A Dota 2 player in Tempe, Arizona was robbed at gunpoint in the middle of playing a match of the popular online video game and broadcasting it on Twitch.
News of the the robbery began to circulate online almost instantaneously since the game was being live-streamed. You can watch the portion of the video that captures the real-world events up top. It shows Dota 2 player Nikki Elise, who plays the game and streams footage under the online handle Sajedene, doing normal Dota stuff for a few moments before hearing a knock at the door. She then runs to investigate, and a minute later someone holding a gun steps into the frame.
Elise's Twitch channel, which originally broadcast the footage, is now closed. A statement on the landing page reads: "The community has closed this channel due to terms of service violations." As of this writing her Twitter account has also remained inactive, with no tweets being sent that address the robbery.
Matthew Bailey of the eSports-focused website onGamers said on Twitter that Elise and her fellow Dota 2 streamer are "very shaken up but ok."
I've reached out to Twitch and the Dota 2 players involved in this story for comment and will update this story as soon as I hear back.
Update #1 5:40 PM EDT: I haven't managed to get in touch with the specific Dota 2 players involved in the robbery yet, but a local news report from Tempe, Arizona has confirmed with the police that the robbery took place and one suspect has already been apprehended. From the report:
The woman is well-known among Dota 2 players and had her Web camera on as part of the game.
"At that point gamers from around the world were watching the home invasion occur while trying to contact the corresponding law enforcement agency," he said.
While the gamers who were online with the victim saw what was happening, they did not know where it was happening.
It was a friend of the victim who called police and sent them to the woman's home.
Officers took him into custody after a short foot chase. The second suspect is still on the loose. Police set up a large perimeter and brought in air support for their manhunt.
The report added that Elise was not physically harmed during the robbery.
Update #2 7:50 PM EDT: Another report, this one from FOX 10, corroborates most of the AZ Family report included in the previous update. The main difference between the two reports is that FOX 10 credits the online Dota community with helping local police respond to the robbery, while AZ Family initially suggested that the people watching the game remotely couldn't tell where the break-in was taking place. Here's an excerpt from the FOX story with some excellent quotes:
Early Monday morning the online battle known as Defense of the Ancient's became a real battle for gamers playing a Tempe woman known online as Sajaden.
Her live on-line game cam showed Sejaden being startled as two home invaders broke into her apartment.
The suspects were unaware of the woman's online live camera and started rifling through the apartment stealing guns.
Meanwhile around the on-line gaming community and around the world gamers mounted the alarm and took action.
"The person that made the original call was in Europe, they called someone here in the United States. That person then called the Tempe Police Department," said Lieutenant Mike Pooley with the Tempe Police Department.
"I wasn't actually there, I have a friend that streams video games online through a webcam, and I had a bunch of people tell me that someone came in with a gun, and it looks like they were robbing them," said a 911 caller.
Tempe Police got the apartment in time to catch one of the two suspects. Sajadene and her roommate are okay.
Officers say this was a world-wide effort which isn't easy to explain to a 9-1-1 dispatcher who asked the caller from Chandler where he got the original tip from.
"He uh, doesn't live in the country... he lives somewhere in Europe, I don't remember the country exactly," said the caller.
The report adds that one of the two suspects involved in the robbery has been identified by authorities as 27 year-old Edgardo Martinez. The other suspect managed to evade the police and is still on the run.