Twitch had another record-breaking year in 2020, with 5 billion hours of content watched in Q2 alone. Last year, streamers such as Ninja (real name: Tyler Blevins), and Tfue (real name: Turner Tunney) smashed the ceiling of 10 million followers, edging closer to the kind of audience figures that Netflix would be happy to announce.
Which streamers are going to be worth keeping an eye on in 2021? Let’s take a look at the most engaging Twitch gamers who threaten to break out into the mainstream this year, broken down by the most popular categories.
CS: GO, AdreN
For many of us, Twitch streamers are the best resource for learning how to improve the gameplay of our favorite titles. In the Counter-Strike category, there are few better teachers than AdreN. The current coach of Team Liquid’s CS: GO’s roster, AdreN is always ready to provide followers with detailed walkthroughs of his strategies, tips to navigate your way around the battlefield, and how the top pros react to even the tightest of situations. As one of the most-watched Esports, CS: GO is set to grow in popularity in 2021, which should have a knock-on effect on AdreN’s follower count.
Chess has been played for over a thousand years, but its popularity got a recent shot in the arm thanks to the success of Netflix’s Queen’s Gambit, The Canadian Botez sisters (Alexandra and Andrea) took full advantage of the game’s exposure, putting on close to 100,000 extra followers so far in 2021. Their glamorous and interactive approach to chess is perfect for the modern-day audience, and their Just Chatting videos are almost as big a hit as their high-tempo Turbo matches. For anyone looking to learn about chess in a fast and fun way, the Botezlive channel is a must, and we can see the girls’ follower numbers breaching the 1 million level by the end of the year.
The bearded Swede Roshtein is the most prominent gambling-themed streamer on Twitch, and had another strong 2020, doubling his follower count to almost 500,000. Mostly covering slots but increasingly producing live casino content, Roshtein is brash, bold, and extremely controversial. Doubts continue to dog him with regards to whether or not he uses real money, and how much he is in bed with the actual casinos. It hasn’t hurt his user engagement, though, and it seems there is a huge demand for outrageous boasts, ridiculous hats, and epic wins. Can Roshtein double his follower numbers again, and breach the 1 million mark? He would be the first slot streamer to do so, but don’t put it past him. With so much recent focus on streaming platforms like YouTube and Twitch, it would be little surprise to see some of the more prominent streamers get signed by Canadian casinos such as Mr Green.
Twitch streamers had a great 2020 – as did many digital niches. Will 2021 see a repeat of this stellar growth? Much depends on the development of the COVID pandemic. If people continue to spend more time at home, then they will naturally be drawn to the world of gaming, and to the world of those who talk about gaming. And the interactive nature of Twitch streaming gives gamers like AdreN and the Botez sisters a distinct advantage over other, more detached, forms of entertainment, such as TV shows. We are particularly excited to see if a Twitch streamer can pass the 20 million follower mark in 2021.