As first reported by PC Gamer, Hearthstone streamer Alexandra 'Alliestrasza' Macpherson was swatted during her live stream on Thursday, leading to her and her family being cuffed and questioned by heavily armed officers of the law. Swatting is when someone makes a fake police report in order to have a streamer's residence invaded by police forces, it is a highly dangerous and violent practice that is illegal in the United States.
The whole situation was caught on camera, with Alliestrasza suddenly leaving her computer after hearing commotion in her home, then briefly coming back and saying "I am being swatted right now guys," followed a few minutes later by heavily armed police officers searching the room and hallway outside where her stream was still running. Police officers can be seen with shotguns, handguns, tasers, and battering rams, as they came ready for a violent stand-off.
She returned to log off from her stream nearly 30 minutes later, saying: "I am gonna turn the stream off now, the very nice officers are in the house, they are going to take a crime report and take our IDs, I literally got swatted. I am okay, but yeah, we are all handcuffed and everything. Everything is fine, they are very nice, I am going to leave, and talk to you guys later."
In a follow-up series of Tweets, she said: "Well I never thought I would get SWATTED… but alas, here we are. Everything is okay, though. Just a little shaken up with nerves. The officers were great and handled everything very well. They obviously had to take the threat seriously so our whole family was cuffed outside. After assessing the threat wasn’t real, we talked to them & gave them the context that this happens to twitch streamers sometimes. The amount of resources that were diverted here was insane, tho."
According to the streamer, the officers said they got a call about someone who had shot their partner and locked themselves in a bathroom, threatening to "shoot anyone that came in."
Swatting has been an ongoing practice for nearly a decade in livestreaming, with numerous streamers having faced swatting incidents including xQc, Woodysgamertag, and many more. In 2020 a 60-year-old man reportedly man had a fatal heart attack after being swatted by people trying to force him to give up his desirable Twitter handle. That incident saw an 18-year-old sentenced to five years in prison for his false report.
Luckily Allistrasza and her family were okay, and it sounds like the police handled the situation relatively well considering the circumstances.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.