In this post, we’ll spotlight the individuals and organizations that have garnered the largest followings on Twitch (though it’s worth noting that one of them is currently banned from the platform). Many of these Twitch channels feature hosts playing a particular game, providing commentary as their fans tune in, or live-streaming gaming tournaments. If you’re also curious about how these Twitch streamers fare in terms of earnings, be sure to check out our list of the top ten highest-paid Twitch streamers.
We’re all familiar with the giants of social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Instagram has also secured its place in the upper echelons of the social media landscape. However, there’s a platform that might not be on everyone’s radar—Twitch. Twitch is a dynamic live-streaming video platform with a primary focus on live-streamed video games. It’s a haven for gamers and often showcases eSports tournaments, a trend we recently covered regarding their growing impact on brands.
Twitch’s popularity might surprise some. In February 2014, it became the fourth-largest contributor to peak internet traffic in the USA, a factor that undoubtedly influenced Amazon’s decision to acquire the platform that same year.
As of October 2022, Twitch boasts a staggering 7.13 million active Twitch streamers and over 31 million daily active users.
Top 10 Twitch Streamers for 2023:
You can find Jaryd Lazar, known by his Twitch handle summit1g, live-streaming Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) and Fortnite. Streaming is not just a pastime for him; it’s his full-time job. Spending around 35 hours streaming in a typical week, he maintains a consistent schedule, except for Thursdays when he takes a break.
Jaryd’s journey has an interesting twist—he transitioned from being a competitive Counter-Strike player, representing teams like A51 and Team Mythic, to becoming a full-time streamer. While shooter games are his forte, he’s open to playing a wide variety of games, finding enjoyment in the diversity of gaming experiences.
Hailing from Colorado, USA, Jaryd is 35 years old, and he achieved the distinction of becoming the most followed gamer on Twitch on January 25, 2018. You can catch his streams on his Twitch channel.
Riot Games, a prominent American video game company and eSports event organizer, utilizes its Twitch channel as a hub for live-streaming eSports championships, with a particular focus on the North American and European League of Legends Championship Series.
Founded in 2006 by Brandon “Ryze” Beck and Marc “Tryndamere” Merrill, Riot Games initially started as an indie game developer. However, they reached incredible heights with the release of League of Legends in October 2009, adopting a freemium business model. Their influence extends globally, as they manage League of Legends servers across different regions, often offering localized versions of the game to cater to a diverse audience.
On their Twitch channel, Riot Games frequently live-streams League of Legends tournaments and replays them on days when new tournaments are not scheduled, providing a continuous stream of captivating eSports action for fans.
Syndicate (Tom Cassell)
Tom Cassell, better known as Syndicate, has earned recognition and popularity across both Twitch and YouTube. His Twitch channel, ranking as the third most popular, is complemented by his YouTube venture, TheSyndicateProject, which ranks among the Top 100 most subscribed channels on the platform.
Tom boasts a significant achievement in the realm of Twitch—he was the first person to amass 1 million followers on the platform, a milestone he reached in August 2014.
While navigating the gaming landscape, his primary focus centers around titles like Minecraft, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Tom Clancy’s The Division.
Beyond his gaming endeavors, Tom has diversified his portfolio by establishing his merchandise site, Syndicate Original. Additionally, he’s recognized for lending his voice to the character Loki in the mobile app game Marvel Avengers Academy, adding yet another facet to his impressive profile.
Shroud (Michael Grzesiek)
Michael Grzesiek, known as Shroud in the online gaming world, is a top-tier professional Counter-Strike player affiliated with Cloud9. He has established himself as one of the most prominent and entertaining figures in the esports scene, captivating audiences with his remarkable skills.
Shroud’s gaming repertoire encompasses a range of titles, including PUBG, H1Z1, Tom Clancy’s The Division, The Culling, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege. His involvement with CS:GO extends to the ESEA Invite league, where he competes with Cloud9 G2A.
What’s truly remarkable about Shroud is his dedication to live streaming. He frequently goes live whenever he’s gaming, sometimes logging more than 50 hours in a single week. His streams consistently draw an average of around 25,000 viewers, although this number can skyrocket to as high as 7 million during special tournaments, a testament to his immense popularity and skill in the gaming world. You can catch Shroud in action on his Twitch channel.
ESL, which stands for the Electronic Sports Company, operates the ESL_CSGO channel, which serves as the go-to destination for streaming Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) games and tournaments. Their coverage is continuous, featuring live streams of games and replays when no live events are in progress. In their own words, they proudly declare themselves “the industry’s first 24/7 Counter-Strike Twitch channel!”
What sets ESL_CSGO apart is its professional commentary, akin to what you’d find in traditional sports broadcasts. They provide insightful play-by-play commentary, along with pre-match and post-match interviews featuring the tournament’s gamers.
Their Twitch page is replete with advertisements for gaming equipment, apparel, and even computer hosting services. Moreover, they operate an online shop where fans can purchase official team apparel, catering to the passionate esports community. If you’re seeking round-the-clock CS:GO action and in-depth tournament coverage, ESL_CSGO has you covered.
Imaqtpie (Michael Santana)
In the offline world, Imaqtpie is known as Michael Santana, a 30-year-old Floridian. However, when the sun sets, he transitions into a Twitch sensation. While he used to be a full-time League of Legends player, reaching the prestigious Challenger 1 rank on the North American server, he has since diversified his gaming ventures and even claimed the championship at the flippers360 LAN tournament.
During his earlier days, he was a key member of the professional gaming team Dignitas, a chapter that concluded at the end of 2014.
The origin of his distinctive username traces back to a simple yet endearing source—his mother, who affectionately referred to him as “cute.”
Imaqtpie is not just a solo act; he frequently collaborates with Scarra to host “Beyond the Rift,” a weekly segment where they delve into top news, discuss critical issues, and make game predictions within the League of Legends universe.
For Imaqtpie, live streaming is a way of life. He dedicates approximately 9 hours each day to live streaming gameplay, doing so six days a week. If you’re seeking engaging and frequent streams, Imaqtpie’s channel is the place to be.
Nightblue3 (Rabia Yazbek)
In the gaming realm, Rabia Yazbek, a 29-year-old hailing from Michigan, USA, is more commonly recognized as Nightblue3. His journey in League of Legends spans over seven years, showcasing his enduring commitment to the game. During his competitive career, he achieved the remarkable feat of being Rank 3 Challenger in North America during Season 3 and attaining Rank 6 Challenger status in both North America and Europe in Season 4. Impressively, Nightblue3 maintained his Challenger status across Seasons 5 to 7, solidifying his position as a formidable player.
Beyond his gaming prowess, Nightblue3 is renowned for his informative content. His YouTube channel features a treasure trove of in-depth guides, patch note reviews, highlights, spectates, and gameplay montages, catering to the League of Legends community’s thirst for knowledge and entertainment.
Describing his Twitch channel as a platform where he can “discuss gameplay tips, provide advice, and engage in theorycrafting while simultaneously enjoying the gaming experience,” Nightblue3 has carved out a niche for himself as a gamer who blends skill with a passion for sharing insights and having fun with his audience.
LIRIK (The Bean Bandit)
LIRIK, often affectionately referred to as “The Bean Bandit,” is a prominent Twitch streamer and devoted PC gamer. With a comprehensive presence across major social channels, he has been a fixture on Twitch since 2011, though he started streaming consistently a year later when DayZ was released.
LIRIK’s gaming palette encompasses a diverse array of titles, including H1Z1, Arma 3, PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS, and Fortnite, reflecting his dynamic and versatile gaming style.
One distinctive trait of LIRIK is his strong inclination toward privacy. Unlike many on the platform, he rarely, if ever, uses his real name in his online presence.
Earlier this year, he made the decision to take a temporary hiatus, citing feelings of burnout. However, his recent Twitch schedule suggests that he has returned to his streaming activities, much to the delight of his dedicated viewers. LIRIK remains an influential figure in the world of online gaming and live streaming.
Ninja (Tyler "Ninja" Blevins)
Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, representing Luminosity Gaming, has carved out a distinctive path in the world of gaming. While he once identified as a professional Halo player, he has evolved into a multifaceted content creator, engaging with his viewers as he streams games on his Twitch channel five days a week. Whenever the opportunity arises, he delves into H1Z1, further expanding the range of games he shares with his audience.
In recent times, Ninja has become synonymous with Fortnite, dedicating significant focus to the game, although he also indulges in the realm of League of Legends. His commitment to his craft is truly remarkable, with marathon gaming sessions that can stretch up to 80 hours a week.
Ninja’s competitive journey includes his team ‘Renegades’ achieving 5th–8th place in the 2016 Halo World Championship for Halo 5, highlighting his competitive prowess and commitment to the gaming community. Whether it’s through Halo, Fortnite, League of Legends, or other titles, Ninja continues to captivate audiences with his gaming prowess and charismatic presence.
Sodapoppin (Thomas Chance Morris)
Sodapoppin, the online alias of 28-year-old Texan Thomas Chance Morris, has been a prominent figure in the world of streaming for approximately eight years. His streaming journey began on a platform called Xfire, and he later transitioned to Twitch, where he has been entertaining audiences for the past six years.
Sodapoppin’s streaming style is characterized by his versatility. He immerses himself in a diverse array of games, often switching to a new title almost daily to keep things fresh and engaging for his viewers.
In his early days, Sodapoppin was a dedicated World of Warcraft enthusiast, and his passion for the game still shines through as he revisits and discusses it with fondness.
Beyond his streaming pursuits, Sodapoppin also holds the distinction of being a part owner of the renowned eSports organization, NRG eSports, further cementing his presence and influence in the gaming industry. Whether he’s exploring new games or diving into nostalgic WoW adventures, Sodapoppin continues to be a beloved figure in the world of online gaming and streaming.
Conclusion: The Best Twitch Streamers of 2023
As we navigate the vast landscape of social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, we often overlook the hidden gem that is Twitch. This dynamic live-streaming video platform, primarily dedicated to video game live streams, has become a thriving hub for gamers and a prominent stage for eSports tournaments—an influence we recently explored in the context of its impact on brands.
In 2023, the Twitch community will continue to thrive, providing a vibrant space for gaming enthusiasts and content creators alike. Whether you’re a seasoned Twitch viewer or someone discovering this realm for the first time, these top Twitch streamers offer an exciting and diverse range of experiences, making Twitch a platform that truly stands out in the world of online entertainment.