TEN-HUT! The General is back from TwitchCon 2018 which, for lack of better words, was an incredible adventure. Let’s dive right into it though: Here’s the Strike Force TC 2018 ReKappa!
Day 0 (Thursday): Jump across the pond
Arriving at ZRH airport and lifting off
On Thursday, one day before TwitchCon started, my friend xPlex and I got up early to catch our plane to SFO. We opted to fly into SFO instead of San Jose itself since prices were a ton better for that destination. So we met a good three hours before the flight – at like 7am – because we had been told that for US flights, you better go through security early, because they could be a little more, well, strict. Security actually ended up being a breeze though (save for the weird questions when we checked in: «Where are you coming from right now?», «How long did it take you to get to the airport?», «Did you let anyone else touch [!!] your luggage at any time on the trip here?» etc.), so we were ready to board quite early.
Once we had lifted off, we began to make ourselves comfortable for a 12 hour flight. Knowing a lot of people get sick on intercontinental flights because planes can be viral/bacterial hotspots even with the air filters, I had prepared myself with a moisturizing nose spray and hand sanitizer. Generally, I tried to sanitize my hands as often as possible across the entire weekend, because post-con-flu is a real thing and I didn’t feel like it at all.
Airborne for 12 hours
My attempts to sleep on the plane were foiled by three factors: My already very light sleep, my sheer excitement to be in the US for the first time in 23 years, and the elderly gentleman sitting behind us. The latter managed to violently clear his throat like clockwork every two minutes, so he’d jolt me out of slipping away again and again. Not even my noise-cancelling headphones were a matching opponent for his battle grunt, although they did do a good job with allowing me to watch a few movies in peace. For the record, United in-flight entertainment is pretty lit; I watched Deadpool 2 (AMAZING), 21 Jump Street (never saw it before but this movie is super fun) and some other comedy I forgot the name of. Attempts to study on the plane were non-existent, because I’m a pleb.
Where we droppin’, bois?
At some point we finally touched down upon an SFO runway. After having been towed to our gate, we were forced to remain on the plane for another 30-40 minutes because apparently, one wheel on the gangway they were trying to lift up to the plane’s door was broken. They first tried to repair it, then just gave us a different one. After what felt like forever because we were itching to abandon this metal bird, they allowed us to set foot onto the United States of America. Well, after a one-hour-wait in customs and a lengthy passport-check, that is. Baggage claim was quick and easy, and right after, we tried to get oriented around SFO and find our way to San Jose. This trip took us to the San Bruno and Millbrae stations before we rode the Caltrain for an hour. Destination: San Jose station.
The Marriott and first TwitchCon contact
We had heard about Marriott workers striking beforehand, but boy where they active: For the last two weeks, they had held up the picket line almost 24/7, shouting paroles constantly and inviting cars passing-by to honk (which they did). Marriott staff was super friendly and let us check into our room on the 23rd floor, but not before we ran into the likes of Andy Milonakis , Sco , Djarii and SodaPoppin . We took the elevator to 2310 and marveled in the beauty of our lodging and the awesome view we had from this height.
After some acclimatization, we dropped back down to the lobby since TwitchCon staff allowed visitors to grab their badges early so entry on TwitchCon day 1 would be faster. I went to get my Partner Badge (HYPE) and met Pixe1ina in the process, whom unfortunately, against other plans we made on the spot, I never met again during my stay. Hope you had a great con and I’ll get to meet you again!
Because I knew the Loot Cave merch line was going to be packed every single day of the con, I wanted to make use of TwitchCon allowing Partners to hit the stores one evening early for two hours. I ended up not getting anything there, though: Even after only 15 minutes of open doors on Thursday night, a good 300 Partners stood in line for merch, which would’ve meant waiting for 1+ hour. Hell nah, dude. I’d get my stuff later.
Thursday night, they threw a Discord party just across the street from our hotel which itself was three meters from the con venue and even had a connecting entry to said building. We wanted to check it out, yet saw there was a waiting line almost two blocks long, so we let it be. Still, we met an old friend: Nina , who would be one of our steady ConPanions (see what I did there?) and who I had met and hung out with during Twitch Tour Berlin 2018 and Gamescom 2018 already, rolled up – we had a great meet-again moment. Glad you were there! <3
With that, we hit the town to get dinner and ate incredibly tasty burgers and what might be my best milkshake ever at Johnny Rockets. At this point we had been up for nearly 48 hours, so we headed back up to the hotel, crashed in each of our king size four-pillow beds, and let ourselves be excited about the adventure right ahead of us before we fell fast asleep.
Day 1 (Friday): Purple as fuck
Our first day at TwitchCon 2018 was naturally kicked off by having a nourishing breakfast in the hotel restaurant. And with nourishing, I mean I ate way too much bacon – a vice I’d carry for the entire weekend. But if there’s a complete pan full of sizzling strips waiting for you, whaddaya gon’ do? Also, we were joined by my friend TheCommander , who sat with us for a little and gave us the honor of a chat with him. Ace dude, I’m glad I got to see you again!
Heading over to the Con was a breeze thanks to the hotel’s perfect location. Since Twitch allowed Partners to take a +1 to almost every Partner-only line, area or event, I could take Plex with me. We were at security within seconds. Speaking of which: Dear Twitch, thank you so much for this relatively tight entry security level. Officers were friendly, fast, controlled everything and contrary to my expectations, a fanny pack offered enough space for a day. I can only shake my head at the more than lackluster «security» the entry points at Gamescom 2018 offered.
TwitchCon, here we are!
And suddenly, I was off the regular world and in The Purple. I’d never seen this much purple in my life, and I loved it.
Already now, the merch line had been packed, so we gave up on trying to grab some goods quite quickly. Quick disclaimer: I’m not sure if I’ll be able to perfectly keep all events I’ll talk about in perfect chronological order because my brain is still friend from go-home-jetlag, but I’ll try. Also, we ended up just walking around the Con to see what’s up most of the time anyway.
Pretty soon after enterting, we stood in front of a huge chalkboard and were invited to immortalize ourselves as TC18 attendees. My attempt to sign it was, ehh, suboptimal, but it held for the moment. (Quick foresight to Day 3: The board had been overwritten multiple times by then and was packed with messages, so my entry had been wiped out. For the record, that’s not cool. Let other people’s signings stay visible where they are. Don’t be a dick.)
Soon after, the Partner Zone opened and Plex and I hit the premises. We were greeted by friendly Twitch staff who sight-checked our badges and let us in (this information is gonna be important for later). Right away I went and grabbed my complimentary Partner backpack, for which they RFID-scanned badges so no one could grab two. A thing of beauty – I wanna use it every day, but I’m scared of wearing it down, so I’ll keep it for more special events. As we linked back up with Nina, we met her friend Kay aka Dudoiselle, who turned out to be an absolute sweetheart and ended up hanging out with us for the entire weekend.
Inside the lounge, we could grab Red Bulls and water since apparently, the rest of the coffee buffet had been ravaged already by hungry Partners and their guests. Still, it was early, and we got a chance to link up with buddies and friends we had only met online so far, and some unlucky ones who had made my acquaintance IRL before. Sharing a few stories and updating each other felt great. After all, for me, cons are about the social aspect: I wanna meet old and new people, talk to brand reps and have a chance to meet viewers IRL. Oh, and get merch. I’ll admit it. I love merch.
Kicking it off: The TwitchCon 2018 Keynote
Next up was the TwitchCon 2018 Opening Keynote, held by none other than Twitch CEO Emmett Shear. As we walked in, we were greeted by Twitch Partner 88bitmusic tunes as he asked the audience to prompt him with video game music ideas. He then freestyled them on his keyboard and did an absolutely perfect job hyping up the crowd for what was about to come. GGWP, my dude!
After a short introduction by Twitch stage host eminence djWHEAT , Shear hit the stage and held his speech. A few key statistics aside, here’s the most important things he announced:
- Squad Streams: This is basically MultiTwitch, embedded right into the platform. Up to four streamers will be able to be watched on one single page, where viewers can follow and sub to them individually right from the same page. This is gonna be awesome for working with other streamers.
- Updated Highlighter: The Twitch Highlighter soon allows stitching together multiple highlights to one video – perfect for blooper reels. How the Strike Force Media Squad uses this feature for our own Reels remains to be seen, but it’s a cool feature nonetheless.
- New Featured sections: The front page will offer new sections to feature streamers, such as «Up-and-coming», «New Partners», «Anniversaries» and more.
- VIP Badges: Outstanding community members will be able to receive a VIP badge. This, if I remember correctly, will allow them to use some sub perks without even being subbed. I’m honestly not sure how I feel about this, since VIP slots will be limited similarly to emote slots: Say I have ten VIP slots to give away, yet there’s 15 people I can think of off the bat who would deserve this «medal», how do I decide? How can I make sure the ones who had not received the badge don’t feel forgotten and left out? I might hold off this feature until I see more, but for now, I’m skeptical.
- More Mod Tools: Moderators finally get more tools! They can attach notes to specific users, for example when a user acted out of line but not enough to be banned, so in the future, they have an easy overview over problematic viewers. Also, every viewer shows number of bans, chat activity and much more. This is a great idea!
- Sub Badges for total months: Finally. FINALLY. Sub badges will calculate subscription tenures based on total months, not on a mere streak. This means that if you’re tight on money, don’t be scared to lose that streak badge: If you resub, say, two months later, your badge will continue where it was! For streamers this might mean some lost money, because they’ll lose some subs based on the fact that no one has the «I’m tight on money, but I really don’t wanna lose my streak» moment anymore, but let’s be real, this is only fair and it’s a good change.
There were a few other things, but I wasn’t really hyped for those, so go check out the full list yourself!
The rest of Day 1
During the remainder of day 1, we spent quite some time in the Partner Lounge and took a first look around the Expo Hall which held all booths. I was able to link up with my partner contacts Tom from Elgato and Marian from Nitro Concepts, which was great, because not only are these two guys good reps, they’re great people on top and a blast to be with and talk to.
Fistbumping instead of shaking hands became a thing. Nobody wanted Post-Con-Flu, so fistbumps or -pounds offered a viable alternative to the classic way of greeting each other. They also started the short-lived running gag of «I got pounded by Strike at TwitchCon», which saw its inception when I talked to Chottis in the Partner Lounge. Emphasis on short-lived.
Meeting Myrathi meant meeting the man of Googly eyes: He carried an entire bag of stick-on Googly Eyes with him which he handed out. My badge ended up glaring back at everyone looking at it, which is what a badge should do. Thanks again for the eyes man!
In the evening, we wanted to attend the TwitchCon Party, so we went for dinner (not-so-awesome asian) and then ubered to the Avaya Stadium where the party went down. That’s right: An entire soccer stadium was rented out for one giant party. Bouncy castles and all. Since we arrived late, we only had music for like an hour before they turned it off at 10pm (regulations?). Also we tried to get into the Partner lounge, which apparently was only accessible if you wore an armband for it (why were we wearing badges then?). When they sent us to the place we were supposed to get bands from, they told us that we could just get in with the badges, so we tried again and were rejected. Oh well. The party was pretty much over at this point anyway, so we headed back. Our way was interrupted by Dudoiselle cuddling and petting a few security K9 labradors – a show of affection so intense she carried bruised and blue arms for the rest of the weekend. After that, we hit a bar for a few drinks (Plex stayed in the hotel because he was super tired) but left soon. I said goodbye to the ladies and hit the bed at approximately 1am. At this point, because our hotel room was super close to the con, it had become a sort of warehouse for Nina and Dudoiselle: They ended up leaving merch, food and clothes there. The things you do for your friends.
Day 2 (Saturday): Jet fucking lag.
Day 2 was really a Classic Far-Away Convention Tragedy. In honor of the event these unforgettable happenings unfolded upon, I have structured Day 2 into Three Acts with a fitting naming convention: Confidence, Conflict and Concession. Like TwitchCon. I’m a smart motherfucker, that’s right.
Act One: Confidence
And thus, my worst day at TwitchCon commenced.
Again, we started off to a wonderfully sunny outlook on San Jose. I had slept horribly and only a few hours, but it wouldn’t have been my first full convention day after sleeping badly, so I felt confident. I was soon to be abandoned by my body strength.
First things first: We commenced with another amazing breakfast where Gloria from the Marriott was our amazing server and an absolute sweetheart. When I ordered a Red Bull, she brought it with a fancy glass full of ice and straws. The most elegant energy drink I had ever had. We also ate a lot so we didn’t have to get lunch that day and have enough time to actually get merch. The huge lines we saw through the dining hall window were there again at first, yet vanished within minutes – we were quite impressed. Finished breakfast, got ready, headed over at 9am … and the merch line was LONG. VERY LONG. Luckily, Plex’ friend and mod AskerWho (an absolute BOSS of a person, btw) had gotten in line quite early and allowed us to cut in (sorry!). This meant we only had to wait for 30 minutes. «When in Rome,» I thought, and grabbed my phone to livestream our waiting. On this note, kudos, Twitch, to the Wifi: Despite the many attendants, it was really strong at all times and allowed multiple people to stream even. In the line I met AngelicaL0Dico, a streamer I’d known for a while, and had a short chat. You’re awesome! Nice Italian hands, too.
I had saved up some money because I knew I was gonna get a lot of merch. Living in Switzerland isn’t very helpful when you want merch from Amazon, since you wait for a long time and pay horrendous customs/taxes sometimes. I went in, checked out the new designs and figured out what I wanted. To be frank, the newest shirt designs were somewhat disappointing for me; they seem overstyled, not very much thought through and didn’t invite me to buy them. On a table with discounted merch, you could get old-school «nothing but a logo» shirts so I grabbed a few of those in different colors. Since I’ve always wanted the Twitch duffel bag but missed it being sold on the online store, I got one of those. Another black zip up jacket and a very elegant purple relief printed hoodie concluded my shopping spree. Staff at the cashiers were very friendly. They even had dog attire. «For the FrankerZ.» Oh lord.
Back in the Partner lounge, I ran into Frankie , a legendary former Twitch employee and now in-super-high-demand and amazingly talented video game caster. She liked my business card 🙂 I tried to decide which one of my items I wanted to have «PARTNER» printed on, a complimentary service Twitch offered this year because there were no jerseys. Of course this is not like having your username printed on your shirt, but still, it allows you to customize your merch (they couldn’t do the duffel bag though, too bad), which is awesome. The informative e-mail I had received beforehand stated «one item per person,» but I tried to ask whether I could maybe, pretty please get two items printed. The very nice printing staff smiled at me and said «Yeah you can get as many as you want, you just have to get back in line every time.» The line was approximately three people at all times around Saturday morning and I had nothing to do, really, so what the hell … I got like all of my clothes printed. Some twice, front and back.
In between, I went to get a Red Bull (ANOTHER one) in the Partner Lounge and ran into RSS , who has so far been my Partnership account manager and answered so very many of my noob questions. I had already met him at the Twitch Tour in Berlin, where he had been an absolute sweetheart, remembered me even and told me my questions had been interesting and not stupid (y u lie doe), so meeting him again was a blast! I hope I get to shake your hand and awkwardly bump your fist again soon, sir!
And this is where the horror began…
Act two: Conflict, or: uh oh.
I didn’t really have lunch and right before my Amazon Game Studios game presentations (including signing a few NDAs), I felt jetlag catching up with me. Ever since my time in the Army (and during the most gruelling battles against LARS forces, of course) had I felt this incredibly broken down. My hands began to shake, I had sudden short blackouts, I was sweating, my ears were ringing. Still soldiered through the first VERY interesting presentation, only to run out of the second one (New World looks AWESOME, thank you so much for inviting me!) while a very friendly AGS person was explaining a game mechanic to me, muttering «Sorry bro got another thing, gotta go» into his bewildered visage. If you read this: I’m so sorry! It’s not you, it’s me, I swear! Can we still be friends? I ended up sitting down somewhere to regather my strength a little.
I did attend GawkBox‘ pitching event at The Continental, a bar just around the corner, where incidentally, my stream team The Sovereignty was also meeting. Instead of being properly pitched the GawkBox product though, I got free drinks and that was it, so I hung out with the SOV people, obviously finally meeting DJTruthsayer , JBishere , ChaosDispenser and many more friends again. I talked to everyone for a while and grabbed my super nifty SOV stream team jersey (amazing work, DJ!) before heading back to the con. I’m probably gonna try using GawkBox anyway, though; it looked cool.
Surprisingly, I met quite a few people who recognized me; amongst them Jempanada, TheFalkenrath (who’s a fighter second to none), AstrocatFreitag, C222 and more. One or two just tried to suck up because I was wearing a Partner badge and didn’t show any knowledge of what I do, but then there were a good 1.5 dozen who actually knew me, saluted and everything. I was floored. How did Americans know me? Don’t I mostly have a European viewership? And why are they so much more open than people at cons in the Old World? I loved feeling like a popular streamer and thanked everyone profoundly for allowing me to do this. If you’re one of those people, or you saw me and didn’t come up, or you wanted to meet me but couldn’t: THANK YOU SO MUCH YOU GLORIOUS SOLDIER YOU.
Act three: Concession.
I fought my jetlag and lack of sleep as hard as I could during the entire day, but towards the evening, I was broken and I had to concede to it, finally: Flying for 12 hours fucked me up like nothing since my Army time.
Plex was super energetic (as he always is) and was very hyped for being able to +1 for the Partner Party. Kay aka Dudoiselle seemed somewhat tired, Nina had stuff at home she had to take care of. Eventually we went after all. And I’ll have to say, the Partner Party at the Museum was somewhat disappointing.
Sure, it was a cool location, sure, there were cool little things like a coloring book, sure, there were free drinks (and I’ll never stop being thankful for that one). But keeping the place as hot as a sauna, allowing it to be overloaded, and putting the drinks bar in the single worst corner of the venue where you have to wait 40min with six long lines to get a drink is not how a party like this should work. Everyone ended up getting three drinks for themselves right away. But maybe the party was super lit and it was just my constitution giving me a bad outlook, sorry. I excused myself, sat outside in my misery and sipped on a beer and a cola. Plex wanted to check out the venue and apparently befriended his long-time idol SodaPoppin , Nina was on the phone, Kay bailed at some point with friends, and I just sat there for a good hour, wallowing in my misery, contemplating my streaming career (figuring out you’re in the same events as super huge names DOES kind of have a humbling effect, I mean, god damn). Eventually, Plex and I decided to head out too and join both Nina and Kay in The Continental, same bar the GawkBox and SOV things were in. We hung out a bit, then I bailed out to have a more serious but short discussion with Kay, before Plex joined us again. On the way to the room, we ran into IcePoseidon (can’t link him because banned from Twitch. We talked about it) who said «let’s take a picture,» so here it is.
Nina went home on her own, so we called an Uber for Kay and she was on her way. Still shaking, I went to bed, dreading the next day. Was this fucking up my con? Did I miss out on chances? I was gonna have to Charity live stream right in the morning. Would I ever be able to get the fullest out of the large amount of money this trip cost? The answer to these questions: On the next few lines. Or not.
Day 3 (Sunday): Convalescence.
Again with the Con-word-jokes! Sheesh, that Strike.
I slept quite badly again between Days 2 and 3. So when I woke up (and then couldn’t fall back asleep), my first thought was «Fuck, this is it, my last day is ruined.» Pursuant this sentiment, I showered, dressed and went for breakfast in a rather foul mood.
Something happened at breakfast though: I ate my usual plate of fried eggs, bacon, potatoes, strawberries, bread and orange juice and suddenly felt a little better. Not really awesome, but better. A glimmer of hope ignited inside of me: Would this day actually hold energy for me?
I dressed up in my uniform so I’d actually use the damn thing at least once at TwitchCon and we headed over to the venue. My first appointment was the Tiltify Charity Plaza stage, where I was honored to represent Save The Children for a Post-It Art Challenge stream. I screwed up the tagline I made up though during my introduction («Every children is our future»)… All my opponents and the hosts were really nice, warm people and I’m glad I met them, specifically ClassyKatie , who was super fun to build art (?) next to. My first round entry was Sonic the Hedgehog and came out pretty well, but I dropped out in round two because my one-handedly built PogChamp face didn’t make the cut. Still, I had a great time and we raked in some money for our respective charities, which makes me extremely proud. I loved to be a part of this, thank you, Tiltify and iKasperrr !
A social Sunday
During the remainder of Sunday, I got to hold a very special meetup: KuriGames, an old Twitch friend and VRChat personality whom I came up with on the platform, was also attending. We shared a lengthy, strong hug that I’ll never forget, and I was able to snap a picture with us. Thank you so much for your time, my friend, I’m so glad we finally made it happen!
I got lucky and also walked into Louflu, a friend I made at Twitch London Summer Bash 2018. We had a small chat and took a pic together. Hope you had a wonderful rest of your con and I’ll see you in just a few days at Twitch London Winter 2018!
There’s one thing I saw and participated in which I’d like to point out: BrickinNick and friends built a piece of larger-than-life TwitchCon 2018 artwork, pixel by pixel (or 1×1 Lego piece after another), and invited passer-bys to assemble 10×10 pixel parts of the artwork. For this, they offered schematics and color-coded Lego pieces. The final product looked amazing and I’m glad I got to be a part of this awesome project. The face of Kappa, Lazythunk aka Josh Kappa, even appeared in a short after-video by Twitch themselves. Well done, guys!
As it became time for the final stage show and attendees packed Glitch Theater, it started sinking in: My first TwitchCon was about to end. An amazing movie (and, actually, video game) was played, djWHEAT and AnnaProsser hosted us through the one-hour ceremony with speeches and recaps. djWHEAT fought his tears back during the entire thing, then broke out in the end after all, which has super cute to see because it shows how much this means to him and how much work he’s put into this. No worries, my dude, we see you. You did amazingly well. <3
I got emotional myself. So many times in the last few months I had questioned my content, my ability (or lack thereof) to grow, my way as an online content creator. Whenever life dragged me down, though, the #strongestforce and my friends had been there for me, and I can safely say I’d be in a very, utterly different position had I not told myself to «just try this streaming thing out, after all, what can happen?»
A whole damn lot.
The last night
By the evening, I still felt good (yay!) and it became time to go to two events I had looked forward to quite a lot: First, German-speaking Twitch Partners from the DACH area (Deutschland, Austria, CH as in Switzerland) were invited by nowSimon and SirFlipsALot , Twitch Partnerships Manager DACH and Partnerships Associate DACH respectively, for dinner in an awesome asian fusion restaurant just five minutes from the con venue. I had a blast with other Twitch Partners and luckily could actually take Plex and Asker as +2, as well as had another chance to hang out with Nina and Kay. Successful German streamers were there as well, some of which I had met at the Twitch Tour in Berlin (namely Bonjwa ), so we had a great time – especially when Simon and I shared «Bruder muss los» memes. You need to have German as a mothertongue to understand. Thank you so much for having us and being so generous, boys! We left early though, not before sharing heartfelt goodbyes with the boys and girls, and headed on to the Elgato party to which we had been invited to.
It’s good to be an Elgato partner, because damn, what a party. The bar was right down the street, so we arrived quite quickly. Though security was rather strict – you had to stand back in line if you left the place once, even if just because someone wanted to smoke, and they sometimes stopped the line from entering for 10-15 minutes – the guest list was super impressive: Successful creators like Sco and Djarii, hotted89 , a very drunk Sodapoppin and more were in attendance. It was a blast to shoot the shit with them. After a while and a lot of social mingling (and being pitched a talent management service by two guys for an intense 30 minutes), Plex and I decided to head home, having a buzz on, marvelling in the weekend that just happened to us. This is what successful streamer life feels like. Hot damn, sign me up. We got to the room and I fell asleep rather quickly.
Day 4 (Monday): Country Roads, Take Me Home
There we had it: The last few hours in the US of A.
We had decided on having breakfast with Nina and Kay the day before, so they joined us for our last Marriott meal in the dining hall. They didn’t really eat anything though and Nina wasn’t feeling too well, so Plex and I slammed down some eggs’n’bacon and all the good stuff. After that, back up to the room, packing our stuff – this time, my suitcase was bursting at the seam with all the merch I was taking home. Good idea to bring the big one with me. There are gonna be some giveaways, troops!
As it became time to check out, of course, my credit card got denied first because the company managed to somehow duplicate the hotel pre-authorization, making their system think I had gone over my limit. I had to spend another 10 minutes on the phone with their emergency 24 hour hotline to get it to work. I’m really, REALLY fed up with this crap – those of you who heard me rant about it repeatedly on missions know that I’ve been having a lot of trouble with these cards. I ended up having to pay 20 bucks for the call and they’re not paying it for me. I’ll have to call them again next week for ANOTHER billing on my card that I can’t explain…
We hung out with Kay and Nina a little more, then shared some hugs and said goodbye. I hope I can see you guys again as soon as possible. Thank you so much for being our awesome TwitchCon gang! <3
One last look at the entrance of my first ever TC, and we called an uber and were off. Even at the CalTrain station, we met streamers and had great discussions about charity streaming.
All the way back
Our trip back was relatively eventless. We both had ample time to reflect the adventure we had just experienced, the friendships we had made and strengthened, the memories we now carry with us. Hell, as I’m writing this, I’m getting melancholic even, and it’s one week later.
We had «dinner» at the airport, during which we streamed and talked to my viewers (#1 #2). An older guy actually approached us after that, asking what Twitch is, to which we answered with ye olde «You know, when you watch sports on TV, and there’s a commentator whose commentary adds to what you see because it’s informative and entertaining? That’s Twitch, but for video games, and some more emphasis on the commentator’s own personality.» He was intrigued, I gave him my card and we headed off.
After hanging out in a lounge bar for a moment, our plane boarded. I was a little nervous about flying back, because my first flight had not been very comfortable (not the airline’s fault, that’s just me) and I couldn’t sleep. This time around, though, I watched a movie («The Big Sick», it’s nice) and then actually managed to get patches of sleep here and there. The flight back seemed shorter than the first one, and again, I had tons of time to reflect.
After twelve hours, we arrived in Switzerland, where the comparatively icy weather greeted us harshly. We went through security, grabbed our baggage (the fastest baggage claim I’ve ever done, it took seconds) and left the secured area, where Plex’ girlfriend eagerly awaited him and gave him a very hearty welcome. We hung out for a few more minutes, before the couple took their train home and I took mine.
I’m not certain how to describe this adventure, but I’ll try.
This was the first time off the continent for me in 23 years. My last trip to the US had been when I was 8 (my parents took me to Orlando, FL, because Disney World) and I remember being stoked. The US always seemed to be a special place to me, and so this trip hyped me tremendously.
I can say I had an absolutely amazing time at TwitchCon. I’m good with words, usually, but this adventure really reignited my love for streaming and the Twitch community. Literally everyone was super friendly and open, and I actually got recognized a good amount of times, which still blows my mind. I’m sure there are still pics and selfies with me on them out there – let me know if you have any, please!
Many times in the past have I questioned my place on Twitch. I’m not a very self-confident person IRL, and I’ve struggled with my own ambition numerous times. As someone who loves streaming on his favorite platform so much, going to TwitchCon for the first time ever was mind-blowing. I came home wanting to stream really badly, and I guess that’s what they were going for, and it made me feel like I belong. Also, I’m super glad they allowed +1 to almost anywhere Partners could go so I could get Asker and/or Plex in, too – it wouldn’t have been fun without them. Being a Partner at TwitchCon is killer too, btw.
All that remains to be said is:
Thank you to my community for enabling me to go in the first place with the help of your donations. Thank you to Plex, who was the best travel buddy I could’ve asked for, and don’t worry about the Partner stuff access, I was glad to have you around. You fucking rock, dude, and I’ll go to TC again with you in a heartbeat. Thank you to everyone I met at TwitchCon, for sharing great conversations and fun times with me. Thank you to the organizers of the event, because you mufuggin’ outdid yourselves. This was larger than life, it was insane. And I didn’t even catch post-con-flu. SANITIZE YOUR HANDS! Oh, and thanks for all the free drinks to everyone who gave me any! I barely paid for any alcohol during this trip and that’s quite something.
If I forgot mentioning you here even though we met, I apologize, but my brain is mush from jetlag etc. Also, please know that I most probably absolutely loved meeting you. Let me know! 🙂
With that, I am your General, throwing a snappiest salute at you. Thank you for reading this. We shall hit the battlefield again very soon. <O