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Blizzard targets Twitch chat toxicity with new Overwatch moderation scheme

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Blizzard is trying to clean up Twitch chat for Overwatch (opens in new tab) events with a new moderation system that requires viewers to link their Twitch and Battle.net accounts before they participate in chat. 

The new system is being trialed on the Twitch channel for Overwatch Contenders (opens in new tab), the development league for aspiring pro players. Season 3 quarterfinals matches start today and will run through Jan 12, and when you begin watching a stream you'll be prompted to link your Twitch and Battle.net accounts.

The aim is to create a "more positive viewing experience", Blizzard said on the Overwatch Contenders blog (opens in new tab). It's not clear how exactly it will work: the developer didn't mention any punishment for Twitch chat toxicity, but the fact your accounts will be linked suggests that any punishments on Twitch could also have an impact on Battle.net.

Competitive Overwatch could certainly do with cleaning up its act. This year, Blizzard took action against a number of pro players (opens in new tab) in the Overwatch League (opens in new tab) for offences ranging from racism to homophobia. Last week, it launched a "player discipline tracker (opens in new tab)" that will keep a running record of players who violate the league's code of conduct, and the penalties they incur—there are already seven players on the list.

Samuel Horti is a long-time freelance writer for PC Gamer based in the UK, who loves RPGs and making long lists of games he'll never have time to play. He's now a full-time reporter covering health at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. When he does have time for games you may find him on the floor, struggling under the weight of his Steam backlog.