Sykkuno, one of Twitch’s top streamers known for his wholesome demeanor and for playing games like Among Us and GTA Online, left the Amazon-owned platform for the red pastures of YouTube Gaming this month. The move shocked the livestreaming space because Sykkuno was something of a household name on Twitch, boasting four million followers and 103 million total views since becoming a more consistent streamer in April 2019. However, the switch made sense for him because, as he revealed during his first-ever YouTube Gaming livestream, the Google-owned platform offered him a slightly better deal, and Twitch gave his name a rather unfortunate misspelling in an official email.
You might not have heard of him, but Sykkuno has been on YouTube for years. In fact, an old account of his can be traced back to April 2006, where he uploaded League of Legends and Minecraft content before moving to his current channel, which now has 2.75 million subscribers, in September 2011. While Sykkuno spent much of his early career on YouTube, he didn’t make a name for himself as a streamer until April 2019, when he began broadcasting regularly on the Twitch channel he’d created years before. In August 2020 he joined a collective of streamers called Offline TV, which includes other online personalities like DisguisedToast and LilyPichu, and although he left the group a couple of months later in November, he has continued to see rapid growth. Now, with four million Twitch followers, Sykkuno has left the Amazon-owned platform because he believes he’ll be “much, much happier” on YouTube.
After sharing the news of his move to YouTube on social media, Sykkuno went live on May 3 to discuss the reasoning behind the switch. It was a multifaceted explanation spurred by the negotiation of his Twitch contract. He said he went to the company asking for a better deal because Twitch’s initial offer was “just bad,” though he didn’t offer specifics. Twitch came back with what Sykkuno called a “very, very good offer,” which almost convinced him to stay since it was “pretty much dead even” with YouTube’s. He even said that if Twitch’s offer was “a little worse,” he would have remained on the platform.
And yet, he didn’t. Ultimately, YouTube did make the better offer, but that wasn’t the sole deciding factor. What solidified the move, aside from the increase in money YouTube was offering, was a peculiar email Sykkuno received from Twitch.
After sharing some stats about his Twitch performance—he was the 28th highest-earning streamer and the 45th most-followed streamer of all time—he then threw up an email the company had sent him on screen, which showed an apparent Twitch spokesperson spelling his name as “Sukkuno.” You can almost feel the embarrassment emanating from Sykkuno as he discussed the email. He was so shook that he messaged folks asking if it was a phishing scam because he couldn’t believe Twitch would do that to his name.
“Maybe I have too big an ego or something, but I was shocked,” Sykkuno said during the livestream. “I legit thought I was getting scammed. I was afraid to click this email because I was like, ‘Am I about to get a virus?’”
There was some levity, with Sykkuno joking a bit about the unfortunate misspelling, but he wrapped the segment up by expressing just how unappreciated Twitch made him feel. Notably, Sykkuno’s move comes during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, during which Twitch is supposed to be “celebrating and recognizing” the huge impact AAPI streamers have had, not just on Twitch but on gaming culture as a whole. Sykkuno’s an American of Chinese and Vietnamese descent, and misspelling his name, even if it isn’t his real name, seems pretty careless. It’s no wonder he felt unappreciated, especially as anti-Asian sentiment ramps up worldwide but particularly in the U.S. due to the ongoing pandemic.
Kotaku has reached out to Sykkuno and Twitch for comment.