Who is Kai Cenat? Get to know Twitch’s most-subscribed streamer

Kai Cenat streaming

Kai Cenat is the king of Twitch and many are still trying to figure out how he reached the top so quickly.

Streamers can enjoy a fast rise when they make the right move at the right time, and Kai Cenat is proof of that. The YouTuber made the jump to streaming on Twitch and shattered records, hitting the all-time record for highest active subscriber count.

Building up the kind of following Kai Cenat has takes a lot of time, so he didn’t hit this level of popularity overnight. Here’s who he is, what he’s known for, and how he rose to the top of Twitch.

Who is Kai Cenat?

Kai Cenat is an American Twitch streamer and content creator from New York. On YouTube, he is known for making comedy content ranging from pranks to situational humor involving unsuspecting participants. 

He parlayed that YouTube fame into a successful Twitch channel. Starting in the autumn of 2022, he began streaming much more frequently on Twitch. He enjoyed fast success, hitting over 100,000 subscribers in September while enjoying some of the best average viewer counts on the platform. In February 2023, he achieved new heights with a month-long subathon. This saw him reach the highest peak concurrent subscriber count in Twitch history, peaking at 305,344 subscribers.

Why is Kai Cenat famous?

Kai Cenat rose to prominence through his YouTube channel, where he primarily posts prank videos. He built up an enormous following of over 2.5 million subscribers before pivoting much of his content creation efforts to Twitch.

Fans seemingly followed him from one platform to the other but he attracted a whole new audience on Twitch as well, becoming one of the most-subscribed streamers on the platform in September 2022. Kai Cenat hit the highest subscriber count in Twitch history in 2023 by running a monthlong subathon. This success led to him frequently collaborating with other big-name content creators including Felix “xQc” Lengyel and Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson.

Kai Cenat And Mrbeast

Is Kai Cenat the biggest streamer on Twitch?

Kai Cenat broke Twitch’s active subscriber count record in February 2023. This came during a monthlong subathon defined by controversies and engaged fans.

The subathon was preceded by a ban from Twitch in January. The reason for this ban is uncertain, but Cenat was seen on a previous stream seemingly under the influence of drugs. Fans speculated that he was set for another ban during his subathon for calling Darren “IShowSpeed” Watkins on-air. IShowSpeed was banned on Twitch, which made the call qualify as ban evasion.

Ultimately, Twitch did not take action and Cenat’s subathon continued as planned. He hit 305,344 subscribers at his peak, breaking the record set two years prior.

Why is Kai Cenat controversial?

Kai Cenat is considered controversial for a variety reasons, including his being accused of refusing to cooperate with police that were investigating rape allegations.

On January 5, 2023, TikToker Jovi Pena publicly accused Cenat’s friend Djigui Seck of raping her. The alleged incident took place at a party hosted by Cenat. Pena says that she requested Cenat’s help in identifying Seck, but that he wouldn’t cooperate.

Cenat responded by stating that he did not respond to her at the behest of his lawyers, but that he did go to authorities separately. He acknowledged that he is a longtime friend of Seck, but says that Seck was “legitimately confused” by the allegations. Cenat says that he cut off contact with both Pena and Seck on the advice of his legal team.

Whose record did Kai Cenat break on Twitch?

Kai Cenat broke the peak subscriber record on Twitch that was previously held by Ludwig “Ludwig” Ahgren.

Ludwig set the Twitch subscriber record in 2021 with a subathon that ran on a timer that grew by 10 seconds for each subscription. The subathon ultimately ran for 31 days, with Ludwig peaking at 283,066 subscribers and breaking the previous record set by Tyler “Ninja” Blevins. Cenat broke that record in 2023 by hitting 305,344, over 20,000 more subscribers than Ludwig’s top count.

Does Kai Cenat still do YouTube?

Kai Cenat continues to post videos on YouTube, despite arguably being better known as a Twitch streamer these days. He puts out videos much less frequently than he did when he was primarily focused on YouTube, but still releases something new every two to three weeks.

Despite Cenat spending less time on his YouTube channel, his following on the platform has only grown. Before booming on Twitch, he had a following of around 2.5 million subscribers. Since then, his subscriber count has increased to over 3.5 million.

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Written by Steven Rondina

Steven Rondina has been playing video games since he was a toddler and appreciates every genre out there. He has earned the platinum trophy in every Soulsborne game, is regularly Master Ball-ranked on the competitive Pokemon ladder, and has spent thousands of hours missing shots on Dust 2. His work has previously been featured by Bleacher Report and The Washington Post, and he was an Assistant Editor at You can follow him on Twitter / X at @srondina.

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