Getting paid to play video games in your room sounds like a twelve-year-old’s pipe dream, but these days it can indeed become a reality. Thanks to the success of platforms such as Twitch, anyone who has the skill, talent, and a magnetic camera personality can make it big with enough hard work and determination. Even pro eSports players are getting in on the action, using streaming as both practice and a way to increase their income and also a way to have fun in their busy schedules. As these streamers grew their fanbase, they also increased the figures in their bank accounts.
Through streaming entertaining content on the reg, you can make a decent amount of money. It will cost a lot initially to get the correct equipment, but if the stars align this will pay for itself again and again. But just how much money can you expect to make? Roughly how many followers do you need to bring in the big bucks? What will it take to prove to your parents that gaming all day is actually a productive and beneficial experience, not something to be ashamed of? Well, lucky for us, certain trailblazers have emerged as top dogs in the streaming world; they are good examples of trends and popular taste at this time. The landscape of popular opinion is ever-changing, but what is going on right now? Who are the top tier streamers and how much do they make? Let’s find out.
30 Reckful: World Of Warcraft (794,026 Followers)
Byron Bernstein is a former professional WOW eSports player who has a lot of achievements under his belt. He ranked number one in World of Warcraft for six seasons in a row and was the first person to reach a 3000 rating. Reckful also won the Major League Gaming WOW tournament in 2010. These days he still streams World of Warcraft and even has a podcast called Tea Time with Byron. Reckful also has an interest in poker and has entered competitions in the past.
29 CaptainSparklez: Minecraft (1,283,835 Followers)
Also known as Jordan Maron, CaptainSparklez was originally a YouTuber with a total of 9 channels, seven of them are currently active. He is well-known within the Minecraft community for his Let's Plays and parody videos. He has made a lot of music tracks and has started his own mobile gaming company. With all of these different sources of revenue, it's no wonder he is worth around $5 million. On Twitch, CaptainSparklez still plays Minecraft but also sprinkles in some Fortnite and COD: Black Ops 4.
28 Goldglove: Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 (1,375,206 Followers)
A partnered streamer on Twitch, Brennon O'Neil is a streamer who plays a variety of games, but most commonly plays Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 alongside other games such as Red Dead Redemption 2 and NBA 2K19.
His dog is cute and he has the skill and variety - a package deal!
He streams nearly every day and has a dog named Rhys, which is a reference to Borderlands as his dog has heterochromia eyes that are brown and blue respectively.
27 Alanzoka: Various Games (1,382,697 Followers)
Alan Ferreira, also known as 'Alanzoka', is a Brazilian YouTuber and streamer based in Sao Paulo. He streams a mixture of games such as Battlefield V, Fortnite: Battle Royale and Red Dead Redemption 2. His Five Night's At Freddy's and Oculus Rift videos were particularly popular and garnered a lot of fans and attention. He plays passionately and has a consistent upload schedule that sees hundreds or thousands of fans at any stream.
26 Boxbox: League Of Legends (1,430,055 Followers)
Albert 'boxbox' Zheng has been playing League of Legends since it was in beta. As one of the OG LOL players, he has to know his stuff. He currently mains Riven but used to be into Poppy. Boxbox used to be a substitute for Velocity eSports for a while until 2013. The reason he called himself boxbox was because the characters of his name would just show up as boxes in-game, so he had a sense of humor about it and made it his own.
25 TSM_Bjergsen: League Of Legends (1,450,106 Followers)
Another Team SoloMid player, Søren Bjerg is a Danish professional eSports player who mainly plays as a mid laner. He used to play a lot of World of Warcraft and Diablo 2 but is sticking mainly to LOL. Bjergsen is not only Riot's youngest streamer at age 19 but is also a Red Bull athlete. His passive play style does not always sit well with viewers and he is not famous on an international level, but he still strives to achieve success on his own terms.
24 Gosu: League of Legends (1,456,358 Followers)
Gosu is a Korean term for someone who is highly skilled and in gaming circles is used to refer to someone who is excellent at StarCraft 2, Overwatch, and other similar games. Gosu has been playing League of Legends for nearly a decade and is currently signed to Team SoloMid. One of the draws of his streams was the fact that he did not reveal his face or voice on stream until 2015, so the reveal took the gaming world by surprise.
23 Dyrus: League Of Legends (1,464,070 Followers)
Marcus 'Dyrus' Hill is a retired professional League of Legends player who has been playing LOL since its beta phase. He used to be signed with Team SoloMid in 2015 after the League of Legends World Championship. Now he plays LOL on stream and chills out. His stream picked up after he signed up with Epik Gamer and they were successful in LAN tournaments. Dyrus has a unique playstyle and engaging personality which really draws you in when you watch him, making him a good pick to follow.
22 JoshOG: Global Strike: Counter Offensive (1,520,835 Followers)
Starting out in February 2014, Josh Beaver started out as just a kid from Denver who watched bigger streamers for tips on how to improve. He posted his links in every game forum he could find, which worked but did get him banned from the forums. It seems safe to say that this worked in his favorki since he is successful in the streaming world. One issue occurred when it was discovered that he had equity in the CS:GOLotto site, which he had been heavily promoting without mentioning his financial connection to the site.
21 Faker: League of Legends (1,548,894 Followers)
Lee Sang-Hyeok, also known as 'Faker', is a very recent addition to the Twitch streaming scene, only just joining Twitch in 2017. He is a professional League of Legends player who is currently signed with the SK Telecom T1 team. Known for his hyper-aggressive play style, Faker is the main mid laner for his team. A lovely fact about him is that he views his team as a second family and thinks this bond makes them stronger.
20 Castro_1021: FIFA (1,549,344 Followers)
Finally, a new kind of game! Edwin 'Castro_1021' Castro is the number one FIFA streamer and commentator in the world. He is a partnered streamer on Twitch and has a brutal upload schedule; uploading almost every day except the holidays. He also has a very strong YouTube presence where he makes videos about FIFA packs and provides his thoughts on the franchise. One of his big things is charity live streaming; the first one he ever did lasted 30 hours, which is crazy!
19 CDNThe3rd: Fortnite: Battle Royale (1,711,347 Followers)
Also known as Ceasar Noriega, CDNThe3rd is a huge Fortnite player but has played a bunch of different games before then. He started out with DayZ then moved on to Killer Instinct. Soon he played H1Z1 and CS:GO before finally landing on Fortnite.
So many Fortnite players on this list.
When he initially started playing Fortnite he had 200,000 followers or so but then things really took off for him. Now he is one of the biggest faces in the streaming scene and collaborates with big names like Ninja.
18 NICKMERCS: Fortnite: Battle Royale (1,954,522 Followers)
A bodybuilder and streamer, Nick Kolcheff started out on YouTube with Outlast and Call of Duty content then Destiny before moving on to Fortnite. NICKMERCS also set a World Record for the most squad eliminations in one game, with 54 defeats. He is no stranger to competition either; he has competed in Fortnite tournaments like Fortnite Summer Skirmish and done pretty well for himself. With every weight lifted, he is also lifting away the image of pro gamers as obese and unhealthy.
17 LolTyler1: League Of Legends (1,977,946 Followers)
Once known as 'The Most Toxic Player' by the League of Legends community, Tyler 'lolTyler1' Steinkamp is one of the biggest LOL online personalities. In 2016, he was banned from playing League of Legends due to threatening other players, verbal attacks and more. The ban lasted two years and was lifted in 2018 due to good behavior. This sparked a discussion surrounding gaming addiction and toxicity within the community, with others sharing their stories and seeking advice.
16 Sodapoppin: World Of Warcraft (2,221,480 Followers)
Switching over from Xfire was definitely a good call for this guy. Chance 'sodapoppin' Morris initially started out by streaming World of Warcraft before moving on to online gambling in 2014. These days he focuses on variety, playing games like Dead by Daylight and Overwatch while still returning to favorites like World of Warcraft every now and again. sodapoppin used to be a co-owner of Nothern Gaming before it was purchased by NRG eSports, which is owned by Shaquille O'Neal and other big names.
15 Lirik: DayZ (2,290,042 Followers)
Initially starting out on Twitch in 2011 with World of Warcraft, Saqib 'Lirik' Zahid is a famous and successful streamer. For years now, he has been partnered with Discord, the free voice and text chat app for gamers, and has been paid to promote the app which is now huge in the gaming community. He has played a wide range of games from DayZ to PUBG to Marvel's Spider-Man and this flexibility is valuable in terms of his large view count.
14 Nightblue3: League Of Legends (2,329,487 Followers)
Worth around $3,000,000, Rabia 'Nightblue3' Yazbek is loved for his informative guides and streams which provide a lot of detail and insight into his strategies and tactics. Not letting his high status get to his head, on reaching 1 million Twitch followers he ran a 24-hour live stream and raised over $29,000 for the Save The Children charity. He is known for playing non-meta junglers such as Sayted Vayne and AP Rengar and for saying funny catchphrases like 'flamingos' and 'kappa'.
13 Imaqtpie: League Of Legends (2,472,028 Followers)
Former professional League of Legends player, Michael 'Imaqtpie' Santana was a part of Team Dignitas, but quit playing professional eSports to become a full-time Twitch streamer. Imaqtpie briefly returned to the world of professional gaming in 2017 in the NA Challenger Series, where he reunited with some old teammates on a new roster to compete one last time. Being one of the biggest LOL streamers, it is no wonder that he is worth $3,900,000 and was nominated for the Teen Choice Awards Choice Gamer award.
12 Pokimane: League Of Legends (2,496,491 Followers)
A Moroccan Canadian YouTuber and streamer, Imane 'Pokimane' Anys is famous for her League of Legends and Fortnite: Battle Royale streams. Pokimane describes her streams as 'part gameplay, part mukbang, part Dr. Phil episode' and focuses on entertaining and relatable content. She is the only female streamer on this list, which is connected to the issue of female streamers not growing as much as male ones, but that is a topic for another day.
11 TSM_Daequan: Fortnite: Battle Royale (2,961,395 Followers)
Daequan Loco, known by many as Daequan, is another member of Team SoloMid and a famous Fortnite pro gamer and streamer. He once held the World Record for most eliminations in a game of Fortnite, setting the bar with 39 eliminations. In the past, he played numerous games at a professional level, including Destiny 1 PVP, Smite and GunZ. On his Twitch, he states that he was a top ten Roadhog player when he played Overwatch, adding yet another accomplishment to his list.
10 Syndicate: Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 (2,663,279 Followers)
Tom 'Syndicate' Cassell is a YouTuber, streamer and entrepreneur who runs one of the oldest channels on Twitch; in 2014, his channel was the first to break 1 million followers. Syndicate has a net worth of roughly $4 million, but I'm sure this took a hit with the recent controversies surrounding him. Cassell has a history of being financially tied to products, games, and websites that he makes videos about without disclosing these financial ties to his audience, which is a breach of Federal Trade Commission guidelines.
9 Dr. Lupo: Fortnite (2,686,713 Followers)
Captain of the Rogue competitive team, Benjamin Lupo is another big name Fortnite streamer who earns big money on Twitch.tv. It's estimated that he makes just under $2 million a year, which is not something to sneeze at. Dr. Lupo can back his follower count up, as it is reported that he won a game of Fortnite while being swatted - the act of someone calling the police on a player. He seemed unfazed by this and explained that this was the third time he'd been swatted - what??
8 Dr. Disrespect: Player Unknown Battle Grounds (2,934,797 Followers)
Herschel Beahm IV, also known as 'Dr. Disrespect', is one of the biggest characters in streaming. Herschel initially messed around on voice chat in Halo 2 on XBox, but soon grew a persona described by ESPN as a 'WWE character in the competitive gaming world'. If that isn't zany enough for you, he wears a mullet wig, sunglasses, and a wicked moustache when donning this crazy person. He is more of an entertainment personality than a gamer is some ways, but he has the skill to back himself up, so it's fun to watch him either way.
7 Dakotaz: Fortnite: Battle Royale (2,977,188 Followers)
Another member of Team SoloMid, Brett 'Dakotaz' Hoffman is a professional Fortnite player who started out on YouTube. He initially played War-Z and Clearview PVP videos before making the move to Player Unknown Battle Grounds and then Fortnite. He is well-known for having a regular streaming schedule, likable personality and genuinely skilled Fortnite play. Dakotaz has a net worth of $650,000 and has collaborated with other famous streamers like Ninja and Myth - seems like there's a real community at the top.
6 TimTheTatman: Fortnite: Battle Royale (3,045,921 Followers)
Another Fortnite streamer, Timothy John Betar is another familiar face in streaming. He is most well-known for doing stream compilations and for collaborating with other streamers such as Ninja, Myth and Dr. Lupo, who coincidentally also made this list. TimTheTatman has also done broadcasting and is easily able to hype up viewers and fans with his commentary.
5 Summit1G: Call Of Duty Black Ops 4 (3,367,354 Followers)
Jaryd 'Summit1G' Lazar is a retired Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competitive player who now streams games as his full-time job. He was the most popular streamer in early 2018, but has been beaten out by other streamers since then. With a current net worth of around $3,550,000, I am starting to wonder if maybe a career change is viable. This success comes from his flexibility to play various games such as Fortnite, PUBG, GTA V and other games with large fanbases.
4 Tfue: Fortnite: Battle Royale (3,643,674 Followers)
Tfue. also known as Turner Tenney, is a professional eSports player for FaZe Clan. He initially started out as a Call of Duty and Destiny streamer and YouTuber, but moved on to games like PUBG and Fortnite. Some call him the best player in the world and argue that he his better than Ninja, other disagree. He has been involved in various scandals regarding Fortnite skins and account bans in the past, but is trying to move past them.
3 TSM_Myth: Fortnite: Battle Royale (4,538,818 Followers)
Ali 'TSM_Myth' Kabbani started out playing Paragon in 2016, but became very popular when he switched to streaming Fortnite. He now serves as the captain of Team SoloMid playing their premiere Builder player. Part of his popularity streams from his informative streams, his drive and the fact that he was one of the first streamers to pick up Fortnite, which is one of the most popular games at the time of this article's writing.
2 Shroud: Call Of Duty Black Ops 4 (4,845,977 Followers)
Michael 'Shroud' Grzesiek initially started out as a professional CS: GO player with teams like Manajuma and Cloud9 before leaving CS: GO completely and moving on to play games like Player Unknown Battle Grounds and Call of Duty Black Ops 4: Blackout. With a net worth of $2,900,000, Shroud is beloved by the streaming community and is a familiar face for many gaming fans. Considering how long he's been professional and how many followers he has it's not hard to see how he got so much money.
1 Ninja: Fortnite: Battle Royale (12,301,281 Followers)
This guy has really blazed the trail for other streamers. Born in Detroit and raised in Chicago, Richard Tyler Blevins not only broke the Twitch.tv record for most viewers on a single individual stream in March 2018, but the following September was also the first eSports player to be featured on the cover of ESPN magazine, finally breaking eSports players into the mainstream. He also made a famous comment regarding not streaming with female streamers to protect his marriage from rumors and hate, which caused mixed responses.