If you've been paying close attention to the competitive scene in Path of Exile, you may have already heard of tytykiller, a prominent racer from our community and one of the four finalists of the last year's ExileCon Grand Finale event. In continuation of our series of interviews with community streamers, we took a moment to chat with tytykiller to learn more about his life and background.

Hi tytykiller, thank you for taking part in the interview! Please introduce yourself.

Hi, my name is Tyler and I am 21 years old living in the LAND OF THE FREE. Jokes aside, I am fortunate enough to have grown up in a modest home in the midwest of the United States. I grew up playing video games with a bit of an addiction, and now I play them for the world to see.

When did you first get into Path of Exile?

I first logged into Path of Exile on October 28, 2013 (A few days after the release). I stopped playing pretty quickly, as I struggled to grasp the economy, and the game was rather confusing. I later came back after watching the ZiggyD Reave Ranger Southpaw build guide but the game got extremely time consuming and I was incredibly slow at leveling, so I put the game down for a while.

It wasn’t until the weekend before Breach that I decided to give PoE another go. My friend Chris hyped the game up, talking about how much fun he had in Essence league. I told him that I would learn the entire game the week before Breach came out. He laughed at me, and said I was an idiot. He was right. I am still learning interesting things about the game to this very day. I played LiftingNerdBro’s BV Assassin build until end game, and I fell in love.

What one thing caught your attention in the beginning and what one thing kept you coming back?

As someone who comes from playing Diablo III, I enjoy the content updates to Path of Exile. Breach league started during Diablo’s eighth season, with not many gameplay changes from the first season. The large changes every league continue to keep me and thousands of other players coming back.

You are well-known in the Path of Exile community foremost as a prominent racer and speedrunner. What was the moment when you realized this is what you want to do in the game?

Breach was the first time I played on league start, and I was pretty confident in my ability to level. That was, until I opened my friends list, and I saw that my friend Chris had completely lapped me. Before the 10 act campaign, every player would have to beat acts 1-4 on Normal, then on Cruel, then on Merciless. My friend had completely lapped me, being in Cruel Act II while I was in Normal Act II. I vowed to level faster, but I hated it, so I didn’t improve much.

Once the beta for The Fall of Oriath (3.0) came out, I didn’t really want to level through the campaign. Instead, I decided to learn vicariously through a DeadandDoom vod. I started taking notes on how to level a sunder slayer. It was so cool that I wanted to do a run for myself. I was entranced, every transmute, every alteration had meaning. It felt so good to get a boarding axe right at level 11 with a craft ready. That was when I knew that racing is what I wanted to do in the game.

Last year you participated in the Grand Finale of ExileCon race. Could you tell us a bit about your experience?

I can still remember walking with the other three racers into the preparation room with confidence, chatting it up with them, while they were mostly quiet. I felt good going into the race, as I just had two pretty good runs that morning at one of the local net cafes. As soon as I sat down though, I started to feel slow. Everything was so terrifying at that moment. I asked myself “Did I practice enough for this? I’ve spent well over a hundred hours but… Is it enough?”

After some technical difficulties, we got started, and I could hear that Waggle died at Hillock. I thought that he was completely out, mentally shattered, and scared to play. Having watched the race a handful of times, I can say with confidence that is not how Waggle played. He recovered extremely well, and it showed.

I was the first to kill Brutus, but I wasn’t sure why because I felt so slow. It was because of a single upper prison read, but that wasn’t enough to push ahead of the competition. I was not able to get my wand craft, something I have been able to do in a majority of my runs at level 8. This was before the campaign buff back in Metamorph, so the wand craft was unnecessary but it still felt amazing to use. I was slower than everyone else from then on out, so I thought of only one thing: pushing ahead. This would ultimately lead to my downfall, as I skipped packs that I shouldn’t have, and some strongboxes that should not have been skipped. This inevitably led me to being underleveled by the time that I fought Weaver, so I told myself that I just need to recover in XP and then I will be okay. Until I dropped the Tabula.

I first wondered how I was going to use it, as a 6-link single target set up, 6-link clearing setup, or a 5-link of both. I settled on a 5-link of both, but it made my mana costs way higher than I was used to, and I also was not level 18, so it was hard to get the currency for everything. I had this sinking feeling of “Am I going to lose a race where I got a Tabula Rasa? I’m going to be remembered for losing with a Tabula Rasa.” That ultimately came true, and I was extremely disappointed in myself for it. I went back to the hotel room, took a nap, and watched the VOD of the race. I actually thought that Tabulast was a funny way to put it, so I embraced it.

Everyone was really nice about the race though, with GGG and community members reaching out in support. This seriously is one of the best communities to be a part of, and it is because of this race that I do not want to disappoint myself in my performance in the next ExileCon.

You're actively participating in community racing events. What would you most like to see for the Path of Exile Racing community in future?

I would like to see GGG-ran events, but outside of that I would like to see more tools for racing. Something I would like to see the most would be an option to reduce the cost for shorter races. Currently, races have to be limited to “Qualified Racers” because they would cost hundreds of dollars to invite everyone to a race that may only last for a few hours. This limits the pool of who can join, and inhibits the racing scene from growing.

Another tool that seems feasible to implement would be a boss kill ladder. Currently races can only be run with the goal of XP (Reach level __) or time (Reach the highest XP within ___ time). The only way that boss kills can be done is with streaming being a requirement. Even then, it is a hassle to sort through all the times, and to see if someone is a few seconds off on their timer if racers are within seconds of each other. Although there are races for Act V Kitava, there can only be one winner, as only one person can enter Lioneye’s Watch first. The announcement for boss kills exists in the game, as it has been used before in GGG held events, but we currently cannot use it.

There are a number of other features, such as Alternative Modes (Endless Ledge, Descent Champions, Etc.) that I could ask for, but these are a bit of a stretch. I just think they’re cool, and it would be fun to see them again.

What are your top tips for beginner PoE racers?

My biggest top tip for beginner PoE racers is to focus on the big time savers, and not about extremely small time saves. For example, you should have a list of what to get in town, how much things cost, and when you can buy them. This will cause you to look for things while out in the world so that your next town trip can be better planned, thus reducing your time in town. You should not, for example, study layouts. Learning how to read upper prison in Act I is cool, but it can take well over an hour to study a complicated layout like that. Reading layouts also, for the most part, disappears in PoE 2.0, being replaced by what I assume will most likely be layout Tells. One of the most popular layout-tells in the current campaign is that in the Western Forest in Act II, Weaver’s Chambers will always be on the opposite side of the road from the waypoint, and Alira’s Camp will always be on the same side of the road as the waypoint.

My second tip is to just watch someone race in the format that you are trying to improve at. What I mean is that an act 5 world record is not realistic for a league start, since you wouldn’t skip over most skill points on a league start.

Aside from being a Path of Exile racer, you are also a streamer. How long have you been streaming for? How did you get into it?

I never got into streaming to be a career streamer, I did it for fun. In high school, I would play Diablo III Reaper of Souls seasonal starts for 40+ hours, and my friends wanted to see how I progressed. I only really started to get into it a few years later, in my freshman year of college. I was inspired by CuteDog, so I streamed PoE while messing around and having fun.

What can people expect from your stream? What kind of schedule do you follow?

People can expect to find me leveling through the acts, with a bigger focus on commentary in the early acts. This is because I believe most of the hard work in leveling comes from setting up a character properly in Acts 1-3. After that, I tend to make a lot more jokes, and talk about stories from my college and work life. I don’t currently follow a schedule, but I plan on eventually planning a plan to have a schedule at some point in the future.

What were you doing before you started streaming?

I am very different from the person I was years ago, but I was a student back then, and I am a student now. I am finishing up my 4th and final year at an American University, and I look forward to streaming full time after finishing my degree in Accounting. I currently work as a Student Accountant at my University.

Are there any highlights from your time playing PoE that stand out in your memory?

The entire thing started a while ago, where racer ImExile and I started going back and forth on the World Record Act 5 Kitava category. I would beat his time by a handful of seconds, he would beat my time by a handful of seconds. We kept going back and forth, thinking “this time is beatable - but a 1 hour 11 minute run is still really really good.” “this time can be better for sure - but a 1 hour 10 minute run is insanely good.” These thoughts are very common for speedrunners, and as such, I am almost never satisfied with my times.

Recently I submitted a 1 hour, 5 minute, and 45 second act 5 Kitava run to speedrun.com. While not perfect, I started bouncing up and down in my chair after the run was over.

Are there any up and coming streamers that you'd like to shine a spotlight on?

There are many, many smaller streams that I enjoy talking to. I like streamers that host private leagues because it gives me something to compete in. This Is Badger hosts a private league every 3 months where you get sorted into two teams - and you accumulate points for doing things such as leveling and delving.

What hobbies or interests do you have outside of speedrunning and streaming?

Speedrunning and streaming are basically the entirety of my hobbies and interests. I enjoy playing video games, if that counts.

When I’m not playing video games, I am usually hanging out in various Twitch channels, typing away like an internet troll.

What is one thing you think every Path of Exile player should hear?

GGG is by far the best video game company out there, but the player base always has a never-ending hunger for more features, more things. Not everyone at GGG works in the field that people complain about. This company is full of amazing people, so please make sure to treat them as people.

Do you have any projects on the horizon you'd like to talk about?

While I am really good at short races, I would like to get good at longer formats (such as Awakener 8, or the Gauntlet races). I will be practicing for these longer format races soon, and I might host small races further in the future.

Thanks so much for the interview! If you'd like to follow tytykiller, you can do so on Twitch, YouTube and Twitter.
Posted by 
Grinding Gear Games
Cool interview! Thank you everyone for taking the time!
https://www.ForeverExiled.com/: Forever Exiled, A Path of Exile Podcast
Wrecker of Days' One-Stop-Shop: Stress-Free Builds (& Filters): 1-Button, SSF, Item Freedom: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2606288
That's very interesting, thank you!
who? sorry but pve racing is a joke...
Last edited by a_k_a on Dec 9, 2020, 6:45:11 PM
peepoRun peepoCheer go tyty go peepoCheer peepoRun
Thank you for taking the time!
The absolute blaster himself! Poggerzoo
Cool interview! Tyty is always fun to watch and gives good tips. Looking forward to more races.
hopefully the racing scene can get promoted more in 2021

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