A group of Twitch streamers and YouTube personalities have figured out a core business model that has catapulted them into every major conversation: Drama sells.
Content creators have learned that calling out other casters and appearing on their streams is a good way to get people to pay attention to them. It’s what the popular subreddit r/livestreamfail, which has more than 170,000 members, thrives on. Many of the biggest streamers, including Sodapoppin, Ice_Poseidon and GreekGodX, have made a name for themselves on the subreddit by using drama to win attention. These and other familiar casters are notorious for their ability to create controversy.
Now, however, at the height of a feud that reached the front page of Reddit’s default front page, the subreddit’s community wants all mentions of Mitch Jones, one of the most controversial creators, removed.
A thread posted on the subreddit this week, called “Petition to ban Mitch Jones from this subreddit for constantly trying to make drama out of nothing for views and attention,” now has close to 2,000 comments. The negative attention both Jones and the subreddit received after the streamer landed on the front page prompted the response, as questions came flooding in.
The majority of the thread’s posts come down to two things: exhaustion and annoyance. Members are tired of Jones calling out other casters for being more successful than he is, and then berating the chat when they don’t subscribe to him. Though viewers don’t mind drama every now and again — just look at how successful big Twitch casters and popular influencers on YouTube are — the circumstances Jones finds himself in are too reminiscent of high school drama, according to people in the Reddit thread.
Jones’ obsession with his viewer count and subscribers has caught the attention of major Twitch streamers, including xQc, who streams Overwatch. In the video below, xQc calls out Jones for his obsession, saying that “he needs to focus on the fucking content.”
Jones streams often on IRL, a divisive Twitch section where drama lurks and personalities bait each other. The more someone talks smack about another caster, the more likely it is that the caster will respond, resulting in confrontation. Although it seems negative, their newfound attention inevitably boosts their careers. More people tune in, subscriptions grow and business booms.
Manufactured content on Twitch and YouTube is this generation’s soap operas; even though people can see through the bullshit, it’s entertaining to tune into the day’s stories.
For Jones lately, those involve attacking one caster in particular: GreekGodX, more commonly referred to as Greek. Jones and Greek have streamed together in the past and are friends with each other, but earlier this week, Jones accused Greek of “manipulating his viewers for personal gain,” according to a Reddit summary.
Jones targets Greek in the archive below, which took place on his girlfriend Mira’s channel on Jan. 3. In the video, Jones calls out Greek for making fun of another streamer, Ice_Poseidon, whom Twitch banned last year after a swatting incident. Jones also tells Greek to stop hitting on Mira, bringing up an incident from May 2017 that caused problems for the former friends.
“You literally fucking throw every one of your so-called friends out there for content hype for yourself,” Jones can be heard saying off-camera. “It’s crazy what you do, bro. And you need to be called out for it. I don’t care ... I don’t give a fuck about my reputation. If he keeps snaking people like this ... it’s just not cool, dude.”
After berating people in chat for not subscribing to his channel, calling out other casters for hyping their own channels and complaining about his view count, Jones has put the the Twitch community on edge.
But one Reddit user pointed out that, unlike YouTube, it’s much harder to game the system for views on Twitch. There are no clever thumbnails or clickbait titles; it all comes down to the quality of content and consistency of the streamer. And Jones’ streams are inconsistent.
“Mitch Jones has been one of the most inconsistent bigger streamers on Twitch hands down and that’s pretty much what it comes down to,” the Redditor said. “He would always take long breaks and every time he would come back from his breaks he would just seem less and less into streaming but still would milk people for money. He lost interest in his main game he would play, and resort to petty ‘drama’ with a variety of friends and streamers.”
Jones has faced this criticism before. The personality has admitted on stream to reading the LivestreamFail subreddit wanting its members to mention him. Greek and Jones were sending quips at each other for weeks, but as the feud between Jones and Greek heated up, LivestreamFail’s community began to take sides and talk about the streamers more than usual.
The drama between Greek and Jones, which built up little-by-little over the course of 2017 before exploding this week, came to a head after a publicly vulnerable moment from Jones.
In December, Jones hosted an IRL livestream as he drove around in his car and detailed just how much the negative attention was getting to him.
“There’s not a single person on Reddit, or in chat, or anything else that has my back,” Jones said. “Ever! My friends don’t even have my back. Like when people donate to Greek and go, ‘Don’t be a dick to Mitch,’ secretly Greek’s thinking, ‘Oh, ha-ha, I beat him.’ I don’t have any friends, dude, like, I don’t.
“I just can’t do this anymore.”
In the clip below, Jones said his anxiety and depression were at an all-time high, causing him to lash out emotionally. The caster said he wanted to take a week off from the online world — Reddit, Twitch, Twitter — to focus on feeling better. He later tweeted about the break on Twitter. According to Jones’ Twitter account, he returned to Twitch on Dec. 26, only two days later. Jones returned to call out someone on Twitter for mocking the stream where he broke down.
Some of Jones’ supporters have called out Greek for his treatment of Jones, adding that it’s clear from Jones’ recent streams that he’s not in a good place and Greek should back off. One Redditor noted that if Greek was actually Jones’ friend, then he would stop antagonizing him.
Even if you want to say Mitch is just paranoid and too sensitive, at this point Greek KNOWS that it’s going to deeply upset Mitch and he STILL does it. He clearly doesn’t care about Mitch no matter what he says and he should just drop the act at this point. I have friends that I can’t joke about certain things with and I just don’t do it.
Mitch clearly didn’t really want to be on any stream at all and Greek went out of his way to instigate this. You can say, “but he wasn’t even that mean!”, which is somewhat true but he doesn’t have to be. He can let chat do the work for him and spam Mitch and piss him off.
Regardless of how Mitch is Greek is an asshole for doing this to Mitch in this context. And he isn’t a friend, at least not a good one.
To his credit, Greek has backed away from the drama, calling it “pointless” and the subreddit “desperate.” He also said that Jones is his friend.
Twitch doesn’t have any hard rules about on-stream drama, but as its IRL rules are expected to change, Twitch may also enforce certain etiquette too. There are community guidelines that need to be abided by.
Polygon has reached out to both Mitch Jones and Twitch for further comment.
Update: Polygon spoke to Jones after this story was published. In a phone call, Jones told Polygon that the first clip, in which he spoke about his viewers not subscribing was “taken out of context,” and meant it as a joke. Jones said he doesn’t care about the numbers and is trying to build a community. Jones also said he doesn’t fabricate drama, adding that recent events between him and Greek are real and have taken a “toll on him and his mental health.” Jones said drama “happens organically,” and he doesn’t make up any of it.