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From Chemical Engineers to Dropouts: Top 5 Streamers before they were famous

Pokimane and Valkyrae started off with alternate careers.
Pokimane and Valkyrae started off with alternate careers.
Rishabh B.
Modified 21 Mar 2021

Quite a few popular streamers today had entirely different vocations before they took up streaming.

While most video-game streamers had some sort of gaming career before they took on full-time streaming, some had vastly different careers. However, various incidents, and instantaneous popularity, meant that streaming became the most obvious choice for these internet personalities.

In this article, we look at some of the most popular streamers who could have gone on and chosen an entirely different vocation. These include a former hospital nurse, college dropouts, and even a chemical engineer.

Popular streamers who had different vocations when started out


Long before she became arguably the most popular female streamer of recent years, she was a student of Chemical Engineering. Imane “Pokimane” Anys was one of the first Twitch streamers to become known for heavily engaging with her audience, long before the “Just Chatting” category was even created.

Pokimane attended McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, before deciding to drop out to become a full-time streamer in 2013. The streamer initially grew to fame due to Fortnite and has a total of 7.5 million followers on Twitch today.



Known today for a variety of video-games, Felix “xQc” Lengyel started out as a League of Legends streamer. Unlike most other streamers who turned to full-time streaming somewhere in college, xQc dropped out a year before graduating high school.

xQc was in the CEGEP Pre-University of Quebec and was studying humanities. He dropped out after 3.5 years, just before graduating, and went on to discover the game Overwatch. xQc ended up having a successful professional career in Overwatch, and started gaining popularity on Twitch as well.


Rachel “Valkyrae” Hofstetter initially mustered a following on Instagram. After graduation, she took up a number of jobs, most prominently one at GameStop. Her Instagram content revolved around gaming, and she ended up being encouraged by quite a few people to take up streaming on Twitch.

This included her Instagram followers, friends and other Twitch streamers. Valkyrae joined Twitch around the end of 2016, and had no more than 100,000 followers until the beginning of 2018. She began gaining popularity when she started featuring with other popular streamers, and recently switched to YouTube.



Another Twitch streamer who has only recently gained popularity, Thomas “Sykkuno” joined the platform towards the beginning of 2018. Prominently a League of Legends streamer, he has gained the bulk of his following since he started playing Among Us with other popular streamers.

Sykkuno has a mathematics degree, and has also done a master’s in statistics. He is known for his calm demeanor while streaming, and has quickly gained around 3 million followers on Twitch.


One of the most controversial internet celebrities of recent times, Natalia “Alinity” Mogollon is mostly known for her World of Warcraft gameplay, although she plays a number of other games as well. Alinity started in an entirely different field, and turned to full-time streaming around December 2012.

Before that, Alinity used to work as a nurse. The streamer has a nursing degree from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. Currently, Alinity has around 1.3 million followers on Twitch, along with some 164k followers on YouTube.

Published 21 Mar 2021, 19:15 IST
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