If you’ve ever wondered how eSports and gaming, in general, became part of the mainstream, thank Twitch. The streaming platform was originally a passion project called Justin.tv. One gamer wanted to live-stream his exploits to friends—but the model quickly took off. By 2011, Twitch.tv had changed how gamers connected with one another.
By 2014, Amazon had acquired the fledgling company, then flipped it into a gold standard in streaming. YouTube hasn’t been able to touch it, while other projects like Microsoft’s short-lived Mixer also failed. It seems Twitch is here to stay.
And, in the last year or two, streamers are diversifying outside of traditional games. While Twitch was the platform that helped launch titles like League of Legends and CS GO into the stratosphere, it now sees plenty of casual or even non-gamers accruing huge followings.
Each idea is stranger and grander than the last. If you’re looking for a new Twitch stream to follow, or a landing pad to get started on the platform, then consider checking out one of these breakout stars from 2023.
Poker & Comedy
Back in the early 2000s, online poker may have been one of the first viral trends. Today, millions continue to play via online platforms. These platforms make it possible to advance to regional qualifiers, in some cases. But if you’re new to the game and want to explore at your own pace (and with a few laughs), then subscribe to Tom Hayward, AKA Majin.
The streamer is known for his hilarious takes while playing home games on the PokerStars platform. He’s got a quick wit, but he’s also great at poker—and recently received a nod of approval from another top-rated Twitch poker streamer, Lex Veldhuis. Want to laugh and bluff in the same breath? Majin has you covered.
Casual Gaming & Cosplay
As part of the OTK streaming group, Emiru’s following has taken off over the past year. However, the streamer focuses on games such as League of Legends just like thousands of other channels. So, what makes hers stand out?
Emiru is known for her OTT cosplay looks and her bubbly personality. She’s not playing to be the best, but just to have fun. Her personality is what attracts casual gamers to her channel. At the moment, she’s considered one of the top female streamers.
Gaming & Comedy
Similar to Emiru, rickypeacock isn’t breaking the mold with his stream. Like thousands of others, he streams his exploits playing games like Disco Elysium and MultiVersus. However, there’s one fresh subject that rickypeacock offers: stylish comedy.
As part of a growing comedy group in Chicago, rickypeacock’s stream doesn’t just include a few riffs and jokes. Instead, he spends time curating and producing unique trailers and videos for his followers. In other words, it’s a new take on gaming that emphasizes comedic skits and, of course, trying out tons of new titles.
Planet Earth & ASMR
So far, we’ve stayed within the realm of gaming. From poker home games to comedic takes on Disco Elysium, Twitch streams run the gambit. However, there’s a growing trend to create non-gaming-related channels. And streamer Maya is taking Twitch’s expansion in a totally new direction.
Maya focuses on planet Earth and all its beautiful creatures. She runs a wildlife sanctuary, which she lets her followers explore. One of her most recent streams includes an ASMR session with all the rescued animals, including raptors and porcupines.
FPS & Unmatched Energy
Not all streamers have to reimagine the Twitch experience to find success. Here, we point back to another classic channel, focused on first-person shooter games and a man named KeneyTSUNAMI.
If you’re looking to follow an elite gamer as they explore new titles, then you’ll find plenty of content to capture your attention. However, if you want a little added sass and personality on top of that, you’ll never need another channel again. KeneyTSUNAMI isn’t just a top-tier gamer. Just like his username hints, he’s a force of nature that will have you laughing and screaming for more.
Gaming & Beat Production
You may recognize this influential name from the music industry. Known for his lovable personality along with a penchant for auto-tune, T-Pain’s channel delivers on good times. Subscribers get to see the superstar tackle a variety of pursuits, including gaming and even beat production.
Here, the emphasis is on having a few laughs while learning something new about this open musician. However, you can also learn a few insider tricks during his beat production sessions, during which time he gives followers the down-low on how to get started in the industry.
Sims & Intellect
Like many other streamers, borgopixel enjoys thrashing his enemies in games like Valorant and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. However, the streamer is also known for his love of The Sims 4, during which he lets his intellect shine.
Unlike other streams, borgopixel emphasizes a thoughtful approach to gaming. With a background in chemical engineering, he also has plenty of opinions and insights to share about science—especially when he’s playing a sci-fi-inspired game. Want a bit of extra theory with your stream? Dive into borgopixel’s world today.
TheCHUGS & Austin Creed
Two of the biggest streams gaining a following on Twitch come from the professional wrestling world. TheCHUGS is a stream from the one and only Adam Cole, who has spent time in the WWE, AEW, and more. But Cole loves to game, and that passion comes through on his stream, where he tackles titles from a ton of different genres. The emphasis is on his passion for gaming… and a few amazing one-liners.
Austin Creed is doing something similar. As a WWE superstar, Austin Creed has inborn showmanship… but he also benefits from a near-genius level of intellect and a love of cosplay. Both bode well for Twitch, offering subscribers a closer look into his endlessly interesting mind. However, if you want to see Austin Creed take on fellow WWE superstars on his channel, you’ll need to switch to his UpUpDownDown YouTube channel instead.