A popular videogame streamer on the livestreaming platform Twitch has turned down a controversial sponsorship deal with Saudi Arabia worth close to $1 million following backlash across the Twitch online community.
Mattew "Mizkif" Rinaudo was among several high-profile streamers who were invited to fly out to the kingdom to take part in a four-day gaming event centred on the popular Fortnite game. However, news of the sponsorship deal garnered a lot of negative online attention, raising ethical issues and the reputation of streamers taking part in the event.
According to the website Game Rant, fellow Twitch streamer Pokelawls was approached by email last week. While not agreeing to take part, he leaked some of the contractual obligations regarding the sponsorship deal. These are said to include making several promotional social media posts.
Twitch streamer Poke revealed he was offered over $100,000 to fly to Saudi Arabia and play Fortnite for 4 days…
Also saying it was an offer that Mizkif and Emiru had already accepted (likely for much more $) pic.twitter.com/q72lsbSFq7
— Jake Lucky (@JakeSucky) June 30, 2022
Pokelawls and Mizkif are part of the OTK gaming network; both were included in the communication. Mizkif was reportedly one of the many streamers who agreed to travel to Saudi Arabia, but after facing a backlash and speaking with popular Turkish-American Twitch streamer HasanAbi — known for his political content — who educated him on the controversy surrounding the kingdom and its human rights abuses, including the war in Yemen, he decided against the move.
According to the website, one of the most successful and high-profile Fortnite streamers is said to be involved with the sponsorship at the time of writing. It is currently unknown whether "Tfue" will also backtrack on the deal like others have.