Blizzard pushing back on Pepe the Frog memes in Overwatch

You'll be seeing a lot less Pepe at Overwatch events, and from Overwatch pro players.

Mark Serrels Editorial Director
Mark Serrels is an award-winning Senior Editorial Director focused on all things culture. He covers TV, movies, anime, video games and whatever weird things are happening on the internet. He especially likes to write about the hardships of being a parent in the age of memes, Minecraft and Fortnite. Definitely don't follow him on Twitter.
Mark Serrels

Crowds cheer on Overwatch teams at Blizzard Arena in Burbank, CA.

Robert Paul/Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard is officially clamping down on use of Pepe the Frog memes.

Initially a harmless cartoon drawn by artist Matt Furie, before becoming a part of the widely used "Feels Good Man" meme, Pepe the Frog was seized upon by alt-right groups in the lead up to the US Presidential Election. Most notoriously, alt-right leader Richard Spencer was punched in the face live on camera while trying to explain the alt-right's use of the Pepe meme.

Pepe has become a bit of a loaded image.

As a result Blizzard is clamping down on its use in the Overwatch community.

According to Kotaku, back in January one crowd member was cheering on a team with a Pepe sign, before having it confiscated by security. 

And, as reported by Dot Esports, one Overwatch pro player deleted a tweet containing Pepe imagery in correspondence with a new Blizzard policy regarding the meme.  

A Blizzard spokesperson confirmed to Dot Esports they were actively discouraging use of Pepe the Frog.

Blizzard confirmed this in a statement sent to CNET.

"The Overwatch League discourages the use of symbols and imagery which are associated with or used by hate groups, including Pepe the Frog," said the statement. "At Blizzard Arena, it's our policy that fan signs comply with this policy. We likewise ask the same of Overwatch League teams and players on their social-media channels."