For but a brief moment in time, r/Place 2022 had enthralled most of Reddit and Twitch as communities battled it out for pixelated glory – but xQc outshined everyone with his entertaining approach to the event.
If you don’t know what r/Place is, its chaotic appearance is actually pretty easy to understand. Josh Wardle, the founder of the ever-popular word game Wordle, started the first r/place on April 1, 2017. It’s a subreddit that’s essentially a blank canvas that allows users to place one pixel of color every five minutes. The catch, anyone can place a pixel anywhere, even on top of existing pixels.
Somehow, in the midst of chaos, communities were able to form works of art by working together. However, it would take constant monitoring and dedication to preserve these works of art.
Some five years later, the second r/Place event was held, and this time it drew mass appeal from streamers and their own communities.
Twitch’s largest streamers had put gaming on hold to spectate the madness of r/Place. A few streamers like MoistCritikal, Mizkif, and Hasan would create art with their viewers, but xQc had a different approach. He was ready to burn it to the ground.
xQc goes to war with r/Place
You may not like xQc’s approach to r/Place and that’s understandable. When I first heard what he was doing, I was a little irked myself. It’s annoying to picture a massive creator with his size following purposefully destroying art from smaller communities.
But xQc played a vital role during the four days. Normally, communities will have their work covered up by groups of miscellaneous users. Users who attempt to maliciously cover others’ art with nothing but black pixels are referred to as “voiders”. But xQc gave participants a villain. He was the “big bad” with a nuclear viewership that could take out anything he wanted, providing a face for voiders and playing the part perfectly.
Unlike internet trolls, xQc wasn’t cruel. He was a tyrant, but he also set rules and boundaries for his viewers. His main goal was to destroy, yes, but he did so in a way that oddly seemed fair. This became apparent when he told his viewers that they would tunnel and branch out from the void avoiding artwork he wanted to spare.
xQc only fought the biggest battles
While smaller bits of art fell victim to xQc’s warpath, he didn’t pick fights with smaller communities. “Destroying everything” was his goal originally, but it quickly evolved into targeting the biggest communities.
He started by waging war against the flag of Turkey, which had betrayed his trust overnight. From there, he lead his viewers to Hololive, a formidable foe that proved difficult to deal with. Yet, xQc provided chat with a solid plan of attack.
Failing to overtake Hololive, X ordered his troops to retreat. Acknowledging his forces weren’t strong enough alone, he called fellow streamers Mizkif and MoistCritikal in for reinforcements.
Earlier in the war, xQc stated he didn’t want to fight Osu! because of the size of their community. Yet, he discovered Osu! was behind many attempts to thwart his void progress. As such, one of the most intense and hard-fought r/Place battles began.
There is no r/Place narrative without xQc
Without xQc, r/Place would have been a pretty neat social experiment. But X provided a narrative when there was none that lead to several massive events during those four short days.
He made his friends choose between their alliances with other communities in exchange for immunity. He came at odds with enemy titans that later became allies. His threats were outlandish and his attempts to take over were often futile.
r/Place became a story of war, espionage, heartbreak, and deceit with xQc being the focal point of it all. Turkey fed X false information to coerce him into attacking unbeatable foes. He would retaliate, and for brief moments, consume his adversaries.
xQc creates r/Place history
Coming to terms with his lack of strength and organization, xQc moved on to leave a more permanent mark on r/Place. Sadly, all of X’s attempts to create rather than destroy were quickly wiped away by other communities.
But one of his creations became one of the most iconic moments in the history of r/Place. While he and Mizkif had their communities attempt to create a massive realistic butt, the mods stepped in and removed the art mid-build.
This was the first time in r/Place that mods had removed art that wasn’t hate speech. With that being said, it didn’t stop the streamer from continuing to plague the canvas with other less-vulgar images.
r/Place was a very special surprise, and who knows if it will return next year. But if it does, I sure hope xQc returns.
Spectating this event is one thing, but watching a general command his armed forces is a completely different experience.
Love him or hate him, xQc was the best part of r/Place.