A streamer broke her back in two places after jumping in a foam pit at TwitchCon

Image for A streamer broke her back in two places after jumping in a foam pit at TwitchCon
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Update: A Lenovo representative told Rolling Stone that the company is "aware of the incidents of TwitchCon visitors who sustained injuries in the gladiator game soft foam pit at the Lenovo booth. The area has since been closed for any further use while we work with event organizers to look into the incidents."


Original story: After jumping into a foam pit during an event at TwitchCon San Diego over the weekend, Adriana Chechik (opens in new tab), a Twitch streamer with 802,000 followers, broke her back in two places (opens in new tab) and had to have metal support rods surgically inserted into it. 

The Lenovo Legion booth hosted a Face Off (opens in new tab) event at which streamers tried to knock each other off raised podiums using padded poles, as in the show Gladiators. The platforms were placed in a foam pit, though perhaps the word "pit" is generous, as it looked like little more than a thin layer of foam cubes scattered across a kind of inflatable pool sitting on the convention's hard floor.

Though Chechik's injury was the most severe, she wasn't the only streamer hurt in the foam pit. LochVaness (opens in new tab) dislocated her knee and sprained her ankle after stepping off a podium following her victory (opens in new tab), and others have complained of back pain (opens in new tab) and difficulty walking (opens in new tab) following falls of their own.

While contestants were warned against diving into the pit, and had to sign liability waivers, a commentator at the booth (opens in new tab) had said they were "all about safety here at the Lenovo Legion booth. Wanna have good clean fun, be able to jump into that foam and enjoy yourself at the end of the day." It seems like everyone assumed more care was being taken to make the foam pit, which was placed there so people could fall into it, was actually safe for an adult human being to fall into. 

The pit was eventually closed (opens in new tab), so hopefully that's the end of the injuries and the end of a convention pit shaping up to be as infamous as the ball pit at DashCon (opens in new tab).

Another streamer was hurt earlier at TwitchCon in an unrelated incident. Genshin Impact streamer Zummmers (opens in new tab) was competing in the World Balloon Cup, an event where players compete to keep a balloon in the air. The competition was staged in an enclosed mockup of a living room, and Zummmers broke her ankle (opens in new tab) after jumping over a chair.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games (opens in new tab). He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun (opens in new tab), The Big Issue, GamesRadar (opens in new tab), Zam (opens in new tab), Glixel (opens in new tab), Five Out of Ten Magazine (opens in new tab), and Playboy.com (opens in new tab), whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.