During PewDiePie’s close run against T-Series on February 22, T-Series actually surpassed him for eight, grueling minutes.
A report by social media metrics site Social Blade confirmed this development, explaining that T-Series’ short-lived victory was brought about by an automated YouTube audit.
“For roughly 8 minutes, as a result of a YouTube audit, T-Series was ahead of PewDiePie (by a max of about 2000 subscribers),” a Social Blade spokesperson said of the issue.
In order to ensure that stats like views and subscribers only reflect the activity of real users, YouTube routinely purges any inactive accounts.
This happened to occur at the peak of PewDiePie’s run against T-Series, setting him back a reported 20,000 subscribers in the process.
While a livestream of PewDiePie and T-Series’ sub counts showed a single subscriber difference between the two, it looks like Pewd’s defeat went largely unnoticed.
Shoutout to that one guy who stopped him from getting passed, we are back over 7k now lol pic.twitter.com/VDRnH8XThr
— MrBeast (@MrBeastYT) February 22, 2019
Felix addressed the purge in a video on February 24, where he noted that their sub gap had only been around 22,000 subscribers just before the purge went live.
“It was necessary,” Pewds said of his defeat. “Because now they got a taste of what it means to be number one. And that’s all you’re ever gonna get, T-Series.”
[Timestamp: 9:38 for mobile users]
Since Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s appearance on ‘Meme Review,’ PewDiePie has been soaring above his Bollywood nemesis, and is now over 69,000 subs above T-Series as of February 27.