Thousands of people who thought they were watching pirated streams of the World Cup in Qatar were in fact watching pixelated replays from famous soccer video game FIFA 23.
More than 40,000 people in France alone fell for the trick, which involved illegal streaming sites linking to YouTube channels which were emitting replays of FIFA 23 matches, but using headlines such as “Live Germany- Japan on 23/11 Group E World Cup 2022″, which did indeed correspond to that actual match at the World Cup (which Japan won by the way!).
Illegal streams of FIFA 23 had Vietnamese commentary
Incredibly, the streams in question also had commentary in Vietnamese of the FIFA 23 match, but far from making the viewers more suspicious, it only added to the belief that this was an illegal stream, being captured from Vietnam.
“Until I saw the comments in the chat, and the close ups of the faces of the players I didn’t realise these were replays of FIFA 23 matches,” said one of the viewers after admitting to having been duped.
According to VNExpress, a Vietnamese outlet, this is in fact a standard trick used by pirate pages to earn “hundreds of dollars” during a World Cup match, just by playing FIFA 23. In Vietnam, where connections are often poor and users are used to poor quality images, they are less likely to realise it’s a pixelated video game rather than just a bad stream of a real game.
rpgguy_1o1 on December 7th, 2022 at 22:19 UTC »
There was a twitch streamer that used to stream a bunch of sports games, and he once put up an entire UFC pay per view and pretended to play along on it
rinlinkoi on December 7th, 2022 at 17:15 UTC »
People click on a stream, find it's FIFA 23, leave.
News comes up with a headline.
kpingvin on December 7th, 2022 at 14:47 UTC »
I'm not surprised tbh. Many times when I go on Youtube to watch F1 highlights I get results from video games with a very misleading thumbnail.