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Twitch star Kai Cenat can't stop won't stop during a 30-day stream

Twitch and YouTube superstar Kai Cenat tries on an Iron Man suit gifted to him by another internet influencer, Mr. Beast.
Kai Cenat
Twitch and YouTube superstar Kai Cenat tries on an Iron Man suit gifted to him by another internet influencer, Mr. Beast.

Updated February 25, 2023 at 1:32 PM ET

Internet sensation Kai Cenat is nearly through an uninterrupted 30-day stream, also known as a "subathon." That's right, 30 days straight, 24/7 — he even streams himself sleeping, though he's (thankfully) off-camera when he goes to the bathroom.

It's a feat that's become increasingly popular. Kai's attempt has attracted a lot of attention and succeeded at its goal: he's now the world's most-subscribed Twitch streamer, where he encourages others to try the marathon format out themselves.

The nonstop event has challenged Cenat's creative endurance. So far, he's brought viewers along for a karate class, yoga, police dog training, hypnosisand even a date. He dressed up as a Hogwarts student the day the new Harry Potter game released, enlisting special effects and the help of some friends from Gryffindor to create magical content.

Kai Cenat tries 'goat yoga' LIVE from his home studio.
Kai Cenat / YouTube
Kai Cenat tries 'goat yoga' LIVE from his home studio.

But the subathon has not been without controversy. Earlier this week, Cenat faced allegations that he was streaming live on Twitch while having a sexual act performed on him. He denied the allegation on his broadcast, saying the woman was not performing a sexual act, but merely rubbing his thigh.

Cenat's success has also included run-ins with Twitch censors. His fourth and latest ban lasted a few days right before the subathon started. It followed him taking edibles and passing out on-stream (Twitch's guidelines prohibit "dangerous consumption of alcohol or other substances that lead to being incapacitated").

Who is Kai Cenat?

Raised in the Bronx, Kai Cenat first went viral for videos he made as a college student. He streams games like Call of Duty, NBA 2K, Grand Theft Auto and Valorant, and distinguishes himself with pranks, skits, and sit downs with special guest celebrities. These include throwing water on his roommates, cooking during college lectures, pretending to be a hibachi chef and a prank called(extreme) ding-dong-ditch.

His massive, multi-story house is rigged with cameras that can follow him wherever he goes. Fans heave seemingly gotten a kick out of his subathon antics, as TikTok clipsfrom the stream have nabbed thousands of views.

Celebrities such as A Boogie, Drake, Ice Spice, Lil Baby, Lil Uzi Vert, NLE Choppa and others have also joined his streams. He even appeared in a video with Lil Uzi Vert for his latest hit song, "I Just Wanna Rock" and recorded a song with NLE Choppa titled "Bustdown Rollie Avalanche."

A YouTube promotional image for AMP, the media group that Kai belongs to.
/ YouTube
A YouTube promotional image for AMP, the media group that Kai belongs to.

Kai Cenat's also part of AMP (Any Means Possible), a group of young men of color making waves in an often white-dominated industry. Its six members engage in various exploits that range from hosting a talent show, to managing a farm, to rapping in their annual AMP cypher event, to recreating a Japanese game show challenge called 'silent library.' The group has over 2 million YouTube subscribers, while Cenat himself boasts over 3 million on YouTube and over 4.5 million followers on Twitch. He also recently won Streamer of the Year at the 2022 YouTube Streamy Awards.

Thanks to his subathon, Cenat currently holds the title for most subscribers on Twitch, with over 200,000 active subscriptions that financially support him. He's also a fixture on TikTok and even aspires to grace the silver screen one day. So while the streaming business may be constantly shifting, Kai Cenat appears to be at the top of his game.

Nick Charles and James Perkins Mastromarino contributed to this article. contributed to this story

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Hassan Burke

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