The sustained growth of Twitch has revolutionized the way many people engage with their favorite games. Previous methods of engagement, such as written walkthroughs or edited YouTube clips, can’t compete with the connectivity that Twitch offers. The ability to stream in real time has given a diverse group of individuals a platform to show off their gaming skills, as well as their personalities.
Some might take to Twitch for the vicarious completion of an otherwise inaccessible game, while others might get drawn in by finding a relatable streamer. Here is a look at some of the best streamers, split into three distinct categories.
The Top Influencers
As with all social media or video platforms, those with the most followers inevitably wield the biggest influence.
Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins
Ninja is a living embodiment of the monetary potential of being a successful streamer. The notion that gaming could provide financial stability would have once seemed bizarre, yet Ninja is now purported to rake in $500,000 a month from Fortnite streams.
Ninja has become one of the most recognizable faces in Twitch streaming.
With a staggering 13.7 million followers, Ninja boasts an audience twice as big as his nearest competitor. His wider public presence received a huge boost when Drake joined for a game of Fortnite in 2018, which broke the Twitch record for the biggest audience on an individual stream.
Michael ‘shroud’ Grzesiek
Grzesiek, known by gamer tag ‘shroud’, began his career as a professional CS:GO player before moving into the lucrative world of Twitch streaming. Shroud recently surpassed the impressive landmark of 100,000 subscribers.
The release of Apex Legends has made shroud a must-follow for battle royale fans. The game was launched in February 2019 and promises to be the next gaming craze, with shroud already renowned for his technical proficiency displayed in Apex Legends streams.
Jaryd ‘summit1g’ Lazar
Summit1g boasts over 3.7 million followers, ranking as Twitch’s most-followed streamer for three months at the start of 2018. He might only place at fifth in the overall most-followed rankings, but summit1g’s hilarious personality makes him a difficult streamer to ignore. That humor came to the fore in his misadventures in the GTA V roleplay servers. The rich universe and boundless possibilities of GTA make it an effective vehicle for streamers, with summit1g the ideal guide to take viewers on a journey.
The Top Pros
Whether offering an insight into the intense world of poker or showing how to cut it in the eSport industry, Twitch has become an effective platform for pros to impart wisdom.
Until eSport truly breaks out in popular culture, Twitch remains one of the best places to watch the top pros in action. It seems inevitable that eSports will soon be granted the same level of analysis and exposure as traditional sports, but ESL_CSGO is already providing that treatment via Twitch.
The account unsurprisingly focuses on CS:GO, with the channel continually streaming CS:GO action. With its streaming of both live events and classic reruns, ESL_CSGO should be the first port of call for CS:GO players looking to pick up expert advice. With the inclusion of live commentary and player interviews, it is easy for viewers to gain a crucial insight into the game.
The ESL_CSGO channel gives viewers an insight into life as a professional CS:GO gamer.
This Texas Hold ‘Em star has accumulated over $5.8 million through online and physical poker tournaments, making Somerville the ideal guide for aspiring poker players. There is a wide range of poker games and variants in the world, each featuring distinctive terminology. Twitch allows poker rookies to gain an understanding of flops and flushes by watching a pro at work.
It is not just Somerville’s aptitude that makes the ideal tutor for new poker players. Somerville’s engaging personality allows viewers to feel like they are in the presence of an old friend, while Somerville has stated that being able to ask poker players about their tactics in the chat function is an invaluable learning resource.
Michael ‘imaqtpie’ Santana
League of Legends is one of the most popular eSports, so it is no surprise that it attracts a similarly hefty audience on Twitch. Becoming a professional eSport player is an increasingly viable option, so wannabe stars should look for every possible angle to find extra insight to the game.
The best place is in the streams of imaqtpie, the former Team Dignitas member who was part of the LoL side that triumphed in 2011’s IGN ProLeague. The creation of a giant mural of imaqtpie in Los Angeles is a testament to the respect and affection this gamer commands.
The Retro Gamers
The reason Twitch is so alluring to many is that it can offer an insight into something otherwise unattainable. This is demonstrated by the popularity of gamers who transport viewers back to a different era through retro titles.
This channel is dedicated to the legendary game StarCraft, with MedryBW ensuring that there is always a Video on Demand (VoD) for fans of this classic release. The stream runs 24/7 to show StarCraft matches completed between 2000 and 2012, with each game randomly selected from a pool of 6344 VoDs.
StarCraft remains a hugely popular game, despite the original version being released in 1998.
These professional matches from South Korea would likely have been forgotten and lost forever if it wasn’t for the actions of MedryBW, who helps users to romanticize about StarCraft whenever they please.
A growing number of the top streamers focus on eSport-related content, but there are options for those who miss classic video games. MANvsGAME’s mission is to beat every game out there in a manner akin to television hit Man vs Food. This streamer has been in action for several years, which has allowed viewers to build up an affinity to the gamer while following his journey.
MANvsGAME has completed classic PS3 titles like Batman: Arkham City and Ninja Gaiden 3, while venturing into wildcard territory with Sesame Street ABC. Despite the buzz surrounding eSports, there are still viewers and streamers alike who prefer the more classic fare of poker or console games.
These are just some of the streamers who command the biggest audience or offer a distinctive service, but the joy of Twitch is that there are always new gamers to stumble across. Whether you’re looking to find the next big trend, seeking a competitive edge or keen to relive the glory days, you can be sure to find something on Twitch that appeals to your tastes.