As many of you know many popular games are broadcast live by streamers hoping to make a living, or just a few bucks, by offering their expertise, humor, and/or commentary. Many of them have places for their viewers to donate so that the streamer may continue streaming in order for more viewers to enjoy the show. I had always assumed these were all legitimate, naively so, and that most streamers only accepted donations on the basis that it would allow them to stream more for their fans, but that’s not always the case. This weekend I heard about a streamer, ZilianOP, who appears to have scammed everyone from his loyal viewers to those working at Twitch into thinking that he was paralyzed, living his life in a wheelchair, streaming because he enjoyed it.
Despite spending almost two years “handicapped,” Zilian doesn’t seem to have any trouble getting up from his seat, leading many to believe that he’s scammed his viewers this whole time. During this time he collected donations from fans, including a $2,000 wheelchair, to make his life as a streamer a little bit easier. Thanks to Reddit, or at least a Reddit mirror as the original post was deleted for some reason, there’s a play-by-play of what happened in the chat log directly after the video was captured.
I guess the video itself isn’t exactly proof, although it is almost the smoking gun. However, after telling people he fell and that he wouldn’t be streaming the next day, his channel was taken down shortly after, with Twitch citing a terms of service violation. His Facebook page, which had been abandoned prior to the event, is now the only place for former fans to complain about being scammed.
In the past he had been accused of “botting” in Diablo 3, and by accused I pretty much mean flat out caught cheating since he left the control panel for the bot open while streaming. I guess that should have been an indicator as to what kind of person he was, but apparently it wasn’t enough for those who continued to donate. At least they can still make fun of him for forgetting to turn off his camera and exposing the truth.
This is the first time I’ve seen someone scam people using Twitch while playing a popular title such as this. As such I think everyone who donates to a streamer should understand who you are donating to and why they are in need of donations. I don’t really know what if anything will happen to ZilianOP, but it’s a lesson to all of us to be careful with your wallets when cruising to give donations to your favorite streamers.