Twitch plans to put its community’s charity muscles to good use on Saturday, by hosting a benefit called Stream Aid 2020 that will feature a host of celebrity guests, a lot of music, and a little bit of gaming. (Think UNO and Fortnite.) The event will go live on Twitch’s channel at 12PM ET and stay up for 12 full hours, and the goal is to raise as much money as possible for the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization. Everyone from Diplo to Charlie Puth to Die Antwoord will be there.
On the gaming side of things, streamer Nick “Nick Eh 30” Amyoony will be headlining the Fortnite tournament with his duos partner Joe Jonas. (He’s a fan.) Amyoony is a Twitch darling — follower count: 869.5k at present — and a professional Fortnite streamer, so it’s no surprise the company chose him to represent the brand at a tournament, though he says he’s not 100 percent sure what the format will be yet.“LITERALLY EVERY SINGLE PERSON WHO’S IN MY LIVESTREAM HAS SOMEONE WHO’S AFFECTED.”
Even so, Amyoony says he’s participating because he wants to do his part. “Literally every single person who’s in my livestream has someone who’s affected, whether it be a parent out of a job, a friend who might be sick,” he says. “A lot of people are a little nervous. They don’t know how long they’re going to be out from work, out from school, and they realize how serious it is.”
Amyoony sees his role as helping people get their minds off of the global pandemic, in the same way a friend might help keep you from spiraling over a breakup. He also says he’s seen his Twitch community grow — “a lot more people are watching, and you can definitely tell from the numbers,” he says — during this weird time, when everyone’s trapped inside. (Though his routine hasn’t changed much: he still streams eight hours a day, but has stopped going to the gym for his workouts.)
The roster of people set to appear on Stream Aid 2020 shows its ambition, which is also in its name: a callback to Live Aid, that seminal ‘80s event that got the 1.9 billion people watching concerts around the world to care about famine in Ethiopia. (That said, in the end, its impact was possibly not as large as advertised.)
Twitch is known for its streamers’ huge charity drives — last year, Ben “DrLupo” Lupo raised more than $2 million in a single stream for St. Jude’s in 24 hours — and Stream Aid 2020 looks like it’s set to do something similarly big. That’s what Amyoony’s excited about, too. “One of the things I’m excited for is just seeing how much the community will raise in the name of COVID-19,” he says. “Because that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day — using community for good. And I’m looking forward to that.”