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The real reason xQc was banned

On the morning of Nov. 18, popular streamer xQc was banned from Twitch. This was promptly reported by the StreamerBans, which tracks such events. Shortly following news of the ban circulating online, Twitch Rivals' official Twitter account provided context for just why xQc had been barred from using the streaming platform that earned him his notoriety. His ban is ultimately one of a few penalties for apparently stream sniping and hindering competitors during a Twitch Rivals Fall Guys tournament.

News of xQc's conduct was already public knowledge to those who had been following the Fall Guys tournament streamed during GlitchCon, which was this year's virtual and socially-distanced alternative to the yearly TwitchCon convention. The tactics deployed by xQc during this tournament left people wondering if the streamer would receive a Twitch ban. In summary, xQc and his team queued into a match that was intended to break a third-place tie between teams led by fellow streamers Shroud and DrLupo. xQc's team then "stream sniped" and grabbed his competitors' avatars, which is a mechanic in Fall Guys that hinders the forward movement of the grabbed player character.

Stream sniping, meanwhile, refers to watching a streamer on an opposing team's feed in order to gain access to their point-of-view, providing a blatant competitive advantage. This is thus widely considered cheating due to the information it provides that would otherwise be unavailable were that opposing player not streaming. It remains a concern in many of today's AAA multiplayer releases, like Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War.

As reported by Dexerto at the time of the Fall Guys tournament, xQc's actions resulted in his teammate landing in 3rd place, which was clearly seen as cheating.

The immediate reaction to xQc's behavior was an expectation that Twitch was likely to administer some form of punishment. Tournament winners were awarded from a prize pool totaling in the tens of thousands of dollars. While xQc had already been eliminated from the tournament, which meant that he and his team's share of that money had already been determined, the possibility that his actions could have at all affected the winnings of his competitors ultimately amplified the seriousness of his actions.

According to the reasoning for his ban posted by Twitch Rivals, xQc's transgressions are threefold. First, he violated an obvious but necessary statute against "cheating of any sort through any means," in addition to a rule against "intentionally delaying or slowing gameplay or tampering with gameplay in any other known or unknown manner." Furthermore, the tournament's code of conduct explicitly forbade stream sniping as a type of act that "gives the account owner an unfair advantage in a multiplayer game."

As a result, xQc will remain temporarily banned from Twitch for an unspecified amount of time, as his violations of the Twitch-hosted tournament's code of conduct double as violations of Twitch company policies. He is also now barred from participating in any subsequent Twitch Rivals events over the course of the next six months, and was required to forfeit the prize money earned from placing in the Fall Guys tournament.

Those looking for insight into xQc's behavior noticed he was upset about another stream sniper just prior to his decision to queue into Shroud and DrLupo's game. In this case, said stream sniper had joined a game in which DrLupo was competing and managed to reach the finish line before the popular streamer. Instead of grabbing the crown, however, he waited for DrLupo to catch up and ultimately allowed DrLupo to grab the crown for himself. In essence, the result was a win for DrLupo that normally would have gone to the player who had reached the finish line before him.

This is not the first time that xQc has been shown to have a shady side. One of xQc's defining characteristics is his proclivity for loud, emotional outbursts. While no amount of justification will reverse the response from Twitch Rivals to xQc cheating, it is at the very least easier to understand why he may act in such a way with his livelihood (which relies on Twitch streaming) on the line.

This is only one of multiple bans that have been administered to xQc's Twitch account. In fact, this marks the streamers third ban of the year. Most recently, xQc was among a number of controversial streamers banned during the first half of 2020, in this case for showing a visual of gorillas copulating on-stream. For what it's worth, xQc has asked fans to stop defending his recent behavior, though he has yet to respond to the ban itself.