While streaming during the annual Tip of the Hats charity stream, former Overwatch League pro Brandon ‘Seagull’ Larned called out a number of viewers who claimed they were unfollowing him for playing Overwatch in wake of the Blizzard-blitzchung controversy.
The scandal caused by Blizzard’s handling of the blitzchung-Hong Kong situation is likely going to continue to dominate headlines in the gaming world up until, through, and after BlizzCon at the beginning of November.
Many fans and personalities have made the decision to boycott Blizzard games, and have called on others to do so. During a charity stream, some of these fans made their way into Seagull’s chat while the former pro was playing Overwatch, and claimed that they were unfollowing his channel because he was “supporting Blizzard.”
When he noticed this happening near the end of his October 11th stream, Seagull directly addressed the viewers who were unfollowing.
“I just feel so disgusted, I don’t want that in my stream,” Seagull said. “This is about charity. This has nothing to do with Blizzard, we’re just playing a game.”
“People are insane right now,” he continued. “Even in a charity stream, they’ll be like ‘f**k you for doing this.' It’s just mindblowing.”
Seagull then began hosting the official Tip of the Hats stream, and signed off for the evening.
According to the Tip of the Hats website, TotH is a “charity event hosted and supported by a group of friends originating from the Team Fortress 2 community. Since 2013, it has raised over $1,000,000 for Children's Oncology Services, Inc.” The 2019 broadcast has so far raised over $80,000 halfway through its three-day run for Camp One Step, a nonprofit organization that provides children going through cancer treatment the opportunity to experience childhood and a close-knit community at camp.
The schedule features numerous segments where Overwatch and Team Fortress 2 are played, as well as others that will feature Minecraft, Super Mario Maker 2, UNO, and more. When Overwatch was first released, it attracted several TF2 players - and a number of Overwatch pro players, including Seagull, were former TF2 players.
On the Competitive Overwatch subreddit, several users sided with Seagull on the matter. User nattfjaril8 wrote, “If anyone wants to boycott Blizzard, it's their choice and I respect that. But trying to attack others for not boycotting Blizzard, especially while they're doing a charity stream, is just…”
User _Sillyy criticized the notion that playing a game means you indirectly support the actions of its creators, saying: “Even if it wasn't a charity stream, people thinking that whoever plays a game developed by Blizzard indirectly supports their actions or anything related to that is just delusional.”
The Tip of the Hats stream continues until the end of Sunday. Anyone who wants to donate can either do so with money to sign up for giveaways, or you can also donate TF2 items as well that will be converted to cash sent directly to the Camp One Step charity.