DeAndre ‘Soulja Boy’ Way is convinced he’s the reason Twitch is so popular, with the superstar rapper claiming he “made it cool” to play games for an audience online way back in 2007, when Justin.tv was still in its early years.
There’s no denying Twitch is an internet powerhouse these days.
Streaming stars like Pokimane, Shroud, and Ninja have risen to become popular modern-day celebrities in their own right off the back of the broadcasting platform, while others like Valkyrae and TimTheTatman have used their stardom on the Amazon-owned website to leverage multi-million dollar deals.
Things get a little more blurry, apparently, when it comes to who built the foundations of the site. Way back yonder, in 2007, Twitch was called Justin.tv. That site’s founders likely have a big claim, as do Amazon and Curse.
Then there are the streamers themselves, who draw in viewers.
One man believes he knows the reason though. According to Soulja Boy, he’s one of the big reasons Twitch is the streaming juggernaut it is today.
Soulja Boy began regularly streaming on Twitch in mid-2020, and hit his most dedicated months of broadcasting at the end of last year. He had been involved in the platform before that, but only in short spurts every few months.
“I was the first rapper on Twitch, back when it used to be called Justin.tv. I’m the one that made it cool for you to be playing Xbox [and] games on Twitch. Subscribers, going live. I did that. That was all me bro,” the rapper claims.
“You know what I’m saying? Everything… I done did it!”
Way also went on to state he was the first pioneer in the esports scene, founding his gaming team SODMG Gamers “way before esports was a thing”.
The rapper suggests “esports came out in 2010. Google it, YouTube it, Wikipedia it, whatever you gotta do (which we did, Google says 1972). I had SODMG since 2004.”
Whether or not Soulja Boy was the sole originator of Twitch’s popularity, there can be no denying the streaming website has turned into a modern-day juggernaut.
At any one time, Twitch boasts between 70,000 and 100,000 live channels, raking in more than two million concurrent viewers. More than eight million unique streamers went live last month, and according to TwitchTracker fans consumed more than 1066 billion minutes of Twitch content this year alone.
And look, we’re not denying that Soulja Boy is a popular figure.
Dexerto would point out, however, that the rapper’s total Twitch views (5.4m) are dwarfed, just a little, by other major stars like xQc (416m), now-banned Dr Disrespect (181m), or Pokimane (192m) over the same length of time.
That doesn’t stop Soulja Boy from sticking up for Twitch though; just last week, he blasted TimTheTatman, accusing him of “selling out” by joining YouTube.