Darren Watkins Jr. (born January 21, 2005), better known by his online alias IShowSpeed (or simply Speed), is an American YouTuber, streamer, and internet personality. He is known for his variety livestreams in which he primarily plays video games including Roblox, Fortnite, and FIFA. Watkins is noted for his oftentimes shocking behavior on live streams which has helped him gain a strong following while also placing him at the center of numerous controversies.

IShowSpeed
IShowSpeed November 2021 (52502829419).jpg
IShowSpeed in November 2021
Background information
Birth nameDarren Watkins Jr.
Born (2005-01-21) January 21, 2005 (age 18)
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • YouTuber
  • live streamer
  • internet personality
  • rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
Years active2021–present
LabelsWarner
Twitch information
Channel
Years active2016–2021
GenreGaming
YouTube information
ChannelsIShowSpeed
Genre
Subscribers15.5 million
Total views1.20 billion
Associated acts
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers 2021
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg 1,000,000 subscribers 2021
YouTube Diamond Play Button.svg 10,000,000 subscribers 2022

Last updated: February 3, 2023
Websiteishowspeedstore.com
Signature
IShowSpeed Signature.svg

Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Watkins registered his channel "IShowSpeed" in 2017, primarily posting gaming videos. From 2021 to 2022, he began gaining substantial popularity due in part to the circulation of eye-catching clips from his live streams on social media platforms. In 2022, he was named Breakout Streamer of the Year at the 12th Streamy Awards.

Life and career

Darren Watkins Jr.[2][3][4] was born on January 21, 2005[5][6] in Cincinnati, Ohio.

He joined YouTube in 2016, uploading gameplay videos occasionally.[1] Around December 2017, Watkins began livestreaming and uploading videos of games such as NBA 2K and Fortnite, but only managed to average two viewers. Eventually, his subscriber count saw a rise in the span of a few months, reaching 100 thousand subscribers in April 2021, 1 million in June 2021, and 10 million in July 2022.[5]

Influencer career

Watkins began streaming in 2019.[7] He became prominent in 2021 after his fanbase began posting clips on TikTok of his often-violent behavior during live streams towards games, players, and his camera, which gained popularity and became memes. His outbursts have resulted in bans from the streaming platform Twitch and video game Valorant.[8] Kotaku described Watkins as "one of the biggest and fastest-rising streamers" on YouTube.[1] A game that has majorly contributed to his growth in popularity is Talking Ben. Watkins' videos on Talking Ben the Dog were credited for bringing the mobile app newfound popularity, with it becoming the best-selling game on the App Store over a decade after its initial release.[9]

In July 2022, Watkins set off a Pikachu firework inside of his bedroom, almost burning it down.[10][11] In August 2022, he was swatted while livestreaming on YouTube, officers handcuffed Watkins and his cameraman was forced to end the stream.[3] Watkins claimed that he had been placed in jail and that Adin Ross had to bail him out, allowing him to return to streaming on August 11.[12] Also in August 2022, he attempted to cheat in a "United States and Global Economics" course he was taking at the Ohio Digital Learning School by asking his viewers for the answers to his quiz. His viewers instead took the opportunity to prank him and purposely give him the wrong answers, resulting in him getting 0/10 on the test.[13]

In September 2022, he played in the Sidemen Charity Football Match.[14] During the match, he became frustrated at referee Mark Clattenburg over being offside. He proceeded to whip him with the shirt he removed while celebrating, which resulted in him receiving a yellow card. Later in the match, a pitch invader carrying a Messi jersey approached Watkins, which resulted in him[who?] tossing it onto the floor. [15] In November 2022, American rapper and singer Lil Nas X made his live streaming debut and appeared on IShowSpeed's stream.[16]

In December 2022, he won the Streamy Award in the "Breakout Streamer" category during the 12th Streamy Awards.[17]

Throughout November and December 2022, Watkins visited various football stadiums to try and watch Ronaldo play live. Watkins traveled to Old Trafford, Craven Cottage and various stadiums in Qatar. However, Ronaldo was benched from the lineup during those games, up until Portugal’s loss to Morocco.[18][19]

Musical career

In August 2021, Watkins released his first single, "Dooty Booty", on his YouTube channel. Following its upload, the song quickly became popular on YouTube and other social media sites such as TikTok.[20] In November 2021, Watkins released a single titled "Shake" which received over 160 million views on YouTube.[21] In June 2022, he released a song called "Ronaldo (Sewey)", following his newfound admiration for Cristiano Ronaldo.[22][21] In November 2022, he released a single titled "World Cup" under Warner Records in honor of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.[23][24]

Controversies

In December 2021, Watkins took part in a Twitch "e-dating" livestream show, hosted by Adin Ross. In the stream, Watkins asked social media influencer Ash Kash whether she would reproduce with him if they were the only two people on Earth. When Kash said no, he aggressively asked her, "Who gonna stop me?," which was interpreted as a rape threat. Watkins was the second contestant to be eliminated, and shortly after the game had ended, he quickly rejoined the Discord call and started sexually harassing Kash, slurring her repeatedly. Watkins was kicked out of the call again, with Ross apologizing to Kash for his behavior. Watkins was later banned from Twitch.[1][2] According to a Twitter post by him, Watkins was banned for "sexual coercion or intimidation."[25][26]

In April 2022, an old clip of Watkins playing Valorant on a live stream surfaced. In the clip, he tells a female player to, "Get off the fucking game and do your husband's dishes."[8] This resulted in one of the game's producers, Sara Dadafshar, permanently banning Watkins from Valorant and all other Riot Games titles.[27][28] YouTube global head of gaming creators, Lester Chen, replied to the clip, saying he was "on it."[1] Watkins soon apologized for his behavior, acknowledged that it was "wrong", and explained that he had received racist comments from other players that day.[29]

In July 2022, Watkins received a community guidelines strike as well as a 1-week ban on YouTube after livestreaming his character being fellated in a mod named "Jenny's Mod" on Minecraft to over 90,000 of his viewers. Initially, he censored the screen as it was happening, but accidentally uncensored it, showing him expressing sexual activity. Watkins later confirmed the strike and expressed doubt that he would return to YouTube, but also accused Internet reporter Jake Lucky for having a vendetta against him for reporting on his incident after previously reporting on the prior Valorant incident.[30][31]

In November 2022, Sky Sports announced that they would stop featuring him on their platform after the emergence of past misogynist and derogatory comments made by Watkins. The platform also removed all content featuring Watkins.[32][33] Also in November 2022, Watkins' viewers accused him of promoting an alleged cryptocurrency scam during a promotional stream where he wore branded attire from a cryptocurrency-centered open-world video game.[34]

In December 2022, Watkins garnered controversy for his behavior toward a Chinese spectator of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which was interpreted by many as racist. During a live stream, he approached a man wearing an Argentina top to question him. Visibly confused, the man specified that he did not speak English which prompted Watkins to start repeatedly hurling "Konnichiwa", a Japanese greeting, and start uttering sounds reminiscent of Cantonese and Mandarin language. When a clip of the live stream started circulating online, he uploaded an apology video to his Twitter account.[35]

Discography

List of singles, with selected chart positions
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
NLD
Tip

[36]
NZ
Hot

[37]
SWE
Heat.

[38]
UK
[39]
"Dooty Booty"[20] 2021 Non-album singles
"Shake"[21]
"God Is Good"[21] 2022
"Ronaldo (Sewey)"[22][21]
"World Cup"[40][23] 1 29 6 52

Filmography

List of music video appearances
Year Title Artist(s) Role Ref.
2022 "Let's Go" Tion Wayne featuring Aitch Himself [41]

Awards and nominations

Awards and nominations for IShowSpeed
Year Ceremony Category Result Ref.
2022 Streamy Awards Streamer of the Year Nominated [42]
Breakout Streamer Won

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Winslow, Jeremy (April 7, 2022). "YouTube Streamer With 6.9M Followers Banned After Valorant Tirade Clip Surfaces". Kotaku. G/O Media. Archived from the original on April 7, 2022. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  2. ^ a b Alford, Aaron (December 13, 2021). "Adin Ross stream sparks outrage after IShowSpeed threatens to sexually assault guest". Inven Global. Archived from the original on January 25, 2022. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Nathan, Grayson (August 15, 2022). "Streamers Keffals, Adin Ross and IShowSpeed all swatted in the same week". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 1, 2022.
  4. ^ Cheong, Charissa (July 25, 2022). "IShowSpeed sparks controversy over Minecraft video simulating sex act". Insider. Retrieved October 1, 2022.
  5. ^ a b Tsiaoussidis, Alex (August 2, 2022). "No slowing down: IShowSpeed is fastest growing streamer on YouTube right now". Dot Esports. Retrieved October 7, 2022.
  6. ^ "birthday boy🐶". Instagram. January 21, 2022. Retrieved November 29, 2022.
  7. ^ Bremer, Havar (October 3, 2022). "KSI om iShowSpeed: − Jeg floppet". Verdens Gang (in Norwegian). Retrieved October 11, 2022.
  8. ^ a b Harrison, Christian (April 7, 2022). "YouTuber IShowSpeed banned from VALORANT, all Riot games following viral sexist rant". Dot Esports. Gamurs. Archived from the original on April 9, 2022. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  9. ^ Johnson, Stephen (April 8, 2022). "The Out-of-Touch Adults' Guide to Kid Culture: What Is 'The Ick'?". Lifehacker. Retrieved April 17, 2022.
  10. ^ Wee, Jared (July 7, 2022). "US streamer nearly sets rooms on fire after lighting Pikachu firework during 'live' stream (VIDEO)". Malay Mail. Retrieved October 1, 2022.
  11. ^ Mustafa, Filiz (July 5, 2022). "YOUTUBER SPEED SETS OFF FIREWORKS IN HIS ROOM DURING INSANE 4TH OF JULY STREAM". HITC. Retrieved October 1, 2022.
  12. ^ Tsiaoussidis, Alex (August 12, 2022). "IShowSpeed claims police put him in jail after YouTube swatting and Adin Ross had to bail him out". Dot Esports. Retrieved October 7, 2022.
  13. ^ Fenley, Nick (August 30, 2022). "YouTuber Gets Trolled Into Scoring A Big Fat 0% On Quiz After Asking Livestream Chat For Answers". Yahoo! News. Retrieved October 1, 2022.
  14. ^ Slot, Owen (September 30, 2022). "Chunkz, Pieface, and a YouTube-inspired sporting apocalypse". The Times. Retrieved October 1, 2022.
  15. ^ Marsh, Dan (September 24, 2022). "Speed calls out Mark Clattenburg after whipping him with shirt in Sidemen charity match". Daily Mirror. Retrieved October 1, 2022.
  16. ^ Tsiaoussidis, Alex (November 13, 2022). "Lil Nas X makes livestream debut on YouTube with iShowSpeed, and they made a song together". Dot Esports. Gamurs. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  17. ^ Truder, Morgan (December 5, 2022). "Kai Cenat and IShowSpeed Take Home Major Awards at Youtube Streamys". VideoGamer.com. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  18. ^ Purcell, David (December 6, 2022). "iShowSpeed finally sees Cristiano Ronaldo play live, stream ends in disaster". Dexerto.
  19. ^ Bonn, Kyle (December 10, 2022). "Why Cristiano Ronaldo was benched for Portugal World Cup quarterfinal vs Morocco". www.sportingnews.com. Retrieved December 20, 2022.
  20. ^ a b Crates, Jake (August 26, 2021). "IShowSpeed – "Dooty Booty"". AllHipHop. Archived from the original on March 13, 2022. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  21. ^ a b c d e Cohen, Justin (September 27, 2022). "Is IShowSpeed The New King Of Content?". Yahoo! News. Retrieved October 1, 2022.
  22. ^ a b "Ronaldo (SWEY) – Single by IShowSpeed". Apple Music. Retrieved June 23, 2022.
  23. ^ a b Bluetec, DJ (November 10, 2022). "Cincinnati's IShowSpeed gears up for "World Cup" with new anthem". HipHopCanada. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  24. ^ "iShowSpeed - Allmusic". AllMusic. November 15, 2022. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  25. ^ Alford, Aaron (December 14, 2021). "IShowSpeed banned after threatening sexual violence on Adin Ross stream". Inven Global. Archived from the original on March 11, 2022. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  26. ^ Press-Reynolds, Kieran (December 15, 2021). "Twitch reportedly bans streamer after he said an influencer couldn't 'stop' him from reproducing with her if they were the last people on Earth". Insider. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  27. ^ Shutler, Ali (April 8, 2022). "Streamer IShowSpeed banned from every Riot Games title after sexist tirade". NME. Archived from the original on April 9, 2022. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  28. ^ Masters, Tim (April 7, 2022). "IShowSpeed banned from all Riot Games for sexist abuse". Inven Global. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  29. ^ Cheong, Charissa (April 8, 2022). "A gaming YouTuber with 7 million subscribers apologized for screaming 'go do your husband's dishes' at a female player". Insider. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  30. ^ Hunter, Jay (July 23, 2022). "YouTuber IShowSpeed Gets Head From Girlfriend In Minecraft Stream". Ginx. Retrieved December 13, 2022.
  31. ^ Fairfax, Zackerie (July 23, 2022). "IShowSpeed claims he's banned on YouTube after streaming adult Minecraft mod". Dexerto. Retrieved December 13, 2022.
  32. ^ Humayun, Ali (November 14, 2022). "Sky Sports won't feature IShowSpeed on air again after misogynistic comments emerge". The Athletic. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  33. ^ Wolens, Joshua (November 15, 2022). "Banned Valorant streamer yanked from football broadcasts after misogynistic video resurfaces". PC Gamer. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  34. ^ Tsiaoussidis, Alex (November 16, 2022). "iShowSpeed's fans are calling him out for promoting an alleged crypto 'scam' and he's not happy". Dot Esports. Gamurs. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  35. ^ Tsiaoussidis, Alex (December 6, 2022). "IShowSpeed responds to racism allegations after star's World Cup fan video goes viral". Dot Esports. Gamurs. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  36. ^ "Dutch Single Tip 26/11/2022". dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved November 26, 2022.
  37. ^ "NZ Hot Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. November 14, 2022. Retrieved November 19, 2022.
  38. ^ "Veckolista Heatseeker, vecka 46". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved November 19, 2022.
  39. ^ "IShowSpeed | full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 25, 2022.
  40. ^ "World Cup – Single by IShowSpeed". Apple Music. Retrieved November 4, 2022.
  41. ^ Olaoya, Ezra (October 10, 2022). "Tion Wayne & Aitch Head To The Golf Course For "Let's Go" Visuals". Complex. Retrieved October 11, 2022.
  42. ^ "12th Annual Streamy Nominees". The Streamy Awards. December 5, 2022. Retrieved December 5, 2022.

External links