The world of game streaming is vast and deep with a multitude of personalities to follow, all trying to make it big. In the relatively short history of streaming, there have been quite a few personalities who have earned the attention of hundreds of thousands of viewers, but not in a good way. Here are five of the most infamous gaming streamers of all time, and all the reasons why they’ve become so hated on the platform.
James “Phantoml0rd” Varga was a fairly popular League of Legends and Counter Strike: Global Offensive streamer on the streaming site Twitch.tv in the early-to-mid 2010s. He started his streaming journey in 2012, which was early for both the platform and the game. Because of his early adoption, Phantoml0rd’s content was seen by a huge portion of the community, with his channel amassing over 1 million followers by the time he was banned in 2016.
At the time of his ban, Phant0mlord was one of the biggest streamers on the platform, so the ban came as a surprise to many of his followers and subscribers. How does one go from one of the most known personalities on Twitch to being permanently banned?
In 2016, Phant0mlord was caught up in one of the biggest CS:GO scandals of all time, involving promoting a rigged skin betting site known as CSGOShuffle. On his stream, Phantoml0rd consistently played and bet large amounts of CS:GO skins on the website, promoting it to his followers and encouraging them to get in on the action. Due to the way that CS:GO skins work, each one has a monetary value that you could exchange for real-life money.
Unbeknownst to his audience, Phantoml0rd was actually one of the owners of the CSGOShuffle, and was tweaking the odds behind the scenes for the odds to be in his favor; something that he never revealed to his followers while promoting the website on stream. Due to an investigation by Twitch and Valve, Phant0mlord was banned on July 19, 2016, and has not been allowed to stream on the platform since.
Other CS:GO personalities like Trevor “Tmartn” Martin and Tom “Syndicate” Cassel were also implicated in this kind of scam when CS:GO‘s publisher Valve did a deep investigation of this phenomenon as part of their crackdown on the illegal/barely legal CS:GO gambling scene. This investigation resulted in a heap of lawsuits, site closures, and thousands of betting site users losing their precious skins as a multitude of trading bots got the ban hammer from Valve.
One of these lawsuits was Phantoml0rd’s own. He filed a suit against Twitch in 2018, suing them for “significant monetary damage” caused by his inability to continue streaming. In 2021, Phantoml0rd actually won this lawsuitsuit and was awarded a reported $20,720 in damages. However, despite winning his case, Phantoml0rd was not allowed to return to streaming on Twitch. This permaban and deception from Phant0mlord makes him one of the most infamous gaming streamers of all time.
In the early stages of the global pandemic, popular Twitch streamer, InvaderVie came under heavy fire from multiple fronts for shaming many of her viewers for not having the financial ability to donate to her channel. If you’re unfamiliar with Twitch.tv, it is a free streaming platform–emphasis on free–where anyone can start watching anyone streaming at no cost. If you want to support your favorite streamers, you can subscribe or donate to them, which gives them some monetary compensation, and you some special perks that vary with every channel.
In early 2020, InvaderVie was criticizing her viewers on Twitch that were not able to subscribe or donate to her 140,000 follower-strong channel. InvaderVie said, “It doesn’t matter how broke you are. If you have time to watch Twitch, you have $10. If you don’t have $10, you probably don’t have time to watch Twitch, because you should be working, you should be trying to earn money.” This earned her quite a few reactions from anyone familiar with streaming culture, and earned her the title of “Most Entitled Streamer On Twitch.”
At the start of a global pandemic and economic crisis that saw millions losing their streams of income, InvaderVie had the audacity to come out and shame anyone watching her channel for free on a streaming platform where nobody is obligated to financially support their favorite streamer. When her viewers questioned her line of thinking, asking her about people who are too broke to subscribe to Twitch channels, she doubled down and said “What you mean to say is, ‘I’m so irresponsible with my money, I can’t support the entertainment that I enjoy.’”
A few days after this incident blew up all over social media, InvaderVie posted an apology video, calling her remarks “tone-deaf,” and “insensitive,” and seeming apologetic about what she has said due to the huge backlash she got from her statements. As of the time of writing, her apology video has been taken down from her YouTube channel, but you can still find it floating around. Whether or not she is really apologetic is up for debate, but this entire debacle earns her a place on this list of infamous gaming streamers.
Félix “xQc” Lengyel is a Canadian Twitch streamer who had a meteoric rise in popularity shortly after the release of Blizzard’s hero shooter Overwatch in 2016. Overwatch was a huge hit on Twitch after its release, and xQc was a professional player for the Overwatch League, playing for the team Dallas Fuel in the inaugural season of OWL. However, his career as a pro Overwatch player was marred by controversy after controversy, much like his Twitch stream.
Very quickly, xQc made a name for himself on the streaming platform for being extremely toxic both on stream and in-game. The streamer found himself the recipient of many temporary bans on his Overwatch account, and quite a few suspensions in the professional Overwatch League as well. Reasons for his suspensions include throwing competitive Overwatch games, homophobic remarks towards an openly gay player, racially disparaging remarks, in-game toxicity, and misuse of the in-game report system. In 2018, xQc would be cut from the Dallas Fuel, and would retire from competitive Overwatch, focusing instead on his streaming career.
In addition to his game and league bans, xQc would also find himself banned from Twitch periodically for various reasons, including showing sexually explicit content on stream, cheating at Twitch Rivals, and watching the Tokyo Olympics live on stream. In total, xQc has been banned from Twitch five times, but still finds himself constantly unbanned and allowed to keep streaming. It seems that being banned multiple times and cultivating a reputation as one of the most toxic streamers on Twitch is actually good for xQc, as he has almost 10 million followers on Twitch at the time of writing.
Whether or not you’re an xQc fan, it is clear that he has been an extremely controversial figure in both the competitive gaming community and the streaming scene. From his actions and following alone, we can conclude that he belongs on the list of most infamous gaming streamers.
Natalia Mogollon, also known as Alinity Divine on Twitch, is one of the most controversial figures on Twitch today. Alinity has done a lot of questionable things both on and off-stream, but controversially has only been suspended once on the platform. The ban came after a wardrobe malfunction where the streamer’s nipple was accidentally shown on stream. For this incident, Alinity was suspended for one day.
However, that’s far from the only thing she did. Onstream, Alinity has a history of abusing her pets, with many individuals and even PETA calling for her permanent ban from the platform. In one incident, she kicked her dog in the neck with quite a bit of force, causing the dog to jump back in alarm. Her cat though seems to have taken quite a bit of abuse on stream as well, with one of Alinity’s earlier controversies involving her throwing her cat forcefully over her shoulder on stream, not even checking to see if it was alright afterward. In another incident, Alinity force-fed her cat vodka, something that all pet owners know is potentially deadly to pets.
While she had been steadily gaining followers on the platform since she started streaming, the collective rage of the streaming community first turned on her when she attempted to use copyright strikes as a weapon against Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg, the most popular gaming content creator in the world. Her attempt was successful, taking down a video where PewDiePie was commenting on how she had gained popularity. PewDiePie was able to re-upload the video sans footage of Alinity herself and notified his fanbase of her actions. This gave Alinity a huge boost in popularity, though it did come with a lot of negative attention as well.
All of these incidents combined land Alinity on this list of most infamous gaming streamers.
Now, if we’re talking about the most infamous gaming streamer of all time, none are more infamous than the two-time himself, Herschel “Dr. Disrespect” Beahm. When PUBG started to make it big on Twitch, Dr. Disrespect was right there getting big with it. His streaming persona was loud and obnoxious enough to draw the attention of thousands upon thousands of viewers who tuned into his stream to watch both the outrageous personality and his sharp gameplay. Dr. Disrespect usually wears a black mullet wig, a handlebar mustache, and large sunglasses, styling himself to look like an 80s action hero.
But you don’t get to the top of the streaming game without a heavy dose of controversy. In one of his streams, Dr. Disrespect, without his usual attire, confessed to thousands of viewers that he had been cheating on his wife. This shed a lot of light on his personal life, and the view that many of his fans had of him was dispelled. However, Dr. Disrespect and “Mrs. Assassin,” have decided to keep going with their marriage and actively working on it.
In an endeavor to produce a funny stream for his viewers, during E3 2019 Dr. Disrespect started streaming from the men’s public bathroom at the event. Thousands of viewers flooded the Doc’s stream, as this was one of the most unusual streams ever attempted on Twitch. Unfortunately, this was not entirely, well, legal. According to the California State Penal Code 647 Section J, taking a camera into a public bathroom and recording in it is a violation of privacy. This also went against Twitch Community Guidelines and Dr. Disrespect was suspended from Twitch for a short time, as well as kicked out of the E3 event and banned from attending.
The biggest controversy in Dr. Disrespect’s career was his permanent ban from the Twitch platform, effective in June of 2020. To this day, speculation as to the reason for the ban is rampant, as Twitch themselves have not stated a concrete reason. The details of the ban may be only known to Twitch and Dr. Disrespect himself, but the ban did little to stop the now-infamous streamer from switching platforms and continuing his career on YouTube Gaming. His return stream amassed over 500,000 viewers and saw him become one of the biggest, most infamous gaming streamers on the burgeoning YouTube Gaming platform.