Saudi Streamers Spark Outrage After Transphobic Remarks Towards Caster

A controversy has erupted in the Overwatch community after two Saudi co-streamers made offensive and transphobic remarks towards a transgender caster during the Overwatch World Cup.

In a clip posted to r/LivestreamFail with over 10,000 upvotes, the streamers can be heard calling the caster “a pig” after Poland changed their team’s profile icons to pride flags. The caster, who goes by CeeBee, is a trans woman.

The incident provoked intense backlash, with many condemning the streamers’ intolerance. “Finally something worth of outrage,” wrote one Redditor. “It shouldn’t take acceptance to not call a transwoman a pig,” argued another.

However, some defended the streamers’ remarks as being culturally relative. “You mean to tell me that a nonwestern country doesn’t have the same values :0,” commented one user sarcastically. “Welcome to other countries, while everyone complains about America, literally so many countries are against the progression America has made,” added another.

The Overwatch publisher Blizzard also came under fire, with users accusing them of hypocrisy and valuing profits over morals. “Harassing LGBT people = BLIZZ IS OKAY WITH IT. Talk about Taiwan = BLIZZ CODE RED FREAKOUT MODE,” a highly upvoted comment stated.

Blizzard did end up banning the Saudi streamers from future Overwatch esports events and co-streams. But many remain skeptical of Blizzard’s commitment to LGBTQ+ rights.

Some clarified that the streamers were not officially affiliated with Saudi Arabia’s Overwatch World Cup team. “These streamers weren’t officially connected to the OWWC or the Saudi team in ANY way. They’re literally just some guys and this is getting blown out of proportion,” one user wrote.

The drama highlights the difficult balancing act gaming companies like Blizzard face in reconciling PR values like inclusion with profit motivations in restrictive markets abroad. It also speaks to ongoing cultural divides, as norms around LGBTQ+ acceptance vary drastically across regions.

For now, the gaming community awaits to see if Blizzard takes any further action. But the incident has already inflamed tensions around trans rights, gaming company hypocrisy, and reconciling Western social values with other cultural perspectives worldwide.