EZ / EZ Clap
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EZ, also extended to EZ Clap, is an internet slang term and expression meaning "easy." After being a prevalent text abbreviation for the word "easy" for several years, it took on a new context in online gaming when people used the abbreviation to troll their opponents by saying their victory over the opponent was easy, particularly through the catchphrase GG EZ.
The earliest submission of "EZ" to Urban Dictionary was posted March 10th, 2003 (shown below).
In the following years, the phrase continued to be used as a means of saying "take it easy," as someone would say "easy" upon leaving an area. It began seeing use in online gaming in the early 2010s. One of the earliest mentions of EZ in a gaming context appeared on the League of Legends forum on October 10th, 2011, where a user inquired as to what "EZ" meant.
GG EZ / EZ Clap
In the following years, the terms "GG EZ" and "EZ Clap" began seeing use in online gaming. The use of GG EZ, which can mean "Good Game" or "Git Gud, this game was easy" depending on the context, was considered by some League players to be "toxic" play. On July 24th, 2013, a thread about "GG EZ" was posted to Reddit's /r/leagueoflegends, gaining 200 upvotes. It began seeing use in shooter-game communities as well; on January 30th, 2016, an inquiry about the phrase was posted to the Steam forums for Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege. On June 21st, 2016, Urban Dictionary user report_all submitted a definition of GGEZ to the site (shown below).
In August of 2017, Eurogamer reported that Blizzard had filtered out "gg ez" comments in online chat by replacing the text with a number of replacement phrases provided by Blizzard, such as "I'm wrestling with some insecurity issues in my life but thank you all for playing with me," and "It's past my bedtime. Please don't tell my mommy."
After the rise of "GG EZ," the phrase "EZ Clap" started seeing use in essentially the same context. A thread asking about whether "GG EZ" and "EZ Clap" were considered abusive chat was posted to the Overwatch subreddit, /r/Overwatch on December 20th, 2017. The phrase is popular with Twitch streamers who play competitive online games (examples shown below).
 League of Legends forum (via Wayback Machine) – What Does EZ Mean?
 Reddit – Saying GG EZ at the end of a game is still toxic, even if you're not swearing.
 Steam – What does "ez" mean?
 Eurogamer – Blizzard changes Overwatch "gg ez" messages into something very different
 Reddit – Saying "ez clap" and/or "gg ez" in chat worthy of a report for abusive chat?
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Jan 18, 2018 at 03:47PM EST
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