Yesterday, Twitch streamers from France held the platform’s biggest ever charity event – and in the process earned a nod from Emmanuel Macron himself. The French President called the combined efforts of 54 streamers uniting for Z Event “inspiring” on Twitter. Their end total? Approximately €3,509,197, which converts to £3,093,813.
The event kicked off on Friday 20 September at 6pm in Montpellier and ended at 1am on Monday morning. During the extended weekend, an army of all-star streamers gathered in a big room and broadcast to their respective channels, with the singular aim of inspiring as many donations from their communities as possible.
Each Twitch channel was free to show whatever they wanted: Domingo, who has 610,257 followers, played a variety of games, including FIFA 20 and Planet Coaster. Trinity, with 114,413, followers, dabbled in Tricky Towers and The Sims 4. Mizu, who has 37,872 followers, streamed Dance Dance Revolution as song requests from viewers poured in. There was certainly no shortage of entertainment.
A counter at the bottom of each streamer’s screen tracked the number of donations, with the money going straight to the world-renowned Institut Pasteur. The non-profit foundation for biomedical research tweeted how everyone taking part in the event “have been exceptional.”
— Institut Pasteur (@institutpasteur) September 22, 2019
The historic collection of streams saw big names dig deep. Ninja, the world’s most famous streamer, contributed £23,000. His tweets drew more eyes to the big charity drive, which peaked at around 500,000 viewers. Other high-profile donators included Ubisoft, Blizzard France, and Riot Games, who all had a rummage through their wallets.
It’s not the first charity stream to do big numbers. GuardianCon raised almost £3 million back in June, while Yogscast’s yearly Jingle Jam generated over £4 million in December 2017. The latter was a slightly different proposition, though, forwarding all proceeds from a Humble Bundle sale to charity rather than raising donations outright. But, however you’re scoring it, you can’t argue it’s not all for a good cause.
Z Event is the brainchild of Adrien Nougaret and Alexandre Dachary, who started the project in 2016. The first drive raised approximately £150,000 for Save the Children. Last year, that number jumped to around £880,000 for Doctors Without Borders. But this most recent Z Event hit new heights.
It was a big day for the French gaming community and an even bigger day for the Institut Pasteur. The money raised will go towards the study of biology, micro-organisms, diseases, and vaccines. Hey, maybe they’ll even come up with a cure for the toxic gamer. That would be great.