Blizzard has announced a controversial decision regarding the Twitch chat on upcoming Overwatch Contenders programs.
From December 28th to January 12th, Blizzard will be testing a system where viewers need to link their Blizzard accounts to their Twitch accounts. Join the Chat for Contenders Broadcasts.
Viewers who do not yet have an account will be prompted to do so if they attempt to participate in the chat during this process.
If there are viewers who do not yet have a Blizzard account but want to watch and chat during the Contenders streams, creating one is at least free.
Blizzard did not specify how to use this to create a "more positive viewing experience," however, the goal seems to be to encourage a more positive chat by allowing Blizzard to have consequences for negative behavior outside of Twitch itself to enforce.
The trial will take place during the third season of the Contenders playoffs.
Blizzard has previously stated that she is willing to monitor the behavior outside the game herself and possibly take action when it comes to countering negativity. In accordance with this model.
In a Developer Update in January 2018, game director Jeff Kaplan announced that the team "proactively searches for social media sites like YouTube and looks for incidents of very toxic behavior and tracks the accounts that are involved and often act before anyone has ever reported or appeared in any other place. "