The start to 2019 has been awfully kind to Jaryd “Summit1G” Lazar, a popular Twitch streamer who has found new life on Sea of Thieves from the start of December going into today.
After spending a lot of 2018 drifting through Twitch and playing a variety of games, Summit has settled on Sea of Thieves and it has paid off big time for him. He’s currently at his highest subscriber count ever at 32,000+ at the time of this writing. He’s also been bringing in upwards of 60,000 concurrent viewers to his stream rivaling and oftentimes topping the biggest streams on Twitch, including Ninja.
The viewers that watch Summit don’t tend to complain about how he plays but he has certainly ruffled some feathers in the community itself. A typical Summit1G stream revolves around him stealing an Athena’s Chest. The Athena’s Chest or Chest of Legends is only available as a voyage for those who have reached Pirate Legend, meaning they have reached rank 50 in all three of the alliances. These voyages take hours to complete which means having one stolen from you will result in a lot of lost money and hours of your life.
Summit will try to sneak onto a boat and hide until the boat owners complete the voyage and obtain the chest. From there he will get his crew and steal the chest from them and the result is something you’ll either love or hate depending on what side of the coin you’re on.
Summit’s Athena’s Heist videos have been hits on YouTube with both of them gaining hundreds of thousands of views. Until lately he’s been server hopping to find unsuspecting players on these Athena’s voyages but now he’s been infiltrating manmade PvE servers.
Sea of Thieves doesn’t have an option to choose from PvP or PvE servers but that hasn’t stopped dedicated players from creating their own. There are various Discord servers out there where players group up and get on the same server together.
This is done by convincing other players in the server to “sell” their slot to a friend which will eventually fill up the remaining boats in a server to people you know. This allows players to all join an alliance and reap all of the rewards without the fear of having your loot jacked.
Summit’s streams have brought a lot of attention to these servers, or PvExploit, as he calls them, and there has been discussion as to whether this is a fair way to play the game.
What Summit has been doing lately is finding his way into these servers under the guise of being friendly and then stealing all of the loot from these boats. This tactic has created a lot of unrest with those who run the servers.
While many of the replies to the above tweet berate the writer, it’s clear there is a sizable part of the community that takes part in these servers or communities to become free of the PvP aspect of the game. While it’s not an outright exploit since no rules are being broken, it has sparked a discussion about how ethical these servers are.
On r/Seaofthieves, a subreddit dedicated to the game, there seems to be a post every day discussing whether Summit is good or bad for the overall health of the game. At the very least, Summit’s play has given the community something to talk about until the next big update comes around. Coincidentally the Arena will be the next update and it will be a PvP-centric mode.
It’s hard to argue the impact he has had on the game lately because by watching just one stream of his you’ll see a lot of new players asking questions about how hard it is to play solo or mentioning they picked the game up because of him.
Similarly, there are several questions like this on r/Seaofthieves and a lot of this can be chalked up to the developers adding to the game in the roughly nine months since launch. A pinned post on the subreddit that has more than 1,300 upvotes links to all of the updates the game has received over time which shows how much has truly changed about the game since launch.
Many of the new players can possibly be chalked up to the fact it has been discounted to half price due to the holidays and it can also be obtained with an Xbox Game Pass membership, which has been going for as low as $1 for a month.
Whatever the case may be, Summit1G has brought more eyes to the game and whether that will be a good thing in the future remains to be seen. Summit has said he is playing with the developers during their next livestream so we’ll see if this controversy has blown over by then or if it will spill into that stream.
Sea of Thieves is out now on Xbox One and PC.