action on the screen. It’s a debate that could go back and forth, but in all honesty (and unfortunately), the best people to take down stream snipers would be the streamers themselves as they can report exact proof (Twitch clippings) of the individual committing the offense. whatever side you’re on, hopefully, companies like Epic Games will have a solution for this never-ending problem.

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