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  • Maxwell Maceluch

Gamer Attempts to Speedrun War in Ukraine; Dies

War, what is it good for? Playing soldier and attempting to reap personal ego-boosting glory in a foreign army while innocent civilians die, obviously. This weekend, Twitch streamer Hans Cummings decided to do just this; he recorded his attempt to blast through the Russian invasion of Ukraine at any percent in hopes to gain more subs for his milquetoast speedrunning channel. Instead of amassing a greater following, he amassed a round’s worth of ammunition into an already shattered chest; one that he had exploded moments earlier after attempting to utilize a speedrunning technique called a “superslide”.

For the uninformed, speedrunning is a popular challenge where someone attempts to complete a video game in as fast a time as possible. Whether they will use shortcuts, glitches, lies, exploits, or tools to attain their record time is determined by which sort of run they decide to go for, and the self-imposed conditions that they must meet in order to “win”. Cummings considered this to be “obliterating Putin in the very throne he sits on”. According to his post-landing stream, Cummings believed that once he met this condition, he would bring about an instant end to the war in Ukraine.*

Cummings, known online as QuickFish2Catch, had proposed the half-baked idea on a stream that took place following the day that Russia announced its initial invasion of Ukraine. He insisted that all funds raised over a period of two weeks would go towards helping Ukraine. In a way, they did. Fueling his trip to the motherland with GFuel sponsorships and donations from his prior streams, Cummings brandished a variety of “tactical” gear. These included a parachute, a really cool military coat from a surplus store that had no tactical advantage whatsoever, dozens of compressed air cans, and a variety of airsoft weaponry (I cannot specify what weaponry because that requires looking up firearms on school WiFi). Despite all this community support, viewers knew he was practically destined to die for a cause. A few members of his chat raised the idea that he could have at least paid for the GoPro he used to livestream his foray into battle, but they were promptly banned by Cummings’s moderation team.

Following the initial “drop” into the city of Kyiv via a Mil Mi-7 Russian supply helicopter that Cummings somehow managed to hitch a ride on, countless viewers got motion sickness from a combination of his stream’s first-person perspective and a technique he referred to as gaining “M-speed.” This entailed jumping as much as possible whenever he ran. By his own account, this technique would enable him to achieve airborne speeds not possible through groundwork alone. However, Cummings quickly abandoned it after realizing how out of breath it made him and nearly suffering an asthma attack, which he claimed “would have ended the run early”.

This was far from the only strategy he implemented, however. “Whenever he tried to enter a building,” General Ivan Kravchenko recounts, “he would start erratically rubbing himself on the walls and the door. I asked him if he was experiencing the side effects of chemical warfare and he explained to me that he was trying to save time by building enough speed to enter a parallel universe since he couldn’t just ‘clip’ through it. I went ‘okay’ and let him continue. Crazy Americans…” Most witnesses agree that he was losing more time than anything, but Cummings insisted that he was “playing the long-game as the ultimate shortcut.”

Cummings was ultimately cut down after attempting a superslide. Considered the quickest mode of travel in Ocarina of Time, “supersliding” entails back flipping directly in front of an active explosive and immediately deploying a shield so the recoil allows one to drift across the ground. Although Cummings was able to successfully achieve the first step to the shock of his viewers, the ballistic shield he looted from an abandoned car was not enough to actually protect him from the following pointblank blast. While the barely alive Cummings managed to survive this initial blast, he was promptly gunned down by enemy fire moments later. His last words between these two events were on how the explosion would shave seconds off his run for the distance it nevertheless brought him and he was right; he just didn’t realize how many seconds it would shave.

Oddly enough, at least one private infantry recognized the streamer as he darted through Kyiv. When interviewed, they gave no effort in hiding the various Nazi insignia patches that riddled their armor. “I love raiding Twitch streams with slurs,” captive Commander Malenʹkyy Viner explained after we ripped the tape off his mouth, “and now I get to take part in the coolest thing ever with one of the guys I loved to raid the most. I love killing, it’s just so cool.” Upon gathering everything needed from them, we at The BUTT decided to demonstrate just how cool killing is for these guys by personally executing them and dispersing their equipment to those in need. “If he was alive today,” Twitch-streamer-based Twitch streamer Twitch_Str3am3r postulates, “I imagine he’d be making a teary-eyed apology video denouncing these sorts of fans while doing whatever he could to scrub clips of him fighting alongside them (because I guess he was too busy speedrunning to notice their glaring Swastikas) off Twitter.”

Cummings serves as a reminder to stop, to think, and to please not perform sick tricks in front of bombs in warzones or, if you do, to not hold this website liable. I want this war over with as soon as possible myself, especially since I’m of Ukrainian ancestry (yeah woo Слава Україні Пу́тін — хуйло́), but speedrun strategies may not always be the best means to achieve that. Please speedrun responsibly, and preferably do so with your ass planted firmly on a couch or gaming chair. However, despite his new existence as bits of “gibs” strewn about the city of Kyiv, there is a diamond and gold lining to Cummings’ death. His stream is still live and, at the rate his timer is going, he may be able to achieve the world record for the longest speedrun in warfare posthumously. Popular archive has made a statement clarifying that it will not be counting any other true combat run after this as to discourage copycats because someone “dying on stream” just isn’t enough for most gamers.

*Someone should pick up from where he left off, hopefully via alternate means. We’d all love to see his goal become a reality; killing world leaders is certainly an efficient strategy when it comes to ending global conflict, and who wouldn’t want Putin to get the Gaddafi treatment (apart from Putin). Still, real life speedrunning probably isn’t the best way to go about this.

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