The internet — and in online gaming especially — can be full of terrible people.
But every once in a while, a tidal wave of positivity can swell and submerge the hatred so quickly and deeply that it restores your faith in humanity. Even just for a little while.
Adam “Loop” Bahriz was playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on Monday morning, grouping up with random players for some good old-fashioned terrorist vs. counter-terrorist action. Before the first round began, the 17-year-old hit a key to send his team a pre-typed message:
“sup guys I got a lot of teeth removed due to a genetic disease so I can’t speak that properly, I can still call but be nice.”
With that message on screen, Loop spoke into his mic, suggesting a strategy to kick things off. His desire for teamwork was met with hostility — his teammates told him to stop talking, that he’s annoying, that they were blocking him, and that he’d be muted. Apparently, they thought he was trolling.
After winning the first round, Loop typed out two messages:
After winning the second round, you could see Loop choking back tears on the stream, but he continued to play anyway.
A few rounds later, Loop’s team voted to kick him from the game because he wasn’t communicating.
Loop was streaming on Twitch to a handful of viewers — the entire saga was captured on video. A user on the competitive CS:GO community/service ESEA clipped the relevant portions of Loop’s stream and shared them on the site’s forums. Then Reddit user PDeeee gathered the clips and posted them on the CS:GO subreddit, igniting a groundswell of support for Loop that snowballed throughout the day, turning a shitty morning into (in Loop’s words) the best day of his life.
Loop has a condition called hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy type II that, according to his “About me” section on his Twitch channel, “basically means I am unable to feel pain.” The disease led to him being legally blind and deaf, the removal of almost all of his teeth (which makes it difficult for him to speak and eat), the loss of half his nose, and a handful of other injuries he’s had to deal with.
He doesn’t let all that get him down though. His “About me” ends with this line: “Despite all of this, I still try to keep a positive attitude and be nice to anyone I meet in game or in my chat. And I hope you do too :)”
The combination of Loop’s perseverance, upbeat attitude, and Counter-Strike skills spoke to a lot of people in the Counter-Strike community. As PDeeee’s Reddit post gained traction and Loop’s story spread across the internet, the viewer count on Loop’s Twitch channel steadily grew.
ESEA (where Loop was playing) banned the player that kicked Loop out of his early morning game for a few days.
Some of the top CS:GO pro players in the world gave him shoutouts on Twitter.
By late-afternoon, Loop had over 3,000 concurrent viewers tuning in, with donations popping up on screen almost nonstop.
While many viewers were donating between $1 and $10 throughout the day, a handful of people threw down $100, $200, $500, and even $750. Loop was beside himself.
The majority of the donations that Loop receives on Twitch will go toward denture fees, he explains in his channel description. They are expected to cost about $6,000. He’s already raised enough money, he said on the stream on Tuesday.
When he turns 18 in November, he can get plastic surgery to repair his nose if he raises enough funds for it.
Throughout his stream yesterday, positive comments were pouring in nonstop in the Twitch chat. At one point he had over 300 friend requests on Steam.
Twitch featured one of his highlights on Twitter:
By the end of the day he was playing with pro-level player Ryan “Freakzoid” Abadir, who has previously played for Echo Fox and Cloud9.
His stream lasted nearly 15 hours. The positivity never stopped.
Loop signed off with a message he typed out in the Twitch chat: “see you guys tomorrow or the day after best day ever.”
Today, one of the biggest team organizations in esports reached out to Loop to offer him a streaming contract — Team EnVyUs.
As he streamed for over 5,000 people today, he couldn’t stop thanking everyone — the viewers, the donators, and everyone else who come to his side.
“This is absolutely ridiculous,” he said. “My life is different. Thanks so much. This is a dream come true. I never thought this would happen. I’ve been playing this game for almost five years now — just for fun — and then this shit happens? You know what I mean? It’s crazy.”