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The spray has been part of McCree’s kit for years as one of the many cosmetic items that players could unlock from Overwatch loot boxes. Indeed, the Noose spray is listed among the “Common” sprays for McCree on an Overwatch fan wiki, indicating that it has been part of the game since it launched a few years ago. Now, however, this controversial spray has been removed in the latest update.
“In today’s update, the Overwatch McCree ‘Noose’ spray has been removed and replaced with the ‘BAD LUCK’ spray,” stated Naeri X on Twitter.
In today's update, the Overwatch McCree "Noose" spray has been removed and replaced with the "BAD LUCK" spray. pic.twitter.com/rpMAfJlB2y
— Naeri X 나에리 (@OverwatchNaeri) July 15, 2020
A search of McCree’s spray inventory shows that the Overwatch Noose spray has indeed been removed and replaced with the “Bad Luck” spray seen below.
Why was the Overwatch Noose spray removed? The patch notes don’t mention the removal of the spray, and there has been no public comment on Overwatch’s social media channels or from any of the developers according to the dev-tracking website overstalk.io at the time of writing.
That said, the removal was likely due to recent racial turmoil in the United States. Two specific events may have influenced Blizzard’s decision to remove the Noose spray. A noose was reported to have been found in the garage of a black NASCAR driver in late June 2020 and the FBI started an investigation. The FBI’s investigation subsequently determined that the reported noose was in fact a garage door pull and the investigation was concluded.
In a separate incident, a black man named Robert Fuller was found hanging from a tree in early June and was suspected by some to be a possible lynching. An investigation into that incident revealed that Fuller had a history of mental illness and the hanging was eventually determined to be a suicide.
We’ve reached out to Blizzard for comment and will update the article with its response.