Twitch Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Twitch RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Seeing Screens in a Better Light: An Interview with Gunnar Optiks' Ryan Jaress https://www.gameskinny.com/s8f6y/seeing-screens-in-a-better-light-an-interview-with-gunnar-optiks-ryan-jaress https://www.gameskinny.com/s8f6y/seeing-screens-in-a-better-light-an-interview-with-gunnar-optiks-ryan-jaress Tue, 22 Oct 2019 13:44:11 -0400 Erroll Maas

"Don't sit too close to the screen." It's a warning many of us heard from our parents growing up, but distance isn't the only thing that can harm our eyes. Looking at screens for too long can put strain on our eyes and negatively affect our vision.

In the past decade or so, a few companies have focused on making glasses that help block strain-inducing blue light and decrease eye strain. Gunnar Optiks is one of those companies leading the charge.

Gunnar Optiks has been around since 2006. However, the company has become much more prominent in the last few years because of the exponential growth of gaming. At Twitchcon, we sat down with the company's Assistant Marketing Manager Ryan Jaress to talk about the company's start, its success, collaborative efforts, and plans for the future.

GameSkinny: How did the idea for Gunnar glasses originally come about?

Ryan Jaress: It originally came about by our founder Matt Michelsen. He actually was diagnosed with what's known as Digital Eye Strain. This was a relatively new phenomenon back in 2005 or so. And he pretty much developed Gunnar, and they named it after his son.

We developed amber tinted lenses that block 65% of blue light, which were originally for doctors and those in offices just in front of a screen, but ultimately, gamers were the ones who saw the need first. So here we are today, being known as the number one gaming glasses. We've been around since 2006, and we're continuously growing.

GS: What has the success you've seen since 2006 been like?

RJ: We have had a ton of success in terms of collaboration and developing ourselves as the primary stakeholder in ... gaming glasses... So if anyone in the gaming industry thinks of gaming glasses, they immediately think of Gunnar, and that's because we really paid attention to the community and we're continuously evolving our technology to fit the needs of gamers.

Through history's past, we've partnered with gaming companies such as MLG, and currently, we're partnered with the top gaming peripheral company Razer as well as top gaming company producer Ubisoft. So we're continuously building our partnerships to further advance our authority as the leaders in digital eye protection. Over the years, we've continuously partnered with very heavy hitters throughout our time — since 2006.

GS: Can you tell us more about your partnership with Ubisoft?

RJ: Yeah. We have made three collaborative glasses: one for Far Cry 5, which is the Father, which are the amber-tinted aviator style glasses, which look exactly like the protagonist's glasses. And then we made an Assassin's Creed Odyssey Enigma Glass, which is our Enigma frame that has a nice marbleized black temple and has a customized pouch. And then, for the most recent one, we worked together with Tom Clancy's The Division 2, so we built an all orange temple glass that resonates with the branding of the game, so people can really connect with it.

Also, there's something in the pipeline with a little more of a competitive feeling to it, so be sure to look out for that in the near future  probably mid-October.

GS: Speaking of collaborations, you also recently collaborated with Game Grumps, and I know many people were introduced to your products through them. Can you tell me more about that?

RJ: Our first collaboration with Game Grumps was a smash hit, and we wanted to make a second round collaboration equally as special. We collaborated with the Game Grumps team about the overall design of their signature glasses. Both Arin and Dan chose their colors by hand, which represents their personality (Pixel Pink for Arin, Cobalt for Dan).


As a personalized touch, The Pixel Pink Enigma glasses have Arin's signature and the Cobalt Enigma glasses have Dan's Signature on the left temple. 

GS: What are some of Gunnar's goals for the future?

RJ: Our goals are to further advance our lens and frame technology to better suit the needs of gamers and computer workers alike. So we continuously want to be a global company that protects all eyes from  around the world. So that's kind of our future goals. We want to make sure that every pair of eyes is covered by Gunnar so they can live in the digital age.

GS: When we were talking earlier, you mentioned making glasses for younger individuals. Can you tell us more about that?

RJ: Yes, so we currently have one pair of glasses that's for developing eyes, ages 12 and up, and that's called Cruz. What the difference is for those is that the glasses don't have our patented 0.2 diopter  magnification or focusing power. It's actually non-magnifications because when the eyes are developing, we don't want to mess with their vision because they have sensitive eyes, so they only get the protection of Gunnar with the amber tint and the clear tint.

We're also making glasses for even younger generations to come in the near future, such as ages four to eight and eight to 12.

GS: For your sunglasses, the description on the website mentions the circadian rhythm. Can you tell us about that?

RJ: So it's specifically tinted to help boost circadian rhythm, which is, overall, just a mood booster which will help you sleep better at night. When you eyes are looking at a specific color, your mind reacts to that. So we tried to mimic that sort of effect with the tinted glass. But also, it's for outdoor use and specifically for viewing digital devices outside. It's specifically non-polarized, so when you're looking at screens, it doesn't distort the vision of the screen and reduces glare.

So when you're outside you can look at a phone, you can look at a camera, or laptop, while you're protecting your eyes from the sun and from the screen at the same time.

GS: So when we were talking earlier you mentioned compatibility with headphones/headsets, and as someone who wears both glasses and headphones or a headset at the same time and gets uncomfortable after a while, I feel this is a great idea. Can you tell us more about that?

RJ: A lot of our glasses, specifically our gaming glasses, are built with the gamer in mind.

For headset compatibility, we have made a few frames that have very flat temples to reduce the pressure of headset wearers.
A few examples are Vayper, FPS Designed by Razer, and Torpedo.

It's rather clear to see that those at Gunnar Optiks put plenty of care into their products. Besides Game Grumps, plenty of other ambassadors swear by them, too. 

You can order Gunnar glasses through their official website or at their booth at various conventions. If your order products at a convention, Gunnar provides a 20% discount. 

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Twitchcon 2019 Stack Up Interview with CEO Stephen Machuga https://www.gameskinny.com/lwkgs/twitchcon-2019-stack-up-interview-with-ceo-stephen-machuga https://www.gameskinny.com/lwkgs/twitchcon-2019-stack-up-interview-with-ceo-stephen-machuga Mon, 21 Oct 2019 13:23:32 -0400 Erroll Maas

While there are a lot of video games that revolve around war such as Battlefield, Call of Duty, Halo, and various others, often these games don't educate players about the true cost of war and how it affects the lives of those who took part in it. Lately, video games have been getting better about showing this but what about real veterans? How have they been affected and how could video games help them? Studies have suggested that video games can help veterans deal with their mental health struggles and companies like Activision and Microsoft have been helping veterans with the power of video games for some time now.

Several mental health based video game charities have also become prominent is the last few years. Stack Up is one of these charities. Stack Up helps veterans at home, as well as soldiers overseas, with their mental health through gaming. At Twitchcon, I sat down with founder and CEO Stephen Machuga to learn more about the charity and its growth.

GameSkinny: Can you give us a quick rundown of Stack Up, what it does and its mission?

Stephen Machuga: Sure. Stack Up is a military charity for Veteran's mental health through gaming and gaming communities. We have a variety of programs that we use to support that. We have our Supply Crates, where we box up games and gear, and we send them all around the world to veterans deployed in combat zones and others to military hospitals, as well as individuals who are struggling back home.

We have an Air Assault program that we use to help veterans fly out to various gaming events like studio tours, Comic-Con, E3, and things like that. We have our stacks program, which are community based volunteer efforts around the world, teams that get out and do good in their communities.

Then we have our Stackup Overwatch Program (StOP), which is our 24/7 peer-to-peer suicide prevention team on Discord, where veterans can come in and get some help that they need at all hours of the day. So those are our primary programs.

GS: You mentioned you help troops both overseas and here at home. What are some of the different difficulties that come with doing that, and what are the results you've seen from doing these programs like?

SM: We don't really have that many difficulties. First off, it was filling the boxes and getting enough money to buy gear on the wishlist, so that involved working with publishers and developers to find the gear that we needed; but we've come a long way. Now we have partnerships with almost everybody on the block as far as the games industry goes.

We get new stories back ... as far as individuals ... asking for gear like that we say, "Hey, if we're going to send you this stuff, could you please send us back some photos and some stories of you guys utilizing this?" And you get stories about individuals having tournaments at their unit wherever they are to determine who gets a day off or who gets to do what duties based on how they do in the tournament.

It's a cool taste of home for these guys and gals that are in a place that feels as far away from home as you can possibly get.

GS: So can you tell me about the kind of things you do with those here and not overseas?

SM: That's a big problem because when you're in the thick of it, when you're deployed forward and you're doing it, whatever it is you're doing, you don't really think about it. But there's a large contingent of veterans that are committing suicide because they're Vietnam war vets. A lot of people are like, "Why did they wait so long (to get help)?". Well, turns out that if you're working 40 to 50 hours a week and doing your thing and then you retire, you have a lot of time on your hands to just sit there and think and process. They don't have the tools in place to deal with their trauma. We're trying to make sure we're getting guys and gals that are younger and younger age through gaming, we're trying to raise morale, we're trying to make them feel more at home wherever they're at. And then back home, guys and gals who need help here, we're also making sure we're taking care of them.

You hear all kinds of stories about people who don't have enough money. They're living on disability, and they don't have enough money for gaming and it becomes a luxury item. It's tough to say, "Hey, this is an Xbox and some games as a medical necessity," but it very much can be.

One of the key indicators of somebody who's suicidal is somebody who's disconnected from the outside world. They don't feel that they're a part of anything. And multiplayer gaming is one of those things where you have a group of people who may not have served in the military but speak that gaming language. It helps you feel like you're part of something bigger, which many veterans feel when they're in the military.

GS: What are some of your hopes for the future of Stack Up?

SM: Just growing it out. Obviously, everybody we tell what it is we do, they love what we do, and they think we're amazing. And then they walk off. We need to make sure we're getting to the point where we're reaching the people who can make a difference in growing out our organization.

There's no venture capital, and there's no shark tank that's going to say, "Hey, this is a great charity idea; I want to invest money into it." Because it's about getting a return on investment, so we need to find individuals with deep pockets and that love philanthropy to help get this thing from a half million dollars a year to where we're competing with some of the bigger charities.

That's the goal right now. We get larger, we're not going anywhere, we're not worried about keeping the lights on, we can do more, we can help more people, and it doesn't become this hand-to-mouth existence that we're living with. So we can do more if we're secure.

GS: Can you tell me about what you have at your booth here at TwitchCon?

SM: Yeah, we used to have a push-up competition at our booth and it became kind of problematic. So now we have this high striker (example pictured below). Ironically, a lot of our veterans who are helping man the booth are sensitive to loud noises they aren't expecting, so there's a bit of a problem with that but it's a learning experience.

GS: Can you tell me about the dinosaur mascot that's all over your booth?

SM: Yeah, so one of our first conventions, one of our volunteers and community members got a T-Rex outfit, and we threw a T-Shirt on him and started walking him around at conventions and the response we got from people, they were taking pictures with it and using social media to make noise about it. We thought we were on to something. So it became our official mascot: Stack Up Rex.

GS: What is the logo for Stack Up, and why was it chosen?

SM: Obviously, the logo wording is "Stacked Up" on each other. The "grenade" is a flashbang, a non-lethal explosive device used for breaching buildings and disorienting enemy forces. A "Stack" is a formation used by a fire team to enter a building where enemy forces are believed to be inside. The flashbang is used after the door is breached to stun everyone inside, making entry easier.

Those interested in learning more about Stack Up can visit their website. For those who would like to help out with the charity's efforts, they can either donate or volunteer.

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How To Fix Twitch PS4 Error 0495ba16 (The Easy Way!) https://www.gameskinny.com/56hy8/how-to-fix-twitch-ps4-error-0495ba16-the-easy-way https://www.gameskinny.com/56hy8/how-to-fix-twitch-ps4-error-0495ba16-the-easy-way Wed, 07 Aug 2019 14:43:40 -0400 Ty Arthur

Twitch may be the current undisputed king of game streaming, but that doesn't mean its always the best or most stable platform. The 0495ba16 Twitch PS4 error has been plaguing Sony fans for months, and there's no indication it's going to be resolved by a patch anytime soon.

The error code hasn't been officially acknowledged by Twitch at this point, with very little help incoming even if you contact their support directly. Appearing with an update a few months back, this obnoxious error code has caused major headaches for existing Twitch app users.

While it can occasionally be solved by logging out and back in, many players are finding they can no longer successfully sign into Twitch at all. Uninstalling and re-installing the app typically doesn't help either.

There are two solutions we've found so far -- one fairly simple, and the other a bit more time consuming.

How To Resolve Twitch Error 0495ba16

This first option isn't a true "fix" but rather a workaround to whatever is causing the problem on the PS4 but not other platforms -- you can overwhelm the software and force a successful sign in by spamming the sign in option.

Just hold the left thumbstick upward and continuously tap X to spam the sign in button for 60 - 120 seconds and you'll typically get in without any further issues.

Unfortunately, you'll have to do this again every single time the app closes.

Not stoked about that prospect?  There is a full fix so you don't have to go through that annoying process, but its more in-depth and requires unlinking your Twitch account from your PS4.

To get this process started, head to the PS4 home screen and go through this series of menus:

  • Settings
  • Sharing and Broadcast
  • Link With Other Services
  • Link Your Account With Twitch
  • Sign Out

After signing out of Twitch on your console, switch over to a separate device like your PC or tablet (not on the PS4 browser) and head to the Twitch website.

From there, click the icon for your avatar in the top-right corner, then choose Settings and navigate to the Connections tab. Go through the process of linking your Twitch account to the PS4 again just like you did when first installing the app.

In most cases, the problem should now be solved, although the error code may occur again in the future and require unlinking and re-linking yet again.

Still having problems after going through these troubleshooting steps? Head over to the PlayStation support page and file a ticket to get in touch with a support specialist via email for further troubleshooting of the PS4 Twitch error problem.

Have you found any other workarounds or solutions to the 0495ba16 Twitch PS4 error? Let us know what worked for you and we'll add your method to this article!

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Sexism Prevents Female Gamers from Achieving the Same Level of Popularity as Their Male Peers https://www.gameskinny.com/vbhew/sexism-prevents-female-gamers-from-achieving-the-same-level-of-popularity-as-their-male-peers https://www.gameskinny.com/vbhew/sexism-prevents-female-gamers-from-achieving-the-same-level-of-popularity-as-their-male-peers Fri, 12 Jul 2019 15:58:04 -0400 JacobDennis

Ever notice how the vast majority of top streamers on twitch are male?

It's probably not surprising to hear that since video game personalities and competitors are generally male, and there is nothing wrong with that. At least there's nothing wrong with it if everyone was competing on a level playing field.

Female personalities trying to get to similar levels of popularity face very different challenges compared to male streamers.

Female personalities are generally reduced to being a girl, and being very attractive rather than having actual merit in their respective games. Quite often the attention that certain female gamers get is only attributed to their gender, which can often be a very harmful thing to hear when they know that they deserve more recognition for their accomplishments.

Take for instance popular streamer itsHafu.

Her gaming career started over a decade ago when professional gaming was not viable as a career choice. She won tournaments in World of Warcraft, Bloodline Champions, and spent most of her streaming career playing Hearthstone arena (which she has recently quit). Hafu was well known as a top arena player consistently placing within the top 100, with several showings in the top 30.

Over the last several years she has steadily grown her following. At the time of her retirement from playing Hearthstone, she would average at around 2000 viewers. Recently she has been playing the new auto-battler from Riot Games, Teamfight Tactics, which has exploded in popularity. Since her switch over to the new game, she has been averaging in the area of 10,000 viewers every stream.

To further her claims as being a very talented eSports professional, she was recognized by Riot Games as being the number one player during the game's beta period. With all these accomplishments, pretty much anyone would be able to say that her popularity is driven by her talent at her chosen games, and her otherwise very well run stream.

Unfortunately, not everyone would agree with her success.

Many of her accomplishments have been dismissed as her getting carried, the games not counting, or her getting lucky. Many people would say that there are dozens if not hundreds of men that are better than her. This is a problem that she would speak very candidly about after Riot Games' recognition of her Teamfight Tactics ranking.

 

The sad part is that this is relatively common. Hafu clearly deserves to have her achievements recognized, but people seem reluctant to do so because she is a woman.

It's not just about accomplishments being reduced to nothing, but rather their entire online persona can be called into question depending on how they present themselves.

A large number of female streamers end up having their conventional beauty be both a boon to career and their biggest setback.

Streamers such as Pink Sparkles and Amouranth both market themselves as sexy women who use said sexuality to attract people. This is perfectly fine. People are allowed to use whatever they have to their advantage and if that means being sexual, then more power to them.

Pink Sparkles and Amouranth are more akin to pin-up models playing video games than outright sex icons. They are very aware of the fact that they are using their sexuality to their advantage and it is 100% within their control, which is why they do not care that maybe their streams are more risque.

However, it results in a lose-lose situation for them and other streamers.

A popular term to describe female streamers like this is "Twitch thot". This term helps to ruin female streamers' ability to exist on the platform. Any woman, whether she uses her sexuality or avoids it completely, can be called this for basically no reason. It removes any amount of quality from their stream or their popularity and boils it down to, "You're hot, so creepy guys follow you".

It's an insult to what they do because it takes their agency away. When they or anyone else is being called a "Twitch thot", it robs them of that agency, and the viewer is trying to take control of the streamer's sexuality by telling them that they should cover up more or that they are popular just because of their body.

Even when it's not about their body, female streamers may have their viewers focus on other aspects of them.

The most popular female Twitch streamer, Pokimane, deals with people worrying about her personal life. Frequent topics of debate include: does she have a boyfriend, why is she hiding her boyfriend, and is she hiding her boyfriend to get more donations from her fans. This is a continuous problem that has plagued her for several years.

This unhealthy obsession with her life stems from people not understanding that the relationship they have with a streamer is almost 100% one-sided. The viewers do not know a streamer, nor do they hang out. Rather the streamer lets the public in on their lives akin to how celebrities have their lives followed. Viewers often do not understand that and believe that they are entitled to know more about the streamer than they deserve.

The streamer is allowed to set whatever boundary they want with their audience.

All of these are unhealthy topics for people to obsess over about a person that they only have a parasocial relationship with. In some of Pokimane's IRL videos, she actually ends up talking about some of these topics to dissuade the rumors.

Fortunately, everything listed above can be seen as female gaming personalities challenging the problems they face and coming out on top. There are several less fortunate people that have gone through much worse.

Bocchi is a 15-year-old trans-female competitive Super Smash Bros. Ultimate player who recently gained a lot of notoriety for beating long-time player Ally. Bocchi mained the low-tier character Isabelle and managed to barely eke out a win against Ally's Snake. The match was absolutely insane and she took the win in a very stylish fashion.

Fast forward a day or two and Bocchi starts to get harassed for the amount of notoriety that she gained. Many people on Twitter were claiming that she did not deserve the boost in popularity, that her win was a fluke, and that she was actually bad at the game.

Sound familiar yet?

Bocchi, being 15, could not reasonably expect this to happen, nor really handle the backlash that she received. At the time of writing, she was disabled her twitter account and turned down a deal for Gravity Gaming to become both a competitor and a content creator.

One of the worst parts is that at a similar time, 17-year-old newcomer Puppeh placed 5th at CEO 2019 beating top Smash players Samsora, Abadango, and Nairo, all while playing mid-tier Pokemon Trainer.

Was this particular accomplishment more noteworthy than Bocchi's? Maybe, but the more important thing to note is that Puppeh did not receive backlash for beating top smashers with a mid-tier character, nor did he get harassed by people saying his victories did not count.

Puppeh and Bocchi both deserve a lot of credit for the accomplishments that they have, but Bocchi managed to be the right gender for people could not accept her accomplishments. No one knows if or when Bocchi will return despite the outpouring of support that she has gotten in the wake of people putting her down.

These are just a few examples of the wide variety of problems that female gaming personalities go through just for trying to do what they enjoy. Hafu just wants her accomplishments to be recognized, Amouranth and Pink Sparkles do not want their sexuality to be the only thing that defines them even if it is their main selling point, Pokimane does not want people to creepily obsess over her personal life, and Bocchi just wanted to improve and be a good Smash Bros. player.

The vast majority of people in every gaming community are male, and that is for the most part, fine. In fact, it wouldn't be much of a stretch to say that most of the men are not the problem, but a vocal minority of guys that decry female Twitch streamers and competitors as bad at games or as "Twitch thots" need to either change or stop their harassment.

Remember, if you don't like a stream, or you don't think someone is good at a game they are popular for playing, you can always just not watch them, and support other people rather than harassing them.

It's that simple, but a lot of people need to change to make that dream a reality.

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Streaming Tech Company Lightstream Acquires Analytics Platform Arsenal.gg https://www.gameskinny.com/j77tw/streaming-tech-company-lightstream-acquires-analytics-platform-arsenalgg https://www.gameskinny.com/j77tw/streaming-tech-company-lightstream-acquires-analytics-platform-arsenalgg Thu, 14 Mar 2019 14:26:53 -0400 QuintLyn

Today, live streaming tech company Lightstream announced the acquisition of streaming analytics tool Arsenal.gg. The acquisition allows Lightstream to expand its library of services for video game streamers, publishers, and development studios.

Arsenal is known for providing streamers with easily understandable data that allows them to interpret how their content performs and offers information on how to grow their audience. These same analytics tools are also used by game developers and studios to aid in developing marketing strategies.

Among those currently using Arsenal's tools are PUBG Corp, 505 Games, and Discord.

The partnership combines those tools with Lightstream's streaming platforms to create an all-in one suite designed to help make reaching audiences easier for streamers and companies alike.

Of course, different types of users will use this information in different ways. Companies like those mentioned above use Arsenal to obtain information about streamers and the games they are broadcasting. They can search nearly 8 million brodcasters by the games they are playing, their language, their affiliation, or their popularity.

This search isn't restricted to one particular platform either. Companies have access to information on Mixer, Twitch, Facebook, YouTube, Mobcrush, and Smashcast.

Streamers, on the other hand, utilize Arsenal to  keep track of data on their personal brodcasts, tracking information on the popularity of a game, how their casts are doing at specific times, what growth and viewership looks like, their active streaming days and time, and how much time viewers are spending watching their streams.

As Lightstream CEO Stu Grubbs points out, the industry has been using spreadsheets and "self-reported data" to keep track of most of this information for a while now.

As companies and streamers grow, this becomes a daunting task and can lead to inaccurate reporting.

“Arsenal gives brands the accurate data they need to keep investing more of their budget in broadcasters and the livestreaming market. We’re proud to add this fantastic product and bright team to our Lightstream crew.”

Anyone who follows gaming knows that streaming is wildly popular. Even as far back as 2014, streaming was rivaling large sporting events such as the Super Bowl. In the five years since, streaming has only become more ubiquitous with gaming. 

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Apex Legends Sets New Single-Day Twitch Viewership Record https://www.gameskinny.com/u8hz9/apex-legends-sets-new-single-day-twitch-viewership-record https://www.gameskinny.com/u8hz9/apex-legends-sets-new-single-day-twitch-viewership-record Thu, 14 Feb 2019 22:59:19 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Respawn Entertainment's Apex Legends launched less than two weeks ago, and it has already reached a staggering number of total and concurrent players. Now, the free-to-play battle royale game can boast a new record, as it recently surpassed the single-day Twitch viewership record that was previously set by Epic Games' Fortnite.

On February 12, during the Apex Rivals competition, Apex Legends garnered 8.2 million cumulative viewing hours on Twitch. In this contest, 48 of Twitch's top streamers competed against each other, and fans were clearly interested to see the results firsthand.

Once upon a time — July 12, 2018, to be exact — Fortnite set the single-day viewership record, clocking in at approximately 7 million cumulative viewing hours on Twitch. This was achieved at the time of Season 5's launch, shortly after the title debuted on the Switch and when Fortnite mania seemed to be at its peak.

While Apex Rivals certainly bolstered viewership for Apex Legends, allowing it to quickly surpass Fortnite's feat, data suggests that the record might have been broken soon even without the streamed competition. That is, reports indicate that 6.9 million viewing hours were spent watching Apex Legends on February 10, and this number increased to approximately 7.1 million viewing hours the next day.

That level of viewership is right near Fortnite's record, and it occurred on days when only normal gameplay was being streamed. Time will tell what other records Apex Legends may break amidst the game's ever-increasing popularity.

More details on Apex Legends viewership can be found on Gamasutra.

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Check out our other Apex Legends coverage for news, tips, and more.

Wondering if Apex Legends will ever be cross platform or have crossplay? Read our cross platform insight piece.

If you're new to Apex Legends and wonder which characters are the best and which abilities to focus on, head over to our Apex Legends character rank list and ability guide.

Just started Apex Legends? Our beginner's guide to winning faster lays out some great tips. And if you're looking for the best guns, we have that, too.

We also have recommended landing spots, recommended PC settings, and the seven best loot locations in Apex Legends.

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7 Apex Legends Streamers to Watch and Learn From on Twitch https://www.gameskinny.com/0e1c5/7-apex-legends-streamers-to-watch-and-learn-from-on-twitch https://www.gameskinny.com/0e1c5/7-apex-legends-streamers-to-watch-and-learn-from-on-twitch Wed, 13 Feb 2019 12:50:09 -0500 QuintLyn

To say that Apex Legends made a huge splash when it launched on February 4 would be an understatement. The game, a Titanfall inspired battle royale, ahs become an almost-instant darling, attracting over 25 million players in less than a week and dominating airtime on Twitch.

In fact, as of this writing, Apex Legends is pulling in almost 300k viewers on Twitch, beating out League of Legends, Dota 2, and Fortnite by 150k viewers or more on average.

Astute Twitch viewers might notice that while some of these streams are just general gameplay streams, others are already focusing on tournaments. In fact, one streamer we stumbled upon is associated with Cloud 9 and seems to be focusing on Apex Legends exclusively.

However, that makes sense considering Respawn is working with Twitch on the Twitch Rivals Apex Legends Challenge, which had its first even on February 12 on the Apex Legends Twitch Channel. The events will pit 48 of Twitch Apex streamers against each other for their chance at glory; another event is scheduled for February 19, although it is unclear if this will be an ongoing event.

Although some of the streamers chosen to compete may actually be part of the list in this post, that's not why we chose them for inclusion here. In fact, we purposefully avoided Ninja because we know you're familiar with him. 

So, what did we look for while compiling this list? We wanted streamers who have a solid following and who seem to be playing Apex Legends as more than just a one-off. We also looked for streamers who saved some of their gameplay videos so you could learn from them to become a better Apex player. 

CouRageJD

CouRageJD is a former Call of Duty esports caster and, judging from his Twitch metrics page, a fairly prolific Fortnite player. But, for the past week, he's been going all in on Apex Legends.

Since starting with the game, he's been concentrating on playing as Wraith, the interdimensional skirmisher. From what I've watched of his stream, he's a great streamer to learn from. In fact, some of his enemy takedowns have been pretty impressive.

It helps that he's also generally fun to watch based on his interactions with his teammates.

AnneMunition

AnneMunition is a bit of a variety streamer, although she seems to have an affinity for shooters. Her video archive is full of myriad games ranging from sims to survival to, of course, shooters.

Like others in this list, she's a fan of Overwatch and Rainbow Six: Siege, so it shouldn't be surprising she'd give Apex Legends a try.

That said, I'm not sure she'll be as dedicated an Apex Legends player as some of the other streamers in this list. But, for now, she seems pretty into it. 

A_Seagull

A_Seagull is all about shooters. With a video archive featuring Team Fortress 2, Overwatch, Anthem, and Rainbow: Six Siege, it's no surprise that he's decided to hop into Apex Legends for a while.

It should also be no surprise that he's great at the game, especially since he formerly played TF2 and Overwatch professionally. Now that he's no longer living the competitive pro-life, he's a full-time streamer, which means viewers can expect to learn a lot while watching his Apex streams. 

KingRichard

KingRichard is another Fortnite player who's decided to spend some time in Apex Legends. He does, however, dabble in other games from time to time. Included in his video archive are streams for the most recent Spider-Man game and Black Desert Online.

He's also a part of NRG Esports, and is generally an entertaining streamer to watch.

DisguisedToast

In a bit of a twist, DisguisedToast is actually a Hearthstone player who's decided to test the Apex Legends waters. 

He's one of the people that's been chosen to be part of the Apex Legends challenge on Twitch, so his time in the game may be fairly temporary.

That said, he's an entertaining streamer, constantly vocal and engaged. He's also a pretty good shot. If you're looking to up your shooter game, it's worth tuning in. 

dakotaz

dakotaz is primarily a Fortnite player, and may likely go back to spending his time there. But, since Apex Legends launched, he's been spending almost all of his stream time in the game.

According to his twitter, dakotaz is a big fan of both games, so it seems likely fans can expect to see both in his streaming lineup for a while. That's good news for anyone looking for a stream with not only entertaining gameplay but fun chatter.

dizzy

dizzy is a former Counter-Strike player and a member of NRG Esports. Among those currently streaming Apex Legends, dizzy's the only one that has declared the game their current main.

What this means is that when everyone else might trickle off following the tournaments and other launch hype, dizzy may be the go-to source for Apex Legends streaming.

---

And there we have it, seven Apex Legends streamers you'll want to check out.

Of course, this may change over time as the game gets settled and out of the early hype stage. But for those of you looking to check out the game early, you can't go wrong with one of these streams.

Be sure to head over to our Apex Legends guides page for our growing list of tips articles and lists, from best and worst guns to our beginner's strategies, we're adding new guides weekly. 

]]>
Hi-Rez Employee, Twitch Partner Arrested In Georgia Child Sex Sting https://www.gameskinny.com/45c58/hi-rez-employee-twitch-partner-arrested-in-georgia-child-sex-sting https://www.gameskinny.com/45c58/hi-rez-employee-twitch-partner-arrested-in-georgia-child-sex-sting Tue, 05 Feb 2019 11:25:23 -0500 QuintLyn

Yesterday afternoon, news broke that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, along with the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, arrested over 20 men after a five-day long sting operation. According to the official report from the GBI, the men were charged with a variety of crimes related to the sexual exploitation of children.

Among those arrested was Hi-Rez employee and Twitch partner, Thomas Ho-Yan Cheung, 32, widely known by his online personality, Elvine.

Cheung has been part of the gaming community for years. He got his start creating gold-making videos for World of Warcraft, has worked with various WoW-sites, and appeared at various industry events. He also worked for CCP Games in Atlanta prior to joining Hi-Rez Studios as a Community Specialist.

The sting was part of a months-long investigation called "Operation Interception," which targeted individuals who "communicate with children [sic] on-line, have sexually explicit conversations, and then travel to meet them for the purpose of having sex." Over five days beginning January 30, law enforcement officials from 22 different organizations arrested 21 men who not only believed they were having sexually explicit conversations with a minor but also reportedly traveled to meet them for sex.

Some of the charges against the men are as follows:

  • O.C.G.A. 16-12-100.2, Computer or Electronic Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act of 2007
  • O.C.G.A 16-5-46, Trafficking of Persons for Labor or Sexual Servitude

The GBI notes that more arrests and charges may take place. The official report from the organization notes that over 63 cases were established during the investigation and only 21 of those have resulted in arrests thus far.

Following news of Cheung's arrest, gamers on Twitter noted that both Cheung's website and Twitch channel had been removed. Cheung's Twitter account listed him as a "SteelSeries / NZXT ambassador."

In an email comment to GameSkinny on the situation, SteelSeries said Tuesday morning that it had revoked all support and sponsorship for Cheung as soon as the news broke.

Cheung's former employer CCP Games offered an official statement on Twitter:

GameSkinny also reached out to Hi-Rez studios for comment. The studio shared the following from Hi-Rez CEO Stew Chisam: 

On Monday, February 4th, we learned through local news that Thomas Cheung was arrested in an operation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations. At this point, we know only what has been reported in the local news and by local law enforcement, and cannot comment on specifics of Mr. Cheung's case, other than to say that, as of today, Mr. Cheung is no longer employed by Hi-Rez Studios.

As a parent, it is difficult to imagine more disturbing allegations than those laid out in the news reports. We commend the efforts of the Georgia Bureau of Investigations and other law enforcement to protect our state's children and to send a strong message that the behavior targeted in their Operation Interception will not be tolerated in Georgia.

This is a developing story. 

]]>
Biggest Scandals in Streaming in 2018 https://www.gameskinny.com/6lsy3/biggest-scandals-in-streaming-in-2018 https://www.gameskinny.com/6lsy3/biggest-scandals-in-streaming-in-2018 Fri, 28 Dec 2018 11:00:04 -0500 QuintLyn

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And there we have it. Some of the biggest streamer-related scandals of 2018. Of course, some of you may have heard of other incidents and wonder where they're at. Well. If they're not here, there are two reasons.

\n

First: Some of what might feel like this year's scandals actually took place in 2017 -- and in one case 2016 -- and there's just been some followup since then.

\n

Second: Yes. There were far bigger things that happened. But to be frank, they were so serious that adding them to a listicle like this one didn't feel right.

\n

 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-c0cca.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-c0cca.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192849","description":"
Twitch streamer Alinity threatens to copyright strike Pewdiepie for calling her a "thot"
\n

As mentioned elsewhere in this post, a lot of assumptions can be made about female streamers -- particularly any that might be considered attractive. The general consensus among certain groups of (mostly) male streamers is that these girls wouldn't be popular if they weren't using their bodies to attract male viewers.

\n

A popular term used among those that feel negatively about these girls is "thot", an acronym for "that ho over there". It's thrown about often -- and by other streamers and content creators who make some -- or all -- of their living talking about their fellow creators.

\n

Earlier this year, Pewdiepie -- whose seen his own share of scandals the last few years -- drew the ire of Twitch streamer Alinity when he showed a clip of her stream and referred to her as a "thot" in one of his videos. Seeing the video, Alinity addressed it the way all content creators do, by commenting about it live on stream, saying, "Just for that word. I'm going to copy strike him," before telling someone offscreen to do just that.

\n

Following the copyright strike on Pewdiepie, channels reporting on the situation also received copyright strikes from Alinity, who used an agency called CollabDRM to strike any video using clips from her stream.  At one point she's reported to have bragged about how much money she pulled in from the copyright strikes. Even prominent YouTuber Philip DeFranco decided to investigate the whole thing, due to the apparent abuse of the copyright claim function.

\n

Of course, there was the obligatory back and forth between Alinity and Pewdiepie before the whole thing was over. Some spectators continued to take issue with Pewdiepie's use of the word "thot", while others  -- particularly those in the YouTube community -- voiced concerns over the abuse of the company's less than stellar copyright system.

\n

It's not at all uncommon for companies to make dubious copyright claims, and take in all of the revenue from the videos while the creators work to get the claim removed. When that happens, the content creator is just out that money. So you can see why this would be such a huge issue.

\n

That said, it's easy to see why any streamer would be upset at having such a derogatory term used to describe them. But, it also stands to reason that abusing the YouTube copyright system is not the way to handle it.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-885a7.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-885a7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192848","description":"
Streamer "Gross Gore" investigated by Jagex after an incident at Runefest 2018
\n

It's only been a few short months since Jagex's annual love fest for all things RuneScape, Runefest took place. Unfortunately, what may stand out the most about the event for some people involves a public altercation between two attendees --  Ali "Gross Gore" Larson, and a RuneScape content creator who goes by the name of "Skiddler".

\n

Since the altercation happened in person, rather than online where everyone could make clips of it and post it to their YouTube channels, there's a bit of "he said, he said" to the situation. That said, Jagex thought it was serious enough to investigate.

\n

News about the encounter between the two personalities hit the internet almost immediately and Skiddler took to his Twitter account to tell his side of the story -- which involved Gross Gore sexually harassing a friend of his. According to the account,  Skiddler's friend told him what happened, so when he ran into Gore outside he pulled him aside to discuss the issue.

\n

Gore then escalated things by pushing one of Skiddler's friends, and a scuffle broke out that resulted in two of Gross Gore's friends holding Skiddler down and kicking him -- after throwing him into the side of a moving car.

\n\n

Gross Gore, for his part, responded to the whole thing with a video, where he said he didn't mean to offend the woman, but "she was wearing a really, really, really revealing top." He went on to add that, "if you're going to wear something so revealing, people will comment on it."

\n

As for Jagex's investigation, they simply stated that they "found that the content creators concerned did breach [their] code conduct," and that they wouldn't be working with them or inviting them to events in the future.

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Gore was also banned from TwitchCon following the event.

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Ninja draws ire for saying he doesn't play with female streamers because he wants to avoid the drama
\n

Tyler "Ninja" Blevins is the streamer of 2018, a top Fortnite player who's played with Drake and -- even more recently -- appeared on The Game Awards with a muppet. But that's not to say he doesn't have his detractors, or that he hasn't had his share of gaffes.

\n

Earlier this year, Twitter practically blew up after he explained why we never see him teaming up with any female streamers. Blevins, who is married, hopes to avoid any gossip or drama that might upset his wife. It's not an unreasonable concern. The internet loves to speculate about what celebrities are getting up to, particularly if it seems like there's some form of attraction or flirting.

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That said, while his logic might seem sound, it still drew the ire of many for being exclusionary. As many pointed out, Ninja has a massive platform and anyone he elects to team up with gets a big boost.

\n

But it's not just the boost that people were concerned with. Many felt that even if it's not what he intended, Ninja was sending the wrong message regarding women streamers -- especially when female streamers already deal with harassment from viewers and male streamers who are convinced that they're simply cam girls out to use their looks to separate men from their money.

\n

Ninja did try to address the matter, noting that his intent was to avoid online harassment himself, but for many his stance continues to be a problem.

\n"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-dc934.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-dc934.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192845","description":"
Streamer causes too much drama for a drama-based subreddit
\n

When it comes to drama, it's rare for Reddit to ever get tired of it. But earlier this year they did, in fact, the members of the subreddit r/livestreamfail submitted a petition to have a streamer banned because he generated more drama than they actually wanted to deal with.

\n

The consensus among the subreddit's members is that Jones -- who was obsessed with viewer count, reportedly complained about the success of other casters and even publicly rebuked viewers in his chat for not hitting the subscription button. 

\n

Interestingly, Jones' behavior drew the attention of one of the other streamers on this list -- xQc, who stated he needed to focus on the content. Although, not in those exact words.

\n

Jones eventually addressed the drama, speaking to Polygon who wrote a rather lengthy piece on everything that happened. According to Jones things like his comments about subscriptions were taken out of context and were meant as a joke. He even stated he doesn't try to make drama, that it happens naturally.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/l/dalla-fuel-xqc-a033b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/l/dalla-fuel-xqc-a033b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192827","description":"
Overwatch pro xQc suspended by Dallas Fuel for a homophobic tirade on stream
\n

This particular event took place at the beginning of last year. The Overwatch League was just a week into its first season and player Felix Lengyel -- better known as xQc of the Dallas Fuel -- had already earned himself a four-game suspension from the league and a $2000 fine. His own team even suspended him from the remainder of the season's first stage.

\n

So what did Lengyel do to earn his punishments? He used a homophobic slur against an openly gay player in an opposing team. Lengyel was reportedly set off when the player -- Austin "Muma" Wilmot of the Outlaws -- jokingly used one of Lengyel's catch-phrases after the Outlaws beat the Fuel in a match.

\n

Lengyel later addressed Wilmot on his own stream, verbally attacking him and taking several jabs at his sexual orientation. (I won't post the quote verbatim here, but there is a video available at the link above.)

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Obviously, Blizzard wasn't cool with this, and since they own the Overwatch League, it took them no time to dole out a punishment.

\n

Unfortunately, Lengyel didn't learn from his suspension and was in trouble again just a few months later, prompting the Fuel to part ways with him permanently.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/r/streamer-scandals-23074.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/r/streamer-scandals-23074.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192875","description":"

The year is drawing to an end, and that means it's time to take a look back at some of the things that happened over the past -- kinda crazy -- year. As with any year, there's been some good, some bad, some weird, and some straight up WTFery.

\n

In this post, we take a look at some of that last category in the streaming community. Large communities have a way of having messed up things happen. And when people live their lives on camera, everyone else is going to know when they've done something questionable.

\n

As with previous years, this one was a mixed bag for streamers. Some drew the ire of specific groups for things they said. Others picked fights with other creators. And some even lost their jobs due to their behavior.

\n

In this post, we take a look at some of the biggest scandals that hit streamers this year. So, let's roll back the wheel of time.

"}]]]>
Enter Mixer Season 2: Rising to the challenge of Twitch https://www.gameskinny.com/uvw42/enter-mixer-season-2-rising-to-the-challenge-of-twitch https://www.gameskinny.com/uvw42/enter-mixer-season-2-rising-to-the-challenge-of-twitch Fri, 02 Nov 2018 12:18:45 -0400 Gabriella Graham

The Microsoft-owned video game streaming service, Mixer, has announced all new features for it's self-declared "Season 2" for users. When their biggest opponent in the streaming game is Twitch, owned by Amazon, they can't afford to pull any punches when crafting a one-of-kind experience.

Naturally, the Mixer team needs to attract quality streamers as well as viewers, and that means they need to help their creators get paid. Most of their new features solve that conundrum while simultaneously offering more user-friendly options than the technical world of MixPlay.

So what's new?

Season 2 comes with a compact list of new and upcoming features for viewers and streamers alike to enjoy:

Skills

With building a truly engaging experience at its core, Mixer rolls out a slew a new interactive options for chat. This includes gifs, animated stickers, and even graphic effects like laser shows, fireworks, and bouncing beach balls (just in time for fall).

As an added bonus - and an extra incentive streamers are sure to notice - the use of Skills financially benefits your favorite creators. To use skills, however, you'll need Sparks.

Sparks Patronage

Audiences earn "Sparks" simply by watching streams, which isn't altogether new to Mixer. However, now they can then spend that completely free to earn currency on creators' channels, via either MixPlay interactive buttons or those new Skills.

Sparks add up over time toward milestones that correlate to financial payouts for streamers. This mean you can help creators pay their bills without dishing out on donations.

Embers

As the flip-side of Sparks, this patronage is of the paid variety. Special -- dare I say "enhanced" -- skills can only be unlocked with embers. Using this flashier skill set in chats also leads to bigger payouts for streamers.

 

Progression

Think of Mixer Progression as viewer rankings or levels rewarded based on participation. With the recognition that not everyone can afford to donate and subscribe, these ranks or levels consider more than financial contributions. In fact, they extend to cover a user's involvement in chats, skill use, daily activity, and even applause received from other viewers.

Gain points through your actions to unlock higher ranks, not to mention new skills. At the bottom rung lie viewers and at the top you'll see VIPs, with various other titles in-between.

Just note that those last two features are still coming soon, including the Applause action mentioned above.

When competition benefits the user experience, everybody wins

"Our ambition is to deliver the most engaging, community-first live streaming service." - Natalie Domingo, Head of Partnerships

According to GeekWire, Mixer hit 20 million monthly active users this past June. This growth is nothing to scoff at considering it started at 100,000 when Microsoft stepped in in 2016. The only problem? Twitch clocks in at a whooping 15 million daily active users. Ouch. That leaves some major ground for Mixer to cover if they truly want to compete. 

We'll have to wait and see if Season 2 successfully propels Mixer even further.

Will you be taking advantage of Mixer Season 2? The variety in Mixer's new currencies takes the place of advertisers vying for their chance in the spotlight - does this difference influence the platform you jump to? Or are you swayed most by a handful of already beloved streamers? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Dallas Fuel's Release of xQc Is a Powerful Reflection of the OWL's Integrity https://www.gameskinny.com/spxbq/dallas-fuels-release-of-xqc-is-a-powerful-reflection-of-the-owls-integrity https://www.gameskinny.com/spxbq/dallas-fuels-release-of-xqc-is-a-powerful-reflection-of-the-owls-integrity Wed, 14 Mar 2018 15:45:59 -0400 Andrew Krajewski

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. On March 11th, the Dallas Fuel announced via the Overwatch League website that they were releasing Felix "xQc"  Lengyel after he was suspended and fined for a second time this season. This latest suspension followed derogatory chat behavior during one of xQc's Overwatch Twitch streams.

This suspension would also mean that Felix would sit out more games than he has played at this point in the season. It is most likely for this reason that the Fuel had to let xQc go. As a core tank of the team, his absence is a significant one that ultimately costs the Dallas Fuel success. By releasing him, the Fuel have made it clear they won't tolerate these suspensions and are serious about winning in the OWL. If players are absent, then they can't win, and with their actions, the Fuel are indicating they would rather have a player they can count on than a star play who they can't count on.

It is a shame that such a skilled player like xQc has dropped the ball again, and while he may land somewhere else, he'll have to change his behavior if he wants to seriously be considered by other teams. Blizzard has demonstrated an effort to reduce toxicity in its games, and the OWL has shown it won't shy away from suspending its most popular players. The events that have transpired over the past several days are a strong indicator that the Overwatch League and the teams that comprise it are serious about creating a positive community to support the league.

---

What do you think about Dallas' decision to release xQc? Will he find another team, or is his time in the OWL over? Do you care about player behavior outside of the league? Let us know in the comments below!

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Overwatch League Week 3 Recap https://www.gameskinny.com/88o1q/overwatch-league-week-3-recap https://www.gameskinny.com/88o1q/overwatch-league-week-3-recap Wed, 31 Jan 2018 12:08:34 -0500 Andrew Krajewski

Week 3 of the OWL was wild. At the end of last week we had three teams undefeated and two teams without a win. Now Everybody has lost a game and only the Shanghai Dragons remain winless. Let's delve deeper into Week 3 of the Overwatch League.

Atlantic Division: Weekly Record (Season Record)

New York Excelsior: 1-1 (5-1)

The Excels managed to surprise the league twice in one week. They started their week with a stunning defeat against the Philadelphia fusion, losing their undefeated streak. However, they seemed to bounce back in an even more stunning victory against the league's top dog Seoul Dynasty. They've done what no other team has been able to accomplish and they will look to carry their momentum into week 4.

London Spitfire: 1-1 (5-1)

A heavily favored London squad lost to a group of scrappy fighters from Boston (I swear I've heard this story before). After rolling over the S.F. Shock London had a crazy close match against the Boston Uprising. Every single game played in their series against the Uprising was either won or lost by a point until the tie-breaker fifth round where Boston took Lijiang Tower 2-0. London Spitfire may have been caught off-guard but they will surely redouble their efforts to stay at the top of the leaderboard.

Houston Outlaws: 2-0 (4-2)

After a slow start to the season the Outlaws have continued to ramp up their play as they climb the standings. Two convincing 4-0 victories against the Florida Mayhem and L.A. Gladiators definitely helped make their case for why they should be considered one of the better teams in the league. In his post-game interview against the Mayhem Jacob "Jake" Lyon of the Outlaws expressed great confidence in his team's ability to prepare against the L.A. Gladiators. His confidence seemed to be right on the money and now the Outlaws look poised to be one of the mastermind teams gunning for rank 1.

 

Philadelphia Fusion: 2-0 (4-2)

The Fusion just won't stop being a fun team to watch. They toppled the New York Excels. The Fusion were fortunate to face the Shanghai Dragons in their second match of the week, which likely provided them extra time to focus on their game plan against the Excels. The fact that both of their matches ended 3-2 shows that on any given day a team like the Shanghai Dragons can be just as competitive as the best teams around, like the Excels.

Boston Uprising: 2-0 (3-3)

I'm not afraid to admit when I'm wrong and Boston proved me wrong this week. I thought they showed an exploitable weakness last week in their predictability but they bounced back taking down the London Spitfire and Dallas Fuel in close games.

Florida Mayhem: 0-2 (1-5)

The Mayhem continued to struggle in Week 3, only scoring one checkpoint against the Outlaws and only winning one game against the Valiant. On Junkertown the Mayhem couldn't figure out what kind of strategy to use and TviQ's Tracer play just couldn't keep up with Houston. Florida needs to seriously consider expanding their roster because something isn't working and they currently don't have any players they can sub in when a match doesn't go their way.

Pacific Division: Weekly Record (Season Record)

Seoul Dynasty: 1-1 (5-1)

This week did not seem to go Seoul's way. Maybe it's fatigue, lack of preparation, overconfidence, or just bad luck but the Dynasty suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of the Excels and looked much worse than they should against the Dragons. In their first game of the week Seoul Dynasty had several close calls against the dragons and almost lost maps way earlier than they should have. Perhaps they were razzed by this performance and their confidence was shaken enough to impact their play against New York in game two of the week.

Los Angeles Valiant: 2-0 (4-2)

After an exciting battle for Texas in week 2 between the Fuel and Outlaws we were treated to another exciting territory battle, this time for Los Angeles. These early rivalries are great matches to check out and the Valiant fought hard against their L.A. counterparts the Gladiators. The match came down to the wire as the Valiant were forced to reverse sweep their opponents to claim victory.

San Francisco Shock: 0-2 (2-4)

The Shock dropped two games this week against London and Dallas. They seemed to play well they just couldn't close out checkpoints and kept dying when it mattered most. Their game against the Fuel on Junkertown is a perfect example of this . If they want to win more games they'll have to become more consistent in clutch moments. Babybay looks good as Widowmaker but that's not going to be enough if the Shock want to win.

Los Angeles Gladiators: 0-2 (2-4)

The Gladiators look so good and come out with unique strategies but perhaps they are as predictable as the Outlaws said they are. Although they lost both of their games the Gladiators can definitely bounce back. Fortunately for them, they have plenty of room to grow as a team.

Dallas Fuel: 1-1 (1-5)

They finally did it. The fan favorite Dallas Fuel got their first win of the season against the San Francisco Shock. Perhaps this is a return to form for the Fuel and we'll see much more wins in the near future out of this Dallas squad.

Shanghai Dragons: 0-2 (0-6)

They're still losing games but the Dragons caught my eye this week. They looked... good. They constantly put pressure on the Seoul Dynasty and looked like they could've taken a map or two early in the match. While they lost they still won Dorado against the Dynasty and surprised everyone. They sure channeled that victory into their next match where the gave the Fusion a run for their money before ultimate falling 3-2.

You can check out the Overwatch League Wednesday through Saturday every week on twitch.tv/OverwatchLeague, or you can watch the VOD's on the Overwatch League website.

Did you watch Week 3 of the OWL? What plays and players stood out to you? Let us know your predictions for the rest of the season in the comments below, and be sure to stick around GameSkinny for all your Overwatch League recaps!

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Overwatch League Week 2 Recap https://www.gameskinny.com/6i7it/overwatch-league-week-2-recap https://www.gameskinny.com/6i7it/overwatch-league-week-2-recap Wed, 24 Jan 2018 10:39:22 -0500 Andrew Krajewski

Week 2 of the OWL was just as exciting as the first; some teams cemented their standings, while other teams flipped the script. Let's take a closer look at how each team performed during Week 2.

Atlantic Division: Weekly Record (Season Record)

New York Excelsior: 2-0 (4-0)

New York continued to dominate their opponents throughout the week, but the big story for the Excels is their flex player Do-Hyeon "Pine" Kim. Pine continued to shine in his limited role on control point maps and was promoted to the starting lineup in New York's second match of the week against the L.A. Gladiators. New York's excellent subbing ability between Pine and Saebyeolbe, in addition to the tremendous skill of the entire team, shows why they deserve to be 4-0 at the end of Week 2.

London Spitfire: 2-0 (4-0)

London Spitfire continued to fight hard and earn some wins. After rolling over the Dallas Fuel, the London Spitfire turned their attention to the L.A. Valiant. Then after going up 2-0, the Spitfire gave up the next two games on Oasis and Eichenwalde. London rallied and took the tiebreaker on Lijiang two rounds in a row.

Houston Outlaws: 2-0 (2-2)

Coming off two losses in Week 1, the Houston Outlaws were fortunate to face the Shanghai Dragons, arguably the weakest team in the league, at the beginning of the week. After a 4-0 victory there, the Outlaws turned their attention to their Texas rivals, the Dallas Fuel. After losing to the Fuel during the preseason, the Outlaws had an uphill fight in the battle for Texas. Since they were the second Texas team announced for the OWL, the Outlaws haven't had the same huge fan base as the Fuel. Perhaps this match might have swayed some fans, especially after a remarkable first point defense on Junkertown made Dallas look like a team of amateurs. 

Philadelphia Fusion: 1-1 (2-2)

The Fusion continue to be an exciting team to watch. With players like Neptuno (arguably the scariest Mercy in the league) and ShaDowBurn (a terrific Genji player), there is always an opportunity for a crazy highlight. After a close victory against the San Francisco Shock to start the week, the Fusion came out strong against the L.A. gladiators. Unfortunately for Philadelphia, it wouldn't last, as the Gladiators remained resilient and came back for the win on the last three maps of the match. During the match we got to see that even pros are capable of blunders, as Carpe walked of a cliff on Junkertown early into Game 1 on Junkertown.

Boston Uprising: 0-2 (1-3)

The Boston Uprising began to show how their inexperience may affect their season, as they lost eight straight rounds to Seoul Dynasty and the Los Angeles Gladiators. While the Uprising look good and appear comfortable with the strategies they've practiced, they don't look diverse in their playstyle. Consequently, opponents have an advantage preparing against Boston's limited scope of diversity. Seoul's use of Mae on Junkertown couldn't be countered by Boston's predictable Bastion/Sniper combo. All is not lost for the Boston Uprising. The reason they lost is also the reason they can come back even stronger. Their youth means they are coachable and have the opportunity to grow as a team.

Florida Mayhem: 1-1 (1-3)

Florida's week went as expected. They faced the best team in the league, Seoul Dynasty, and they lost. They faced the weakest team in the league, the Shanghai Dragons, and they won. Right now they sit towards the bottom of the standings, but this week wasn't the best indicator of their skill. We'll take a closer look at them after Week 3.

Pacific Division: Weekly Record (Season Record)

Seoul Dynasty: 2-0 (4-0)

They're the best team around and they know it. The players for the Dynasty are confident and want to be the best around, almost to their detriment. They all want to make big plays, and sometimes that leads to bad decisions. Dynasty's tank, Miro, dived as Winston into the entirety of the Boston Uprising, only to see his demise. Despite the mistake, the Seoul Dynasty continued to assert their dominance as they took home two more wins.

Los Angeles Valiant: 0-2 (2-2)

The Valiant had two very tough matchups this week and ultimately fell to the London Spitfire and the New York Excels. After a strong Week 1 performance, this result is disappointing. They'll be looking to bounce back in Week 3 with favorable matchups against the Florida Mayhem and L.A. Gladiators.

San Francisco Shock: 1-1 (2-2)

The Shock continue to be the definition of average. Going 1-1 again this week, the Shock look like they still have a few kinks they need to work out if they want to excel. Their match with the Fusion was exciting to watch, but they still couldn't get the win. Going forward they'll look to improve all around. We'll take a closer look at them next week.

Los Angeles Gladiators: 1-1 (2-2)

After Week 1 it was near impossible to figure out exactly how good the Gladiators might be. Their games against Seoul and Shanghai didn't help much, either. So their match against the Fusion was the first real clue to how good they might be. I like what I see from the Gladiators; they seem to play well and care about their team chemistry. That positive attitude can only help their efforts going forward and will certainly lead to a few victories going forward. When they come out on stage to play every week, they look like they want to have fun. If nothing else, they're certain to become fan favorites over the course of the season.

Dallas Fuel: 0-2 (0-4)

Their record is perhaps the biggest shock of the season thus far, and considering we've already seen two players getting fined this inaugural season (hint: one of them is a Dallas Fuel player), that is saying something. Fan favorites from the moment they were announced as a team, the Fuel have struggled to give their fans a victory. Perhaps they were too cocky, perhaps they were overhyped. Whatever the problem is, they need to figure it out and fast. Losing to the Houston Outlaws 4-0 this week was a big blow, and they just did not look good in that match. They'll look to find their first win in Week 3 against the San Francisco Shock.

Shanghai Dragons: 0-2 (0-4)

They aren't playing well, and until that changes, they'll stay in last place, 'nuff said.

You can check out the Overwatch League Wednesday through Saturday every week on twitch.tv/OverwatchLeague, or you can watch the VOD's on the Overwatch League website.

Did you watch Week 2 of the OWL? What plays and players stood out to you? Let us know your predictions for the rest of the season in the comments below, and be sure to stick around GameSkinny for all your Overwatch League recaps!

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Overwatch League Player Suspended for Homophobic Taunts https://www.gameskinny.com/5j1bo/overwatch-league-player-suspended-for-homophobic-taunts https://www.gameskinny.com/5j1bo/overwatch-league-player-suspended-for-homophobic-taunts Tue, 23 Jan 2018 10:51:25 -0500 pithyalyse

Less than a month into its premiere season, The Overwatch League is throwing a red card.

Felix “xQc” Lengyel of the Dallas Fuel received a four-match suspension and $2,000 fine on Friday for violating the League’s code of conduct. The night prior, Lengyel taunted another player with a homophobic slur on his personal Twitch channel.   

The stream followed the Fuel’s 4-0 loss to the Houston Outlaws. Lengyel took issue with one of their players, Austin “Muma” Wilmot, mimicking him after the victory, and said the openly gay player could “Suck a fat … ”

Well, you can fill in the blank (or hear it for yourself in the clip below).

The League took swift action, issuing a press release the next day.

“The Overwatch League takes standards of players behavior seriously, whether during league play or otherwise, and is committed to responding swiftly when violations occur,” it read.

Fuel later expressed support for the League’s decision via Twitter, adding that Lengyel would also sit out the remainder of Stage 1 -- which runs until February 10.

In the interim, the post continues, Fuel will provide him with additional coaching to ensure he “is reflective of the principles of the Dallas Fuel organization, his teammates, and the Overwatch League.”

Lengyel tweeted an apology to Wilmot on Friday, explaining that there was no “malicious intent” in his words. He spoke too fast without thinking, he said.  

This is not the first scandal to hit Overwatch League players. In November, the League slapped a 30-game suspension on the Philadelphia Fusion’s Su-min “Sado” Kim for account boosting profiteering -- a violation of Blizzard’s end user license agreement.

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Overwatch League Day 3 Recap https://www.gameskinny.com/ib0xw/overwatch-league-day-3-recap https://www.gameskinny.com/ib0xw/overwatch-league-day-3-recap Sat, 13 Jan 2018 16:49:32 -0500 Andrew Krajewski

The second half of Week 1 of the Overwatch League began with the most memorable match yet. The L.A. Valiant continued their dominance against the Dallas Fuel, who were trying to bounce back after a tough Day 1 loss. With a 4-0 victory against the Florida Mayhem, the Boston Uprising finally showed what they're capable of. The San Francisco Shock got their first victory of the season as the Shanghai Dragons continued to struggle.

Match 1

Los Angeles Valiant: 3
Dallas Fuel: 0

Game 1 on Junkertown featured incredible Roadhog hooks, precise sniper play, and clutch overtime pushes. The opening map went into a time-bonus round twice before the Valiant won 8-7. The high-level play continued into game 2, where the Valiant showed us the importance of flexibility by changing their lineup and utilizing Ana to force a 5-5 tie against the Fuel. After a draining first two games, the Fuel couldn't put any points on the board with losses on Ilios and Numbani.

Match 2

Boston Uprising: 4
Florida Mayhem: 0

The Boston Mayhem bounced back after losing to the N.Y. Excels on Day 2. As one of their favorite maps, Dorado should have been won by the Mayhem, but Florida dropped the ball and lost game 1. Game 2 was no surprise, as Boston did win on Temple of Anubis, the same map they won on against the Excels. After the 2-0 start, the Florida Mayhem failed to rally and gave up 2 more losses to end the night. Perhaps the limited 6-person roster of the Mayhem reduced their chances at victory, by removing the opportunity to substitute players when things aren't working.

Match 3

San Francisco Shock: 3
Shanghai Dragons: 1

The San Francisco Shock entered Day 3 in high spirits, despite their loss earlier in the week. That positive attitude surely helped contribute to their victory over the Dragons. Although Shanghai showed flashes of brilliance that should eventually lead to victory in the future, they failed to gain any major momentum in game 3 on Ilios and ultimately lost to the Shock. The Shanghai Dragons will be looking to bounce back next week, when they face the Houston Outlaws.

 

You can check out the Overwatch League Wednesday through Saturday every week on twitch.tv/OverwatchLeague, or you can watch the VOD's on the Overwatch League website.

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Did you watch the Overwatch League this week? Which plays stood out to you, and what do you want to see as the season continues? Do you have a favorite team yet? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to stick around GameSkinny for your Overwatch League news!

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Overwatch League Day 2 Recap https://www.gameskinny.com/dxdlb/overwatch-league-day-2-recap https://www.gameskinny.com/dxdlb/overwatch-league-day-2-recap Fri, 12 Jan 2018 14:02:56 -0500 Andrew Krajewski

As Blizzard's Overwatch League (OWL) picked up where it left off, on Day 2 fans were able to enjoy much closer matches compared to Day 1. The London Spitfire rallied to win against the Florida Mayhem after dropping their first game. The Philadelphia Fusion and the Houston Outlaws had a high-octane series that resulted in victory for Philadelphia. The Boston Uprising rounded out the night with their preseason rivals, the New York Excelsior, in a hard-fought but tough loss.

Match 1

London Spitfire: 3
Florida Mayhem: 1

After a 2-1 victory on Dorado to open the series, the Florida Mayhem progressively lost by bigger margins on following maps. The Spitfire seemed to have their opponents figured out, shutting them out in the last two games of the match, 2-0 on Oasis and 3-0 on Numbani.

Match 2

Philadelphia Fusion: 3
Houston Outlaws: 2

Match 2 was a highlight reel, as the "underdog" Philadelphia Fusion showed why they are a part of the OWL. Game 1 ended with an incredible 3-player elimination by Gael "Poko" Gouzerch. As D.Va, Poko used his self-destruct ultimate to prevent the Outlaws from moving the payload the last bit of space they needed in order to tie up the game. From there the series intensified, as both teams traded victories until the Fusion came out on top. We even got to see Alberto "Neptuno" González Molinillo score three eliminations as Battle Mercy on Lijiang Tower. The victory provided Philadelphia a confidence boost after they had to miss the preseason due to logistical errors.

Match 3
New York Excelsior: 3
Boston Uprising: 1

The Boston Uprising came into the final match of the night with hopes for redemption. Known to be one of the younger teams in the OWL, Boston lost to the New York Excels in the preseason, 3-1. The Uprising prepared more than any other team over the break, and that may have fatigued them, as they fell to New York 3-1 again. Boston started strong on Junkertown with a scary 2-sniper + Bastion lineup that put New York on its heels. Unfortunately, the unorthodox lineup couldn't close out the final checkpoint, which led to their loss in the first game. After winning on Horizon Lunar Colony, Boston gave up the last two games by not being able to keep up with the DPS dished out by Jong-Ryeol "Saebyeolbe" Park from the Excelsiors.

You can check out the Overwatch League Wednesday through Saturday every week on twitch.tv/OverwatchLeague, or you can watch the VOD's on the Overwatch League website.

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Did you watch the Overwatch League? Which plays stood out to you, and what do you want to see as the season continues? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to stick to GameSkinny for your Overwatch League news!

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Overwatch League Day 1 Recap https://www.gameskinny.com/r5b8y/overwatch-league-day-1-recap https://www.gameskinny.com/r5b8y/overwatch-league-day-1-recap Thu, 11 Jan 2018 16:55:22 -0500 Andrew Krajewski

Blizzard's official Overwatch League officially launched Wednesday, January 10, to a Twitch audience of over 350,000 viewers. The night saw both Los Angeles-based teams -- the L.A. Valiant and the L.A. Dragons -- sweep their opponents, the San Francisco Shock and the Shanghai Dragons respectively, while South Korea's Seoul Dynasty defeated fan favorite Dallas Fuel in a hard-fought match.

Match 1

Los Angeles Valiant: 4
San Francisco Shock: 0

The first match of the night featured games played on the Dorado, Temple of Anubis, Ilios, and Numbani maps, with both teams fighting hard to score points. Valiant ultimately won each round, and the 4-0 score indicates how tough it was for the Shock to bounce back mentally after their first loss.

Match 2

Los Angeles Gladiators: 4
Shanghai Dragons 0

Although the second match of the night had the same result as the first, the narrative was much different. The Dragons failed to get any momentum going and only managed to score one point against the Gladiators on Temple of Anubis. Jonas Samuel "Shaz" Suovaara was the star of the match with his dominating performance as Zenyatta. 

Match 3

Seoul Dynasty: 2
Dallas Fuel: 1

This was the kind of match fans hoped for! Dallas Fuel came out really strong with a win on Junkertown and kept that momentum going into game two on Temple of Anubis. Dallas didn't let go of the gas, as they stomped the Dynasty in the first round of the game by capturing both points on the map with 6:14 left on the clock (that's insane!). Seoul had some work to do to catch up and rallied back to take the victory on the map 6-5, tying the series at 1 to 1. In game three, Seoul seemed to find their zone as they took the Ilios victory 2-0. In the final game of the night, the Dallas Fuel had to take home the win if they wanted to end the series in a tie. Unfortunately for them, the Seoul Dynasty continued to fight hard, forcing the final game to a draw and leading them to the 2-1 victory.

Watch Game 2 DAL @ SEO | Stage 1 Week 1 from OverwatchLeague on www.twitch.tv

You can check out the Overwatch League Wednesday through Saturday every week on twitch.tv/OverwatchLeague, or you can watch the VOD's on the Overwatch League website.

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Did you watch the Overwatch League? Which plays stood out to you, and what do you want to see as the season continues? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to stick to GameSkinny for your Overwatch League news!

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Why All Your Friends Jumped to Discord and You Should, Too https://www.gameskinny.com/xqs8z/why-all-your-friends-jumped-to-discord-and-you-should-too https://www.gameskinny.com/xqs8z/why-all-your-friends-jumped-to-discord-and-you-should-too Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:27:28 -0500 Allison M Reilly

If you don't know what Discord is, then you're either not a gamer or you don't do much gaming online. Described as the Slack or Skype for gamers, Discord is projected to hit 87 million users by the end of the year. Not too shabby considering the app had only 45 million users back in May.

Even if online chat apps aren't your thing, you are missing out if you don't have a Discord account. Discord is one of the best products out there for online communication. Just about everyone else is on there, so now's the best time to drop those other platforms and hop on Discord too.

The Other Competing Products Just Suck

Discord just works. The text messaging works perfectly. Voice chat and video chat connections are seamless and won't bog down your game. It's completely free. There's both a mobile app and a desktop app. Best of all, you can be part of multiple servers at once. The toughest part is keeping up with all the conversations.

Not only are similar products not nearly as comprehensive in their features, but Discord works better than game-specific or console-specific chats. For example, Nintendo Switch owners are not the biggest fans of the console's chat feature, which lacks the ability to voice chat. Players must also download a separate mobile app in order to use the chat feature, so it's not very integrated with the games. Discord founder Jason Citron even expressed interest in helping Nintendo with the Switch's voice chat capabilities. Overall, Discord just does what you need it to do without having to troubleshoot technical difficulties every other time you want to use it.

It's Such a Staple in the Gaming Community, It's Almost a Given

Up until February 2017, I had streamed on Twitch off and on for about two years. Even though I didn't ask for it, one of my avid viewers created a Discord server for my stream. There are only three people on the server, myself included, and the last time I checked was in August. Needless to say, Discord is to gaming like bread is to sandwiches. You almost can't have gaming without Discord.

Discord has embraced their niche by introducing Rich Presence in November 2017. Rich Presence allows developers to connect their game right into Discord, making it easier for players to form parties, invite players, and communicate with each other while playing the game. Players can also watch matches, see how long matches typically take, or simply see what matches are open for new players. Players can also see what games their friends are playing. Many of the most popular games have dedicated Discord servers, including Minecraft, Rocket League and PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS.

Essentially, Discord is already pretty core to the streaming experience and is working on becoming core to the overall gaming experience. By integrating with developers and games directly, players are spared a lot of the hassle of coordinating outside of the game itself. But, playing certain games becomes more and more unthinkable without Discord. Developers won't have to recreate the wheel of a chat feature inside every single game. Instead, work with Discord, and Discord gets it done for them.

Overall, if you're not on Discord yet, then there's no better time than right now to create an account and join the servers of your favorite games and streamers. Twitch may have purchased Curse late last year, but many on Twitch do not use the relaunched Desktop app for chatting or keeping up with their communities. Platforms like Teamspeak and Skype are less and less ubiquitous in gaming circles. Discord, if you haven't figured it out yet, will be the gaming communication platform of the future. Eventually, there may not be many choices beyond Discord, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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Twitch Streamers and the PayPal Problem https://www.gameskinny.com/p9jb3/twitch-streamers-and-the-paypal-problem https://www.gameskinny.com/p9jb3/twitch-streamers-and-the-paypal-problem Thu, 09 Nov 2017 13:25:11 -0500 Luke Luby

In this day and age, most of us are all too familiar with trolls. They lie in wait, pounce at the earliest opportunity, and attempt to cause maximum turmoil to victims. However, the majority of the time, the worst we’ve ever gotten from a troll is a headache.

This isn’t the case for most Twitch streamers and YouTubers, though. Most of the time, trolls manage to actually do some financial damage, however minor, to streamers. First, a little bit of context about exactly how streamers try to make a living through gaming. Twitch streamers and YouTubers normally make a living from four different sources.

The first of these is a sponsorship deal, which typically only the most popular streamers manage to get. Second comes paid subscriptions. Third, we have donations. And finally, there's advertising, which is incredibly difficult to come by.

While you still need some sort of a following for most of these options, they at least create some income -- or the promise of income -- for streamers, even part-timers. Donations, though, are typically where less popular streamers make the bulk of their gaming income, should they not have access to sponsorship deals.

As for subscriptions, they’re not the easiest things to get. Becoming a Twitch Partner is no easy task. As a prerequisite, the streamer must have an average concurrent viewership of 500+ people and broadcast at least three times per week. That’s a massive hurdle. A random sample showed that only 34 out of the 900+ League of Legends broadcasts pulled over 500 concurrent viewers.

Out of those 34, only half were seeing over 1,000 concurrent viewers, which has a direct impact on the amount streamers can make from showing advertisements. (There’s also the fact that streamers have to split the $5 monthly subscription fee with Twitch. Most reports put this split as $3/$2 in favor of the streamer.)

And this is where the trolls come into play. Normally, they attempt to cause disruption via sexist, racist, or homophobic remarks, but some take it to an entirely new level. These days, the dedicated troll donates money to a Twitch streamer -- normally between $50 and $100, though amounts vary -- only to then dispute the charge not long after it’s processed.

This would seem to be a relatively minor annoyance; they get back their money, and the Twitch streamer doesn’t notice too much, possibly only getting mildly annoyed that they didn’t get the money they thought they would.

Except there’s a little bit more to it than that. You see, most Twitch streamers and YouTubers process their donations through PayPal, and this is where some of the problem lies. When this money is refunded -- called a chargeback -- Twitch streamers have to pay a processing fee, which can end up having a sizable effect on their balance.

Essentially, chargebacks are requests for credit card companies to refund money given to someone through an apparently fraudulent transaction. Over the last few years, streamers, whose livings are often built on PayPal transactions, have become increasingly frustrated as trolls or viewers weaponize chargebacks against them.

This is possible because PayPal wants to protect users from fraud. So, for example, someone could donate a large sum with a stolen credit card. That card’s true owner has the power to contest the charge if they can prove that something dirty went down. PayPal currently doesn’t have much to say about chargebacks, although their website states:

“A chargeback happens when a buyer asks their credit card issuer to reverse a transaction that has already cleared. This can mean that a payment you’ve received in your PayPal account could be reversed, even if you’ve already posted the goods -- which can of course be frustrating.”

But if they can’t prove fraudulence, the charge will go through. Over the last few weeks, a number of these disputes have hit the headlines. Take the case of professional streamer Desmond Etika Amofah, for example. Not too long ago, he released a video about trolls and their chargebacks. Mr. Amofah notes in his video that these fees have a rather negative effect on Twitch streamers. In Mr. Amofah’s words:

“For content creators like myself and many others who suffer from a problem like this, it also f**** up our lives since everything I do is through PayPal.”

Throughout the video, he repeatedly demonstrates how exactly this could affect his short term, as well as long term, income. In the (NSFW) video, which you can see below, Mr. Amofah added:

“When you’re a smaller channel and you have that problem, and you don’t have it as good as I do. . . PayPal freezes your account. Not only that, but they can actually relinquish the funds for the chargeback and the chargeback fees and anything extra they want to tack on from any bank account, credit card or debit card linked to your PayPal.”

The video came as he had to pay out over $100 in chargeback fees because of a single troll making donations and then disputing them. Then there’s the case of Kaceytron, another big streamer, who gets about a half dozen chargebacks each month, often after small donations. In 2013, when she started streaming, she sometimes received donations up to $1,000 that were subsequently charged back.

At the time, PayPal froze her account after she received a number of donations from trolls that the company decided to investigate. After this, her PayPal account was left relatively unscathed. However, for those couple of weeks, Kaceytron felt a major financial impact. As she said not long after:

“That was two to three weeks I didn’t get donations at all. That sucked and affected me pretty bad.”

Sometimes, though, chargebacks and donations can reach a massive level. Take the case of iNexus_Ninja, real name Anthony Archer. Not too long ago, he tried to use this technique to take back $10,000 in donations to Twitch streamer Chance Morris, otherwise known as Sodapoppin. However, the prank was prevented when PayPal denied the chargeback request and allowed Sodapoppin to keep the cash.

Had the chargeback actually worked, Sodapoppin’s processing fees would’ve been massive. (Some articles mistakenly said this was $50,000. Mr. Archer has made over $50,00 in donations to streamers but has only disputed this $10,000 donation.) Mr. Archer then tried to justify his actions, telling the Daily Dot:

“A few people, not saying names, told me he was already rich and did not need the money. He has a house in his name, very wealthy. So I decided to try charge him back as he didn’t really need it.”

Mr. Archer has said that the chargeback attempt on Sodapoppin was the only time he tried to get his money back; his other donations weren’t retracted and no chargeback was filed.

To date, Twitch has seemed not to care about these PayPal donation abuses. Or at least, they just haven’t done anything about it. Hell, they’ve barely even said anything about it. However, speaking to Kotaku, a representative for the company said that they were just unable to do anything about it. They further said that they wouldn’t comment specifically on PayPal’s policies. However, they did add that they were currently working on in-app monetization tools, which should help Twitch streamers fight against these kinds of abuses.

Mr. Amofah, the streamer who lashed out against these types of trolls, may have found a silver lining, though. He told Kotaku that, after hours on the phone with PayPal, he helped them understand how chargebacks affect his ability to make a living. However, that may not be the case for all streamers. As Mr. Amofah told Kotaku about the situation:

“As painful as it sounds, streamers suffering from this chargeback issue have to put themselves through the wringer, and hound PayPal until their voices are heard. Big or small, it makes no difference, and it’s unfortunate that that’s the only option we have.”

At the moment, it seems as if streamers and YouTubers are just going to have to take the brunt of these chargeback fees. Either that, or fight every single troll that happens to come along, which may not work out well in the long run. After all, a reaction -- especially some form of emotional reaction -- is what these guys are looking for. Attempting to take away a streamer's livelihood is just a tool to get the reaction that they’re looking for.

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What's the Deal With Let's Plays: Analyzing The Phenomenon https://www.gameskinny.com/0ffns/whats-the-deal-with-lets-plays-analyzing-the-phenomenon https://www.gameskinny.com/0ffns/whats-the-deal-with-lets-plays-analyzing-the-phenomenon Sun, 25 Jun 2017 16:50:54 -0400 Angelica Dimson

When I was a kid, I didn’t own a lot of video games. A Nintendo 64 was something I badly wanted but my parents couldn’t afford one at the time, so instead, I would go over to a friend’s house who owned one. We would then end up playing Mario Kart, Super Smash Brothers, or Mario Party. Even if I couldn’t play it while my friend and her siblings took turns, I still enjoyed watching them play. At times, they were much better than me or hilariously worse to the point where their comments were entertaining to hear. Watching Let’s Plays on YouTube or Twitch garners that same nostalgic feeling for me.

I'm a bomb, very slow and out of lives. But I will find you, and I will destroy you. (Courtesy of HellfireComms)

So while YouTube is recovering over what has been dubbed the "adpocalyse," I think it's time to take a look at the "Let's Play" phenomena.

A Let's Play is essentially a series of videos in which gamers record themselves playing video games and provide their own commentary in the process, which regularly yields comedic results.

YouTube and Twitch have become staples in this form of online “Let’s Play” entertainment -- garnering both fans and critics alike. Usually, critics ask: “Why watch other people play video games? Why not buy them yourself?” That’s something I’m going to answer.

Aren’t They A Waste of Time?

A few opinion pieces and Reddit users have declared that Let's Plays are an enormous waste of time unless they are specified as walkthroughs.

Touche, random Reddit user.

So why not play the game yourself, instead of trying to play vicariously through a Let’s Player? Sometimes, that’s what I’m trying to figure out when watching a certain Let's Play; I’m deciding whether or not I want that game. Sure, I look through reviews or MetaCritic to aid that decision but when someone shows me the gameplay, it’s quicker and easier to reach the all important choice.

Waiting for game sales since 20XX.

In addition, games are expensive and as a poor college student, I need to know what’s worth an investment.

Games can also take a lot of time to play. As someone who loves story-heavy titles, they are a serious time sink. Then when I make my way into the real world of a nine-to-five job, I don’t have a lot of time to play them either. Let’s Plays give me some entertaining background sound while I’m working on my computer, especially since I didn't own a TV as a freshman.

But Aren’t They Annoying?

 So many Let's Players, so little time. (Image via Dorkly.)

Yes and no. With such a large variety of Let’s Players both on YouTube and Twitch, trying to find someone you enjoy watching can be difficult. For example, I don't like watching PewDiePie that much, but I enjoy watching Jacksepticeye -- even if I found him loud at first. I then started watching his videos almost religiously, realizing that he is in fact surprisingly down to earth. Being loud is a quirk he most definitely possesses, but it helps to energize his viewers, including myself. 

While that may not be your thing, there are amazing Minecraft Let’s Players, who give tutorials on how to build crazy contraptions, such as CaptainSparklez, who managed to build a working phone in the game. 

Seriously this is impressive, and this is coming from a person who doesn't play Minecraft.

It’s a Community

A lot of popular YouTubers – not only Let’s Players – maintain an interactive community through social media and regularly connect to their fans through the likes of Twitter. Some YouTubers even interact with "Reading Your Comments" videos like Markiplier and Jacksepticeye.

100th episode of Jacksepticeye's Reading Your Comments. Some silly and some serious.

Some Let's Players also create and cultivate positive communities on their platform. Whenever I go to their comments section, I rarely see Internet trolls, and I think to myself, "I must be on the nicer side of the Internet." Their videos and community create this friendly vibe that is completely polarized to what we know of the Internet today. It makes me feel part of something positive, especially when some of these personalities raise thousands of dollars for charity.

Not For Everyone

Now you can see why watching Let's Plays aren't a huge waste of time as originally believed. Let's Plays gave me a nostalgic community and a sense of entertainment that really helped me through a lonely time in my college years, so they can do just that for many others as well.

However, they may not be for everyone. Nonetheless, I'm proposing that you watch one and give it a chance. You never know the real face of a Let's Player until you see their community and the person behind all the profanities and frustration.

What are your thoughts on the Let's Play phenomenon? Are you even a Let's Player yourself? Join the conversation in the comments below!

 

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