League of Legends is one of the most popular online video games in the world, with hundreds of millions of players around the world. With the growing popularity of gaming culture around the globe, Esports has found acceptance all over the world. With millions of dollars of prize money in every major Esports tournament, video games have come a long way from being merely a hobby for children and teenagers to being a popular sport in every sense of the word.
And League of Legends is right up there at the top of the Esports stage. And with such popularity that Esports has found, it was inevitable to have Esports celebrities that play League of Legends just like every other sport. However, interestingly, some not-so-ordinary characters have found popularity on youtube and twitch. One of them is Tyler1.
Who is Tyler1?
Tyler1 is an American video game streamer who streams League of Legends on Twitch. At one point, he was known as the most toxic player in North America for his disruptive behavior towards other players. He has 4.5 million followers on Twitch, and his youtube channel sits at around 2.69 subscribers. His real name is Tyler Steinkamp.
He actually got banned from playing League of Legends from April 2016 to January 2018 for his toxicity. But when he returned, he had over 386,000 viewers on Twitch on his first stream after reinstatement. According to some estimates, this was the total number of concurrent viewership on Twitch at that time. One can’t help but ask the question, why do people like Tyler1 so much despite his behavior and his record of getting banned?
Also read: How to Stop Being Toxic in League of Legends
Why do people like Tyler1 so much?
There can be several answers to this question. If you tune into his youtube channel and pull out any of his videos, you see a guy in his T-shirt being all hyped up about playing the game and its aftermath. All of us get excited about playing League of Legends and often post-match discussions about strategy and choice of champions, and so forth. But rarely do we find a player so excited and dramatic about a League match like Tyler1 is. Now it could be all part of an act in front of his online audience. But then again, he might actually be this much invested in the game. For example, one of the videos on his youtube channel is titled “Trying Not To Tilt While Reading Patch Notes”.
In that video, Tyler1 starts off with his usual rowdy-ruff style and after brief chit-chat, starts reading patch notes. With every sentence he reads, he reacts, and you can feel how energetic and frustrated he is while simply reading patch notes! This is also what makes him so entertaining and, at times, hilarious to watch.
As one Reddit user pointed out, he is just like everyone else but only more so. In other words, he gives expression to what we are all feeling while reading patch notes and playing League matches, but he does so in a very dramatized fashion.
What’s with all the Toxicity?
As said earlier, Tyler1 is like all of us but only more so in some ways. We all have had those matches where even the coolest heads in League got close to Tilting. Sometimes you are doing great in the laning phase, but one or two of your teammates have been feeding the enemy team all along, and by the time you get ready for team fights, it’s already too late. These kinds of matches can be a bit frustrating at times. There is no excuse for toxicity but what Tyler1 does is he acts like he has all his energy invested in that one match and gives a reaction that can sometimes lead you to get banned.
And since his reactions are outrageous and entertaining, Tyler1 gets a lot of views.
Also read: Why is League of Legends Community so Toxic?
A Word on the Esports League of Legends Community
Although Tyler1 never seems to lose popularity despite his unconventional style, a word on the general conduct of the League of Legends community deserves mention here. Most of the streamers that stream League of Legends are fairly decent people and do not encourage nor exhibit toxic behavior while playing League. You can find the most talented and calmest League players losing matches and still be on their best behavior. Tyler1, even though he has been banned for a significant period of time, would not explicitly condone toxic attitudes towards other players. It might be part of an Act, after all. Any good streamer will tell you that, since you are facing an audience of potentially hundreds and thousands of people while streaming, you have to put a certain face on during online streams if you are the host of the stream. Tyler1’s antics are most likely part of that, which might be the reason people like him so much.