iCelebrities: Today’s Top Twitch Talent
It used to be the case that fame was reserved for those that had a discernible talent such as acting, singing or competing in some sort of athletic endeavour. However, as the number of TV channels available increased and attitudes towards the definition of a “celebrity” became more liberal, the entry requirements to the fame academy became less stringent.
Indeed, by simply appearing in a house full of cameras or drinking copious amounts of alcohol in a club, virtually anyone was able to get on TV and gain some level of notoriety in the late nineties and early noughties.
However, with “reality TV” now coming close to the ever fateful shark stunt and consumers turning towards the Internet for their entertainment fix, a new breed of online celebrities are starting to emerge. Bred from the confines of gaming platforms such as Twitch, this next generation of famous faces are now attracting millions of views every month thanks to a combination of interaction, education and entertainment.
Thanks to the direct contact streamers such as Cong “StrifeCro” Shu can have with fans via Twitch, iCelebrities are now the hottest commodities in town for online browsers and sponsors alike. Naturally, every streamer brings something different to the party and the most “entertaining” will be a matter of personal choice, but we’ve managed to round up five of the top streamers from all sides of the Twitch spectrum to give you some idea of who to look out for when you’re next online.
Cong “StrifeCro” Shu
Considered to be one of the best StarCraft II players in the world, Cong has represented a number of high profile gaming teams in his time and was even the coach of Team Legion before taking time away from the industry. Now back into the groove playing Hearthstone, Cong manages to juggle some epic online sessions with his quest for a plethora of university qualifications.
At the last count, Cong had amassed more than 4 million channel views and gained almost 100,000 followers. This influence, combined with his achievements on the professional gaming circuit, has allowed him to court a number of sponsors in the past, including: Cloud 9, nvidia and Logitech.
Jamie “PokerStaples” Staples
One of the original online poker streamers, Jamie was at the forefront of the Twitch poker revolution back at the start of 2015. Despite having previously offered streams of live poker games, Twitch went full force into the genre in 2015 with a dedicated portal for players of all skill levels and statuses.
Leading the way alongside other notable streamers, such as Jason Somerville, was Mr. Staples who had quickly built up a following of thousands. Thanks to an affinity for the game and a way with words, Staples was able to breakdown his often complex thought processes in a way that casual viewers and aspiring pros could understand. This combination of talent and talk led to a sponsorship deal with the large operator in the iGaming space, PokerStars. This deal has since given Jamie the chance to travel to various poker tournaments around the world and commentate on live games featuring famous pros.
Sonja “OMGitsfirefoxx” Reid
Despite only being active online for just over a year, Sonja has burst into the top ten ranked female Twitchers mainly due to her love of interaction. Unlike some streamers who enjoy long soliloquies focusing on their own gaming exploits, Sonja is constantly creating a dialogue with fans in order to keep them engaged.
Another reason why Sonja has captured the imagination of the viewing public is her focus on mainstream games such as Minecraft and The Sims 4. This combination of familiarity and accessibility has led to Sonja attracting more than 500,000 followers and branding deals with companies such as Mianite.
Kevin “Purge” Godec
When it comes to no nonsense streaming, Kevin is one of the best streamers out there. An expert in Dota 2, Kevin is able to breakdown the game in a simple, direct way that makes it seem accessible to almost anyone. In fact, in tandem with his live streams he offers a “Welcome to Dota, You Suck” guide which provides a complete outline of the game in layman’s terms.
Thanks to his brutal honesty and willingness to guide others, “Purge” has not only racked up millions of channel views, but courted the attention of sponsors such as theScore eSports and Dotabuff, a statistical data tool for the game.
Lea “LegendaryLea” May
One of the more seductive Twitch streamers, Lea has built up a reputation for being both flirty and outspoken on her channel in recent years. Mainly playing Hearthstone, Lea has managed to receive more than 26 million channel views since she’s been active and bank thousands in donations and subscriptions; her most lucrative being a single gift worth $23,100.
As well as being a hit for her good lucks and engaging personality, Lea is also a neuroscience and philosophy major which means she has the brains to back up her beauty. In fact, it’s for this combination of reasons that she’s one of the most popular Twitchers in the world.