StarCraft® II

“Stream Sniping” and Customer Service Policy

Community Manager
We’ve continued to see reports regarding someone live streaming their match, and their opponent watching the stream in order to gain an in-game advantage (also known as stream sniping). While this is obviously poor sportsmanship on the part of the one viewing the stream, we’d like to clarify that this is not a violation of any current policies. In fact, we cannot enforce any ‘fair play’ policies if a user chooses to provide their opponent an advantage. If someone in-game chooses to tell their opponent every move they’re making, thereby informing them how to counter it, we cannot conclude that any violation has taken place. Even if this could be considered a violation, we simply cannot micro-manage every streamed match to ensure the opponent was not looking at it, or using it to their advantage. It goes far beyond the scope of what we’re able to enforce. It’s advisable for those streaming to take precautions, including delaying their streams by a significant amount of time, to avoid any potential advantage they may be providing their opponent.

We are absolutely able to enforce, and will continue to do so, violations that include harassment of others in-game, use of hacks, abuse of our reporting tools, and attempts to disrupt the gameplay of others. If you believe that someone is in violation of the game rules it does not warrant behavior, language, or abuse that would earn you, yourself, a suspension from the game. If you'd like to report an offense, please report the player using clear and descriptive language only once; support will review that report and take action based on the validity of the complaint, not the persistence of the reporting.

The intent with our policies is to ensure a fair and fun experience in Blizzard games, but the act of providing a window into your game for your opponent to see is not considered a violation, should they choose to use that to their advantage. We encourage anyone streaming to keep this in mind while doing so.
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good points
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+1
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Except... from my own experience and also from hearing from those who often report hackers and such, nothing is ever done, reporting seems to be pointless, unless a player is reported multiple times. This is why players like Destiny and Minigun who are constantly spammed by Deezer report him around 5 times whenever they have spare time, since "reporting him once does nothing...." Is this completely wrong, or is there some system in place thats purpose is to stop customer support from being overloaded with reports?
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01/19/2012 09:01 AMPosted by Bashiok
If someone in-game chooses to tell their opponent every move they’re making, thereby informing them how to counter it, we cannot conclude that any violation has taken place.

EXACTLY what happens in stream-sniping.
+1 and gg.
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What you are describing is ghosting, Sniping is the act of using a players stream to queue at the same time as them; allowing you to play against them. When done one time it isn't a big deal but people have chain sniped for days, making it near impossible for a player to play against anyone else on ladder. Some of them even abuse Battle.NET, by disconnecting from battlenet if their opponent doesn't get matched up with them. If you disconnect during count down, the match is like a tie and neither player loses or gains points.

I believe preventing someone from playing against a random opponent on ladder falls under "attempts to disrupt the gameplay of others" and "Harassment".
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Adding a 5-10 minute delay to the stream can prevent sniping. Totalbiscuit does it for his tournaments.
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01/19/2012 10:40 AMPosted by Sary
Adding a 5-10 minute delay to the stream can prevent sniping. Totalbiscuit does it for his tournaments.

This, stream delays would be the best.

And Ipp, stream sniping is stream sniping. We know what they do. If they're already watching your stream to que up and play unfairly against you, you already know they are cheating. You don't need to add obscure terms like ghosting, screen hacking, screen watching, whatever.
Stream Snipe covers it.
Edited by ninjakitten on 1/19/2012 11:23 AM PST
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i think hes referring to streamcheating? streamsniping is just when you hit search at the same time as your favorite pro to get a 1v1, which has nothing to do with watching the stream while playing...
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We’ve continued to see reports regarding someone live streaming their match, and their opponent watching the stream in order to gain an in-game advantage (also known as stream sniping). While this is obviously poor sportsmanship on the part of the one viewing the stream, we’d like to clarify that this is not a violation of any current policies. In fact, we cannot enforce any ‘fair play’ policies if a user chooses to provide their opponent an advantage. If someone in-game chooses to tell their opponent every move they’re making, thereby informing them how to counter it, we cannot conclude that any violation has taken place. Even if this could be considered a violation, we simply cannot micro-manage every streamed match to ensure the opponent was not looking at it, or using it to their advantage. It goes far beyond the scope of what we’re able to enforce. It’s advisable for those streaming to take precautions, including delaying their streams by a significant amount of time, to avoid any potential advantage they may be providing their opponent.

We are absolutely able to enforce, and will continue to do so, violations that include harassment of others in-game, use of hacks, abuse of our reporting tools, and attempts to disrupt the gameplay of others. If you believe that someone is in violation of the game rules it does not warrant behavior, language, or abuse that would earn you, yourself, a suspension from the game. If you'd like to report an offense, please report the player using clear and descriptive language only once; support will review that report and take action based on the validity of the complaint, not the persistence of the reporting.

The intent with our policies is to ensure a fair and fun experience in Blizzard games, but the act of providing a window into your game for your opponent to see is not considered a violation, should they choose to use that to their advantage. We encourage anyone streaming to keep this in mind while doing so.


You never addressed the possibility of blocking certain players from being matched with them. There's an ignore list for chatting, but none for the actual game. The most bothersome of stream cheaters are the ones who are repeat offenders. Perhaps the possibility of blocking 10-15 players from being matched with would cut down on these offenses and reports.

Aside from that, even players who don't stream could benefit from the feature. If a player runs across someone who does something especially rude in a game, why not give them the ability to bypass that player for future matches?

You've acknowledged you yourself can't possibly enforce it, so why not let the players police themselves?

I really would like to hear your opinion on this.
Edited by Phreak on 1/19/2012 12:07 PM PST
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You should classify as stream cheating not stream sniping. the two are completely different
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You have a policy in your TOS that says you can ban someone or give them a warning for any reason.

So why choose not to use it? Why give people like Deezer a stamp of approval to keep doing what they're doing?

Does Blizzard even realize that popular streams help to promote and maintain interest in Starcraft 2? Why on earth would you not want to protect that outlet?

I think it's extremely disappointing that you're taking this stance.
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Does Deezer work for Blizzard? It blows my mind that nothing has ever been done to him despite constant harassment of players and in fact, only players like Destiny have gotten punished when they try to fight back.
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Why won't blizzard admit that they simply have a BAD MATCHMAKING SYSTEM. It needs to be fixed in such a way that you can only play against a certain player so often. There is no reason you should have to play against deezer 3 times in a row. That is just BAD matchmaking. You should be forced into playing against a variety of players on ladder, making repeat stream sniping impossible.
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Ya so for the millionth time why hasn't Deezer been perma banned yet, its seriously emberessing that he is still allowed to use a computer.
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We’ve continued to see reports regarding someone live streaming their match, and their opponent watching the stream in order to gain an in-game advantage (also known as stream sniping). While this is obviously poor sportsmanship on the part of the one viewing the stream, we’d like to clarify that this is not a violation of any current policies. In fact, we cannot enforce any ‘fair play’ policies if a user chooses to provide their opponent an advantage. If someone in-game chooses to tell their opponent every move they’re making, thereby informing them how to counter it, we cannot conclude that any violation has taken place. Even if this could be considered a violation, we simply cannot micro-manage every streamed match to ensure the opponent was not looking at it, or using it to their advantage. It goes far beyond the scope of what we’re able to enforce. It’s advisable for those streaming to take precautions, including delaying their streams by a significant amount of time, to avoid any potential advantage they may be providing their opponent.

We are absolutely able to enforce, and will continue to do so, violations that include harassment of others in-game, use of hacks, abuse of our reporting tools, and attempts to disrupt the gameplay of others. If you believe that someone is in violation of the game rules it does not warrant behavior, language, or abuse that would earn you, yourself, a suspension from the game. If you'd like to report an offense, please report the player using clear and descriptive language only once; support will review that report and take action based on the validity of the complaint, not the persistence of the reporting.

The intent with our policies is to ensure a fair and fun experience in Blizzard games, but the act of providing a window into your game for your opponent to see is not considered a violation, should they choose to use that to their advantage. We encourage anyone streaming to keep this in mind while doing so.


You never addressed the possibility of blocking certain players from being matched with them. There's an ignore list for chatting, but none for the actual game. The most bothersome of stream cheaters are the ones who are repeat offenders. Perhaps the possibility of blocking 10-15 players from being matched with would cut down on these offenses and reports.

Aside from that, even players who don't stream could benefit from the feature. If a player runs across someone who does something especially rude in a game, why not give them the ability to bypass that player for future matches?

You've acknowledged you yourself can't possibly enforce it, so why not let the players police themselves?

I really would like to hear your opinion on this.


so you want GM's player to be able to block higher ranked GM players from their list of acceptable opponents? thereby giving themself the advantage of only playing worse players allowing them to gain ladder points more easily then other players of the same skill level.

terrible idea...
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01/19/2012 01:23 PMPosted by JarritoSC
Ya so for the millionth time why hasn't Deezer been perma banned yet, its seriously emberessing that he is still allowed to use a computer.


all the attention you idiots give him on this forum is exponentially more embarrassing than him stream sniping. the fact that these forums think what deezer does is against blizz's TOS is embarrassing. the fact that you ignored everything in the blue OP is embarrassing. how do you even manage to turn on your computer?

There is nothing wrong with what deezer does. when players choose to not delay their stream b/c it affects their profits, that is their choice. when Destiny chose to make infinity tickets about Deezer, that was his choice too.

i bet every single person that complains about deezer's sniping would not be able to beat a GM while watching a stream of the game. deezer may be annoying but he still has a level of skill far surpassing all the morons that QQ everytime he beats their favorite streamer.
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A few more points -

01/19/2012 09:01 AMPosted by Bashiok
Even if this could be considered a violation,


It can be considered a violation. Your TOS says you can ban someone for any reason. If you decided you wanted to ban chronic stream snipers, you absolutely could based on how your TOS is currently written.

we simply cannot micro-manage every streamed match to ensure the opponent was not looking at it, or using it to their advantage. It goes far beyond the scope of what we’re able to enforce.


No sane person has ever asked for you to constantly micro manage streams and ban any person who stream snipes.

What reasonable people have requested is that you ban the small number of chronic stream snipers. AKA - People like Deezer who have constantly stream sniped over a period of many months and who openly flaunt what they're doing.

It is not beyond the scope of what you could enforce to ban the tiny handful of individuals who have basically made an e-career out of stream sniping.

In the case of Deezer, there is a mountain of evidence against him, and it would take little effort to finally rid the community of him. Or at least ban his main account and force him to give you 60 more dollars if he wants his name back.

It’s advisable for those streaming to take precautions, including delaying their streams by a significant amount of time, to avoid any potential advantage they may be providing their opponent.


This suggestion is somewhat reasonable. However, viewer-interaction is a major part of many people's streams, and long delays take that out of the equation. I think it's ridiculous that every single person who wishes to stream should have to add a delay and lower the quality of their stream when Blizzard could easily solve the problem by banning the small number of chronic stream cheaters.
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Also, this -

01/19/2012 12:43 PMPosted by neoenigma
Why won't blizzard admit that they simply have a BAD MATCHMAKING SYSTEM. It needs to be fixed in such a way that you can only play against a certain player so often. There is no reason you should have to play against deezer 3 times in a row. That is just BAD matchmaking. You should be forced into playing against a variety of players on ladder, making repeat stream sniping impossible.


This would mostly fix the problem. There should be something in place to prevent you from seeing the same player on the ladder multiple times in a row.
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You have a policy in your TOS that says you can ban someone or give them a warning for any reason.

So why choose not to use it? Why give people like Deezer a stamp of approval to keep doing what they're doing?

Does Blizzard even realize that popular streams help to promote and maintain interest in Starcraft 2? Why on earth would you not want to protect that outlet?

I think it's extremely disappointing that you're taking this stance.


Couldn't of said it better.

Is there a reason why Blizzard doesn't like to listen or even consider customer feedback/complaints?

This thread just made the streamsnipers/cheaters happy. Well done Blizzard.
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