Last night the 100 Thieves esports and lifestyle organization took place an all-star streamer Uno tournament starring Twitch and YouTube stars like Rachel “Valkyrae” Hofstetter, Ali “Myth” Kabbani, Jack “CouRage” Dunlop, Ludwig Ahgren, Hasan Piker and the Botez sisters, whose otherworldly chess skills do them. unfortunately not quite brought to victory in a children’s card game. However, the power of the stars was not the only outstanding quality of the event. It took place in person, with sporadic masks on faces.
The tournament itself was a good time, full of sorts of Laughs and guilty moments it comes naturally when a lot of very charismatic people gather around the same table. Some fans, however, were upset by the apparent lack of adherence to the participants’ covid security protocols, especially since spike in numbers around the world – even in parts of the United States, where vaccines are more readily available.
In reaction to this, Hofstetter – who recently solidified his status as one of the biggest streamers on the planet by becoming part-owner of 100 Thieves – explained that the organization had taken precautions in advance.
“Everyone has been tested before and again before entering the building, ”she said on twitter last night. “Health inspector, off-camera masks, most of the vaccinated, information brochure on covides with rules and guidelines. It makes no sense to think that we would do this without it.
Jackson Dahl, vice president of talent and entertainment for 100 Thieves, elaborated further.
“To add even more detail, we PCR tested everyone who attended today both a week before, a 24 hour PCR the day before and a rapid test before entry.” he said.
This was supported by tweets from streamers like Piker, who noted in the morning – before the start of the event – that “we underwent rigorous covid testing (including this morning).”
Even with all of this in mind, however, some fans are concerned that 100 Thieves’ Uno extravaganza was a case of “too much, too soon”, especially when the organization could have waited a few more months – by then, significantly more people will likely be vaccinated.
“Yes,” a fan replied to Hofstetter’s tweet earlier today, “but was it necessary to do it in person in the first place?”
In response, Hofstetter said that it was a “contract sponsored business event” and that it had “no control over it”. Kotaku contacted 100 thieves for more details on what the contract said and why the event could not have happened later, but as of this post, the organization has not responded. It is likely, however, that the event took place as part of 100 Thieves’ continued collaboration with Cash App, given that it was broadcast on the mobile payment service’s Twitch channel, featured an image of brand on tables and banners in the background, and took place in 100 Thieves’ Los Angeles facility, called “100 Thieves Cash App Compound”.
From a purely digital point of view, the Uno tournament was a learned maneuver. Also recent Among us, Rust, and GTA RPG trends have turned out, if you create a gathering place for big name streamers, viewers will come. Star power combined from last night Uno the event drew over 80,000 simultaneous viewers at its peak. And again they were playing Uno – not the most exciting game in the world, and one they could have easily played online, from the safety of their own homes. This particular lineup of streamers probably could have done anything collectively while reaching a similar audience level. The fact that they were together was the key. After over a year of isolation caused by covids, it was oddly exciting to see everyone in the same room laughing and looking at each other on big comedic maps.
But, as health professionals have pointed out, things are not back to normal yet, and it is likely that we are seeing a further increase in cases in part because people are behaving prematurely as if they were. The 100 Thieves event offered viewers the fantasy of normalcy – a welcome escape from the lonely drudgery of endless quarantine. However, it also fanned the flames of preventive quarantine, of celebrating as if we had crossed the finish line when the marathon was not quite over yet. In the world of advertisements and branded offerings, streamers are often referred to as “influencers,” and this buzzword isn’t entirely without meaning. Fans really listen to their favorites – not blindly, mind you, but people and organizations with millions of viewers absolutely control a level of influence.
At a time when it is more essential than ever that people stay patient – we are finally almost there – it probably wasn’t the best idea to have a face-to-face meeting Uno tournament, no matter how nice it was to see everyone back together.