Watching other people play video games can be just as entertaining as playing them yourself — just ask the 100 million viewers who regularly tune in to Twitch, the most popular online broadcasting site for gamers.
But Twitch has far more to offer than livestreams of folks playing Dark Souls in their bedrooms. The platform has evolved to offer everything from insightful live podcasts and massive eSports tournaments to non-gaming content from musicians, chefs and even Bob Ross (no, seriously). Whether you want to see your favorite game played at the highest level or just want to get to know some really cool internet personalities, here are the Twitch channels worth watching.
When it comes to variety, Sonja "omgitsfirefoxx" Reid's channel is hard to top. Sometimes you'll catch her playing Minecraft, other times you'll see her create Pokémon-themed bead art, and if you're lucky, you'll witness one of her fascinating virtual reality streams. But whether Reid is giving dating advice or tearing through the latest games, it's her awesome sense of humor and friendly community that makes her channel a true standout.
Kinda Funny Games is the result of four beloved IGN personalities quitting their day jobs to create cool internet videos. Hosted by Colin Moriarty and Greg Miller, the group's flagship Twitch show Colin and Greg Live (weekdays at 2 p.m. ET) is like a comedic SportsCenter for the gaming crowd. You'll get plenty of smart analysis on what's happening in geek culture, as well as tons of hilarious commentary and impromptu rants. The guys also stream games sporadically, and more often than not there's a cute wiener dog to look at.
If his name doesn't make it obvious, Jayson "ManvsGame" Love is a man on a quest to beat as many games as humanly possible. Love can be seen playing everything from the original Doom to Dark Souls — and often does so on the highest difficulty possible. It's easy to see why ManvsGame is one of Twitch's biggest stars; aside from being pretty damn good at a whole bunch of titles, his commentary on everything he plays is as entertaining as it is insightful.
If you're a fan of SpeedRunners — folks who race to beat games as fast as possible — Trihex should be at the top of your follow list. Trihex is best known for blazing through the SNES classic Yoshi's Island using crazy exploits and insane controller skills, but he can also be seen suffering through the deluge of nightmare levels found in Super Mario Maker. Seeing Trihex scientifically break down his games in order to shave seconds off his best times is fascinating, and it doesn't hurt that he's a generally cool and funny dude.
League of Legends is the most streamed game on Twitch, which makes it all the more impressive that Nightblue3 is one of the few that manages to stand out from the pack. His skillful play makes him a must-watch for anyone looking to improve at LoL, particularly those who prefer the sneaky "jungle" style. Despite his impressive abilities and million-plus followers, Nightblue is an extremely humble streamer who's consistently friendly to his loyal fans.
Watching King Gothalion's stream is like hanging out with your goofy, beer-loving best friend who happens to be really good at video games. Gothalion is best known for RPG-flavored shooters such as Destiny and The Division, in which he shows off plenty of high-level play while remembering not to take himself too seriously. You can often catch Gothalion teaming up and trading banter with other top Destiny streamers such as ProfessorBroman and Teawrex, and his hilarious on-screen antics with his wife prove that couples who stream together, stay together.
Few streamers can gracefully combine Counter-Strike, cosplay and cooking, but makes it look easy. This cheery broadcaster never shies away from dressing up as comic book and video game characters while she takes out online opponents, and lets viewers watch her put her complex costumes together every now and then. She'll even cook on stream. No matter what KittyPlays is doing, it's her genuine care for her viewers that keeps people coming back.