Félix Lengyel AKA xQc maybe Twitch’s fifth most popular streamer, but he’s received backlash from his fans after being accused of gambling on stream once more, this time while being sponsored by a gambling company.
The French-Canadian streamer began playing Clash Of Clans on May 16 before returning to fruit machine slots. After admitting to being addicted to gambling and losing $2 million in a month before quitting, fans have become enraged by his return to it.
xQc is no stranger to controversy, having been kicked out of the Overwatch League for misconduct and using ‘derogatory’ language. He was also banned from Twitch for displaying nudity, and he had to forfeit winnings from the Twitch Rivals event for ‘stream sniping’ another player.
More recently, he was mentioned in the context of the Heard v. Depp trial, as people began to consider the current streaming meta of reacting to live broadcasts for monetary gain.
Despite this, xQc has broken viewership records and remains one of the platform’s most popular users, and his gambling problem was revealed when he appeared on Pokimane‘s streaming channel and admitted his problem. His father even contacted him to chastise him for the loss.
As a result of fans pointing out that xQc gambling for hours on end can lead to him influencing his younger-skewing audience, others have come forward with their own stories of how they lost everything.
xQc and his mod team changed the title of his stream to ‘#ad’ when he switched to gambling, not when he went live. It would not have appeared if users had been watching the stream without refreshing.
The problem appears to stem from xQc misrepresenting the chat as if it requested gambling when, in fact, the other options were preferred. It’s also against the terms of service to have an unadvertised sponsored stream.
The outpouring of support has prompted xQc to lash out at his fans, claiming that he isn’t a role model and shouldn’t be. This ignores how an audience perceives someone they can spend up to six or eight hours watching throughout the day, every day.
He goes on a 40-minute rant about the situation in a video clip of his stream explaining things, never coming to any real conclusions. Others have unsubscribed from xQc’s subreddit in protest of the response, which has turned into a minefield of memes, jokes, and messages disparaging him.
Other streamers are now speaking out about the issue, which has sparked a mix of emotions. Ludwig, who is known for hosting poker streams, has stated that he believes these types of sponsored streams should be phased out, and Pokimane has also stated that doing so would be beneficial.
Meanwhile, other streamers such as Adin Ross, who was recently banned, and Trainwreck have signed seven-figure sponsorship deals with xQc’s newest sponsor, Stake.
Stake is a typical gambling site with slots, virtual football, and other sports betting options. The difference is that it can use cryptocurrency instead of real money, which has been quite profitable for the company given the recent boom, and current crash.
They’re currently partnered with Drake, regularly taking over his Instagram feed, and Trainwreck earns over a million dollars per month as a flat fee with them.
Trainwreck is known for gambling large sums of money, with frequent messages encouraging viewers not to gamble. Stake continues to spend more money on sponsorships every month, so it’s unclear whether this has any effect.
Stake’s advertising methods will be worth watching in the future, as they will refer to a website called Hacksaw Gaming, which displays successful slot game replays.
As an official betting partner, Stake partnered with the UFC and Watford FC.
The problem with sponsored streams and gambling is that the money spent is frequently not the streamer’s own, but rather money or a free platform provided to them for use. This has prompted more criticism, as the large wins are out of reach for the majority of viewers.
On Twitch, gambling is huge, with the slots category alone seeing an 11 percent increase in the last month, and ranking number 10 out of all other categories on the platform.