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Who is IShowSpeed? Breaking down the streamer's unexpected rise to fame

IShowSpeed's controversial rise (Image via YouTube)
IShowSpeed's controversial rise (Image via YouTube)

Darren "IShowSpeed," or simply Speed, is an Ohio-born YouTuber, gamer, and former Twitch streamer. Speed is among the fastest-growing streamers, and his channel has gained over eight million subscribers in just over a year.

It is interesting to note that IShowSpeed's rise to fame wasn't due to an affiliation with content houses or gaming organizations like Sway House or FaZe Clan. Nor did he explode, in terms of popularity, on any other platform like Vine (now discontinued) or TikTok.


IShowSpeed's meteoric rise to fame through various controversies

Speed started uploading gaming-related videos on YouTube around the middle of 2019. His uploads were often without commentary or face cams. The games usually tended to be NBA 2K, WWE 2K, or Fortnite. His set-up wasn't anything extraordinary either, with him streaming videos in lower resolution.

Initially, his monthly viewership numbers ranged from around a few hundred to a few thousand views till the middle of 2020. On the other hand, his monthly subscriber count saw a rise in the span of a few months. In fact, between the months of May and June of 2021, Speed gained almost 1M subscribers.

Although he did not burst into fame overnight, many viewers believe Speed's rise is due to his compulsive reactions; it is hard to tell whether the American is feigning his reactions or genuinely expressing them.

Speed did not have to rely on any particular gaming-related skill set like Ninja or Myth. His over-the-top and often obnoxious reactions were trendy enough to entertain many viewers and reel in new ones. He also used to post short snippets from his long livestreams, which were particularly appealing to the fans.

A few of his most viral clips were of him barking and raging over his subscriber count going up and down. Between June 22 and June 29, 2021, Speed went from 300K subscribers to 1M.

With 2K21 being an underwhelming release, Speed shifted to other games and making Omegle-related content. At this point, multiple pages had started to share his clips on platforms like TikTok, which contributed to his meteoric rise.

However, his streaming career was not bereft of controversy. In December 2021, Speed found himself in the eye of the storm when he participated in Adin Ross's e-dating stream on Twitch. In the stream, Speed makes a comment involving Ash Kaash, a model, that could easily be deemed inappropriate.

He said,

"Say we are the last two people on and we had to reproduce to make the world continue, would you reproduce with me?"

To which Ash calmly replied:

"No. Because that means our kids would have to intertwine and their kids have... no."

The controversial comment in question that IShowSpeed he made is the following:

"who gon stop me? If we the last two people on earth, who gon stop me?"
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Speed received a lot of flak due to his reckless behavior and was permanently banned from Twitch. It's also likely that he lied about his age on the show even though he was a minor at the time. This setback, however, did not deter his progress.

He regularly streams on YouTube these days. He famously coined the term "sewi" in response to a question asking about his favorite footballer. This term spread like wildfire across the gaming and footballing community.

Speed is also a huge fan of Cristiano Ronaldo and ridicules Messi at any opportunity he finds. His absurd way of expressing his thoughts on soccer makes his streams extremely comical.

He regularly streams FIFA on YouTube, too, making him among the few American YouTubers who stream FIFA 22. He has also released a few songs, such as Shake, God is good, and Ronaldo; these videos have a combined view count of over 100 million.


Funny tweets fans shared about IShowSpeed

As a popular figure in the community, it is only expected that people will often put up reaction tweets. Here are some funny ones from the lot.

IShowSpeed dissing Messi 🀣 https://t.co/PDmafTtHRa
After refusing to start his stream the overweight Silverback Gorilla Adin is spotted speaking to #ishowspeed while getting a tattoo of Messi? https://t.co/JtMxSleIat
Speed pack Ronaldo, again #ishowspeed https://t.co/GgvRqKjkZQ

IShowSpeed continues to stream regularly on YouTube, where he has amassed over eight million followers. Apart from FIFA 22 streams, he also records VR videos, Omegle reactions, and various other games.

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Edited by Soumyadyuti Ghosh
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