Overwatch Removes Russian Symbolism From Zarya Skins

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Editor’s Note: The war in Ukraine is an ongoing, painful and emotive topic. IGN urges community members to be respectful when engaging in conversation around this subject and does not endorse harassment of any kind.

Blizzard has quietly removed the Z symbol from skins in Overwatch following the icon’s use during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Zarya, a Russian character, previously featured the letter Z on her Arctic and Siberian Front skins but these were removed in the latest Anniversary Remix update, as reported by Polygon.

The Z was removed from some Zarya skins in Overwatch (Credit: Blizzard)

The Z was removed from some Zarya skins in Overwatch (Credit: Blizzard)

The Z symbol has been used in Russian propaganda to show support for the country’s invasion of Ukraine, appearing on tanks and other vehicles before entering mass media at the beginning of March.

Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak is being investigated by The International Gymnastics Federation for wearing a Z on his chest while competing in Qatar while a group of terminally ill children were encouraged to pose in the shape of a Z to show support for Russia’s invasion.

The changes to Zarya’s skins were not included in the latest patch notes for Overwatch but instead noticed by eagle-eyed fans on the game’s subreddit.

Activision Blizzard has suspended sales of and within its games in Russia while the conflict continues, and is matching employee donations 2:1 to “organisations providing immediate relief in the region.” When it made the announcement on March, the company had already raised $300,000 in support of Ukraine.

Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer who occasionally remembers to tweet @thelastdinsdale. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day.

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