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Streamer pretended to play a live UFC match – get him an Oscar

by Eric Frederiksen | December 7, 2017December 7, 2017 8:00 am EST

I’m pretty sure that even when I’m playing games I like, I’m not terribly animated. How long could I pretend to play a game before someone figured it out? That’s just what streamer AJ Lester did, netting himself a ton of attention on social media and a temporary ban from the Twitch streaming service.

Making like any streaming gamer, Lester held a controller in his hands and wore headphones on his head, mimicking gameplay motions as fighters went at it in this weekend’s pay-per-view broadcast of the UFC 218.

UFC seems to be going after even short clips of the stream with a vengeance, but even if you can’t view it the preview shot gives you an idea of Lester’s setup.

Lester isn’t the first person to stream a broadcast of a pay-per-view event, but his commitment to the bit and how that tweet blew up – 77,000 retweets – make it memorable. Lester managed to stream the entire fight, though the behavior did earn him a 24-hour ban on Twitch. Since the initial stream, Lester has picked up thousands of new viewers and social media followers. Lester pretending to play the game was uniquely clever. Outside of sports games, few games have a real-enough look that you could confuse them at a glance, and EA’s UFC 3 is definitely in that group.

Despite how aggressively UFC has been going after clips of the stream, Lester says he hasn’t heard from any official sources about retribution for the stream. With how many other streamers do this, UFC would have to go after a whole pile of people if they went after Lester. But he’s also an especially high-profile example who stamped his face and name on the act, rather than just an anonymous account. I hope UFC sees this as the free viral attention it is, because it would be sad to see something this funny end in a lawsuit.


Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...