Anys’ new obsession was not isolated. League had spread like wildfire throughout the gamer-internet during the early 2010s. This eventually led to the creation of, a livestreaming website. Twitch launched in 2011 and was already attracting attention from top gamers all over the world, who broadcast for hours on the site. Call of Duty trick shots, military-grade Starcraft 2 play, attracted a dedicated, capital G Gamer viewership, which hovered around 200,000 by 2013. A live chat scrolled alongside each broadcast, where fans spammed emotes and newbies asked FAQ-style questions to the burgeoning class of micro-celebrities.Always the extrovert, Anys approached Twitch as an opportunity to make more gaming friends, specifically with other women. (There weren’t many at her high school. She signed up for the service in June 2013, and chose the handle Pokimane. This is a portmanteau from Pokemon and Imane. She felt that she had earned the right to stream her own streams only after she reached the platinum tier on League’s competitive ladder later in the year. Anys bought a desktop PC for $250 from a classifieds website and went on Twitch. In one clip, Anys’ face is seen in a small box next to her League window. Jinx, her character, is defending the Nexus against five enemies. Anys is hyper-focused. Her cheeks puff out as she snares an enemy and rockets it, then lures another into her base and rockets it, chases a fleeing third and rockets her, and finally, at low blood pressure but still hungry, and even a little arrogant, she shouts, “Aw, please give me the penta!” before launching her fifth rocket. Anys bursts into giggles. She was an excellent gamer, evidently. She was also, of course, beautiful. She also has a huge range of abilities as a human being. One moment she will be muttering “FUUUUUUUCK!” after dying to a League turret, the next she will be advising her viewers how to contour with bronzer. Aspirational, she was a not-yet mainstream but natural balance between femininity, gamerhood, anime magical girl, and internet shitlord. Freshman year, she had a 120-hour course load and a semi-regular Twitch streaming program. She was streaming in the evenings and afternoons three days a day. Twitch was no longer a hobby for her. It was beginning to pay back what she had put in. She had borrowed over $20,000 to pay for college. She streamed more to pay off her debts faster. Viewers contributed small amounts of money, $5 to $10 or $25. These donations were attached to messages (“sick fun!!! “cute outfit!” “Fuck you! !”), to which she graciously acknowledged and replied. In front of her webcam was a whiteboard with rainbow-written usernames. This was an ersatz donor wall for her dorm room set. Many Twitch streamers made a few dollars an hour by attracting patrons. Sponsorships were available at the time for select streamers, mostly from gaming-related brands. These companies were happy to be associated with guys, and they were almost always men. They sometimes shouted obscenities in frustration in what are now euphemistically called “heated gamer moments” or referred to their female counterparts in the same way as “titty streamers,” regardless how well they played. Twitch was a cultural disaster. It was not brand-friendly for a lot of it.

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