Synyster Graves

How Tekken is saving my life

by on Mar.11, 2022, under True Stories

Lidia is probably my main now

For those of you who know my work as a content creator you know that I’m a huge fan of fighting games. I do a lot of videos on them on YouTube and I used to stream on Tuesdays on Twitch with my whole “Bruisedays” schtick. But that’s just it; USED to. Twitch has become a place for me where I do not feel safe anymore, so I’ve taken myself away to concentrate of me for a bit, I’m still doing YouTube but as far as live streaming is concerned, I’m not interested right now. Instead I’ve gone into a kind of shell, whereby I am loving grinding through treasure battles on Tekken 7 and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 on the Xbox. I’ve even been bombarding Instagram with one minute reels of my latest Tekken conquest, all the backdrop of my favourite metal songs. I’ve really reacquainted my affinity with Julia Chang, Asuka Kazama and Tekken 7 DLC newcomer Lidia Sobieska. I’ve played so much of Tekken 7 I’ve pretty much unlocked everything!

I am happy. But this is new for me, for a long time I’ve been unhappy and here’s why.

I’ve been running with groups of streamers before and even when I tried to make the Discord community equal with all of them, it just took a couple to get big headed and arrogant, forgetting where they came from and just completely ignored everything I’d done for them. After that experience I was wounded, but thought “no, if I’m more selective, this won’t be an issue”. I never wanted to make a Discord all about me, it’s not my style to invite loads of people to a bunch of threads all about what I’m doing, I’ve just found it too arrogant. I’ve been invited to discords before which were like that it turned into a weird temple of worship for someone who thinks they’re famous. Instead I opted to make certain friends who were streamers have their own section, I wanted to make a community which was a gathering for all the small guys like myself, where we’re more on an equal footing, rather than a pedestal.

I’d met a couple of people starting on streaming and after a few exchanges I’d invited them to this new community I was starting as they didn’t know that many people and this was a good way of networking and branching out. And it was fantastic, we’d have mass video calls on Discord, drinking and hanging out, winding each other up, it was amazing! The video chat was just such an eagerly anticipated weekly event.

I got closer with these two streamers, eventually offering them their own section in the discord so they could grow they communities. I always believed working together and strength in numbers was key for a fruitful experience on Twitch. We help one another grow together. And this worked, for about three months. We’d hang out together, collab together, everything was great.

Red flags started appearing when this interest in collabing seemed to die down. I used to run a Saturday stream with a number of us all would play Mortal Kombat 11. If you follow me on social media, you know I’m big on promotion, and having about four of my friends (who were all streamers) join me for some MK, I used to make a big deal about it. I used to create a promo video which had everyone’s links in and shout them out, as well as create overlays on my stream to clearly show who was playing with me. One of the streamers then became very flaky, usually waiting me for me to promote them on all avenues before dropping out last minute, thus benefitting from my promotion and reach, but not choosing not to participate. This really became an annoyance for me when a couple of times he’d contact me on a Sunday and offer to play MK11 offline, I’d rush home from being out with the family, get the Sunday Roast on so I could play MK11 with my friend, only for them to no show. This happened about three times before I realised that the invite was insincere.

He offered to play MK11 with me. I rushed the family home on a false pretence to find he was a no show.

The relationship started to disintegrate when the two streamers of whom I’d given a space to grow and a ready made community to be integrated to referred to the discord as THEIR discord on their streams. I was always very insistent this was OUR discord, but claiming ownership of it as themselves, I found that a bit narcissistic. The penny dropped for me that they had no interest in helping the wider community, they freely accepted my handouts without having any intention of giving back to the community they has so egregiously waltzed into with minimal effort because of me. The Friday night video chats dried up, suddenly the discord wasn’t the cool place to be anymore. Me and some of my friends were surplus to requirement. One of my close friends was even told “he didn’t fit in” by one of the streamers.

The part which really set me down a path was when (as I often did) I made a gag video on my side of the discord. The streamer took it upon himself to download it and use it on his stream without my consent. Imagine my surprise watching his stream and two videos which I’d made as an inside joke for the discord was played on his stream, before he took credit for it. It was at that point I realised the depth of his plagiarism. There were references all from my stream, my jokes, my nods to pop culture because it happened on my stream, he literally leeched so much material off me. I was pretty angry. But I never said anything. This is when I created the “CHAOS STREAM”, it was so irreverent and wacky that he was far too much of a narcissist to copy that. But it got me down. By August, I just didn’t want to stream anymore, so I took a break. A clique had formed in the discord and it was very exclusive and insular.

By the time I returned a month later, still apprehensive I felt a change had occurred. The two streamers who massively used me were not interested in any of the community we’d created. Apart from still incorrectly declaring it was “their” discord on their own streams, the minor mental breakdown I’d had went completely unnoticed. As predicted, the streamer had gone on to make his own discord, as I thought he would, but out of courtesy it would have been nice if he’d mentioned it to me himself, rather than having me find out second hand. To be honest while I wasn’t surprised, I still felt a tiny bit betrayed. This was a guy who I had done so much for, created him content, brought him into a ready made community, and he steals from me, his community gives me shit for not being a “horror streamer” and his mate humiliates me on my friend’s channel. But again, I said nothing.

Yeah what do I know about horror games.. I “only play fighting games”

When it came to a head, I stupidly left my stream open mic and someone in the community came into the live voice chat and mocked him. I actually was frozen in fear, I literally didn’t know what to say, and in a panic I just said the word “intuition”, when he was called a fake. Well that was it, the clique pulled the trigger. I got essays in DMs saying how fake or what a hypocrite I was, all because someone said something in my stream and I didn’t defend him. How could I? He’d caused so much anguish and all the backstabbing really came to light with how a number of people reacted. They all left the discord but not before a litany DMs littered my in-tray attacking my character, my presumed intent and most disgustingly, my child. I literally did not want to believe that again I had created another monster who’s sole intention was to “be famous on the internet”, but it happened again. This was the point I withdrew from Twitch all together.

The point which resonated with me which pushed me over the edge was being told “I am not welcome in any streams” where this clique were encamped, and in my absence, obvious attempts to almost “recruit” mutual friends started happening, along with the perpetual attempts to discredit me. I could not go into streams where they were all camped because I didn’t want to create drama, but mob rule and all, even lurking in streams led to passive aggressive posts directed at me. People are very brave when they’re in a big group aren’t they? How can I be the bad guy, for being upset that someone stole from me? Is thinking bad about someone privately worse than being humiliated, used and discredited? Because that’s what they did to me and yet I’M the bad guy. I have been forced to suffer and my mental health has gone downhill, because of the actions of others. Any normal person would have shrugged it off, but they had to have their pound of flesh, so that’s where we are.

So that’s it. This is why I have been away. I didn’t want to make it awkward for my actual friends who this Cancel Clique have tried their damnedest to suck up to, I don’t want to be the one to expose them all, because what is the point? It’s still 5 of them against just me. And what happened to the other two other streamers? Well one played the victim saying I never backed him up, disregarding all the bullshit he’d pulled and I said nothing as I didn’t wish to escalate the situation. The other one would not have known any one were it not for me introducing her, so that’s how far helping people with discords and streaming gets you. They will take the freebie and turn on you when it suits. But that’s what got me thinking, how can they overreact to the minor infraction which occurred on my channel. Then it dawned on me, this was all pre-meditated. They had wanted to jettison me for a while but couldn’t just leave because I would highlight how ungrateful they were to have just USED me and thrown me away. The only way they could make their clean break was to portray me as some kind of dictator, no matter how tenuous their claims were. People sadly listened. No one wanted to hear my side of the story. So here it is. What no one ever considered was perhaps, for the very reason that I found their behaviour deplorable, perhaps other people arrived at the same conclusion on their own wit? But no, I was condemned for hearsay. No actual evidence but (in their eyes) enough of foothold to deploy their agenda against me. I have come to the conclusion that if people want to know my side, they can ask me. Since this hasn’t happened, then more fool them, they can just live in the propaganda they’ve been fed.

Kunimitsu has become a firm favourite of mine

But let’s get back to Tekken. My real life had got more hectic with work ramping up and my mental health deteriorating. I sought help and I am feeling better but then I rediscovered Tekken 7. I’ve always been a very aggressive Tekken player. I think I have an online win ratio of about 40% which is not bad, but on reflection I have this stupid habit of trying to kill the opponent as soon as “FIGHT” is sounded. Then the penny dropped. Defending. I always relied on the side step manoeuvre but never the block, but I found if I hang back, I can counter to much greater effect! My nights have been filled with trying to bolster my offline rankings on all my favourite characters. I’ve found freedom in combos from Lidia, Kunimitsu, Julia Chang and Asuka. I’ve found something other than Mortal Kombat 11 which I feel accomplished playing. I proclaim my enthusiasm on instagram and twitter, because I don’t want my insta-feed to just be pictures of my own face!

At the end of the day, Tekken is saving my life. And I know some of you will just dismiss it as a series of buttons which corresponds to punching another person in the face, but it gives me escapism. An escape from the weight of a community I created only to be hounded out by the school bullies when they deemed me some kind of threat. I don’t want anyone’s pity, but the next time you decide to help someone you barely know get a start on streaming, you won’t know if they’re a manipulative narcissist until it’s possibly too late. They’ve turned some friends against, some really good friends who I have enjoyed a lot of collabs and time with. But this shows they were never good friends in the first place, just saw me as a springboard to use and leave when it suits. I was used, and then accused of something no one ever proved. But that was enough for a circle of bullies to force me out of the very community which; if it wasn’t for me, they probably would have never met.

Thank you Tekken. You’re helping me in a dark hour. I will return to streaming one day, but when I’m ready.

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