Michael “Irvine Panda” thinks Blizzard can do more in preventing the toxicity found in some Overwatch lobbies.
“Some of the most horrible, sexist and racist things I’ve heard were from in-game and voice chat [in Overwatch],” said Michael, who is the Operations Director for the Shanghai Dragons Overwatch League team.
Part of his concern is the amount of minors playing the game, which is rated “Teen” in the United States and “12” in Europe. Michael thinks Blizzard can do a better job policing the in-game behavior of it’s community, saying “I think Blizzard can to do more to control toxicity especially with many minors playing OW."
Playing OW feels like a social experiment exposing all kinds of nasty behavior online. Some of the most horrible, sexist and racist things I’ve heard were from in-game and voice chat. I think @Blizzard_Ent can to do more to control toxicity especially with many minors playing OW— Michael (@Irvine_Panda) January 11, 2019
The Shanghai Director’s comments come at a time of debate in the Overwatch community, set off by the “Ellie” story of a male OW prospect pretending to be a woman on a different account.
The incident has brought to light broader issues like toxicity in online gaming and the lack of women in esports.
Overwatch streamer and former pro xQc, no stranger to controversy himself, called out gaming culture for “bottlenecking” women trying to become professional esport players.
Blizzard has not indicated changes are on the way for how they ban players or control toxicity, but they did explain how the fake Ellie account almost joined an Overwatch Contenders team.