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 2020.
10) Castro_1021 – $966,387
Edwin “Castro_1021” Castro is a FIFA streamer based in the United States. Castro is known for his high-level FIFA plays and entertaining personality, but it has been his charity efforts that separated him from the rest of his competition.
Castro earned an estimated $966,387 from Twitch throughout 2020. With the help of his fanbase and celebrities, Castro also regularly hosts charity streams for causes that he supports. He recently raised over $200,000 for COVID-19 relief, and it isn’t surprising that a good chunk of his Twitch in-come is from donations, bits, and donations.
Though viewers can also directly donate to the pages set up for charity events, Castro also donates the incoming donations as a part of his share, which encourages viewers to support him more.
9) RonnieRadke – $971,978
It’s not unusual to see celebrities tagging along to streamers to play games or even hosting their own stream for a short period. Ronnie Radke, an American singer, has been consistently streaming on Twitch since 2019, however, and his channel has been on the rise ever since he stepped into the platform.
Ronnie’s love for games almost tops his passion for music, and the community he’s built over the years is a showcase of that. The musician made an estimated $971,978 on Twitch in 2020, and donations play a huge role in making that number a reality.
Tier-three subscriptions that retail for $24.99 makeup 4.1 percent of Ronnie Radke’s Twitch income, which is nothing but impressive.
8) HasanAbi – $1,062,826
Starting his career in online media within The Young Turks, Hasan “HasanAbi” Piker 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.
HasanAbi’s mainly known for his political commentary livestreams 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 earned more than an estimated $1,062,826 from Twitch in 2020, and he can certainly move up the ladder if he keeps up his momentum throughout 2021.
7) TheRealKnossi – $1,068,310
Hosting streams in English allows streamers to reach wider audiences since almost all gamers are familiar with the language after gaming for decades. It doesn’t take anything away from other gaming communities around the world, however, and Jens “TheRealKnossi” Knossalla takes the number seven spot from Germany.
The European streamer mainly focuses on casino games and mostly spins slot machines on Twitch. He gets invited to poker and blackjack tournaments from time to time and is mainly known for his rather bold fan base.
TheRealKnossi has been quite unlucky with fan mails throughout his streaming career, but he’s secured himself over an estimated $1,068,310 from Twitch this year, surely enough of an amount to make up for all the monstrosity he witnesses during his fan-mail opening streams.
6) AuronPlay – $1,209,556
Originally a YouTuber, Raúl Álvarez “AuronPlay” Genes has turned livestreaming into more of a habit in late 2019. The Spanish content creator already had a fan base of his own before starting streaming. He mostly focused on comedic commentary videos where he would get to watch and react 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.
AuronPlay mostly streams GTA V, Minecraft, and Among Us, averaging over 82,333 viewers when he plays one of these games. AuronPlay earned more than around $1,209,556 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 AuronPlay one of the more unique entries on this list.
5) TimTheTatman – $1,210,739
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.
Though TimTheTatman has been one of the more consistent names on the platform for a while, 2020 was his year. The streamer’s viewer numbers suddenly 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 TimTheTatman in 2020, but he took over an estimated $1,210,739 home by streaming on Twitch.
Almost 70 percent of this amount has been from his subscribers, and he’s been one of the top 10 subscribed channels on Twitch for a decent part of 2020.
4) Odablock – $1,298,619
Omar “Odablock”’s dedication to a single game beats anyone on this list. Odablock has over 3,200 hours of airtime while playing Old School RuneScape, making up 83.5 percent of his total broadcast time on Twitch.
Odablock is in the top 50 of most subscribed channels on Twitch, but it was the donations that carried him to fourth place. Almost 14 percent of the $1,298,619 he earned from Twitch was through donations, crowning him as the streamer that received the most money from donations only in 2020.
3) Ibai – $1,373,605
Ibai Llanos is a shoutcaster for the Spanish League of Legends league, LVP, but he has been focusing on creating content more throughout 2020. While he still casts games here and there, Ibai became a Twitch sensation within the Spanish-speaking Twitch community.
League has been the primary game he’s streamed over the years, but the release of Fall Guys and Among Us’ delayed run to the top allowed the streamer to take off. His average viewership suddenly zapped to over 70,000, also making his channel one of the most subscribed ones on the platform.
Ibai earned over $1,373,605, according to SavingSpot’s report from Twitch in 2020. An estimated $456,855 of this amount comes from ad revenues, placing Ibai second after AuronPlay when it comes to ad-earnings.
2) NICKMERCS – $1,737,535
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, NICKMERCS 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 $1,737,535 from Twitch in 2020, and roughly $1,373,397 of that comes from his subscribers. Though NICKMERCS 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.
1) XQc – $1,984,000
With Ninja and Shroud leaving Twitch in 2019, the platform’s top spot was left up for grabs. Felix “xQc” Lengyel 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 $1,984,000 off the platform in 2020.
Though both Shroud and Ninja returned to Twitch, the two haven’t been able to find enough momentum to carry themselves back to the top. If xQc keeps up the quality content he’s been producing, he can simply run away with the top spot in 2021.