Beyond the Norm: The Ten Types of MTG Twitch Viewers (Part 1)
Like other eSports, Magic: the Gathering regularly has tens of thousands of viewers on Twitch watching their favorite streamers do their thing. As they watch, many viewers take full advantage of the anonymity of Twitch Chat, sharing their wisdom and often Pro-level experience to steer the streamer toward a victory. Of course, everyone has their own way of contributing to a streaming audience, and I’ve compiled ten of the most common archetypes. Here are the first five:
1. The n00b
Twitch is a great place for less experienced players to learn the ropes of playing more competitive Magic, navigating the labyrinthine controls of Magic: Online (MTGO), and screaming profanities as your lucksack opponent top-decks their way to a victory as you flood out in front of thousands tens of people watching you. If you’re a new player, the best way to enjoy a stream is to do no preparation whatsoever; turn on the stream with your eyes and heart wide open. And you’re in luck! Since streamers love interacting with their audience, you should play right along. Be sure to ask the streamer lots of questions about what cards do and why they took the lines they did. Why did that Servant of the Conduit die when you attacked with your Glorybringer? How were you able to play a Torrential Gearhulk on your opponent’s turn; can’t you only cast creatures on your own? Why are you playing Esper Tokens when you know that, should you ever encounter the mirror, you will play only a single game ending either in a time-out or in MTGO crashing as you try to embalm an Anointer Priest with triple Anointed Procession? You’ll find that not only does the streamer enjoy answering your questions, but the rest of Twitch Chat will not hesitate to jump in and offer their two cents to help you to become a better Magic player disgruntled troll like them.
2. The Aggressively Wrong Player
This is a natural evolution of the n00b. While you may have started out as an unconfident scrub who knows almost nothing about Magic, under the wise tutelage of Twitch Chat, you have become an aggressively confident scrub who knows almost nothing about Magic. It is your noble calling to repeatedly let the streamer know that they are an idiot for missing your (incorrect) lines. Your opponent was at 4 and you had a 3/3 Longtusk Cub with one energy; YOU MISSED LETHAL!!! You could’ve sacrificed all your artifacts to Ravager and equipped it with Cranial Plating to double its power; YOU MISSED LETHAL!!! Your opponent was at 712 and only had 627 Servos and Adanto Vampires to block your 1,361 tokens; YOU MISSED LETHAL!!! AND WHY ARE YOU PLAYING THIS STUPID ESPER TOKENS DECK?! You will quickly find yourself to be a memorable staple of the streamer’s community. Remember: true success for this archetype is being consistently identifiable by other viewers even after creating new Twitch ID’s as quickly as your old ones are being banned.
3. The Friend
You’re friends with the streamer in question and are excited to watch them on Twitch! Since your good friend is streaming to hundreds tens of other viewers, now would be a great time to start cracking all those inside jokes that the two of you have! After all, nothing makes first-time viewers feel more welcome than when the conversation becomes about that time that you and your streamer friend went to that summer camp and met Jody for the first time and – OMG – Jody is such a tool. Do you know what I heard? I heard that Jody was seeing Steve at the same time as she was dating you. Like, right at the end though, she was already planning on breaking up with you. Oh no, no, I know it was mutual – who would dump you, man, you’re such a catch! Keep on playing video games in your closet-sized apartment and keep those sweet, sweet Twitch donations flowing! Women LOVE guys with huge followings online! Oh, your subscriber count isn’t actually that big? That’s alright, it’s not the size of your community that counts, it’s how you leverage it for maximum enjoyment of both streamer and viewer.
4. The Troll
Keep those kappas coming! As the troll of your Twitch community, you will sometimes be mistaken for other roles, such as n00b or The Aggressively Wrong Player. But you revel in this tomfoolery; when chaos rules supreme, when the streamer is screaming at his chat, when bannings have decimated the viewership… you have won. In your high school English class, you’d learned that character creates conflict. As The Troll, you’ve decided to take this important lesson and apply it to Twitch Chat. Sure, it’s fun to insult the streamer, insult other viewers, and insult Obama, but it’s more fun when you can gently prod others into destroying themselves. Are other viewers getting frustrated with the n00b? Perfect. Lead a mob to destroy them. Is the streamer getting irritated explaining his card choices over and over again? Time to ask about that mainboard Glyph Keeper. Did the player on-camera at a GP drop a card on the floor? HE’S A CHEATER!!! DESTROY HIS REPUTATION, HUNT DOWN HIS FAMILY, AND CAST HIM OUT FROM SOCIETY! Never again shall he step foot into a Magic tournament without a scarlet C sullying his very existence. Thank you, Troll. We all pretend to be there to watch Magic, but we’re really there to watch Chat destroy itself.
5. The Musician
Magic is a cool game, but let’s be real; you can’t watch people play the game without some sick jams in the background. You have “!songrequest” copied to your Clipboard, as it’s the only line you ever type into Chat. You enjoy the sense of power you get when you force hundreds tens of other people to listen to the music that you like. You feel an unparalleled high when the streamer asks who requested this song because it’s pretty dope. Music and praise are your drugs, and Twitch is the only place you can get both. But you need more and more to get the same high. You begin to stray from Magic streams. You’ll find any streamer who is taking song requests, regardless of the game they’re playing. Hex? Sure, plenty of lawsuits contend that it’s basically just Magic anyways. Hearthstone? Okay, you’re feeling your IQ drop, longing for some Torrential Gearhulks… but… it’s fine. You’ve got your beats. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic? Well… it has “magic” in the title, at least, but you’ve definitely reached a new low, my friend. Could you go to YouTube and listen to literally every single song you want in the order that you want without having to watch animated ponies hit each other*? Sure, but without others to praise you, recognizing the exquisite artfulness of playing Taylor Swift both before and after Kanye West, what’s the point?
*I clearly have no idea what happens in the My Little Pony game, but if animated ponies are not actually just beating each other… someone get on that.
Tune in next time for the remaining Twitch Chat archetypes!
Ryan is a grinder from Boston with SCG & GP Top 8’s and a PT Day 2. His fragile self-esteem is built on approval from others, so be sure to tell him what you think of his articles on Twitter @RyanNormandin.
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