xQc’s move to Kick: Impact on the games industry and Twitch

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 07: Felix Lengyel "xQc" attends TwitchCon 2022 on October 07, 2022 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Robin L Marshall/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 07: Felix Lengyel "xQc" attends TwitchCon 2022 on October 07, 2022 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Robin L Marshall/Getty Images) /
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In a groundbreaking development for the games industry, Félix “xQc” Lengyel, Twitch’s biggest streamer, has decided to sign with Kick, the streaming platform’s newest rival. This move not only offers xQc better revenue splits but also aligns with Kick’s focus on online gambling. With a non-exclusive deal valued at up to $100 million over two years, this decision deals yet another blow to Twitch, which is grappling with mounting creator discontent.

According to a report by The New York Times, xQc’s agreement with Kick entails an annual payout of $35 million, with the potential for an additional $30 million in incentives if he achieves specific milestones. Dexerto highlights that this deal places xQc as the recipient of the 12th largest annual payout in the sports industry, surpassing notable figures like Kevin Durant.

Kick, a streaming platform startup backed by online gambling companies such as Easygo Gaming and Stake.com, gained prominence after Twitch cracked down on gambling promotion last year. Its relaxed rules and a generous 5/95 revenue split for creators attracted prominent streamers like Adin Ross, BruceDropEmOff, and Trainwreckstv. Although Kick’s profitability and future plans remain unclear, it has managed to capitalize on the growing dissatisfaction with Twitch’s aggressive monetization strategies that impact content creators.

As a “child of Twitch” who emerged from the often-toxic chat environment, xQc’s journey began in the realm of League of Legends before transitioning to Overwatch. After a brief stint in Blizzard’s Overwatch League, he faced suspensions for offensive remarks and was eventually released from the Dallas Fuel. In 2018, xQc became a full-time content creator, blending high-level gameplay, unfiltered comments, and a penchant for controversy, eventually rising to become Twitch’s most-watched streamer by 2021.

By 2022, leaked reports revealed that xQc had earned $8 million from subscriptions on Twitch. However, during the same year, he incurred substantial losses of $1.8 million from online gambling activities. Although his contract with Kick doesn’t prevent him from streaming on Twitch, the platform’s rule against simulcasting raises questions about how much time xQc will continue to devote to the platform that propelled him to stardom.

“It’s time,” tweeted xQc on June 16, announcing his partnership with Kick. The tweet included a video assuring his audience that his content would remain unchanged on the new platform. Coincidentally, the retweet below xQc’s announcement expressed support for streamer Nickmercs, who had recently faced backlash for making anti-LGBTQ+ remarks.

As the gaming community and industry closely monitor xQc’s transition to Kick, this move showcases the impact that individual streamers can have on the broader gaming landscape. It raises questions about Twitch’s future, its relationship with content creators, and the influence of online gambling within the streaming industry.