Having a disability doesn’t prevent you from becoming a video game fan. Sven van de Wege demonstrates it brilliantly: this Dutch player is a Street Fighter V champion… while he is blind!
Sven van de Wege aka BlindWarriorSven is a real sensation on Twitch. The player offers his subscribers to come and face him in Street Fighter V, despite a handicap that is apparently impossible to overcome: Sven is indeed blind. He lost his eyesight after cancer in his youth, but that didn’t stop him from doing what he loves in life, which is playing video games.
Play by ear
The one who sometimes wears a blindfold to prove that he really plays blindly has learned Street Fighter “By ear”. Based on the sound effects of Capcom’s game, it locates the characters on the screen and their actions. Therefore, he can react to it and his way of fighting is really effective: he beats about 80% of his opponents! Better yet, he blasted the best players in the world in tournaments.
Sven hosts his Twitch streams on Sundays, but he trains all week to have the sounds perfectly in mind. He can thus develop attack and defense techniques and thus shine against other sighted players. It also happens to tackle other games, but he regrets the few accessibility options that publishers offer in their titles.
Currently, Sven’s channel has around fifty viewers per broadcast (its channel has just crossed the threshold of 3,000 subscribers). The 35-year-old computer scientist would now like to make a living on Twitch playing and beating other players, but there will still be a long way to go. His next goal is to become a partner of the platform to generate greater income.