The explosion of video game streaming is a phenomenon unlike any media we’ve ever seen. From a laughed at, super-niche platform to an estimated 70 billion dollar industry by 2021. It’s obvious to see why once loud naysayers are paying attention. The magic is really in the versatility. Anyone that asks “ Why would I want to watch someone else play video games?” is completely missing the social and to some levels, human aspect of the platform. Some people watch streamers because they’re incredibly good at a game, some people watch because they enjoy the personality of the steamer, some just want to feel part of something and now people are creating more intimate connections with their favorite athletes, musicians or celebrities who have turned to streaming.
Josh Hart (Basketball player - New Orleans Pelicans)
Streams on Twitch @JHartShow
The Pelicans point guard is someone who has really gone full-force with video game streaming, arguably more so than a lot of the basketball players on this list. Not only is Josh one the most consistent celeb streamers but he has endeared himself to the community by collaborating with superstar streamers like Cloakzy, Tfue, and Dr. Disrespect. While he has nearly gotten himself into some trouble by mentioning PG-13 (Clippers guard, Paul George) in a charity stream with former teammate Kyle Kuzma (something that could’ve been considered tampering), he continues to be one of the most beloved celebrity streamers. He’s even embraced notoriously toxic Call of Duty lobbies by uploading clips to his Twitter of some of the NSFW vitriol that opposing players spew his way after beating him in a round of Search & Destroy.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes “AOC” ( U.S. Representative)
Streams on Twitch @AOC
Politicians opening themselves up to uncontrolled and unfiltered communication with the general public is frightening to most. Townhall meetings are one thing, Twitch live streams are a whole different ball game. Yet that’s what Democratic darling AOC did back in October. She made an announcement via her Twitter that she thought the super popular Among US “ Looks like a lot of fun.” What ensued was a frenzy of retweets from various celebs and pro gamers wanting to join the session. As for the stream itself, AOC completely crushed it. As if it was possible for her to come across as more likable, she hilariously fumbled around the space-ship reluctantly killing friends and accidentally reported herself while she blushed with embarrassment. In the current political climate, it was just so refreshing to see a politician be relatable and human. Also, have to mention AOC broke a record for most followers in one day with 260,000 viewers.
Post Malone ( Recording Artist)
Streams on Twitch @PostMalone
Post Malone has always had an infectious and down to earth personality. Just watch any interview or podcast with the Syracuse native and it’s easy to see why he is so universally beloved. He’s the type of guy you could have a beer with while talking about anything from Johnny Cash to aliens and everything in between. When people ask “How can you watch someone else play video games?” Post is the answer to that. Is the best gamer on the planet? Absolutely not, but he knows that and he’s hilarious, extremely engaging with his viewership and his streams feel like a nice, long hang session with a friend. All of this explains why his numbers are so jaw-dropping. Post currently sits at around 270,000 followers on twitch which has led to a partnership with HyperX, a gaming company that is renowned for their gaming products like mics, headsets, and more.
Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson
Streams on Twitch @MightyGaming
There’s something sinister about a guy that punches people for a living then comes home only to stream one of the hardest games ever, Dark Souls. Yes, one of the greatest pound for pound fighters of all time, Demetrius “Mighty Mouse” Johnson is a hardcore gamer who has turned his love for video games into a streaming side gig. It’s always interesting to see the parallels that people bring from their life, into streaming. Mighty Mouse has nearly 2,500 hours of streamed content, a ridiculous stat that clearly bleeds over from his MMA work ethic. You don’t hold a world title for 6 years with 11 defenses if you’re not rabid with your training. Similarly, Johnson plays games with a very aggressive and confident style that once again, clearly takes from his martial arts background. While he doesn’t have a crazy amount of subs or viewers, he was one of few on this list that was actually streaming when doing research.
Lil Yachty (Recording Artist)
Streams on Twitch @lilyachty
Maybe one of the more polarizing figures on the list Yachty’s music tends to divide people. Whether you like his music or not, Lil Boat is still at it and has used his celebrity to make the cross-over into video game streaming like many of his hip-hop comrades. One of the best things a budding streamer can do to boost their E-cred is a collaboration with a more established streamer to tap into a new audience. Yachty was one of the first to do this when he joined the biggest streamer on the planet, Ninja, for some Fortnite duos. He even went as far as to create a capsule collection with Ninja. Streaming hasn’t all been smooth sailing for Lil Boat, however. Twitch chats can be notoriously toxic and for someone as polarizing as Yachty, the trolls will be there. After a notorious incident in which Yachty lashed out at some of his followers for clowning how bad he was at a game to which he replied “ I don’t care….I’m a millionaire” before promptly ending his stream. Honestly, who can blame, at least been deterred by negative energy as he continues to stream regularly?
Sergio “Kun” Agüero (Soccer Player - Manchester City)
Streams on Twitch @SLAKUN10
For many athletes streaming has become such a natural progression as video games have long been a favorite downtime activity for pros looking to release some stress within a competitive environment. But just because someone is a popular athlete doesn’t mean they’ll become a successful streamer. In the case of a superstar soccer player, Sergio Agüero, it was really all about investing in the quality of his stream. He spent some of his 13 mil GBP per year salary on a proper set-up which boosted his quality and above all Kun is an engaging and witty personality. He’s constantly joking, singing, dancing, and interacting with his audience. He even famously subbed himself off in a game of FIFA after missing an easy shot on goal. The clip went viral and led to the City striker creating clips of his streams on YouTube which skyrocketed his viewership on both platforms. Currently, Sergio is averaging about 32,000 viewers per stream on Twitch and about 2.28 Million subscribers on Youtube thanks to his steaming clips.
Felicia Day (Actress, writer, producer)
Streams on Twitch @FeliciaDay
Actress, writer, producer, and just all-around badass creator, Felicia Day has really taken the social aspect of streaming to new heights. The former Buffy the Vampire Slayer actress excels in getting large groups of friends and colleagues to play games like Fall Guys and the extremely popular Among Us. Especially in times like these where social distancing still keeps many of us from our loved ones. Felicia and her friends have an absolute blast for 2 to 3-hour sessions. It’s all very warm and a bit of normal human interaction to satiate that social thirst. Day also created an incredible gaming web series called “The Guild” which ran from 2007-2012. As if that wasn’t enough Felicia recently created WomenR which is a weekly panel in which women from the entertainment industry meet to have discussions and empower one another. She is using her Twitch channel to host the show as it’s live interactive platform lends itself perfectly to her robust community.
T-Pain (Recording Artist)
Streams on Twitch @TPAIN
For anyone growing up in the early 2000s, T-Pain is an absolute legend. The auto-tune king is responsible for countless bangers. Through the years T-Pain has turned into a producer, songwriter, and now, one of the most entertaining streamers on Twitch. Aside from his nostalgia tickling music, T-Pain has endured because he has remained genuine and super likable. Whether it be through his hilarious Wildn’ Out appearances or his jaw-dropping performance on NPR’s tiny music desk, T-Pain has brought his humility and plethora of talents to Twitch. He has fully embraced the community in a very unique way. Not only does he play Among Us, COD, and Animal Crossing but he frequently treats his followers to musical performances, freestyles and he’s even created free beats that he encourages Twitch streamers to use on their streams
Odell Beckham JR ( Football Player - Clevland Browns)
Streams on Youtube @Odell Beckham Jr
It’s an interesting trend when you consider the number of professional athletes that have taken to competitive gaming especially with games like Call of Duty Warzone. The parallels involve a lot of hand/eye coordination, teamwork, and of course that insatiable competitive spirit. OBJ is another superstar amongst many that have caught the streaming bug. Announcing back in September that he would launch his streaming career by teaming up with the massively popular Dr. Disrespect. It was a brilliant strategy as OBJ stepped onto the streaming world with a bang. He also showed some skills when it came to sniping, something that takes elite timing and hand-eye coordination so it makes sense. While Beckham Jr’s skills on the sticks were somewhat surprising, what's surprised people more, has been his demeanor on stream. We’re used to a brash, loud atypical superstar wide-receiver on the field — on stream OBJ is calm, quiet, and almost shy. It’s an interesting paradigm that has actually endeared to many and made him far more approachable than previously thought.