It takes tons of streamers to make Twitch work as a platform, but one of their biggest stars is undoubtedly Imane 'Pokimane' Anys. Pokimane has more than 8 million followers on the platform and has had an exclusive streaming contract with Twitch for the last two years. In a tweet on Jan. 31, though, she confirmed that that contract was coming to an end, which led some to wonder whether she would be leaving Twitch altogether.
Is Pokimane leaving Twitch?
"After a wild 2 years, my Twitch contract ends today," Pokimane wrote in a tweet. "I’ll see you guys February 8th for the next chapter. Much love to you all."
The teasing of a "next chapter" naturally led many to wonder whether Pokimane would be leaving Twitch in favor of another platform like YouTube. Pokimane already has more than 7 million subscribers on YouTube, as well as more than 12 million followers on both Instagram and Twitter.
Nothing is definitive until she makes her announcement on Feb. 8, but some fans are already mourning Pokimane's departure from Twitch. It seems unlikely that she would feel the need to tease an announcement if she was planning to simply re-up her contract, but that remains a possibility. If she does leave Twitch, her most likely home would be YouTube Gaming, which has emerged as a competitor to the Amazon-owned Twitch.
YouTube Gaming also released a cryptic tweet.
The same day that Pokimane hinted she could be leaving Twitch, YouTube Gaming's Twitter account posted a Wordle-style puzzle and encouraged followers to offer guesses about what it could mean. There's nothing to suggest this tweet is connected to Pokimane's, but the timing of the two is pretty conspicuous. A common guess for the answer to the five-letter puzzle is "Imane," and that's certainly a possibility.
Pokimane has poked fun at YouTube's streaming offerings in the past, but never in such a malicious way that it seems like she would be unwilling to join the streamer if the right opportunity presented itself. Pokimane would be just the latest high profile streamer to jump off of Twitch, as others like Ludwig and Pokimane's friend Valkyrae have also teased signings.
YouTube may be taking extraordinary steps to lure away top talent so that it can establish itself as a firm competitor to Twitch, and that strategy might be paying off. Both Twitch and YouTube are owned and funded by mega-corporations with quite a bit of cash at their disposal, so it seems the bidding war for talent could get quite aggressive.
People like Pokimane are stuck in the middle, but that's exactly where they want to be. She hasn't left Twitch yet, but if she does, we may never know the exact terms that led her to move over to YouTube. Until she makes her official announcement, all fans can do is speculate about what she might say. If she does head over to YouTube, though, there are likely to be plenty of people who will miss her on Twitch.