Blizzard Enterainment has altered Overwatch’s Zarya skins due to the “Z”, which has become a symbol of pro-Putin and the war waged by Russia in Ukraine.
Overwatch also comes to terms with the war between Russia and Ukraine: removed the “Z” from the skins of Zarya
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the letter Z has become a true pro-war symbol, also adopted by the supporters of Vladimir Putin. To avoid any association with the Russian movement, Blizzard Entertainment has modified some skins Zarya, a character of Russian origin from the Overwatch videogame. Polygon reports that both the Arctic and Siberian Frost skins now appear without the previously present letter Z. The removal of the letter came in conjunction with the update for the Anniversary Remix event.
Blizzard hasn’t publicly announced the skin change, and it doesn’t appear in the official patch notes. Photos of the before and after skins are featured on this Reddit post, where you can see the “Z” on the left side of the character’s chest.
Although the exact origin of the use of the letter “Z” in Russian military forces is unknown, the symbol was seen on many Russian military vehicles in Ukraine during the invasion. It is believed that the “Z” – along with other similar symbols – was used during the first phase of the invasion to identify Russian forces and prevent friendly fire, or to identify specific Russian task forces. The has subsequently become widespread among Putin’s supporters and those who fund the ongoing war.