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Here's how far these streamers got in school

Education is not necessarily a predictor for success, and what works for one person may not work for another. History shows that both the highly educated (such as Stephen Hawking, who had a PhD in physics) and those with less formal education (like Benjamin Franklin, who left school at 10-years-old) can go on to accomplish momentous things.

The path to streaming success is as varied as the personalities of the streamers themselves, and education certainly plays its part. Some make it big right out of high school (or even sooner) while others attend college and graduate programs before streaming full-time. Think you can guess how far these streamers made it in school? The truth might surprise you.

Pokimane - Dropped out of college

Pokimane is full of surprises. Before she was a triple threat with over 15 million followers shared between Twitch, YouTube, and Instagram, she was simply Imane Anys, a Moroccan-born Canadian college student. She attended McMaster University in Ontario where she took a greater than full-time class load in chemical engineering.

Despite enjoying her major, Pokimane eventually left college to pursue streaming professionally. The average chemical engineer earns a salary of $74,000. Is Pokimane making more than that in her streaming career? While she won't share her exact net worth, she has confirmed that it's not the $2 million figure floating around all over the internet (although she would really like it to be). That doesn't mean she's only in it for the money, however. In fact, she turned down a $3 million sponsorship deal because she felt it was the wrong move for her.

Shroud - Graduated from high school

Born in Toronto as Michael Grzesiek, Shroud's love for gaming was nurtured by his tech-enthusiast father, who built computers for his family and encouraged his young son's interest in both computers and computer games. After graduating from high school, he never looked back. Shroud began gaming professionally to the enthusiastic support of his parents.

Since that time, Shroud's wild success almost seems the stuff of legends. With over six million followers on YouTube and another seven million followers on Twitch, he has a viewership to be reckoned with. Shroud's talented play keeps his audience returning for more, and in competitions, it regularly earns him prize purses with many zeroes on the end. This includes the thousands he and fellow Cloud9 team members received for winning the ESL Pro League in 2016 and his share of the $100,000 his team secured at the 2018 Doritos Bowl.

Tfue - Homeschooled

Middle school can be a tumultuous time full of highs and lows, and for some people, it's understandably too much. "I went to middle school for a week. It sucked. I dipped," said Turner Tenney, better known as Tfue. "I never really went to school, technically I was home-schooled." His father, Richard, explained, "I sat my youngest son down at 14 years old with [online educational software] Khan Academy and he worked his way through high school in a month."

Though Tfue's streaming career has not been without its controversies, you'd be hard pressed to argue that he's not a runaway success. With over 8 million followers on Twitch and nearly 12 million followers on YouTube, it's clear he knows how to draw a crowd. In fact, Tfue claims EA offered him over $140,000 to stream Madden 20, though this turned into yet another dramatic episode for the streamer's career. 

Ewok - Still in middle school

What were you doing in 8th grade? You probably weren't securing high profile deals to stream exclusively on Microsoft's now defunct Mixer or becoming the first female to join professional esports organization FaZe Clan. Fourteen year-old Soleil "Ewok" Wheeler has done all this while also attending 8th grade at the Indiana School for the Deaf. She even somehow finds time to do regular teen stuff like learning to skateboard and finding a boyfriend

While Ewok may not have the colossal numbers other big streamers boast (she has 286k followers on Twitch, and roughly half that number on YouTube as of this writing), that doesn't mean she's not making a huge splash in the world of esports. In fact, Ewok is so remarkable that Ninja made an exception and streamed with her after infamously declaring he would not stream with females (a stance he has since changed).

PewDiePie - Dropped out of college

Even though he no longer has the most subscribers on YouTube, Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg (a.k.a. PewDiePie) is doing just fine. The 30-year-old Swedish streamer celebrated ten years of YouTube uploads in May 2020. So, how did a child who wasn't allowed to play video games except on special occasions achieve this level of success?

After graduating from high school, PewDiePie attended Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, where he studied technology management and industrial economics. "I had nothing in common with the rest of the people in the program," he said of of the experience.

PewDiePie dropped out of college in 2011, a decision his parents initially did not understand and that has been mirrored by others throughout his career. "It seems silly," he told Rolling Stone magazine. "Your job is to play games? You make money from that?" Despite how it might appear to the uninitiated, Pewds asserts that making a living off video games is much harder than people think. Challenging or not, it seems like his choices continue to pay off.

Myth - Graduated from high school

"I don't live in a community where what I do is heavily accepted," says Myth. "I took a very different route when it came to just life in general. Like right out of high school, I was like, 'I wanna stream.'" He describes the decision as "super risky" and "not the smartest," but after graduating, Myth decided to stream professionally rather than attend college. 

The decision upset his mother, especially because Myth had already been accepted to Wayne State University in Detroit. Yet looking back, it appears to have been the right choice. At only 21-years-old, Myth is a member of TSM and has won some big purses (like the $16,500 prize for placing fourth in match one of the 2018 Fall Skirmish Stream-vitational). However, the grounded gamer also has his sights set on bigger things than just Fortnite. "Being a positive light for people I think is something that influences me heavily," he says.

Valkyrae - Attended college

Rachel Hofstetter once lived a typical student's life working at GameStop to support herself while attending community college. She explains that it took her four years to finish a two-year program because she was working two to three jobs while going to school. She then took the plunge into streaming full-time. Now known as Valkyrae, she attracts millions of followers across the internet with her YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. While she was still streaming on Twitch, she even made enough money to help her mother start a childcare business.

Although Valkyrae was the first female gamer to join 100 Thieves, she has her sights set on life beyond gaming. While explaining why she moved exclusively to YouTube, Valkyrae told Dot Esports, "I can truly focus on making content that I'm proud of and that people would enjoy. I also now have the freedom to have time to make other types of content besides just focusing on gaming." Valkyrae views YouTube as the ideal platform to expand her brand.

Disguised Toast - Earned a 3-year degree in mathematics

Considering he once lost a tournament because he overslept and he used to wear a mask while streaming, Disguised Toast may be one of the most relatable streamers out there. Known in real life as Jeremy Wang, Toast has over one million followers on both his Twitch and YouTube accounts. He's won some major moolah in events like the Fornite Summer Skirmish. Clearly he's reached the upper echelons of the streaming world while still maintaining a self-deprecating sense of humor.

Before living this glamorous life, Toast was born in Taipei. He later moved to Canada and earned a 3-year degree in mathematics from the University of Waterloo. It was his second choice major, however, as he initially pursued computer science, but found it too difficult. In the end, all that math does come in handy to help him win at Hearthstone though. 

Dr Disrespect - Graduated from college

Dr. Disrespect's mustache is named "Slick Daddy." During his 8-10 hour streams, his wife, Mrs. Assassin, reportedly feeds him food via knife. His signature sunglasses and black mullet wig top off an alter ego that prompted ESPN to call him, "a WWE character in the competitive gaming world." But behind the claims of winning back-to-back Blockbuster Video Game Championships and the mantra "Violence. Speed. Momentum." (which is the title of his upcoming memoir), is there a regular guy who went to school?

In fact, there is. His name is Herschel "Guy" Beahm IV, and he attended Cal Poly Pomona, where he studied business and marketing. While there, the 6'8" Beahm played basketball and was one of the team's leaders in scoring and rebounding. Now he has 1.64 million YouTube followers and over 4 million Twitch followers (prior to his ban) and was named the 2019 Esports Awards Streamer of the Year.

LegendaryLea - Studied neuroscience in college

If you visit Lea May Currier on her Twitter or Instagram accounts (where the new mom typically posts fitness and fashion content), you may not realize she's a gamer. However, if you visit her Twitch or YouTube accounts, you'll discover LegendaryLea, the popular variety streamer who streams everything from Dark Souls to American Truck Simulator and Twitch Sings. Per her Twitch profile, she loves a huge variety of games, including Grand Theft Auto 5, Red Dead Redemption 2, The Last of Us, Beyond: Two Souls, and many more, and she occasionally earns huge donations from fans. 

Prior to becoming LegendaryLea, however, Currier was putting her mind to good use. She attended the University of California San Diego where she enjoyed studying neuroscience, although she does wish her 14-year-old self had taken her studies a bit more seriously so she wouldn't have had to take so many math classes in college.

Timthetatman - Graduated from college

Of all the streaming records one might hold, TimTheTatman has, potentially, one of the best one. He holds a Twitch record for raising nearly $106,000 for charity in only four hours. Known as Timothy John Betar in real life, TimTheTatman began streaming as a hobby while he was still working full time as a social worker

Since then, he's amassed 5 million followers on Twitch and another 2 million followers on YouTube, in addition to his audiences of millions on Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram. This massive popularity has allowed him to quit his desk job to focus on streaming. In fact, TimTheTatman is so big, he even appeared in a Super Bowl commercial.

Despite being the 2018 Male Streamer of the Year, TimTheTatman is a pretty regular dad. He graduated from college in 2015. While there, he began dating Alexis, who he knew from high school. The couple married and now have a son.

Ninja - Dropped out of college

Ninja needs no introduction, but even if you're one of his 23.9 million YouTube followers or 14.8 million Twitch followers, you might not know that he wasn't always one of the planet's biggest streamers. Once upon a time, Ninja was still Tyler Blevins, a student and member of the soccer team at Grayslake Central High School in Illinois. He also worked part time at Noodles & Company.

After graduating in 2009, Ninja began streaming while also attending Silver Lake College in Wisconsin. Soon he was making enough money from his streams that he decided to drop out of college to become a full-time gamer. Although he has declined giving any specifics about his income, he reportedly made $20-$30 million by moving to Mixer, so you might say the gamble paid off. "I know I'm not going to be the best at what I do forever ... It's that drive that motivates me — the desire to always be better," says Ninja.

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