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Overwatch 2's New Character Skin Sparks Streamer Backlash

Another day, another Blizzard controversy. Anyone following gaming news will notice that Blizzard's most recent title, "Diablo Immortal," has been a hot topic due to its pay-to-win nature. Of course, all of this is on top of Activision Blizzard's studios attempting to unionize and an ongoing lawsuit that might involve the California governor. Now, Blizzard is rustling some feathers again, but this time it's for a promotional event for the already underwhelming "Overwatch 2."

Ahead of the second "Overwatch 2" PvP beta, Blizzard teamed up with Twitch for a special event that rewards players with a special skin. This isn't the first time "Overwatch" has done something like this. "Overwatch" previously released a limited edition Pink Mercy skin, with all proceeds going to breast cancer research. Now Blizzard is asking for donations again in support of a cause, but this time it's not to help the needy. This new special promotion event has garnered serious backlash from the community, with the complaints getting so bad that it prompted a response from Blizzard.

Players are forced to gift Twitch subs

On June 27, Blizzard published a blog showcasing a new exclusive skin for Brigitte that can only be obtained by supporting preselected Twitch streamers. To obtain the Legendary Medic Brigitte skin, players must gift three Twitch subscriptions to viewers of select Twitch streamers. Who's top of the list? Millionaire streamers XQC, Asmongold, and imaqtpie, in addition to a few non-"Overwatch" streamers like DisguisedToast.

The response to this news has been mostly negative. Gamers were upset that they can't buy the skin outright and instead have to choose from a list of predominantly wealthy Twitch streamers to donate to. For example, Redditor Hei-Ying wrote, "This list of streamers seriously leaves a bad taste. At least support the creators who actually need it." In the replies, another Reddit user also hilariously pointed out that even millionaire singer-songwriter T-Pain made it onto the list.

In response to the backlash, Blizzard Community Manager AndyB posted on the Blizzard forums, "You are far over estimating what all but the most successful of streamers actually earn," and noted that there are multiple smaller "Overwatch" streamers on the list alongside the big names.

Critics will be pleased that Blizzard won't be making the same mistake again. Blizzard's AndyB wrote that the list was purposely limited for this first event, and the team will likely expand the availability in the future. In the meantime, players can jump into the second "Overwatch 2" beta right now, with or without the Legendary Brigitte skin.