Becoming an esports pro isn’t the only way to make money by playing video games. The industry has evolved in ways that no one could have ever imagined, and streaming and creating content are now also rivaling the monopoly that TV stations have when it comes to distributing content. Twitch is one of the top sources of online media consumption, alongside other streaming services and YouTube.
Everyone has a chance to create their own content on Twitch, allowing the platform to have millions of different channels tailored for an infinite number of styles and likes. Many people and platforms have tried to throw their hat into the ring to challenge Twitch, but almost all of them fell short since it’s turned itself into a global streaming hub, making it nearly impossible for any newcomer to challenge its reign.
Though Twitch is filled with countless different channels, some rise above the competition with the content they create and the number of viewers they pull in. These two factors impact how much an individual can earn from streaming, and numbers are good enough to convince anyone to try out streaming.
The following streamers make up the peak of the Twitch mountain, and they often receive more donations than they can thank for one-by-one every time they go live. Considering there are multiple different factors that make up a streamer’s income, it’s challenging to narrow it down to a decisive number.
SavingSpot, an analytical blog, conducted a yearly study to find out Twitch’s top earners. It mainly includes subscription statistics taken from TwitchTracker and donation estimates from TwitchStats. These two combined should be enough to make rough estimates about what streamers are making directly from Twitch. Any sponsorship deals streamers may have will be excluded since most deals don’t disclose any public numbers.
Here are the high paid Twitch streamers from 2021.
10) HasanAbi – $2,810,480
Starting his career in online media within The Young Turks, HasanAbi has always been about making a difference with his ideas from the beginning. His Pop-Crunch series was crucial for the channel’s growth, and he transitioned onto streaming around 2018.
Hasan’s mainly known for his political commentary streams, where he shares his views on ongoing events. His stream coverage rivaled significant news outlets during the 2020 presidential election, something unheard of for a Twitch stream.
He also collaborates with other high-profile streamers to play games that he enjoys. HasanAbi purportedly earned more than $2,810,480 from Twitch in the past two years, and he can certainly move up the ladder if he keeps up his momentum throughout 2021.
9) LIRIK – $2,984,653
LIRIK started off his streaming career playing World of Warcraft, and he slowly transitioned into trying out a variety of games as his audience grew. From PUBG to Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus, LIRIK potentially has the widest gaming palette on Twitch and his fans appreciate it.
Based on the Twitch leaks, LIRIK earned around $2,984,653 from subscriptions, ads, and bits, putting him at ninth place on our list. As of now, LIRIK has over 17,000 active subscribers and averages 21,000 viewers every time he goes live.
8) AuronPlay – $3,053,341
Originally a YouTuber, AuronPlay has turned streaming into more of a habit in late 2019. The Spanish content creator already had a fan base of his own before starting streaming, as he mostly focused on comedic commentary videos where he reacted to other videos that were trending.
His games of choice on Twitch allow him to use his comedic approach to the best of his abilities and the numbers show that whatever he’s doing is working. Auron mostly streams GTA V, Minecraft, and Among Us, averaging over 82,333 viewers when he plays one of these games. Auron purportedly earned $3,053,341 from Twitch in 2020, and half of his income came from ads.
This means that despite averaging over 8,000 subscribers a month in 2019, it was his huge viewer base that did most of the heavy lifting when it comes to his total earnings. Considering most viewers use ad-blocking programs, earning more than $600,000 makes Auron one of the more unique entries on this list.
7) TimTheTatman – $3,290,133
Becoming a successful Twitch streamer requires a few personality traits. Being good at the game of your choice can get you a few views, but you need to be able to entertain the masses to have a long-lasting career. While some try hard to achieve this, TimTheTatman’s gift of backing himself into a corner in almost all the games he plays sorts it out for him.
Although Tim has been one of the more consistent names on the platform for a while, 2020 was his year. The streamer’s viewership numbers skyrocketed with Fall Guys’ release, and he became an icon in the process due to his inability to get a win in the platform-based battle royale.
Locking himself out of the Shadowlands expansion of World of Warcraft was also another regretful moment for Tim in 2020, but he took home an estimated $3,290,133 by streaming on Twitch.
Tim recently left Twitch for YouTube Gaming, meaning he may not appear in future top earning streamers list since it’s more difficult to calculate the income of a YouTube streamer due to private contracts and ratios.
6) Ludwig – $3,290,777
Ludwig has been a well-known name within the Super Smash Bros. community for a while, but more viewers got familiar with him as he became the most subscribed streamer on Twitch. He was able to maintain his status for 51 days and made history.
Becoming the most subscribed channel on the platform definitely helped when it came to his paycheck at the end of the year. Compared to other names on the list, the chances are Ludwig owes most of his earnings to his sub count while others may have relied more on ads.
Over the past two years Ludwig earned around $3,290,777, placing him sixth amongst the top 10 highest-paid Twitch streamers.
5) NICKMERCS – $5,096,642
Nick “NICKMERCS’” Kolcheff has been a household name within the Call of Duty and Fortnite communities for as long as anyone can remember. Coming over from YouTube, Nick already had a decently sized following, but it didn’t stop him from consistently streaming for over four years.
His high-level gameplay and fun-to-watch squad matches allowed him to expand his audience through a second platform, and he entered December 2020 as the second-most subscribed channel on Twitch.
He made over an estimated $5,096,642 from Twitch in the last three years, and roughly $1,373,397 of that comes from his subscribers. Although Nick also receives many donations throughout each of his streams, it’s been his consistent subscriber base that has been crucial in his channel’s growth.
4) Tfue – $5,295,582
Tfue is one of the most popular players in the battle royale genre. Though his journey started in Fortnite, Tfue also tried out other titles like Warzone. His rise to being one of the most popular streamers on Twitch wasn’t a coincidence, however. He’s quite gifted when it comes to playing shooter and battle royale titles, and viewers enjoy watching good players.
Tfue’s competitive gaming journey even took him to Fortnite’s World Cup, but he focused more on streaming after the event in 2019. Considering how competitive Fortnite can get at the highest level, streaming can be a more stable income source for players. Tfue was able to bank $5,295,582 in the last three years on Twitch as a combination of subs, ad revenue, and cheers.
3) Summit1g – $5,847,541
Summit1g’s channel can be as old as Twitch itself. The veteran streamer has been around since before streaming was considered a legit source of income. As a retired Counter-Strike player, Summit naturally focuses on shooter and battle royale games, but he doesn’t shy away from trying out new titles as they come out. From Pokémon Go to new releases, Summit tries to be the best in every game he plays from day one.
His competitive nature and fun-to-watch attitude made him one of the most successful and consistent streamers on the platform. Summit netted around $5,847,541 in the past three years from Twitch and it looks like he has nowhere to go but up.
2) xQc – $8,454,427
With Ninja and Shroud leaving Twitch in 2019, the platform’s top spot in terms of popularity was left up for grabs. XQc has been streaming on Twitch since 2017 and has always had a decent level of following from his days as a professional Overwatch player.
His stream finally found the push it was looking for with Among Us’ rise to the top and Fall Guys’ release, which suddenly increased xQc’s average viewership from 20,000 to more than 50,000.
XQc is currently the most subscribed channel on the platform, and he netted $8,454,427 off the platform in the last three years.
1) CriticalRole – $9,626,712
There aren’t many concept channels on Twitch and only a few of them were able to win the hearts of their viewers. Critical Role is essentially a web series featuring professional voice actors playing Dungeons and Dragons.
The team started its journey in 2015 and the campaigns have been full of hype just like the first one. Compared to other streamers on the list, Critical Role streams less often but whenever they do, an average of 36,000 viewers show up to witness how the campaign shapes up.
Throughout the last three years, Critical Role earned around $9,626,712 from Twitch. The number includes ads, subscriptions, and bits.