Overwatch Removes Pro-Russia War Symbol

Overwatch Removes Pro-Russia War Symbol
Images via Blizzard

Written by 

Joseph Kime


7th Apr 2022 14:25

Overwatch has undergone some cosmetic changes in the past.

The first instance of the game's visual backtracks came with Tracer, who had a pose in-game that many in the game's communities called drastically over-sexualised, and then when Overwatch pro Jay "Sinatraa" Won was accused of sexual assault by his ex-girlfriend, Blizzard made the call to stop releasing unique skins based on pro players.

Plus, it's hard to forget the name change that Cole Cassidy underwent when the man he was named after was brought into the widespread allegations that came with the Activision Blizzard "frat culture" lawsuit.

And now, a new cosmetic change has been made - this time, once again, to Zarya.

Zarya Has Cosmetic Change After Russian Invasion Of Ukraine

Now that the Overwatch Anniversary Remix event has kicked off, fans are excited to get their hands on new and classic cosmetics alike, with many fan-favourite skins being made available to purchase or to earn in loot boxes - but a couple of skins have had some tweaks.

Zarya's Arctic and Siberian Front skins have made a return, with one barely-noticeable difference - the "Z" on her jacket is gone.

This quiet change is very likely to be a result of the co-opting of "Z" as a symbol - in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, soldiers of the invasion and Russian civilians have been using the "Z" symbol as a sign of endorsement of the violence that has come of the ongoing war.

Fans React To Zarya Skin Change

Overwatch Removes Pro-Russia War Symbol
Click to enlarge

Fans have taken to Reddit to react to the minor change - and though the Overwatch community tends to love a bit of outrage, a lot of fans aren't really that fussed about it.

"Took me ages to even find the Z on the old ones," says one commenter in a post detailing the change in r/Overwatch. "I don't think such a tiny detail will be missed."

"If I had a nickel for every time a Zarya skin had a symbol removed because of people doing crimes in the real world, I'd have two nickels," says another user, referencing the Alien skin that was removed from the game after the Sinatraa allegations. "Which isn't a lot, but it's weird that it's happened twice."

The change is fairly unnoticeable, but to be fair, it was a good idea from Blizzard. Maybe references to war crimes emblazoned on the game's Russian character maybe isn't the best idea.


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