'A slap in the face': LoL community unhappy variety streamer announced as Worlds Finals co-streamer

Sykkuno is the only English co-streamer for the Worlds 2022 finals and not everyone is happy about it. (Photo: Riot Games)
Sykkuno is the only English co-streamer for the Worlds 2022 finals, and not everyone is happy about it. (Photo: Riot Games, Sykkuno YouTube Channel)

With the League of Legends World Championship 2022 grand finals just around the corner, Riot Games announcement of co-streamers for the momentous event has been making waves in the community.

And not for good reasons.

Among the announced names is American variety live streamer Thomas “Sykkuno”, who has been popular for streaming games like Among Us with other popular streamers like Pokimane and Valkyrae.

The LoL community have been up in arms over Riot’s choice of streamers, particularly Sykkuno, with those in the professional scene voicing their displeasure.

With Worlds being LoL’s culminating esports event of the year, along with a one-of-a-kind matchup between two of the most-loved veteran players Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok and Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu at the grand finals, most fans have voiced out that the opportunity should have been given to mainstay LoL Esports streamers.

How the community reacted

Worlds 2022 caster and former LoL pro Marc Robert “Caedrel” Lamont did not mince his words when he called out Riot on Twitter, saying, “it’s awesome they’re giving it to big personalities", but that it’s a “huge f—g slap in the face to League content creators” who are passionate about the scene.

Fnatic’s Head coach Jakob "YamatoCannon" Mebdi responded to Caedrel’s tweet, saying, “it’s good business”, to which LoL esports personality Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles replied, pointing out that there wasn't "a reason they [Riot] couldn’t have done both".

LoL European Championship (LEC) pro player Erik “Treatz” Wessén chimed in as well, stating, “Surely the people who have been co-streaming every game for the entire year should get these types of privileges before some people on this list?”

Macaiyla, a longtime community member, and her partner, Tyler "Tyler1" Steinkamp, who reached Challenger rank across all roles in LoL, expressed their frustration in a tweet, calling Riot’s decision “super disappointing and disrespectful” to dedicated LoL Esports streamers.

She also said while this may have been for "viewership and potential[lly] expanding the audience", Riot already had Lil Nas X for the occasion.

Some fans, like Twitter user szzzzzz, nedanrod, and others, expressed disappointment over Riot’s decision to get Sykkuno instead of popular LoL esports streamers like former TSM player Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, former Cloud9 coach Nick “LS” DeCesare, and Cloud9 streamer Christian "IWDominate" Rivera.

They were also concerned that the American streamer had no experience participating in or even watching competitive LoL matches.

Others, on the other hand, showed support and defended Sykkuno, pointing out how he started his career as a streamer through LoL streams.

Former LCS coach and current C9 staff Mathew Alexander "xSojin" Perez said that Sykkuno had been "a part of the community since early seasons” and added that just because he’s moved on the “larger audience, it doesn’t take that [being part of the LoL community] away".

Fans of Sykkuno, like Twitter user Shin, said that they would watch a LoL Final because of Sykkuno, saying, "For people like me that [don’t] know a thing about the game; usually his commentary on a game helps a lot."

Other Worlds 2022 Finals co-streamers include LoL Pro League caster Feng “Rita” Yu (Chinese), popular LoL streamer Sangho Lee and MinGyo Kim (Korean), and Esports caster and co-owner of Esports team KOI Ibai “Ibai” Llanos (Spanish).

Sykkuno says not paid for the co-stream

Sykkuno addressed the backlash in a stream on Wednesday (2 November), explaining how he was invited by Riot Games to do the co-stream.

“I didn’t know it was some kind of big deal. I guess for a lot of other people, it’s a much bigger deal,” he said.

Sykkuno said he "gets it", categorising the backlash coming from three groups that included people who were mad at Riot Games, those “who are just really mean”, and the "people who want to say I wanna stream it too".

The streamer emphasised that he is a LoL fan, and that he really wanted to watch the Worlds 2022 Finals, assuring everyone that he was doing it for free.

“Do you know how many zeroes were in the offer?” he asked his fans on his stream. “They offered me one zero because I am doing it for free. There’s exactly one zero.”

Before he became popular, Sykkuno streamed casual LoL games since 2011. (Photo: Riot Games)
Before he became popular, Sykkuno streamed casual LoL games since 2011. (Photo: Sykkuno YouTube Channel)

He admitted he “mostly plays URF and ARAM these days” and didn't really play ranked games "as much as [he]’d like to".

Sykkuno finished by saying that the situation was "really not as crazy" as everyone though, and that he still wanted to do the co-stream and hoped his fans would like it.

Sykkuno started creating content on YouTube in 2011, initially posting videos with commentary and gameplay of League of Legends.

He was mainly a casual LoL YouTube content creator before he diversified to other online games like Among Us and Grand Theft Auto V, along with other content creators in the gaming community.

The Worlds 2022 finals will happen in San Francisco, California, on Sunday morning (6 November), 8:00 AM Singapore Time.

You can catch the action in Worlds 2022 on the official LoL YouTube and Twitch channels and the LoL esports page.

Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.

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