After an epic 24-hour battle with Malenia and 1,700 deaths, Kai Cenat has finally beaten Elden Ring

Still of Kai Cenat streaming Elden Ring marathon
(Image credit: Kai Cenat (Twitch))

It took more than 165 hours of struggling and 1,700 brutal, sometimes funny, deaths, but Kai Cenat—one of the biggest streamers on Twitch—has finally beaten Elden Ring.

I became aware of Cenat's Herculean effort last night, when a cryptic, single-line message appeared in my Twitter feed: "Kai Cenat has been fighting Malenia for 10 hours straight."


It was true. Not only that, he had been playing Elden Ring for nearly 130 hours by that point, and had died more than 1,400 times. 

At one point during the epic battle, he thought he had her, only to find out that no, it wasn't going to be quite that easy.

By the time he finally felled Elden Ring's infamously difficult demigod, he was up to 148.5 hours and had died more than 200 times more. Bards used to sing about such heroics; men of old would write epic poems celebrating the mighty deeds. Given that, I would say the celebration was more than warranted.

Malenia is the big hoss in Elden Ring, but far from the only big problem, and for my money Cenat discovering that Starscourge Radahn is not quite the pushover he thought makes for an even funnier moment:

Man, I know that feeling.

Much like me, Cenat is apparently not a soulslike player, which of course led to problems. According to Kotaku, for instance, he spent six hours dicking around with a Tree Sentinel mini-boss near the start of the game.

It's the kind of thing that wears a man down.

His marathon eventually attracted the attention of Elden Ring publisher Bandai Namco, which urged him on:

(Image credit: Bandai Namco (Twitter))

He did indeed persevere, and in the end—also like me—he came out transformed by the experience. "This game is a masterpiece," Cenat said when his marathon was finally over. "I've never felt something in my soul like this. I don't know what game compares to this right now ... This is my favorite game that I've ever played for a marathon on stream, and that's fact.

"I've never felt this good about gaming since 2017, and I mean that. I used to look at Spider-Man like it was the best fucking game ever. Now every game I touch after this will be mentally easier for me. Do you understand that? This game broke me down mentally, and built me up mentally. So Elden Ring, you have my respect ... I used to play 2K, Call of Duty, and I just thought that was peak. This opened my eyes to what can be peak."

He's not wrong. And now, he is the Elden Lord.

(Image credit: Kai Cenat (Twitter))
Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.