Pokimane and Twitch streamers may strike after $200,000 gaming scam

Mizkif is sitting on his creek with cat ears.

Screenshot: Twitch / Mizkif

On Saturday, a Twitch streamer named Abraham Mohammed, better known to viewers as Sliker, admitted that he scammed fans and other content creators out of at least $200,000 to fund his Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Gaming addiction. In response, big-name streamers such as Imane “Pokimane” Anys, Matthew “Mizkif” Rinaudo, and Devin Nash coordinated a Twitch boycott during Christmas week to protest the platform’s lax gaming policies. by chance.

CS: GO contains weapon skins that have real money value in the Valve market. Because the rarest skins can be worth thousands of dollars, third-party sites use them as “casino chips” to bet on the outcome of CS: GO matches. From 2016, the skin betting market had an estimated value of $7 billion. Sliker received money from fans and other streamers under the false pretense that his bank account was locked and he needed to borrow money to prevent his credit rating from taking a hit. Streamer Hasan “HasanAbi” Piker was among those who donated money to Sliker after he reached out and asked for help, falsely claiming that, among other financial difficulties and complications, his payments from Twitch weren’t going anywhere. had not arrived that month. Piker said later, “I thought he was needy, I thought he legitimately needed the money.” But in Saturday’s video, Sliker admitted telling people he just needed the money was a trick.

In tears confession videoSliker told his viewers that he started playing with CS: GO skins, but eventually switched to betting with real money. He first used the money from his first job and “all” his Twitch earnings, but that wasn’t enough for him. He started borrowing money from other streamers, lying to them about why he needed the money and what the funds would be used for. In the video, he promised that he would eventually pay off all of his creditors.

“I deserve a punishment. Whatever happens, happens,” he said. “I don’t know what to say to the people I borrowed from…it’s the essence of the game. I mean, don’t touch it.

Popular streamers Pokimane, Mizkif, and Devin Nash have discussed Twitch’s own responsibility to take action against game streams, which some say are manipulative to viewers and possibly especially harmful to young viewers. In a joint stream, they mentioned that some streamers make money promoting the game and that gaming is one of the most popular categories on Twitch. Mizkif, attributing the idea to his acquaintance, political streamer Destiny, suggested that 10-20 content creators with large followings send a joint statement to Twitch. Either the platform must take a stand against game flow and sponsorshipsor they will go on strike during Christmas week. Kotaku contacted Twitch, but did not receive a comment in time for publication.

Of course, not all streamers engaged in the conversation share this view. Tyler Faraz “Trainwreck” Niknam, himself a slot streamer, tweeted that “the real problem” was people blaming slots, blackjack and roulette rather than the individual. He argued that sports betting is normalized, but admitted that the practice of streamers making giveaways using codes that force viewers to engage in the game is ‘predatory’, as is highlighting winnings gaming while hiding streaming losses. However, he draws large sums with his own lucrative account game flow and sponsorships. Rail accident had already lent Over $100,000.

Meanwhile, some content creators, seeing the mobilization of influential streamers around the game, are disappointed that some of Twitch’s biggest names have been much quieter on other issues. “Where was that energy during hate raids?” asked Tanya DePass (Cypheroftyr), content creator and activist. “Where is the constant racism, homophobia, transphobia and misogyny on the platform?”

Indeed, content creators seem much quicker this time to attribute misfortune to systemic issues. “[Gambling] is a platform issue, not a people issue,” tweeted Devin Nash. “Create the environment for [unaccountable streamers] thrive and they will appear.