xQc: Kick streaming deal explained, Felix Lengyel's net worth and age, is he leaving Twitch - who owns Kick?
The new platform's connections to Stake.com have raised scepticism among potential users
Popular gaming live streamer xQc has announced that he has signed with Kick - a rival to the prominent Twitch platform on which xQc is already an established face - a deal which could be the largest live streaming agreement to date.
Under the terms of the two-year contract, xQc will stream exclusively on Kick, where he will slot in as the nascent platform's most popular content creator.
Although the specific financial details of the agreement have not been disclosed, the substantial two-year contract is thought to be worth approximately $70 million (£55 million), and includes incentives that have the potential to elevate the total value to around $100 million (£78 million).
That makes it the largest live streaming deal ever seen in the industry, an agreement which is comparable to the two-year contract extension signed by LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers last year.
“Kick is allowing me to try and do things I haven’t been able to before,” said xQc. “It should have been a difficult conversation with every platform in the space throwing offers my way, but after speaking to Kick and the team behind it, the choice was obvious.”
But who is xQc, and what does his move to Kick mean for fans and the live streaming industry as a whole? Here is everything you need to know about it.
Who is xQc?
xQc - real name Félix Lengyel - is a popular Canadian Twitch streamer and content creator who first gained prominence through his involvement in professional gaming, particularly in the game Overwatch, where he played as a tank for the Dallas Fuel team in the Overwatch League.
Known for his energetic and often humorous live streaming style, which has attracted a large and dedicated following, the 27-year old has in recent years expanded his content to include a variety of games such as Minecraft, Among Us and Rust.
His streams often involve interaction with his audience, commentary on current events and his candid reactions, and xQc's entertaining and sometimes controversial personality has contributed to his immense popularity, making him one of the most-watched and followed streamers on the Twitch platform.
With nearly 12 million followers and the capability to draw in tens of thousands of viewers simultaneously, Lengyel has emerged as a prominent figure in the world of livestreaming. Current estimates put his net worth at around $10 - 12 million (£8 - 9 million), though that is likely to increase with the new deal.
What is Kick?
Kick is hoping to leverage the growing frustrations of both creators and fans with Twitch and capitalise on xQc's massive following to attract new viewers. As of June 2023, it boasts an average of 110,000 livestreams per day, and is slowly increasing its popularity among content creators and viewers alike.
Founded in 2022 by Bijan Tehrani and Ed Craven, co-founders of Stake.com, and co-owned by Australian online casinos such as Easygo Gaming, Kick has been actively challenging Twitch and positioning itself as a platform that prioritises the interests of its creators.
Some streamers have voiced their dissatisfaction with Twitch in recent months, claiming that the platform has shifted its focus away from community responsiveness and towards profit-making, neglecting the satisfaction of its creators.
These concerns reached a tipping point last autumn when Twitch announced its intention to keep a larger percentage of revenue received from subscriptions made by fans to support top streamers. The platform has since modified this policy and reversed a recent change that had limited the types of advertisements streamers could display during their broadcasts.
Kick claims to differentiate itself from other platforms by offering streamers higher revenue splits, relaxed moderation policies and involving them in decision-making processes to shape the platform's future direction.
Unlike Twitch, which claims a 50 percent share of streamers' subscription earnings, Kick only retains a modest five percent cut from those earnings, but its association with a crypto-based casino (Stake.com allows users to deposit, wager and withdraw funds using various cryptocurrencies) has raised scepticism among some potential users, casting doubts on the platform's credibility.
“At Kick, we firmly believe in the capacity to reinvent, innovate, and progress,” said Craven, who now serves as CEO of Kick. “That is why we are excited about xQc joining our platform.
"This is a chance for him to truly reinvent himself in an environment where he is treated as an adult and recognised for his creative currency. It's an exciting journey that xQc embarks on with Kick - an opportunity to revolutionise the industry and take control of his streaming future.”
The platform will be hoping xQc's massive following and popularity can bring a significant influx of viewers to Kick. This increased exposure could help Kick attract a larger user base, encouraging other content creators to consider joining after seeing the potential for exposure and financial opportunities.
But with xQc now exclusively streaming on Kick, his fans will need to transition to the platform to continue watching his content. This shift may prompt some fans to explore Kick and potentially discover other content creators on the platform, but it could also create a divide among his fanbase, with some remaining on Twitch.
xQc's substantial contract with Kick may also set a precedent for streaming agreements, and could influence future negotiations between streamers and platforms, potentially leading to higher-value deals and improved terms for content creators.