Relentless streamer Ben "CohhCarnage" Cassell has recently completed a 2,000 consecutive day streak streaming games via Twitch.
Even for people who are crazy over video games, 2,000 days of straight streaming seems like a huge stretch. Yet Cassel, who had two children during this remarkable run, did not miss a single day since he started five years ago, keeping things going through holidays, illness, birthdays and births for at least 30 minutes a day but 6-10 hours per day on average.
Cassell ended his streak on April 6, having started in 2013. And, as you can well imagine, he's not really sure what to do now - the world has changed vastly over these last few years and he may have a lot of catching up to do.
“I... uh... have no idea what to do tomorrow,” he said after reading an emotional message from his community moderators “This is new.”
Things were very different when Cassel decided he would go on a streaming run in 2013 - not even he thought it would last this long, having planned to try it for six months at first. He had just left an IT job and was taking online courses on game design. There were no kids and plenty of free time, so why not?
“I’m definitely a creature of habit, which really helps in this situation,” he told Kotaku via Discord. “And I kind of said, ‘You know what? Let’s keep going with it. Let’s turn six months into a year, and then maybe at the end of the year we’ll see how we’re feeling.’ And a year became two years, two years became four years. Four years became forever. Basically, after four years I said, ‘You know what? I’m streaming every single day, but no more goals, no more stretches. I’m just going to stream every day."
There was a whole lot to deal with during the streak. Cassell, a big animal person, lost two dogs and a cat but he stuck to the task diligently. There were days he was sick and even had to take the camera to the toilet.
“The hardest times of the streak was going through these large personal losses and then getting on with the express purpose of entertaining people for hours at a time,” he said. “It’s very hard to entertain people when you are really just not feeling good. But we got through it.”
There were plenty of good times too. Cassel's first son Roen was born two years ago and it must have been as challenging as it was great. And while he did not stream from the hospital (phew!), he did stream that day.
Over the years, Cassel has built a team around him and now has 16 paid assistants to help with research, ensure that his systems are up to date and that he's playing the right games based on viewership demand.
After five years, Cassel took his first day off on April 7. He would have quit a little earlier due to the birth of his second child but, after realizing that the 2,000-day mark was close, he decided that it would be his last consecutive day.
“Over these five years, I have become a father, twice,” he says. “My wife is now a full-time mother, so she’s at home a lot more. We have a lot more going on, and it’s just like getting to the end of a chapter in a book. I got to the point where I said, ‘You know what? This is no longer who I am. This is no longer my life. It’s time to close that chapter and see what comes next.’”