Without much fanfare, 20-year-old Kai Cenat has become the new star of the Twitch streaming service in recent months. He has now passed the 80,000 paid subscription mark, overtaking Félix “xQc” Lengyel on the English-language channels. But something doesn’t suit him.
What is the performance now?
- “Subs” are the paid subscriptions that viewers use to support a streamer. Subscriptions have to be renewed regularly – this makes Twitch a permanent hamster wheel that you can’t get off without losing revenue.
- The streamer “xQc” was ahead with around 80,000 subscriptions on Twitch recently. Popular streamers such as HasanAbi or NickMercs came in second.
- With Kai Cenat there is now a new sub-king on Twitch. It hit 80,000 subscriptions on September 23, overtaking xQc. This made the 20-year-old the English-language streamer with the most subs. Cenat is now heading towards 90,000 subscriptions (via twitchtracker).
Here we explain the gag with the subscriptions on Twitch on MeinMMO:
Kai Cenat becomes a figure of identification for young black people on Twitch
What is Cenat doing on Twitch?
- Like xQc, Kai Cenat streams a lot: In the last 7 days he was on the air for 66 hours – xQc ripped off 73 hours. Kai Cenat is mainly active in Just Chatting, but also plays games like NBA 2k23, GTA 5, Minecraft or God of War.
- Cenat has been on the platform since January 2021 and has had a steep rise since then: it now has an average of almost 50,000 viewers. In January 2022 there were still 22,000.
- The 20-year-old is aimed at a black, young audience – a group that is otherwise hardly addressed on Twitch: Myth, the long-time most successful black Twitch streamer, switched to YouTube and was a completely different guy than Kai Cenat is now.
A highlight now was that Cenat got a call from his mother in the stream, who congratulated him on the great success when he cracked the 80,000 mark.
The mother was so proud of her son showing how hard work can make you successful. Her son is a grinder, someone who has really fought his way through:
Accusation: Twitch does not put black streamers on the start page
What annoys him? Despite the enormous success, Kai Cenat is annoyed that black streamers are not sufficiently supported by Twitch: So no tweets, no great spots on the first page, no real recognition.
It says it doesn’t care about itself at all, but that no black streamers are heavily promoted at all:
I want you all to check out what’s happening on Twitch. I want you guys to understand, bros, people of my color have been ignored for years. I refuse to have my community ignored by Twitch. Yo, Twitch, I have no problems with you guys. But I didn’t even see that one from my community is with you guys on the platform homepage bro.
Why does he think he is not supported? Cenat can obviously understand that he himself is not supported. He thinks it’s his language. He uses too much, the word, the N-word:
I don’t give a fuck if I’m non-marketable. Do you understand me? I don’t give a shit, okay. I don’t give a damn what you all n* do. Or if I say N* too much, I don’t care, N* I don’t care. You don’t want to give me proper credit, okay.
One of the top people on Twitch streams without a webcam – because of the color of their skin
Gaming platforms YouTube and Twitch are accused of racism
That’s behind it: There’s a controversy going on in the US right now about whether the major gaming platforms are racist:
- On YouTube, black gaming streamer CoryxKenshin revealed that he’s under stricter scrutiny than comparable white peers (via kotaku)
- The community behind the scandal streamer IShowSpeed believes that their streamer often gets into trouble because they are black and are therefore viewed so critically by white journalists
In the case of Kai Cenat, it seems clear why Twitch isn’t promoting himself in the way his success deserves: the “N” word isn’t wearable. It makes it, as he says himself, “unmarketable” for advertising partners.
Indeed, the question Cenat raises is real: why are there so few major black Twitch streamers?
One of the few successful “non-white” streamers on Twitch is Lirik. But he streams without a camera because he didn’t want to be perceived as “brown”.
In Germany, too, we once had a discussion as to whether a gaming YouTuber is “marketable” or not. It was about ApoRed, who felt he deserved much more support:
YouTuber ApoRed wants preferential treatment in Fortnite, puts pressure on it