Have we reached peak YouTube yet?
It seems there’s more to a story of a young Call of Duty: Warzone streamer being banned from the game.
As spotted by PC Gamer, the news that streamer RowdyRogan had been booted from Activision’s shooter appears to have been staged. The story was doing the rounds last week – and received a fair bit of coverage – but it is in fact fake.
Rogan, who’s just six years old, was taking part in the annual Faze5 competition, where entrants from around the world take part in a variety of challenges to join FaZe. The last five players standing join the esports organisation.
RowdyRogan had made it through to the final 20 and – as revealed in a video on his YouTube channel – was given the challenge of creating a viral video. In the post, his mother explained to him what a viral video was, before the young boy suggests being banned as a way of getting attention.
In the video, a message pops up saying “Account permanently banned” when RowdyRogan was in the menus for Call of Duty. In fact, this was a fake message that had been edited over a notification about him being disconnected from the server. Rogan then proceeds to pretend to cry in his father’s arms.
Having been posted on social media with the #FreeRogan hashtag, this resulted in people piling on publisher Activision and blaming them for the “ban.”
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Rogan’s parents have said that this was part of his dream to be part of Faze, with his mother insisting that this was a “fun” thing for the six-year-old to do.
“This particular challenge was to create content that goes viral,” said Faze boss Lee Trink in a statement to PC Gamer.
“What finalists choose to do with these tasks and how they approach each challenge is also being assessed, not just the quantitative results. A broad challenge is more emblematic of what their experience will be like in FaZe since a key goal of ours is to support our talent’s vision of their individual career. The judging process is not mathematical. It’s far more qualitative than quantitative. Our methodology and process is proprietary and not something we share.”