Here are the biggest streamers to follow on Twitch, the hottest games to watch and the latest news about Twitch streamer bans.
With over 9 million active monthly streamers on Twitch, there’s plenty of choice over who to follow. But much like TV streaming services, finding an entertaining live Twitch streamer to tune in to can be a time-consuming task. In this article, we’ll catch you up to speed with the latest news about Twitch streamer bans, the hottest games to watch, and the best streamers to follow in 2021.
What streamers are big in 2021?
As one of the pandemic’s rare beneficiaries, Twitch is booming as people spend more time indoors and online. Hours watched on Twitch more than doubled year-on-year, jumping 117% between January 2020 and January 2021, according to a joint report by StreamElements and Rainmaker.gg.
Big titles led to Twitch’s viewership growth, but some smaller games featured too. In January, Rust made an unlikely 1200% month-on-month jump to the top of the charts after several popular streamers jumped back into the 2013 videogame. And Escape from Tarkov reached 108 million hours watched, a 143% increase over the previous month.
As of March, GTA V is topping the monthly charts with 183 million hours, according to a Newzoo report, followed closely by esports’ largest title League of Legends. Following its meteoric rise to worldwide fame after its launch in 2017, Fortnite has continued to pull in remarkable numbers. With some of Twitch’s most popular creators streaming Fortnite, it sits comfortably at 117 million hours watched, the third most-watched game in March 2021.
Nearing a year into its existence, Valorant has also proven itself a popular streaming title capable of captivating audiences. However, ‘Just Chatting,’ the Twitch category where streamers talk without gameplay, has proved the most popular of all in the past month. Twitch statistics site Twitchmetrics.net puts the overall recorded hours for the category at 266 million.
How to Watch the best streamers live?
There are more ways to engage with Twitch than simply visiting their browser website. Alongside their Android and IOS mobile apps, Twitch offers desktop applications for Windows and Mac. Downloading the Twitch desktop app will grant you ultra-fast access and dark mode, voice and video calls, servers and game-specific mods.
Esports content portal Juked.gg has also emerged as a new way to engage with Twitch content. Directed at esports fans, Juked aggregates news, results and live streams into one platform and acts as a convenient way to keep with live Twitch streams from across esports.
Top Streamers for 2021
While ultimately the most entertaining streams will depend on your preferences, we’ve put together a curated list of the top streamers to follow for 2021:
US politician Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, frequently referred to by her initials (and now Twitch username) AoC, made her Twitch debut last year with a broadcast of Among Us that drew a peak of 435,000 viewers, one of the highest ever concurrent viewer counts for an individual streamer. AoC’s most recent Twitch broadcast was a Just Chatting stream discussing the GameStop craze and retail trading, which has since garnered 1.2 million views.
HasantheHun, who streams daily for his 1.2 million followers, focuses on political commentary and gaming. His main category is Just Chatting. He uses his streams to discuss and debate contemporary US and international politics and play games like GTA V and Magic: The Gathering.
SypherPK is an American streamer best known for his Call of Duty: Warzone and Fortnite gameplay. With the 20th most followers on Twitch, he regularly pulls in thousands of concurrent viewers with his gameplay. Recently, he’s been featuring home gym and workout streams which he does alongside his viewers.
NickMercs is a US streamer focusing on Call of Duty: Warzone who often streams with SypherPK and TimtheTatMan. He signed with FaZe Clan as a content creator in 2019 shortly after departing 100 Thieves. With over 200,000 new followers in the past month, his stream is home to a large and quickly growing audience.
Rubius is a Spanish-language variety streamer who currently holds the title of the most significant non-English stream on Twitch. While primarily known as a YouTuber, he is now the 4th most followed Twitch channel and streams a wide variety of games including Minecraft, Among Us and Just Chatting.
Sykkuno is an American streamer known for his distinctively calm, laid-back attitude that offers a more casual viewing experience. He grew massively in late 2020 and quickly earned a place within the top 10 most subscribed Twitch channels. As a variety streamer, he streams numerous games, but GTA V and Among Us take up most of his airtime.
Pokimane is by far the most prominent female streamer and a staple of the streaming world. The so-called ‘queen of Twitch,’ Pokimane is best known for her League of Legends and Fortnite content but has recently played more Valorant, Among Us and has been Just Chatting for a sizable portion of her recent streaming hours. She is part of the popular content creator collective Offline TV, through which she collaborates with other creators.
Arguably a household name in gaming, TimtheTatMan has recently been on a Call of Duty: Warzone streak. He has been a full-time creator for seven years and stays true to the variety streamer label with an arsenal of entertaining Warzone, Fortnite, Overwatch, Valorant and other content.
Summit1G is an American streamer and former professional CS:GO pro. He famously and hilariously threw an important professional CS:GO map for his team in 2016 after winning a game-point clutch, then dying to his molotov grenade. He subsequently retired from pro play. Through his CS:GO and WarZ content, Summit has since become one of Twitch’s biggest streamers and currently plays various games, including Sea of Thieves, GTA V, Escape from Tarkov, Valorant and DayZ.
Myth is a US streamer and professional Fortnite player signed to esports org TSM. He started his streaming career in Epic Game’s now-defunct Paragon before moving to Fortnite and blowing up in popularity. As a pro player, Myth naturally streams Fortnite but has recently played tons of Valorant, spending 90% of his streaming hours this month doing so. He has amassed over 7 million followers and 127 million views on his channel.
As the face of Twitch, Richard Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins’ needs little introduction. Ninja is the most popular and most-followed streamer on Twitch, and his name has become near synonymous with gaming. Starting as a professional Halo player, he competed under numerous large esports organizations before moving to H1Z1 and then PUBG. When Fortnite came out in 2017, Ninja accelerated in popularity almost as quickly as the game itself. He left Twitch to stream on Microsoft’s Mixer but returned to Twitch after Mixer folded in July 2020. He broke Twitch’s individual concurrent viewership record in 2018 while playing Fortnite with Drake, Travis Scott and JuJu Smith-Schuster.
With almost 17 million Twitch followers, Ninja is still best known for his Fortnite gameplay. The past month has been dominated by his Valorant and League of Legends streams, however, which regularly attract tens of thousands of viewers.
Twitch bans – the good, the bad, the forever
While Twitch has continued to grow rapidly, the platform has handed out some high-profile bans in recent years.
Dr. Disrespect’s Mysterious Twitch ban
The gaming world was rocked last June by the news of Dr. DisRespect’s mysterious ban from Twitch. Dr. DisRespect, who was previously one of Twitch’s biggest streamers, was indefinitely banned by the platform for still unknown reasons after an internal investigation. Dr. Disrespect has maintained that he does not know the reason for his ban. With Twitch refusing to reveal details about the case, the ban of one of Twitch’s superstars continues to confound the streaming world. Dr. DisRespect has since started streaming on YouTube and regained much of his viewer count.
Controversy King – XQC
Canadian streamer and ex-Overwatch pro Félix ‘xQc’ Lengyel, a controversial figure but one of Twitch’s most-watched stars, received three Twitch bans in 2020 alone. His first 3-day ban in February was for showing nudity on stream in an adult-themed game; his second, in June, was a 24 hour ban for displaying explicit video content of two gorillas engaged in intercourse; and the third was a week-long ban for stream sniping during a Fall Guys Twitch Rivals event in November.
Donald Trump’s Twitch Affair
Donald J. Trump’s status as US President did not prevent him from joining the list of banned Twitch accounts last year. Mr. Trump’s Twitch channel had been temporarily banned in June 2020 after Twitch found broadcasts of his political rallies constituted “hateful conduct” and broke their Terms of Service. He was subsequently permanently banned on the day he became a private citizen, a move that followed other social media platform bans for the controversial former President.
With over 500,000 followers, Kaceytron is a fairly big deal on Twitch, but she too felt the platform’s ban hammer early last year. Kacey was banned in March after she said “the world would be a better place without old and poor people” concerning Covid-19 during a guest appearance on a Twitch stream. Twitch handed her the ‘indefinite’ ban for “hateful conduct and threats of violence against a person or group of people”, but subsequently unbanned her 10 days later.