During the month of May, Extra Life’s current top fundraiser, Aureylian, worked with Twitch to set up the event Mining for Charity. Four teams totaling forty-eight Twitch broadcasters competed in ten different Mineplex minigames. Each team represented a different charity organization: AbleGamers, Child’s Play, Extra Life, and Stand for the Silent. The team that racked up the most points over the course of the month of Mineplex games won a $5,000 prize for their charity. Unfortunately, Extra Life came in third place, but even third place received a pretty nice chunk of change courtesy of some Twitch auctions.
I had the opportunity to ask Aureylian some questions regarding Mining for Charity and her own involvement in Extra Life.
How did you first get involved in Extra Life?
I was invited to go along to the Celebration last year in Orlando along with some other gamers and Twitch employees to learn more about Extra Life. After meeting all of the kids, and being a gamer and mom myself, it seems like I was meant to be there. I have become so passionate about Extra Life, because it literally hits every major aspect of my life.
What is your goal for this year and what are you going to try differently to achieve it (besides Minecraft charity tournaments)?
My goal for this year is $25k. I've done a few shorter livestreams already this year and am planning at least two more (including the National Game Day). I've started integrating incentives in my game play (like renaming missions in Minecraft to donators of certain levels) and stopping livestreams to sing karaoke when someone donates $25. It's a continued effort throughout the year and a big part of my daily life, not just something I do once a year.
You are currently our top fundraiser (which is so flippin' amazing). How have you gone about raising money and what do you think other people do to emulate your success on that particular front? Or, to put it another way, how can other people be as fantastic as yourself?
Haha, well, not sure I'm THAT fantastic. Like I said before, Extra Life is something I am so passionate about that I speak about it and involve it on an almost daily basis. I work in my local office to donate my time, as well as raise funds and involve as many people I can. I don't know that anyone [could exactly] emulate my success, but I did help write a pretty cool tips piece on the blog for Extra Life last year that seemed to help a few people.
You work at Twitch, so can you speak to how Twitch has gotten involved with Extra Life on a company-wide level?
Twitch supports many charities. As an organization, we donate many resources to help promote and ensure the success of streamers who choose to stream for charity. Specifically for events like Mining For Charity, we leverage our user base to help nonprofits get exposure and involve content creators in the promotion of great causes.
Okay, I pay follow eSports a fair amount and I've played many more hours of Minecraft than I'd care to admit in polite company, but I've never really heard about a Minecraft tournament. Could you explain how that works, where did the idea come from, etc.?
I came up with the idea and Mineplex made it come to life. For Mining for Charity, we had four teams of 12 players (8 full time and 4 alternates). They competed each week in a series of Minecraft minigames for four weeks. Depending on their placement in each round, they received points, and at the end of the day, the place of their points determined the daily points they received. At the end of the tournament, two teams tied for first, so they went into a tiebreaker round. The goal was not only to have our content creators collaborate and help grow their audiences, but to help support charities we are passionate about in the process. Prior to the start of the tournament, each team was allowed to pick their own charity to play on behalf of, and we of course were thrilled when one of our teams chose to play on behalf of Extra Life. Twitch donated a designated amount to first place and funds were also raised by auctioning off a rare White Twitch hoodie and limited edition Twitch Minecraft shirt, both signed by Minecraft content creator. Those proceeds were all divided among 2nd, 3rd and 4th place teams.
As Mike said in that introductory email, who were the casters that got involved so we can shower them with praise?
A huge thanks to Aureylian, he co-workers at Twitch, and all of the amazing people who participated in Mining for Charity!