Twitch recently fell victim to a cyber attack that leaked out mostly payment and streamer information. But perhaps this of news could be a bit discouraging to streamers who are still starting out on the platform. 

Twitch logo with guy
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PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 29: The video game streaming and VOD service logo Twitch is displayed during the 'Paris Games Week' on October 29, 2019 in Paris, France. 'Paris Games Week' is an international trade fair for video games that runs from October 29 to November 03, 2019.

According to a report by PC Gamer, the recent Twitch hack revealed that the platform's most massive payouts were only available to the top 0.01% of streamers.  

Only a tiny fraction of all the content creators on Twitch are making what some may call "quit your 9-5 job" money. Here are the undisputed top 10, with their total earnings from Twitch alone spanning August 2019 to September 2021. 

These numbers, however, are unconfirmed estimates: 

  • Critical Role: $9.6 million 

  • xQc: $8.45 million 

  • Summit1g: $5.8 million 

  • Tfue: $5.29 million 

  • NICKMERCS: $5 million 

  • ludwig: $3.29 million 

  • TimTheTatMan: $3.29 million 

  • Altoar: $3.05 million 

  • auronplay: $3.05 million 

  • LIRIK: $2.98 million 

As you can see, overall Twitch earnings for these top streamers drop off quite significantly down the list. From the top spot to the 5th spot, that's already a pay cut of $6.3 million.  

Read also: Recent Twitch Leak Exposes Source Code, Creator Payout Reports, Encrypted Passwords, and MORE: How to Secure Your Account?

Twitch Hack: What Happened, Exactly? 

The recent Twitch hack not only outed these payout numbers, obviously. According to The Verge, the streaming platform's source code for its mobile, desktop and gaming console clients, as well as an unreleased, potential competitor to Steam allegedly being developed by Amazon Game Studios. 

For now, however, it seems like the Twitch hack didn't compromise the login credentials or even personal addresses of the platform's users. But that doesn't mean no information was accessed.  

Furthermore, the perpetrators of the data breach ominously said that this is just "part one," according to The Verge. Users, therefore, need to secure their accounts fast. 

Twitch logo
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ANKARA, TURKEY - OCTOBER 6: The logo of "Twitch" is displayed on a smartphone in Ankara, Turkey on October 6, 2021.

How Exactly Do These Top Twitch Streamers Make Money? 

Just take a look at those numbers. Within a two-year span, the top streamers could expect to earn as much as $4.5 million a year on average.  Even those so far down the ladder--say, the 1,000th biggest earner--could still make roughly $85,000 a year.  

So, how do these Twitch streamers do it? There are far too many options for a single paragraph to explain, so you can just check out this guide on how to make money as a Twitch streamer for a more in-depth explanation. 

But one thing is for certain: if you play your cards right, then you can literally just sit around for hours every day playing video games as your full-time job. 

Related: How to Stream on Twitch | Ultimate Beginner Guide 2021

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Written by RJ Pierce 

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