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The Untold Truth Of Sean 'Day9' Plott

He's been called "the first eSports entrepreneur" by Red Bull. He's always busy, whether he's attending an event, putting together an online show, or simply streaming a game for his audience. And those who've ever watched or interacted with him will tell you: he has one of the world's most infectious laughs.

His name is Sean Plott. But to those in the StarCraft community, or for those who subscribe to him on Twitch, he's better known as Day9.

Day9 is currently 32 years old, which means he started on his journey toward becoming a major video game personality around 21 years ago. He accomplished quite a bit along the way, but unlike a lot of people who've found fame online, his notoriety hasn't faded away. He's still adding onto his resume, still keeping himself involved with games, and still making content for his fans. And those fans can probably tell you about all of his major career milestones.

But there are some things Day9 fans may not know. And that's what we're going to talk about now.

Here's the untold truth of Sean 'Day9' Plott.

He started playing StarCraft at a super young age

Most fans probably know that Day9 played StarCraft professionally. He's stayed pretty involved with the StarCraft series, casting professional matches even though he no longer plays as a pro. But some may not know just how far Day9 and StarCraft go back. Spoiler: it's way back.

Day9 started playing StarCraft for the first time in 1998 when he was just 11 years old.

He instantly felt a connection to the game, as did his older brother, Nick 'Tasteless' Plott. And the two started playing the game a lot, eventually entering tournaments together and working to get better. The two became so good, in fact, that they both made it into the late stages of the World Cyber Games tournament in 2005 — and Day9 beat Tasteless on his way to winning it all.

Day9 would go on to win another championship at the WCG Pan-American tournament in 2007, but juggling gaming and college was now becoming an issue. So he started writing articles about StarCraft strategy instead. And before long, he became a must-have caster at tournaments.

Then came the transition to online video.

He was the first Twitch partner to receive a subscription button

As Day9 became a content-creating presence in the StarCraft community, streaming video sites like Twitch were starting to pick up steam. And in that era, Twitch wasn't the well-oiled machine it is today. The site was a video game offshoot of Justin.TV, lacking a lot of the features and automation found in the current iteration of Twitch.

Case in point: partnered streamers didn't even have subscription buttons back then. And Day9, as one of the earliest Twitch partners, received the first. But it wasn't as simple as checking a box for the Twitch team. Instead, they had to hard-code the button onto Day9's Twitch page.

From that time until just a few short years ago, Day9 hosted a Twitch and YouTube show called The Day9 Daily that touched on a variety of topics, including chats about games, life events, and other stories. And though he doesn't produce or air Day9 Daily shows anymore, you can still find him uploading YouTube videos about the games he's playing, as well as his thoughts on what's happening in eSports.

He's also a huge fan of the game Hearthstone

So what's been keeping Day9 away from producing his Day9 Daily shows? Well, it's time for one. According to Day9, it takes several hours for him to prep a show — time he's increasingly running low on. But there's another timesuck that's shown up and captured his attention, and it has nothing to do with StarCraft.

It's Hearthstone, the Warcraft-inspired digital card game that released back in 2014.

Day9 may not be making much use of Twitch for his now-defunct daily show, but he's been streaming an awful lot of Hearthstone for anyone who cares to watch. And some of his play has made headlines. For instance, there's this clip, in which Day9 takes part in one of the craziest Heartstone games ever.

Blizzard, the studio behind Hearthstone, has wisely caught on to Day9's appreciation for the game. He's now a regular at reveal events for new cards, enabling Day9 to draw in new fans and expose his existing audience to an entirely new game.

Publishers and event organizers love him too

Most fans who tune in for Day9's content have nothing but good things to say about him. That's to be expected. But even professional media outlets shower him with praise. PC World, for instance, said he covered StarCraft II material "with the patience and detail of your favorite college professor." And Swedish National Television even weighed in, saying that Day9 is "very funny and charming and is something of a symbol for gamer geeks in the most positive way."

Talk about laying it on thick.

It should come as no surprise, then, that Day9 is often tapped to host video-game-related events. And we're not just talking about the StarCraft games he'll cast as part of that community. In the past, he served as host of The International, a major Dota 2 tournament. And he's the yearly host of the PC Gaming Show at E3.

But events aren't all that he hosts.

He hosts a Magic: The Gathering-focused web show

Day9 may be well known in the video game space, but he's also building up an audience in the world of Magic: The Gathering. And it makes sense. Just as StarCraft is a game that asks players to think strategically, Magic is also a game that requires wits and a solid game plan. And a little bit of luck, of course.

The skills translate. Day9 is pretty good at Magic. And when you combine that with his formidable hosting skills, you can see why fans tune in for his Geek & Sundry web show, Spellslingers.

Spellslingers is part-entertainment and part-education. Day9 plays Magic: The Gathering with the people he calls his "nerd friends," playing the game against his opponent while also talking through strategy and whatever else comes up. And people seem to love it. Earlier seasons of the show racked up "millions of views," according to Tube Filter, and the show was recently re-upped for a fourth season, which kicked off on May 30, 2018.

When he's frustrated or angry, he goes on a long run

Life isn't always easy. And when things gets overwhelming, feelings of frustration aren't uncommon. How you handle those feelings — well, that's up to you. You can either lash out, or you can find a more constructive way to get that frustration out.

For Day9, it's a long run, something he's been doing a lot more since he started dieting. But he wasn't always good at calming himself down. And in a video post, he talked about it.

"I have, many a time, gone on a three-hour run, even if I'm out of shape, because it's the only way I can figure out how to just get rid of it."

The post had to do with news that Greg "IdrA" Fields had been booted from his pro StarCraft team because of his temper. Day9 spoke about how his own temper flared up in the past. "If you never thought I'd get angry enough to break something, I destroyed something quite valuable to me," he said, holding up a keyboard.

He then talked about the importance of finding a release for frustration, and how "withholding" destruction is a far better choice.

He made the Forbes 30 Under 30 list

In 2014, the Forbes "30 Under 30" list included a category for video games. And wow, did that list have a whole bunch of interesting names in it. Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus VR, was one. Another was John Graham, who co-founded Humble Bundle and ultimately sold his company to IGN in 2017. And then there's pro gamer Stephanie Harvey — better known as missharvey — who parlayed her Counter-Strike career into a design job at Ubisoft, and went on to win Canada's Smartest Person, for crying out loud.

You can probably guess who else made that list in 2014: Sean "Day9" Plott.

In its rundown on Day9, Forbes called him "one of the biggest names in e-sports," and highlighted that he was able to transform "a daily webshow into an entire site for gamers."

Forbes also dropped some info about a job change Plott had recently made at the time. We'll get into that next.

He worked as a designer for a game studio called Artillery Games

A Google search for "Artillery Games" doesn't turn up much useful information. In fact, you'll come to learn upon doing the search that "artillery games" seem to be a genre of game unto themselves. If it has artillery in it, it's an artillery game.

But a few short years ago, the phrase took on a different meaning. Artillery Games, with the capital letters intact, was a startup game studio that wanted to make browser-based strategy games. And in 2013, Day9 went to work there as a designer.

"I'll be joining with Artillery to put those years of RTS design ideas into a real, tangible game," he told viewers in a video. "The entire game will run in-browser with virtually no load time."

It's presumed that the game Day9 was referring to was Guardians of Atlas, which focused on — as the company put it — "fast-paced multiplayer gaming action." But we never got to see the work Day9 — or even Artillery, for that matter — put into the title. Day9 left Artillery in 2016 to focus on creating content once more, and Artillery ended development of the game a few months later.

Hopefully he gets another crack at game design in the future.

There's an interesting story behind his name

Professional gaming is chock full of weird names. How does one land on Hungrybox, for instance? Or Fly100%? And then how does someone named Chris, seeing those kinds of names, use a plain nickname like PC Chris? Those are questions for another day. But if you've ever wondered how Day9 got his name, that's a question you can get the answer to right now.

The one he wanted was taken.

At the time Sean Plott was picking out a nickname for himself, the tag "Day" by itself was claimed. Everyone had cool nicknames, and Sean didn't. But he couldn't use Day. So he simply added a 9 to the end.

"I wanted a cool one-word name," he recounted in the 100th episode of Day9 Daily. "I always thought that the 9 Clan was cool ... and since it wasn't really around, I was like, 'I guess I'll be 9.'"

That was sometime around the summer of 2004. And the name has stuck ever since.

He was a student of USC's Interactive Media program

There aren't many pro gamers or YouTube personalities who see college all the way through. VanossGaming dropped out once his YouTube channel started picking up steam. Twitch streamer JoshOG did the same once his following started to grow. And these folks aren't alone by any stretch.

And then there's Day9. The professional StarCraft player who took part in tournaments and hosted daily web shows while studying for his undergraduate degree at Harvey Mudd College in California. And then followed that by going to graduate school at USC, where he took part in the school's Interactive Media program.

How gifted was Day9 in the Interactive Media department? The Day9 Daily show that he produced for several years was actually part of his graduate school thesis project. Given that show's success, and the success he's enjoyed since then hosting various events and producing other channels of content online, it's safe to say he chose the right major.

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