Popular Twitch personality secures an impressive $100 million agreement with a competing platform

Popular Twitch personality secures an impressive $100 million agreement

In a development that reflects the strained relationship between Twitch and its top streamers, Félix Lengyel, widely known as xQc, has recently inked a deal with a rival streaming platform, Kick. This move, comparable to the contracts of traditional athletes, deals a significant blow to Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, and highlights the changing dynamics between content creators and the platform.

Under the agreement, the Canadian streamer xQc will enter a two-year contract with an approximate value of $70 million, with potential incentives pushing the total to around $100 million, according to his agent, Ryan Morrison. This deal, on par with the two-year contract extension signed by basketball star LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers last year, has the potential to disrupt the economics of the online entertainment industry.

xQc, 27, is renowned for his interactions with fans, hosting reality shows, and livestreaming himself playing video games. With nearly 12 million followers and the ability to attract tens of thousands of viewers simultaneously, he is regarded as one of the most popular Twitch streamers. In a statement, xQc expressed his enthusiasm for the opportunity to explore new creative ideas and ventures on Kick, stating that it allows him to pursue endeavors previously unavailable to him.

Although top livestream personalities can amass millions of dollars and cultivate dedicated fan communities through Twitch, several notable streamers have departed the platform in recent years, lured by lucrative offers from competitors like YouTube. Some content creators have voiced grievances about Twitch’s diminishing responsiveness to the needs of its online community, as its focus seems to have shifted more towards profitability rather than streamer satisfaction.

These concerns reached a peak last year when Twitch announced a larger share of revenue cuts from fans who pay to subscribe to streamers’ channels. However, Twitch recently revised its policy and rolled back restrictions on the types of advertisements streamers can display during their broadcasts.

Kick, launched this year and supported by online gaming and gambling platforms in Australia such as Easygo Gaming and Stake.com, positions itself as a streamer-friendly platform. It only takes a 5 percent cut from streamers’ subscription earnings, in stark contrast to Twitch’s 50 percent share. As a startup, Kick is prepared to operate at a loss, according to Ed Craven, the company’s CEO.

While xQc is expected to primarily create content for Kick, he will not be tied exclusively to the platform and may occasionally appear on YouTube or TikTok, as stated by Mr. Craven. xQc still intends to make appearances on Twitch, albeit less frequently than before his agreement with Kick.

Currently, Kick averages 110,000 daily livestreams, a fraction compared to Twitch’s seven million monthly streamers and 31 million daily viewers. However, the platform has experienced rapid growth and has attracted other notable stars. Mr. Craven emphasizes the company’s commitment to fostering a creator-centered community, contrasting it with a purely corporate structure, and asserts that Kick does not feel entitled to claim a portion of the creators’ earnings.