Board game lovers strike big for local charity
Two Winnipeg YouTube stars have raised over $16,000 for local mental health services in their first 24-hour livestream.
Cousins Dylann Bobei and Carlo Sobral started their YouTube channel, All You Can Board, in late 2020 when they were faced with more free time owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The duo are self-proclaimed “board game enthusiasts” and their channel features reviews, tutorials, lists, buying guides, tips to get into the hobby, crowdfunding previews and more.
“We’ve always enjoyed doing creative projects together when we were kids, and as we were getting into board games we decided to try this out,” Bobei said.
“I always had it in my head that I’d love to have a YouTube channel for something I was passionate about, so we had dreams but they were always just dreams. It wasn’t until we started getting contacted by publishers to review games and had fans asking, ‘When is this video going to go up?’ that we realized we were starting to hit a lot of the goals we had for ourselves.”
At press time, All You Can Board was nearing 12,000 subscribers and had over one million views.
“The entire first year of the channel we only had make 200 subscribers,” Bobei said. “We gained almost 10,000 in the second year, so we hit our stride and blew up around November 2020. It’s been continuously increasing since then and we’ve been trying to keep up.”
They never expected the project to grow so large in such a short amount of time, Sobral added, admitting he didn’t spend a lot of time on YouTube prior to launching the channel.
“If someone would have told me we’d be over 10,000 at this point I wouldn’t have believed them,” he said.
While there were already quite a few YouTube board game channels when Bobei and Sobral discussed launching All You Can Board, it was a small enough niche where the pair thought they could still be successful.
“There’s certain other realms on YouTube, whether it be for video games or movies, where starting a new channel can be really challenging because you’re lost in the sea of all the great content that’s out there,” Bobei said. “But with board games, and especially just in Canada, there was still the opportunity as long as it was people who were passionate about board games and had the chemistry.”
On May 28, Bobei and Sobral embarked on their first 24-hour livestream for charity. The event was support was several publishers who provided board games and prize packages, and Tripwire Media Group supplied the gear.
At the end of the livestream, Bobei and Sobral had raised more than $16,000 for local mental health organization Sara Riel, which is based in St. Vital.
”We had never done any sort of board game play on video and we had never done anything live before, but we decided the first one was going to be a 24-hour marathon,” Bobei said. “All things considered, it went almost as perfectly as it could have gone, not just in the logistics but also in how much money we raised.”
When starting All You Can Board, Bobei and Sobral knew they wanted to use the platform for something that was important to them once the channel reached a certain size. Mental health was top of the list.
”We got an email from the assistant director a couple days before the event with the subject line, ‘I’m speechless’ when we were at $700,” Sobral said. “We started getting donations for all over Europe and Australia. It was unbelievable.”
Bobei and Sobral’s videos can be found at www.youtube.com/c/allyoucanboard
Kelsey James is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. She graduated from Red River College’s creative communications program in 2018 as a journalism major and holds a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric, writing and communications from the University of Winnipeg. A lifelong Winnipegger who grew up in southwest Winnipeg, Kelsey is thrilled to be covering the neighbourhoods she still calls “home.”