Twitch, Lenovo under fire after devastating ‘foam pit’ injuries at TwitchCon
October 11, 20223 min read
Serious injuries occur during 'Gladiator' game
Streaming site Twitch and PC merch manufacturer Lenovo came under fire this weekend, following a series of serious and devastating injuries that occurred at the former's live event TwitchCon 2022 — The separately occurring accidents all took place at Lenovo's "foam pit", where attendees were taking part in pugilistic combat similar to that of '90s TV game show Gladiators.
The battles, which were live streamed by Lenovo and other con attendees, saw players fight it out on small raised podiums placed above a "foam pit" — ostensibly a large area filled with foam cubes to prevent the loser from injuring themselves when falling from said podiums. However, it appears that the pit was much shallower than it appeared, with no dismount assistance, which lead to several players severely injuring themselves when falling, jumping, or simply dropping down from their raised platform.
The worst incident took place on Sunday, when streamer and adult film star Adriana Chechik suffered a horrific back injury. Following her victory over streamer opponent EdyBot, Chechik did an excitable "ass-bump" into what appeared to be a deep swamp of soft foam, but was, in fact, a fairly thin layer on a matted, hard floor surface. Immediately hurt, Chechik calls out for instant assistance, saying "I can't get up" while commentators jest and tell onlookers that the actor is, in fact, "ok".
Tragically, it turns out that Chechik had broken her back in two places on impact, and has since undergone surgery to implant a metal rod in her back to provide support.
Soon after the news of Chechik's accident broke, it became apparent that numerous other injuries had taken place before her own. EdyBot said that she hurt for the rest of the day following her loss to Chechik. Another streamer, LochVaness, actually dislocated her knee while dismounting the platform, while another unconfirmed image shows what appears to be a woman in great pain, her ankle in a soft cast — this photo was reportedly taken during a separate "balloon-catching" game.
These testimonies have, of course, led to utter bewilderment on the part of attendees as to why the foam pit remained open following these earlier injuries, ultimately allowing the circumstances which led to Chechik's incident. Furthermore, attendees have claimed that the pit remained open even after Chechik was injured, though a statement to Kotaku suggests that the feature was eventually closed.
"We are aware of the incidents of TwitchCon visitors who sustained injuries in the gladiator game soft foam pit at the Lenovo booth," said Twitch in the statement. "The area has since been closed for any further use while we work with event organizers to look into the incidents."
While attendees had reportedly signed a waiver for injury before entering the Lenovo foam pit, the constant string of worsening accidents, combined with the decision not to close down the attraction, may render said waivers moot in the eyes of legal teams. Hopefully, recompense can be doled out to those hurt during the weekend, especially to Chechik, whose incredibly minor action has had potentially life-changing consequences. Here's hoping for a strong, swift recovery for all those injured.