Now that the post-RUSH glow is starting to fade, we can talk about the other incredible thing that happened in South African esports that weekend: RustyPieLover’s charity stream to raise money for CANSA.
A couple of weeks ago we wrote an article about Rusty’s plan to do some good through gaming and we’ve already shared our thoughts on the incredible event that RUSH was, so we figured it was time to catch up with the ginger pastry aficionado to find out how his stream went.
When we first spoke to Rusty he admitted he had no concrete goals for the stream and would be delighted with any amount of money raised.
It is worth noting that South African streams do not get the same levels of viewer numbers as their overseas counterparts. To borrow a lyric from a song by world famous Fortnite player and part time hip-hop artist Drake, we started at the bottom and now we’re… only slightly above the bottom, so expectations will always be tempered.
Even the starting goal was just a nominal number because Rusty was obliged to enter something for the UI to display.
“Initially, when we created the donation link, I just thought I would put R5000 as a benchmark, as I didn’t really have a goal in mind.”
This is where things start to get awesome. That goal was reached quickly, by one incredibly generous individual.
“When it was announced that R5000 was already hit within the first hour, I couldn’t contain my emotions to be honest. It hit me like a truck filled with emotional bricks. I truly send out thanks to not only that person, but to every single person who donated and watched.”
Ultimately, Rusty was able to raise over R11 000 during the stream (GLHF: That’s allota pies.).
Of course, he did not do it alone. He worked very closely with the people at CANSA, featured an exhibition Dota 2 match between eXdee Gaming and Sinister5 Esports and had support from Cougar Gaming and Major Gaming Studios.
“I am truly honoured that so many companies and entities wanted to help me with this project. I owe it truly to all of them for the success to this project. The Dota 2 was so fun to watch and to cast alongside RiddtZ (while he was racking up his swear jar fines), to everyone just interacting. I would LOVE to work with them all in the future again.
What this showed me is that the essence of Ubuntu truly lives in our country, that so many people shared, watched, helped, donated and gamed along with me to make a difference. It makes me truly honoured to have been so blessed to know all of them.”
While Rusty has been a fairly prominent feature of our social media feeds over the last 12 months, he took his foot off the gas a bit recently due to changes in policy at YouTube. However, and thankfully, his experience during the charity event has completely revitalised him.
“Along with a lot of things that have happened in 2018, the stream has truly put into perspective as to why I started my channel in the first place, to make a difference in the world. And being able to do that with this charity livestream has motivated me to once again pursue that goal, of changing the world one smile at a time.”
The only downside to the whole thing, which actually makes the achievement even more impressive, is that the stream happened on the same weekend as RUSH, so a large chunk of people who would’ve watched both had to choose.
Regardless, the stream was indisputably a resounding success and must have Rusty planning on the next one already, right?
“Right now, my focus is back to producing the best YouTube content I can. I want to ensure quality, laughter and a better RPL. To continue trying to change the world one smile at a time. But as for similar projects, I’ll keep it under the hat… for now 😉 Don’t want to spoil the surprise.”
People always like to pretend they aren’t going to share their secrets with us, but everyone caves eventually (GLHF: Everyone.). We’ll be sure to let you know what his plans are as soon as we do.
If you weren’t able to catch the stream live, you should definitely check out the highlights clip here.
Having RUSH and seeing the overwhelming generosity of South African gamers all in one weekend, it easy to understand why Rusty’s passion for gaming has been reinvigorated.
To end off this feel-good segment about South African gaming that we can all be proud of (especially if you were one of the people who donated to Rusty), we leave you with one more round of inspirational appreciation from Rusty himself.
“The only thing I could still add is to thank everyone once again. I say it a lot, but because of everyone involved, we made a huge difference in someone’s life on that day.
But you can make a difference in someone’s life everyday! Simply by saying hello, you could change that person’s day for the better. Keep being the amazing people you are because the world could always use more friendly faces.”