PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ ‘Stream Honking’ Controversy Divides its Community
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds‘ community is up in arms over the actions of one of the game’s most popular players, with Brian “Mr Grimmmz” Rincon filing a copyright claim against players who had targeted him in their “stream honking” campaign.
Stream honking is the next evolution of stream sniping, which sees players hunting down popular streamers in-game before killing them. Stream snipers have been a recurring problem in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds for some time now, leading to the game’s creator Brendan Greene making a number of bans in an effort to discourage players from doing so. In retaliation some have now taken to “stream honking,” after Greene introduced a new patch which allows players to beep the horns of the game’s vehicles.
Stream honking sees trolls joining a streamer’s game session, only to follow them around the map in a car while beeping their horn. As Battlegrounds is mostly a quiet, methodical game with short bursts of gunfire amid a whole bunch of sneaking, the incessant beeping of a horn is both distracting and infuriating, with the streamers they targeted growing visibly irritated as they continued to follow them around the game’s map.
The trolls then uploaded the footage to a compilation on YouTube, which is when the controversy escalated. After the video was uploaded, it was hit with a copyright claim by Mr Grimmmz, one of the Twitch streamers featured in it. This copyright claim was then criticized by Ethan Klein of the popular YouTube channel h3h3productions, who had coincidentally won a lawsuit on the same day defending a false copyright claim made against his channel. After Ethan slammed Grimmmz for taking advantage of YouTube’s lackluster copyright system in order to have the video removed from the site, the floodgates opened and the Battlegrounds community began condemning Grimmmz for his actions.
Following the fallout, Grimmmz decided to remove the copyright claim and elaborated upon the reasoning behind his initial decision in a Twitlonger post.” Every single game we would encounter these guys and i did exactly what i practiced in the past. Ignored it, or at least, TRIED to ignore it,” the streamer wrote. “I noticed my community becoming extremely flustered and as much as i wanted to react, i knew it would only harm the overall vibes.”
However, Grimmmz added that he “lost it” when, in the midst of his Twitch channel being targeted by these individuals, one of them made a $5 donation to him alongside the message: “I just wanted to give you some money so you can buy a box of tissues for all the times you cry on stream.” The trolls’ childish behavior was unfortunately validated when Grimmmz attempted to have YouTube remove their video, and since then they have been frequenting the PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds subreddit in order to thank the game’s community for their support.
While Grimmmz’s decision to file a copyright claim against the video’s makers may have been an overreaction — and one he has has admitted to and apologized for — there’s no doubt that stream sniping is an issue on PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, with this spotlight placed upon these trolls likely leading to an influx of players mimicking their behavior. Hopefully Brendan Greene will be able to crack down on these snipers sooner rather than later.