Streaming is now a really popular way of expression for gamers and kind of entertainment. It's a live performance: streamer playing a game, and you can watch it in real - time. Add comments, react, make donations, feel being a part of some community.
For it’s a way to earn money, doing hobbies and making his or her own society, friends and events. However, are there any problems and dangers? It turns out that yes, and one of them is stream sniping.
What is stream sniping?
It will be easier when you visualize this situation. You are a streamer and at this moment you are recording a live stream online, playing in your favourite game. It may be the League of Legends, CS:GO or any other popular (or unpopular) game.
Your fans enjoy the show, you are enjoying your job, as always. But something is different, something is going wrong. You are often attacked suspiciously, followed and someone is hard trying to make your game harder and unsuccessful. It really harms you, because you already create your own community and earn money.
So basically, sniping definition is intentional action aimed at harm to someone (in this case –streamer) in the game. It’s unfair behaviour and unacceptable in the e – sport world. It’s a way of cheating in a multiplayer game using streams of other gamers.
Stream snip has various forms: ghosting, trolling or harassment. Ghosting is about learning the streamer’s tactics, his location, and getting an advantage over him. Trolling – doing everything to disturb him or make him unable to implement the aims and topic of the stream. Harassment is the worst type of snip – it's harassment even in real life, abuse, something that has consequences in real life, and it’s punishable.
Why is stream sniping dangerous?
The stream is always live, and you can watch it in real time, despite delays resulting from the quality of the Internet connection. That’s why a sniper can play against the rules: he knows exactly where the streamer is at the moment, knows all his equipment, health points, abilities and tactics. He uses it against him – in regular gameplay, your enemy never knows that much about you!
This knowledge allows him to interrupt or even defeat streamer quickly. It’s not only unsportsmanlike behaviour in a particular game – it may take place even in some championships, and it’s unfair in relation to all participants. But mainly for streamer – he can’t do his job right. Cheating is always unacceptable.
Sniping example – Fortnite case
Ninja (Tyler Blevins) is a professional gamer and American, well – known Twitch streamer. He is also a YouTuber. For fun, he wanted to play Fortnite again. But during one of the streaming, a stream sniper snipped his stream four times in a row.
This situation makes him discouraged for this game, and he said that he will not stream Fortnite anymore. He also mentioned that people who are doing stream snipping just destroy the gameplay. After all, what is the joy of winning on crooked rules?
Can players be punished for stream sniping? Is this illegal?
Stream sniping is illegal because it’s cheating, sabotaging a game. In some games, stream snipers can get the ban if they are reported. This is how it works in Fortnite. On Twitch, streamers can ban users who commit this behaviour.
However, reverse situations occur. In League of Legends, a streamer named So Hyun was sniped by other players and also two of them were in her team. As a result, she had 120 deaths in the match. And because of this she got banned. Now you see how unfair it was? She can’t escape because the enemy always knows where she is. She was sniped and despite it, she was punished.
Unfortunately, stream sniping is not always taken that seriously, and sometimes it’s hard to get banned for it.
How to prevent stream sniping?
Streamer mode is a tool to make your game username random. This makes it hard to recognize a potential stream sniper. This mode is present in games like Call of Duty or Fortnite.
Make a delay in your stream
A little delay may be necessary in this case. You will be visible for potential stream sniper, but he will have trouble determining carefully where you are at the moment. It will not be exactly a real – time stream.
Hide minimap at your screen during streaming
When you play in a game where the minimap is on your screen, you are potentially easy to localise. Good idea is using an overlay – it will hide your map for your viewers.
Different Username may be helpful but it’s not perfect
Changing username in game for a different name than on Twitch may help you to be unrecognized by stream snipers, as well as by your fans and viewers. So it's a half-way happy solution.
It’s also worth educating the community – let everyone know that stream sniping is unfair and it’s cheating and deserves report and ban. It’s not a feat to defeat someone we know more than a regular player!
Is stream sniping always that bad?
Most of the time – yes. It’s bad, because it’s about deceiving someone and making someone’s game, stream and even life miserable.
There are few situations when stream sniping was positive. How is it possible? Fans organized themselves to surprise the streamer in the game, that’s why they used a real – time stream to check where he actually is.
In August 2021 female streamer Melina got huge support and wholesome questions from her fans in game during the stream transmission.
And with this positive accent we close this topic, but remember – be fair and do not cheat anyone! Report players who are harmful.