In recent years, gaming streamers on platforms like Twitch have emerged as the new generational influencers, eclipsing the traditional impact of rappers in shaping youth culture. This shift is emblematic of the digital age, where live streaming and interactive online communities have become central to the daily lives of many young people. Unlike rappers, whose influence often stems from music and associated lifestyles, gaming streamers offer a blend of real-time entertainment, personal interaction, and community building. Their platforms enable them to engage directly with fans, which is so distinctly missing for the traditional celebrity of rappers and actors.
The industry was especially bolstered by the COVID-19 pandemic, where quarantined consumers eagerly watched hundreds of millions of hours on Twitch and other platforms collectively. Many streamers had massive blowup careers over the last few years, leaving them millionaires. From streamers like Kai Cenat, Adin Ross, Ludwig, Jynxzi, and Clix; even smaller streamers like Lacy, Ripraraa, Jivi, Zachology, Orangie, Toasty, and hundreds more have found incredible success from streaming.
Clix, a 19 year old streamer on Twitch, skyrocketed from hundreds of viewers to tens of thousands of viewers because of COVID. He competed in, and has won many Fortnite tournaments and cash cups, leading him to be considered one of the most consistent Fortnite professional players and streamers. He’s also one of the largest streamers on the platform Twitch, averaging over 20,000 concurrent viewers.
Clix regularly goes viral on TikTok, with his interactions with female streamers often pulling in multiple millions of views
@moreclixtv DARLA CHEATED ON ME! #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #viral #trending #gaming #fortnite #darlaclaire #clix ♬ original sound – Clix
Lacy is a 20-year-old current content creator who has been able to make a name for himself in the Fortnite scene. In December 2022, Lacy trolled Clix on stream, leading Clix to invite him to the lobby, which led to a hilarious interaction, which went viral on YouTube and TikTok, pulling in millions of views. One of his videos of an interaction with a stranger in the McDonald’s drive-through went viral on TikTok, leading to nearly 15 million views.
@lacyhimself I got in a fight at McDonald’s???? #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #viral #trending #mcdonalds ♬ original sound – Lacy
Zachology is a Fortnite creator who initially went viral on TikTok with his “Piece Control Kyle” videos in which he uses a monotone voice as a comedic representation of how Fortnite professional players communicate in tournaments, which became an internet meme throughout 2021 and 2022, earning him more than 2 million followers on the platform, causing him to be one of the fastest growing streamers in 2021.
@zachology Sent him back to school #fortnite #fortniteclips #xyzbca #foryoupage ♬ original sound – Zachology
Toasty (sometimes stylized as toasty1k and ToastyOG) started streaming in 2019 to minimal viewers, however when COVID came around, just like so many others, his viewers started trending upwards. He’s recently been going viral on TikTok, routinely climbing the top gaming streamer leaderboards in the app, often peaking at several thousand viewers on his streams because of his clever usage of new TikTok Live features, leading to tens of millions of views on his videos.
@toasty1k Can’t believe josh commented this #toastyog #streamer #tiktoklive #fortniteclips #fortnite #dogcam ♬ Fukashigi no Carte Lofi Hiphop (Bunny Girl Senpai) – bvyunx