At 90,000 subscribers, Kai Cenat has a message for Twitch: “I refuse for my community to go unnoticed.”

By 09/27/2022
At 90,000 subscribers, Kai Cenat has a message for Twitch: “I refuse for my community to go unnoticed.”

There’s a new king of Twitch, at least in the English-speaking world. Kai Cenat, who rose to prominence as a member of the YouTube supergroup AMP, now has more Twitch subscriptions than French-Canadian star Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel.

Cenat broke out on YouTube, but he has quickly ascended the Twitch charts once he began broadcasting on the Amazon-owned platform in February 2021. After becoming one of only three streamers to reach at least 80,000 paying subscribers, the 20-year-old personality celebrated by calling his mom live on stream.

Cenat wasn’t finished at 80,000. Shortly after meeting that mark, he blew past Lengyel to become the most-subscribed Twitch star in the Anglophone world. The Brazilian streamer Casemito is now the only streamer who reaches more paying customers than his American counterpart, and Cenat has quite a ways to go before he can claim Twitch’s global subs crown. Casemito, who gets more than 60% of his subs through Amazon Prime, counts more than 137,000 subscribers in all.

The gap between Casemito and Cenat is closing fast. Days after the AMP star broke the 80,000-sub barrier, he surged past 90,000. And despite what his critics might say, there’s no reason to doubt that his numbers are legit.

“I need y’all to be watching what’s going on, Twitch”

Cenat is never shy about sharing his feelings. As he smashed records on Twitch, he scolded the platform for its failure to properly incubate Black talent. “For so many years, people of my color, we’ve been unrecognized,” Cenat said after getting his 80,000th sub. “I refuse for my community to go unnoticed…There’s not one time I’ve seen anyone in my community on the front page of [Twitch].”

Other creators have suggested that Twitch has not properly acknowledged Cenat’s rise because the Bronx native is not marketable. Cenat, who regularly curses and uses the n-word on his stream, appealed to that logic after crossing 80K. “I don’t give a f*** if I’m unmarketable,” he said. “I don’t give a f*** what you all n***** got going on, if I say n**** too much, I do not care n****, I do not give a f***. They don’t want to recognize real, bro.”

Cenat is not the only Black streamer who has criticized Twitch’s relationship with communities of color. A campaign titled #TwitchDoBetter, which launched earlier this year, called out the platform for its shaky commitment to Black creators. Among other demands, the organizers behind #TwitchDoBetter requested more visibility for Black-led streams on the Front Page.

Given the current state of Twitch, its decision-makers would be wise to celebrate the rising star in their midst. As top streamers continue to leave the platform en masse, it has alienated its remaining community by discontinuing popular features and taking more money from partners. Cenat’s remarkable achievements are generating positive headlines for a company that desperately needs them. Therefore, the way forward is clear: Twitch must get over its reservations about Cenat’s language and hitch its star to his wagon.

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