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 hats 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.
The numbers mentioned in this article were disclosed to the public in a data leak that occurred in 2021. The complete list features more than 100 names, showcasing the yearly Twitch payout they receive. Twitch payouts include subscriptions, bit donations, and advertisement revenue. This data doesn’t include personal sponsorships, donations, or any money directly received from Twitch for exclusivity contracts.
While it’s possible to estimate earnings from subscription counts, the 2021 data leak is still the most recent and solid piece of information regarding how much the top names on Twitch earn from the platform, making it a valid source even in 2022.
Here are the highest-paid current Twitch streamers.
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 to streaming around 2018.
Hasan is 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 U.S. 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 from August 2019 through October 2021, and he can certainly move up the ladder if he keeps up his momentum.
9) Gaules – $2,844,985
Gaules is one of the most famous Brazilian streamers on Twitch. The former professional Counter-Strike player’s tournament coverage often outclasses the official main streams in English. And when there isn’t a tournament to broadcast, thousands still tune into Gaules’ stream to watch him play various titles.
In May 2022, Gaules overtook xQc on Twitch, reaching more than 28 million hours watched. Gaules purportedly earned $2.8 million from Twitch from August 2019 through October 2021. And considering he continues to break records, he’s likely to remain one of the top earners on the platform in 2022 and 2023.
8) 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 from August 2019 through October 2021. As of now, LIRIK has over 17,000 active subscribers and averages 21,000 viewers every time he goes live.
7) AuronPlay – $3,053,341
Originally a YouTuber, AuronPlay turned streaming into more of a habit in late 2019. The Spanish content creator already had a fan base of his own before he start streaming. 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 between August 2019 and October 2021, 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, this makes Auron one of the more unique entries on this list.
6) Altoar – $3,053,839
Altoar doesn’t draw in masses whenever he starts streaming. He has around 300 followers and doesn’t even have a stream schedule, but he was purportedly able to take home $3 million from Twitch between August 2019 and October 2021.
Altoar is the creator of a popular Twitch extension, Sound Alerts. Whenever a viewer donates to a streamer on the platform using Sound Alerts, 20 percent of the bits go to Altoar. This means that Altoar makes just above $3 million a year by only receiving a small cut from Sound Alerts bit donations on the platform. Most streamers receive the majority of their income from subscriptions while Altoar receives almost 100 percent of his income on Twitch through bit donations.
If Altoar were to receive a 90 percent cut from all bit donations, his Twitch income would bump up to $13.7 million.
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 that 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 between August 2019 and October 2021, according to the past data leak, and roughly $1,373,397 of that came 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 to 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 has 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 purportedly able to bank $5,295,582 on Twitch from August 2019 through October 2021 as a combination of subs, ad revenue, and cheers.
3) Summit1g – $5,847,541
Summit1g’s channel might 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 have made him one of the most successful and consistent streamers on the platform. Summit purportedly netted around $5,847,541 from Twitch between August 2019 and October 2021, 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 has one of the most subscribed channels on the platform and he netted $8,454,427 off the platform from August 2019 through October 2021, according to the past data leak.
1) Critical Role – $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 as full of hype as 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.
From August 2019 through October 2021, Critical Role purportedly earned around $9,626,712 from Twitch. That number includes ads, subscriptions, and bits.