Rust has well and truly taken over Twitch in the new year, even hitting a massive 1.2m viewers on the platform last week, and it’s all thanks to Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel and his can’t-look-away “villain” persona in the OfflineTV servers.
Every few weeks, Twitch will move to a new “flavor of the month”. In 2020, that was titles like chaotic party game Fall Guys, whodunnit Among Us, and even going back to the start of the year, shooter Escape from Tarkov.
One game, though, was more explosive than all the rest: Rust.
Facepunch’s multiplayer-only survival title has been around for a while — in fact, it’s just celebrated its seventh birthday — but only recently has it found its way to the upper echelons of Twitch’s streaming platform. It’s suddenly enjoying a late-stage renaissance.
That’s all down to one thing — in early December, creator group OfflineTV founded a streamer server, led by stars like Pokimane, Shroud, and Myth. It was an interesting concept, but it was taken to the next level by a single invite.
Enter Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel.
Over the last few weeks, xQc has proven something: he’s the perfect Rust villain, and just what OTV’s servers needed to explode into the juggernaut they’ve become.
Twitch is your favorite TV show
Let’s paint streaming culture like a gripping TV show. There’s the series’ stars — Shroud, Valkyrae, DrDisrespect, Tyler1, Pokimane — and if you’ve been following Dexerto for long enough you’ll know these names.
Most of the time, these characters are sticking to their own storylines. Shroud is playing Escape from Tarkov and Apex Legends, while DrDisrespect is on Call of Duty, and Valkyrae is grinding Among Us with her OfflineTV friends and the wider community.
But something special happened with Rust.
In the first huge, all-access OfflineTV server, the storylines converged. Suddenly each community was seeing other stars, bumbling around in Rust, some for the first time, others as seasoned veterans.
It was like an “Avengers” crossover event on a huge scale.
But that’s not enough to spark the explosion we’ve seen in Rust; the game continues to crack its own player records, and made $1 million in a week, the devs have revealed.
Every story needs a really fun bad guy.
Avengers movies aren’t fun without Loki or Thanos. Loving Game of Thrones is so much sweeter with Joffrey or Ramsey waiting in the wings. And Rust needed its own villain. The server needed the perfect bad guy: xQc.
xQc “takes over” as Rust villain
The Canadian streamer very quickly butted horns with several stars on the Rust server, including Myth. Controversy followed him wherever he went.
There’s been a few ‘beefs’ that have sprouted up around the streamer. Fellow Twitch star Myth has been a main target, after xQc accused him of stream sniping. Pokimane even decided to quit the server over the controversy, leaving Rust behind in early January.
In fact, here’s a little taste of his impact on the server:
- Dec. 29: Shroud warns xQc will make Rust server “implode”
- Dec. 30: xQc accuses Myth of ‘streaming sniping’ during play
- Dec. 31: CallMeCarson tells xQc fans “get a life” after they flood his chat
- Dec. 31: Valkyrae threatens to close server over xQc drama
- Jan. 2: xQc responds to more Rust criticism over Myth stream sniping
- Jan. 3: Andy Milonakis calls xQc “sociopath” after pair lock horns
- Jan. 4: Sodapoppin considers quitting Rust over xQc drama
- Jan. 4: xQc faces roleplay Rust court in OfflineTV server
- Jan. 10: xQc gets Zuckles perma-banned from OfflineTV server
- Jan. 12: Pokelawls has multi-day feud with xQc in Rust
- Jan. 13: xQc says he’s quitting OTV server to join Rust roleplay
That’s just two weeks of chaos, all with xQc at the heart. And, despite it being dramatic, tense, and sometimes downright odd, the Twitch star’s “bad guy” persona has injected just the right amount of ‘story’ into the Rust server. It’s got people tuning in day after day, stream after stream.
If xQc hadn’t been let loose, another ‘bad guy’ may have emerged — Toast played a fantastic overlord in OTV’s Minecraft server — but the Canadian just works.
Why xQc is the perfect ‘bad guy’
There are a few reasons. First, he’s one of Twitch’s biggest stars. Even as he peeves other stars and their communities, his own loyal fans love it. There’s plenty of them too. He regularly hits 100,000+ concurrent viewers while streaming Rust on the original ‘Badlands’ server moment.
He’s also “addicted” to the game. The Canadian admitted as much on Twitter, writing it’s “all he thinks about,” and declaring he would “take over.”
THE OTV RUST SERVER IS TOO FUN THATS ALL I THINK ABOUT. MY COMPETITIVENESS OVERWHELMED ME AND I WAS RUDE TO NON-PVPERS. TOMORROW WERE GONNA DO BETTER AND TEAM ROCKET WILL TAKE OVER
— xQc (@xQc) December 31, 2020
Mainly though, he’s just wild. He built a PvP stable called “Team Rocket” and let loose. He has always had hilarious reactions to games, so even as he burns down a building or loots another streamer’s hideout, he’s doing it with his wry, half-chalked smile on his face.
xQc has been the best bad guy; the one you just can’t help but like.