ESA Winter 2022 Highlights

ESA Winter 2022 raised over $100,000 for the first time ever, benefiting Alzheimerfonden. Let's take a look at some of the runs that helped ESA raise more than ever before!

By Cam "Meta" Enright

Filed Under: Event

ESA Winter 2022 was the first in-person event since February of 2020, and wow - talk about coming back with a bang. After 7 days of non-stop speedrunning entertainment, ESA raised a whopping $105,592 for Alzheimerfonden!.

Incredibly, I was lucky enough to get sent out to ESA representing Wow, I wish I could write about everything I did, all the amazing people I met, and all the fantastic runs I watched - but maybe let's keep it to 10 of my personal highlights. :)

As per usual, I’d like to put a reminder out there that these are only in chronological order, and that just because a run isn’t included here doesn’t mean it wasn’t totally awesome. I highly recommend you go back through ESA’s recent highlights to see if anything catches your eye from Winter 2022!


Anyway, let’s take a look at some runs, shall we?

Mirror’s Edge
2P1KBM Any%
Ran by hekigan & meteos_probably
Link to run Okay so, technically this run was a part of the pre-show - but that still counts right? You’ve gotta check this out. Mirror’s Edge is an impressive speedgame on its own, but heki and meteos take it to another level by each controlling one part of a mouse and keyboard (and there’s handcams!)

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time
Any% No Major Glitches
Ran by Jaka
Link to run
This PoP: Sands of Time NMG run is a great demonstration of platforming, yes. But do you know what’s even better? Jaka ran on a modified copy of the game that changes out ALL of the dialog in the game for voice lines recorded by runners from the Prince of Persia speedrunning community - and it is hilarious.

Ghost of Tsushima: Directors Cut
New Game+ (Lethal Difficulty)
Ran by Aeshmah
Link to run
Check out Aeshmah running Ghost of Tsushima with his two cupids Xoneris and Riekelt by his side, spreading “love” through Iki Island with bombs and blade during this very special Valentines Day speedrun!

Shadow of the Colossus
NTA Bossrush (Random)
Link to run
RUBIEHART’s energy and commentary is top notch during this run, with a one minute PB to boot! If you’ve never watched a SotC speedrun before, expect many tense moments where Rubie ALMOST gets thrown off but manages to just barely stay on.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Crowd Control (Randomizer)
Ran by theblacktastic
Link to run
I’m convinced Bobby “Press The Button” Blacktastic could get just about anyone hyped up about anything. Bobby fights his way through Castlevania while the audience throws absolutely everything they can at him in this crowd control run, and he still manages to put on a good show alongside his fantastic couch!

A Hat In Time
All Time Pieces (All DLC)
Ran by Cygnuss
Link to run
A Hat in Time is one of the best third person platformers out there, and Cygnuss demonstrates the game’s high skill-ceiling movement extremely well in this run during which she collects every single one of the time pieces across the base game and both DLCs!

Kao the Kangaroo: Round 2
Ran by rythin
Link to run
If you enjoyed the A Hat in Time run, you’ll likely enjoy this Kao run too as it feels very similar from an audience perspective except with a little spice. Watch Rythin tear through KtK: Round 2 as Kao the Kangaroo equipped with boxing gloves, some sweet movement, and some awesome skips!

Airplane Mode
Ran by Kainalo
Link to run
If you’ve never seen a “$%” run like this $25% run of Airplane Mode from Kainalo, you’ve got to check this out. This category means that so long as someone donates $25 (and stays within Twitch/ESA TOS), they can request that the runner, commentators, or audience do anything they want - like for instance playing some of the modded custom content Kainalo & Co. put into the game (a speedrun trivia crossword, custom remixes of popular songs, and more), or having the audience participate in one big conga line. Yeah, it gets wild.

Low% (Regular, Legacy)
Ran by Kirthar
Link to run
Cuphead is hard enough on its own, with no restrictions and just trying to get through a casual playthrough - but of course Kirthar takes it up another notch, running Low% which restricts you to just using just the first weapon in the game. This run is such a massive display of skill, and I highly recommend you give it a watch.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Any% (Super Smash Bros. Brawl Masterpiece Demo)
Ran by Savestate
Link to run
Alright now this ones unique. In this run, Savestate is actually playing a demo of Ocarina of Time from the Masterpieces collection on Super Smash Bros. Brawl which drops you in a save midway through the game with only 5 minutes to run around. Savestate's goal of course, was to reach the credits before the 5 minute timer ran out. Did they get it? Better watch to find out ;)

That’s a wrap! Once again, definitely make sure to check out some of the other VODs from ESA Winter 2022, they were all great! I also recommend watching the closing speech from the ESA organizers..

Winter 2022 may be over, but there’s more to come! Of course ESA Summer 2022 was confirmed, but even better than that ESA events have been booked all the way through 2023 already! There’s plenty of charitable speedrunning entertainment to look forward to everybody, and I for one cannot wait.

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