Streaming gameplay on Twitch can have its ups and downs, but things quickly took a turn for the weird Monday while popular broadcaster Jaryd “summit1g” Lazar was out playing Pokémon Go today, after a viewer called the police on him while he was streaming.
The practice of “swatting”—when a viewer locates a broadcaster's address, calls in a dangerous threat to the authorities, and watches online while their house is forcibly entered by police—has been happening for the past few years. While it’s not exactly common, it has apparently been occurring more frequently, gaining a lot of attention in the media for the amount of money it can cost—especially when a SWAT team is mobilized to look into extreme cases.
While summit1g, who is a former professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player, didn’t have a SWAT team called on him, it surely still put a damper on his day.
Especially since he couldn't have predicted this.Summit was outside playing Pokémon Go, an augmented reality mobile game that uses a player’s GPS to get them out in the real world catching Pokémon, when one viewer threatened to call the cops on him in the chat box. He told the viewer to get lost. A lively debate ensued, with summit saying he wasn’t particularly worried, and the chat getting increasingly nervous about what might happen—especially when the viewer said something to the effect of “be sure you’re watching the stream in five minutes.”
Shortly after the exchange, a few police officers showed up at the park where he was sitting on a bench playing the game, his portable streaming rig capturing the whole thing live on his Twitch broadcast for his 30,000-plus viewers to see.
The police called out to him to get out of the way, and he said, “You want me to keep going this way?” while pointing down the road. He started walking and said “I’m good,” before the police responded with some unintelligible words. Summit stopped walking when viewers heard him say, “Well, maybe we are going to have guns pointed at us. That’s not good. Oh boy, I really hope I don’t get shot here.”
The chat blew up, and viewers wondered if the stream could be put on adult-only mode, or taken down altogether just in case something bad happened, calling for his wife Desirae to turn off the stream from his home.
While you can’t see whether the police actually had their guns pointed at him, because the camera is facing straight down at the ground, summit does stand in the same place for more than three minutes. At one point, he asked his viewers to report the person that made the threats for “making me go through this” before saying “I would turn this off, but I’m not going to move my fucking hands to turn this off guys, sorry.”
After more unintelligible words from the police, summit started backing up and yelled, “Am I good? Aight,” and stopped again. Shortly after, his stream was disconnected, apparently thanks to his wife.
Luckily, nothing bad actually happened, although summit did delete the video off his Twitch channel—multiple versions have since been uploaded to YouTube by viewers. Summit later tweeted that everything was fine.
Hopefully, this doesn't discourage summit from streaming Pokémon Go again—or, even worse, encouraging other people to swat popular broadcasters.