Top 3 Biggest Online Streamers
Online streaming has never been bigger, but who are the top dogs in the streaming jungle? Here are three titans of Twitch and Youtube you have probably heard mentioned.
Ninja – Richard Tyler Blevins
Ninja is one of the biggest names in the streaming world, and also a very lucky chap. Back in 2019, he got paid millions of dollars to join Microsoft’s rival platform, Mixer, on an exclusive basis, leaving behind Twitch. Less than a year later, Mixer shut down (perhaps because its focus on a small number of big names rather than a larger number of mid-tier streamers was a poor strategy for organic growth) and Ninja was released from his exclusivity deal whilst getting to keep the fortune he had earned.
In September of 2020, Ninja returned to Twitch in a move that suited both the platform and streamer. He’s probably the single most famous individual streamer in the world, with a shock of brightly dyed hair, promotional deals worth millions, and a profile high enough to get him an avatar in Fortnite (which he helped make such a smash hit success story).
Away from the screen, Ninja’s also released a number of books, and he’s given away large sums of his own money to charity, as well as donating the $1m prize he won with Marshmello at the 2018 Fortnite Pro-Am event. Ninja’s refusal to stream with female gamers to avoid controversies and to respect his wife has split opinions, and he is happy to play alongside women at events or in groups.
Speaking of the biggest winnings, live gaming is not only about video games, streaming is getting extremely popular with online casino streamers revealing tips and tricks for keen bettors to learn how to play better, and for those who do not intend to play but find casino games entertaining to watch. These streamers often offer exclusive no deposit bonus codes for their audience, as part of their promotional offers. One of the biggest winners in the online casino streaming world is Trainwreckstv. He is the biggest online casino streamer on Twitch with 1.6 million followers. The biggest slot win recorded on his Twitch stream was when he bet $500 and won a massive $769,500 jackpot by playing Buffalo King slots game, powered by Pragmatic Play.
Critical Role – Matt Mercer and Friends
Streaming is commonly associated with video games, but there’s more than one type of gaming. In the recently released hack detailing the highest-earning Twitch streamers it is actually a tabletop RPG group, Critical Role, who come in top of the earnings. This group of eight friends (seven players and Matthew Mercer, the dungeon master) play through homemade campaigns that last years at a time, developing characters over hundreds of episodes, with each edition lasting around four hours (sometimes significantly longer). While this immense time sink is not for everyone, it has turned Critical Role from a feature on the Geek & Sundry Youtube channel into the leading light of Twitch.
There are a few unique things that have helped contribute to this level of success. The players are not only friends, they are also professional, and prolific, voice actors and actresses from some of the biggest games in the world. Matthew Mercer voices Cassidy in Overwatch, and Laura Bailey and Ashley Johnson were the two leads in The Last of Us II. This means that the level of roleplaying performance and on-set improvisation is top-notch, aided by the close friendship of the cast which means they can get away with quite a lot without needing to worry about treading on one another’s toes.
Possibly the single biggest reason for their success, however, is the excellent and highly detailed world that Matthew Mercer has put together for his players. Covering three continents, one as the primary setting for each campaign, there’s been a huge amount for players to explore and Mercer has put out books as guides for other DMs wanting to set their own campaigns in his world. At the time of writing, the first two campaigns have been completed and the third has just begun. It remains to be seen whether Critical Role will continue indefinitely with Mercer as DM, or if a new world created by another will be a route they take in the future.
Pewdiepie – Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg
The top dog in the world of Youtube, however, is none other than Swedish content creator Pewdiepie. He has over 110m subscribers and channel views totaling 28bn. In a sense, Pewdiepie has become like the Tiger Woods or Michael Schumacher of streaming, his popularity transcending his own sphere of interest so that even people not into gaming know the name Pewdiepie.
Let’s Play type content was one of his mainstays although he has diversified his videos in recent years, and has had his share of controversies. His comments regarding protests in Hong Kong and comparing Chinese leader Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh earned Pewdiepie a ban on his content in China. After taking a little time out, Pewdiepie spoke about COVID-19 and received condemnation for talking in mock-Chinese phrases, but he defended his jokes. May 2020 saw Pewdiepie sign an exclusivity deal with Youtube.
During his years as a major streamer, Pewdiepie has used his fame to help increase awareness of charity drives, supporting the raising of substantial funds for good causes, including hosting 2016 Cringemas which raised $1.3m. In October 2019 he also donated the sum of $69,420 to Team Trees, a charity that opposes deforestation.
The top streamers have all been around for a while, and new talent is getting into action all the time. The great thing about streaming is that whatever your interest, there will be something for you to enjoy.