Overwatch League bans OK sign due to perceived hate group connections - Dexerto

Overwatch League bans OK sign due to perceived hate group connections

Published: 5/Apr/2019 20:51 Updated: 7/Jul/2020 1:16

by Bill Cooney


The Overwatch League has banned the “OK” hand symbol from the Blizzard Arena after a viewer complained on Twitter about the symbol’s perceived connections with hate groups.

During the Inaugural Season, The League banned images of popular meme Pepe the frog because of its adoption by white supremacist and hate groups.


On April 4, during an interview with the LA Gladiator’s Gui-un “Decay” Jang following the team’s 3-1 win over the Shanghai Dragons, a fan behind Decay in the audience help up the “OK” sign.

After the interview, one viewer complained on Twitter to the League about them showing a “white power hand symbol” during the broadcast.


“Who was that human trash flashing the white power hand symbol during the interview with decay?” the tweet read. “Hope they’re banned from going to further matches.”

In response, it seems Blizzard told fans in the arena that they were no longer allowed to use the hand symbol, because of the connotation it carries.

The fan who used the sign apologized later on twitter, but the whole incident has sparked a debate about whether or not the “OK” sign should be considered a hate symbol or not.



Some people are arguing that the “OK” symbol being a white supremacist/hate symbol is a meme created by 4chan specifically to troll and upset people, and that by banning it the League is only feeding the trolls.

Others pointed out that Zenyatta uses an upside down “OK” symbol in game and even has it as a spray.


Others, though, say that the symbol’s widespread use by actual white supremacists, like the Christchurch shooter who killed 50 worshippers at a mosque in New Zealand, means it is no longer a meme and an actual hate symbol.

The Overwatch League seems to have decided to just skip the debate and ban the symbol outright, just like with Pepe.


Jeff Kaplan reveals his ideal competitive Overwatch meta

Published: 8/Oct/2020 3:13

by Theo Salaun


Blizzard Entertainment’s Vice President and Overwatch’s beloved Game Director Jeff Kaplan has revealed what he thinks is the ideal competitive meta for the expansive title.

Overwatch exists in many forms, from its highest ranks to its lowest, but the game’s competitive meta at the professional level has also varied greatly since the original release back in May 2016. 


In the olden days, teams prioritized dive compositions led by Winston’s jumps and Tracer’s blinks. Then, in 2019, fans around the world either groaned or cheered as the divisive GOATS meta took center-stage, featuring a hefty squad built entirely with tanks and supports. 

Now, Kaplan is explaining his perspective on the game’s ideal state, following criticisms he levied back in July against the game’s double-shield reliance. Examining the game’s departure from a static, Orisa and Sigma-dependent environment, he dissects his compository ideology. 

Brigitte stuns Junkrat on Volskaya
Blizzard Entertainment
Barriers have held an uncomfortably powerful role in Overwatch for a long time.

As discussed in an interview with the Loadout, Kaplan is both aware of the professional scene’s interests and the casual base’s tendencies. Coupling those factors, he believes the game is at its best when there is some blend of high skill caps and diverse team compositions.

“The most ideal, healthiest state of the game is when the meta is somewhat fluid, when the meta is more map dependent or team match up dependent than it is static. We’ve all seen those moments when the meta has been completely static and all six players will just play the same six heroes every time. I think that’s fun from a mastery standpoint, but I think it’s a lot more exciting for viewers when creativity and curiosity come into play,” he said.

When Kaplan refers to a “static” meta, the simplest example is 2019’s GOATS, where three healers (Brigitte, Lucio, and Moira) were coupled with three tanks (D.Va, Reinhardt, and Zarya) and would barrel into opponents.


It took tremendous teamwork to be pulled off successfully against other professional teams, but many fans considered it more tedious than entertaining after months of gameplay.

In its current state, Overwatch is not completely balanced, but there is a degree of variety to it. That diversity seen in the Overwatch League spans downward into the casual ranks. Kaplan indicates that this is in line with his department’s hopes.

“I think most of our players would say in the ideal meta, all our heroes would be viable in some way competitively. I think as a competitive goal from a game designing and game balancing perspective that is extremely challenging, but it’s obviously what we strive to achieve.”


While he assures that Overwatch would be completely balanced in an ideal world, in the meantime, his team would at least like to push toward a game that varies to some extent based on coaching, player preference, and map.

It remains to be seen if current and upcoming patches can accomplish that, but Kaplan’s emphasis on “fluidity” is a welcome driving force.