A Twitch streamer says she broke her back in two places after jumping in a foam pit live at TwitchCon on Saturday. In a brutal video that’s painful to watch, streamer and adult performer Adriana Chechik happily jumps into the pit but then begins to writhe in pain almost immediately after she lands. Chechik told her followers on social media that she will be getting surgery and have a rod inserted into her back for support.
“Well, I broke my back in two places and am getting surgery to put a meter [sic] rod in for support today. Send your support. When it rains it pours and I am definitely feeling the rain right now,” Chechik tweeted on Sunday.
According to reports from media outlets at TwitchCon, including the Washington Post and BuzzFeed News, the foam pit was not set up and did not belong to Twitch, but rather part of a booth from Lenovo, which was promoting its Legion series of gaming PCs. The “Legion by Lenovo” booth hosted one on one “gladiator tournaments,” where participants stood on a plank and aimed to knock their opponent down with a purple “weapon” that looks like something you would find at the gym.
The pit was full of foam blocks that, while a bit squishy, were quite firm, both outlets stated. Furthermore, the foam blocks were not equally spread out in the pit, with some areas being as shallow as two feet, or a little over half a meter, according to BuzzFeed News. Beneath the blocks, a mat covered the concrete floor at the venue. Twitter user @Mr_Protocol shared a telling image of the pit from afar.
Gizmodo reached out to Twitch for comment on the incident on Monday morning. The platform declined to comment and directed us to contact Lenovo about its booth. Twitch also declined to confirm whether the booth was also sponsored by Intel, whose signage on the booth and the stream can clearly be seen, and deferred to Lenovo.
When asked whether Twitch would be making any public statement regarding the accidents suffered by Chechik and others, the streamer told Gizmodo on Tuesday that it was not commenting on the incident.
Lenovo told Gizmodo on Monday that it was aware of the incidents with the foam booth and was working with Twitch to look into them.
“We are aware of the incidents of TwitchCon visitors who sustained injuries in the gladiator game soft foam pit at the Lenovo booth,” Lenovo communications officer Lisa Marie Ferrell told Gizmodo in an email. “Safety remains our top priority and we are working with event organizers to look into the incidents.”
Gizmodo also reached out to Intel on Sunday but did not receive a response.
On Twitter, Chechik criticized Lenovo for telling people they could dive in the pit, although there doesn’t seem to be a consensus on that. Other TwitchCon participants have stated that Lenovo told them specifically not to dive into the pit. In addition, the Washington Post reported that Lenovo had participants sign waivers acknowledging the possibility of physical harm or damage to their property.
To support her argument, Chechik included a Twitch video where one of the streaming hosts says, “you could do a pit dive from the StreetFighter booth.” It’s not exactly clear what he means when he mentions the “StreetFighter booth,” although developer Capcom was in attendance presenting a demo of StreetFighter 6.
“Why did @LenovoLegion say here, you can dive in? They open the pit up a second day after the 1st person injured their foot and ankle bad enough to leave #twitchcon in a brace,” she wrote. “Multiple ppl [were] injured and they kept the pit open, said jump in booty first!”
The streamer also called out Lenovo for keeping the pit open on Sunday even after other people got injured. She was joined by many on social media, who were outraged at Twitch and Lenovo. Many questioned how Twitch could have allowed a foam pit like this at TwitchCon in the first place.
On Monday, Chechik tweeted a short update about her condition. It’s not clear whether she has had her surgery yet or who will end up paying for her medical expenses.
“Last night was horrible, the pain I had I felt like I’d rather die. This is gonna suck,” she wrote.
Furthermore, Chechik is right about not being the only who got injured in Lenovo’s foam pit. The other streamer that appeared with her in the video, EdyBot, said on Twitter that although she fell into the foam pit very lightly, she still “felt a jolt up my back, and had pain for the rest of the night.”
On the other hand, Twitch streamer LochVaness was hurt more seriously in the foam pit. She stated that she dislocated her knee and sprained her ankle in Lenovo’s foam pit, which forced her to go to the hospital. In a video shared by LochVaness, you can see her jumping off the plank into the pit, which is when she got injured.
While the booth was sponsored by Lenovo, LochVaness said on Twitter that her trust in Twitch had been broken.
“I will never be able to trust @Twitch at another convention in my entire life,” the streamer tweeted on Sunday night.
On Tuesday, Chechik tweeted that she was about to go into surgery and her followers to send well wishes.
“Terrified about to get surgery right now. Wish me luck!” the streamer said.
Update 10/10/2022, 12:10 p.m. ET: This post has been updated with additional comment from Lenovo.
Update 10/11/2022, 6:25 p.m. ET: This post has been updated with additional comment from Twitch and an update from Chechik.