Since the first coin operated arcade game up until home consoles and all the way up to MMORPGs and the present, video games has been a medium built on the social experiment. Fans of sports, especially their favourite athletes, revel at the opportunity to watch highlight reels and, in the same fashion, gamers revel at the opportunity to develop a community of social storytellers as they enjoy interacting and participating with their favourite gamers. The introduction of eSports and live streaming platforms like Twitch transformed this format into a whole new digital platform – global, transparent, and immediately shareable.
Only having been launched a mere six years ago, Twitch has seen unprecedented growth, amassing 100 million unique monthly users and two million active streamers. Having been recently acquired by Amazon has also skyrocketed Twitch’s success and potential revenue streams. What this all means is that video games are no longer a mere hobby or a playable pastime, but rather, a lifelong vocation earning big bucks and only growing by the minute. On average, if a pro-streamer streams their gameplay for 40 hours a week, the average salary they can make approximately $3000 to $5000 per month.
Considering this type of success, we’ve compiled a list of top 15 highest Twitch streamers, purely factoring in subscribers, as ad revenue will vary according to subscriber and the filters they employ, e.g. ad blockers, etc., and donations will vary according to who’s watching the stream and feeling generous during the stream.
15 Maximilian “Maximilian_Dood” Christiansen
Maximilian Christiansen, or better known as his Twitch handle Maximilian_Dood, is a Twitch streamer and YouTuber prominent in the fighting game community, starting with casual video gameplay of Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike and Street Fighter 4, all the way up to the present, streaming fan favourite fight games like For Honor and Injustice 2.
During his Twitch streams, Maximilian does venture beyond the scope of fighting games, collaborating with the Yo! Videogames and Super Best Friends Play crew to stream and host non-fighting games and other miscellaneous content, such as Mario Party 6, Mario Kart 8, and classic video games on home consoles including the Nintendo 64.
Outside of Twitch and his own channels, Christiansen is active producing content for the YouTube Let’s Play channel, as well as his Online Warrior, Assist Me!, and Boss Rage YouTube video series.
14 Edwin “Castro_1021” Castro
Charismatic, interactive, and always full of high energy, Edwin ‘Castro_1021” Castro is one of the few premier Twitch streamers to not prominently feature multiplayer online battle arena games, fighting games, or even FPS games on his channel. Starting in 2016, Castro is known to his audience and Twitch fans primarily as a FIFA player, focusing and streaming multiple aspects of the franchise’s features, from opening FIFA packs to the F8tal tournaments.
Outside of the core programming of his Twitch streams, Castro also dabbles in doing IRL streams, streaming Pokémon GO, during the height of its popularity, charity streams, and recently, Castro has been branching out of the FIFA streams and started doing vlogs with his long-time girlfriend Pita, doing a few “day in the life” video series to branch out. Castro also runs a popular YouTube channel in which he uploads his Twitch streams and does Q&A and vlogs.
13 John “TotalBiscuit” Bain
Hailing from the UK, 31-year-old law graduate John Bain goes by many monikers. To some he’s known as The Cynical Brit and to others, TotalHalibut, but to those in the Twitchverse, he’s simply known as TotalBiscuit.
While on Twitch, TotalBiscuit is most notable for his Starcraft II stream gameplay and commentary, its his other platform and real-life vlogs that really deliver and portray a clearer picture of who Bain is, not only as a gamer but as a prominent figure in the video game community.
On YouTube, his popular “WTF is...?” video game series, helped him achieve the one million subscriber milestone. He’s also known for his video game first impressions and critique, eSports commentary and analysis of gaming news. In 2015, TotalBiscuit announced he had bowel cancer, but has since regressed.
12 Tyler “Loltyler1” Steinkamp
Up until his account received a permanent ban from video game developer Riot Games, Tyler Steinkamp, or better known as Loltyler1, was notoriously known for his love of marksman Draven of League of Legends fame. His Twitch channel gained infamy when his follower and subscriber count began to reach the stratosphere thanks to his League of Legends gameplay style, in which he would intentionally feed the opposing team or verbally abusing his opponents when he couldn't play as his beloved Draven.
This toxic attitude and behavioural calling card gained the spotlight with Riot Games when Steinkamp started getting placed with pro players such as C9 jungler Meteos and Doublelift. Steinkamp’s Twitch account further snowballed when he announced that he was a “reformed” player. But in the end, his toxic content didn’t change resulting in Riot Games permanently banning Loltyler1 from ever holding a League of Legends account indefinitely.
11 Ray “BrownMan” Narvaez, Jr.
A variety streamer focusing primarily on playing games via Xbox One or Xbox 360, Ray “BrownMan” Narvaez, Jr. may better be known for his time as contributor and a main golden member of famed video game series Achievement Hunter, created by Rooster Teeth in which contributors demonstrate the best way to acquire and earn achievements in different video games.
BrownMan announced his departure in 2015 to focus primarily on streaming full-time in which during this time, his Twitch account has blossomed, lending his a place on this final 15 list.
His subscribers or as he colloquially calls them, his Rayders, can expect to him to not only play a variety of games, plus also his playful and witty banter in which he interacts considerably with his Rayders and lurkers. Despite only making guest appearances in Achievement Hunters, Narvaez, Jr. still streams achievement gameplay via Twitch.
10 Chance “Sodapoppin” Morris
Streaming on Twitch since 2012, Chance “Sodapoppin” Morris has remained a popular mainstay on Twitch over the years thanks in part to his ability to evolve with the demands of the business and his evolution as a gamer.
Originally streaming as a World of Warcraft player, Sodapoppin’s content now includes the popular Sh*t Show Sunday video game series in which Morris’ subs recommends the games he plays during the stream, and gameplay of popular video games like Shadow of Mordor, Overwatch, and the Dark Souls series.
Beyond his Twitch account, Morris has a thriving YouTube channel, where he has over 500 thousand subscribers and features snippets of his Twitch streams as feature videos. He’s also the founder and owns the eSport team Northern Gaming which has teams competing and playing in Rocket League, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch. Northern Gaming has achieved some impressive success since its inception, ranking competitively high in Rocket League tournaments.
9 Michael “Imaqtpie” Santana
Recently retired from pro-level League of Legends gaming in 2014, Santana has turned all his League of Legends skill to full-time streaming, amassing more than 1.6 million followers on Twitch and more than a million subscribers on YouTube.
Originally starting because he wanted a free-to-play game, Santana’s natural talent at League of Legends began the road to tournament gameplay which drew the interest of Team Dignitas, which invited Santana to play as the team’s Attack Damage Carry (ADC) position in League of Legends.
Noted for his long, shiny mane and trademark outfit of gym shorts and a white tee, Santana streams for approximately 10 hours a day and appeals to a wider audience base with his seamless knowledge of memes and creation of several community-based memes such as “Raise Your Dongers”, "Dongsquad", and "Dongsquad 420".
8 Guy “DrDisRespect” Beahm
An enigmatic streamer who calls himself “the most ruthless competitor in the online gaming community” and founder of the Slick Daddy Club, DrDisRespect recently returned back to streaming on Twitch after a long hiatus, in which Beahm’s online DrDisRespect was discontinued in 2011 due to Beahm taking on the community manager role for Sledgehammer Games focusing a lot of time to build the community base for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
His triumphant return 5 years later meant that everyone’s favourite mullet and moustached streamer was back with full force – having built a new gaming PC rig, and even upgrading his now legendary black sunglasses.
Focusing primarily on H1Z1: King of the Kill streams, each of Beahm’s streams features DrDisRespect’s character as a full-frontal assault – manic laughter, very close-up whispers into the microphone, and even the odd grunts and exhalations. Subscribing and viewing his streams guarantees a show you’ll want to come back for more.
7 Ben “CohhCarnage”
Realising the power of interactive entertainment early on, CohhCarnage focuses on streams with high interactivity and good vibes, focusing on a plethora of Let’s Play video games including, but not limited to, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Metro: Last Light, and most recently, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. A daily streamer, Ben usually starts his Twitch campaign at 8AM EST, streaming between 6 to 10 hours a day.
CohhCarnage has also launched The Cohhilition, a community based forum and website that shares the “Happy, Helpful, Respectful” mantra. In fact, if you’ve ever had the opportunity to view any of his streams, CohhCarnage produces streams that exude a friendly and positive environment, often devoid of heavy swearing and any type of hostility, from either the guests that appear in his streams or the audience itself.
6 Erik “Gronkh” Range
While Gronkh fits into this list as a very successful Twitch streamer, Erik Range is also considered one of the most prolific online personalities in his native home in Germany and abroad, amassing a strong YouTube personality (4.6 million subscribers), a computer and video game journalist, and entrepreneur, co-founding the PlayMassive Ltd. enterprise.
Generally known for his playthrough video game series Let’s Play, Gronkh built his YouTube platform on his extensive Minecraft Let’s Play video game series (with 1,100 episodes). His Twitch account focuses on other Let’s Play genres such as the horror game Outlast, Thimbleweed Park, a point-and-click adventure game, and Reign of Kings, an open world multiplayer medieval game.
It must be noted though that while Gronkh produces varied content from different channels and accounts, all of them are played and commentary provided are in German, so if there’s any time to start brushing up on your German...
Turning his passion for gaming into a full-time career, TimTheTatman quit his day job and began streaming full-time in 2014, and ever since then has amassed a community of loyal fans and followers lovingly known as the TatManArmy. Unlike most Twitch streamers, Tim streams twice a day, for approximately 3 to 5 hours per session a day, doing a morning stream and then following it up with a night stream that usually ends around midnight.
From H1Z1: King of the Kill, Overwatch, World of Warcraft, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, TimTheTatman is a lively and excited streamer, with his gameplay at times described as over-the-top which only serves to continue to fuel his high subscriber and follower count.
His success as a full-fledged Twitch streamer has lead to partnerships with companies such as acclaimed audio company Audio-Technica, fan favourite Monster Energy, and competitive high-performance gaming hardware Razer.
Very little is known of MOONMOON_OW, in fact, all of his streams on Twitch and YouTube videos display audio-only commentary. Some say MOONMOON_OW is the lovable wolf outcast meme Moon Moon who has learned how to play and stream video games without opposable thumbs. But no one can say for certain.
One thing is for sure though, MOONMOON loves playing Overwatch – loving it so much its a part of his online moniker and the primary streams that subscribers and fans get to see on his Twitch account. With witty banter, clever commentary and a passion for charitable donations, MOONMOON is making waves throughout the Twitchverse for being one of the few prominent Twitch streamers who remains successful with complete anonymity.
3 Saqib “Lirik” Zahid
Originally starting as an avid Twitch viewer, Saqib Zahid, or better known as, Lirik, soon found himself on the other end of the spectrum when he went from viewing participant to a fully fledged Twitch streamer.
Since first launching his Twitch account in 2011, streaming World of Warcraft, Lirik’s Twitch account has gone from strength to strength, amassing over 2,585 videos on Twitch featuring the games such as DayZ, Grand Theft Auto V, H1Z1: King of the Kill, and Arma 3 to name a few.
With a play environment that’s very easy to dive into, Lirik streams 6 days a week, up to 7 hours per day, with Sunday known as “Sub Sundays” in which is Twitch subscribers vote for the game he’ll be playing that day. Lirik has also been known to host marathon streams for charity, usually doing 24-hour stream sessions.
2 Jaryd “Summit1g” Lazar
Balancing the delicate balance between a full-fledged Twitch streamer and competitive pro Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player can be difficult for just about anyone, but Jaryd Lazar knows how to make it work.
Known for marathon streams, often streaming up to 12 hours a day, Lazar manages to find the balance of streaming for his personal Twitch account and that of his professional CS:GO Twitch account for Team Mythic. While Team Mythic’s Twitch streams features the team’s practice, scrims, and matches, Summit1g’s personal account can feature anything from vlogging commentary, Grand Theft Auto playthroughs, and immersive DayZ gameplay. His YouTube account features stream highlights which means that Lazar is always in front of the camera doing work to produce various content for all his channels.
Much like other members of this list – TimTheTatman and Lirik, Summit1g is sponsored by audio giant Audio-Technica as well as Monster Energy.
1 Geek & Sundry
While not an individual gamer, Geek & Sundry is a gaming community hub originally founded by the producers of the hit web series The Guild, which includes celebrity gamers like Felicia Day and Star Trek’s favourite son, Wil Wheaton.
Geek & Sundry fully utilises Twitch’s multi-level interactive features. It doesn’t only deal in online interactions, but also livestreams their tabletop events, interactive talk shows, and role-playing games, all the while featuring some of online’s foremost geek voices, such as the cast of Nerdist and Jessica Chobot.
Although Geek & Sundry was founded in 2011, it would take another 4 years before they would launch their Twitch account, launching the channel in 2015 with a 48 hour stream marathon in support of The Lupus Foundation.