In the past year, streaming platforms have risen to the forefront of the gaming industry by providing a platform for all kinds of people to reach a wide audience. Even some politicians have jumped on board. While Twitch and YouTube allow people to broadcast their every thought and feeling, some streamers want to maintain an air of privacy while still sharing their gaming experiences with others. That’s where faceless streamers come in.
A new group of streamers rose to fame by refusing to be on camera. Whether they share their reasoning or not, these streamers are united in one important aspect: they don’t want to show their face. Though some streaming fans believe that a content creator needs to, at minimum, use a mic to speak to viewers, the following streamers proves that the key to success doesn’t have to be a handsome face or quirky personality.
Every one of these streamers has a reason for wanting to hide their face. Regardless of motivation, these streamers have proven their skill online, and have risen to fame despite–or because of–their refusal to share their identities.
Corpse Husband suffers from anxiety
In the past, Corpse Husband shared that he struggles with poor self-esteem. In an interview, he stated, "Realistically, it’ll happen, inevitably against my will," in reference to the possibility of a face reveal. Corpse continued, "A lot of people think it’s like a business thing or a gimmick. I just deeply f—king hate my face, and people’s expectations at this point are ridiculous and unachievable."
After gaining popularity for his voice and his music, Corpse fears that fans might feel disappointed with his physical appearance. Additionally, he struggles with anxiety, sometimes finding it hard to leave his home.
Corpse Husband credits his fans with saving his life. Internet fame helped him to get out of medical debt and provide his mother with a home. No one knows if Corpse Husband will choose to show his face in the future, but chances are he won’t if he can help it. The mystery seems to be working for him, though. He has over seven million subscribers on YouTube alone.
Wadu gets playful without showing his face
Wadu Hek got famous by stream sniping Shroud, one of the most popular streamers around. From there, the guy kept popping up on Shroud’s streams and gained a following in his own right. The two became rivals in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and seem friendly despite some fans thinking otherwise. Wadu only uses voice chat when streaming, and even then only says his name repeatedly. He’s also released several cover versions of famous songs, although each one was rewritten to include just the words "Wadu Hek."
Fans have speculated about Wadu’s identity, but no one has figured it out just yet. After disappearing from streaming for a brief time, Wadu returned to the internet to answer fan questions and give some indication about what’s in store for him.
In a recent AMA on his Instagram account, Wadu answered the hard hitting questions from fans. Wadu admitted that he’ll show his face one day, though he didn’t say when. He also commented that he’d retired his habit of only saying his name during streams, commenting that after three years it was getting kind of old.
Kotaku accurately explained that things are pretty harsh in the world right now, and Wadu adds a little levity to the streaming world.
EternalEnvy felt stressed
EternalEnvy earned a following through his Dota skills alone, and has only shown his face on stream a few times. EternalEnvy has played Dota professionally for years, working with both Team Secret and Cloud9 at different points in his career. More impressive than his winning streak is Envy’s rise to streaming fame without the use of a face cam.
EternalEnvy indicated that the reason behind his refusal to use a face cam is simpler than many might have suspected. It turns out that Envy is just a little shy. In a 2014 tweet, just after using a face cam for the first time, Envy said, "Face Cam’s so stressful I’m never doing this s*** AGAIN."
Some fans responded with confusion, and said they didn’t understand how the face cam was stressful. Others believed that Envy would stream with a face cam in the future, and that he was just being "silly" about the situation. Regardless of what his fans wanted, Envy continued to stream without the help of a face cam for the most part.
Of course, Envy’s face isn’t a total secret. He’s posted selfies of himself on his Twitter account and has been photographed at esports events. However, using a cam while playing is a different scenario.
SwaggerSouls keeps it medieval
SwaggerSouls is one of the more famous streamers who refuses to show his face, and has been open about his reasoning behind that decision. His disguise is a bit different from many others, though. SwaggerSouls covers his face with medieval styled gear, looking a bit like a character from Dark Souls, which he has played on stream.
When introducing himself on the Misfits Podcast, which he co-hosts, SwaggerSouls explained that he always wanted to do "IRL content," but he didn’t want to show his face to the world. He compromised by donning an old helmet he found in his closet, and things continued from there. SwaggerSouls said that he likes his privacy, and prefers to meet people without having to worry about how people will react to him. Though he used to just wear a helmet on stream, he now wears a chainmail headpiece and a black mask to conceal everything but his eyes.
In July 2020, SwaggerSouls tweeted a message to his fans saying, "I’ve worn a mask for five years. You can wear one for a couple months." Though SwaggerSouls’ reasoning for wearing a mask is relatively simple, he has used his platform to inform others and encourage safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chap avoids publicity
Chap rarely, if ever, streams with a facecam, though fans have seen his face on some occasions.
Chap played Fortnite professionally as part of the super-rich Team Liquid, and even went by LiquidChap for a time. However, Chap left the team in 2020, then tweeted almost a year later saying that he’s a free agent yet again. Though fans seemed skeptical of his availability, he hasn’t responded to comments just yet. Chap rose to fame streaming Fortnite, then signing a couple of high profile esports deals, but recently he’s been out of the limelight.
Though Chap hasn’t directly stated why he chooses to stream without face cams and hide his face, fans have their own speculations. One viewer theorized that Chap likes his privacy, but that he’s "not even ugly," and therefore shouldn’t feel bad about showing himself. Another fan went further, telling others to hunt down Chap’s childhood photos from an old social media account.
It’s likely that Chap values privacy and prefers to not see his face plastered all over the internet. However, his silence hasn’t given fans a solid answer.
TheOneManny had an accident
TheOneManny is one of many streamers who use VR technology in order to appear as something else. In Manny’s case, he streams as a perky, expressive Shiba Inu wearing a gaming headset. Unfortunately, technology doesn’t always work like one expects it to, and Manny experienced that firsthand when his rig failed live on stream.
The Scottish streamer was having a normal session, playing a game, when his camera rig failed and revealed his face. Manny didn’t realize at first, happily bopping along to create the animated expressions his VR avatar makes. When he realized his camera had failed, he quickly knocked it over and ended the stream.
It seems that Manny continued streaming after the incident without much trouble, but some fans wondered if it wasn’t all a ploy to get more viewers. One fan speculated that it was the "perfect time" for a face reveal to happen, since Manny’s ratings were falling. Another fan called the Shiba Inu avatar a "gimmick" that was fun but unoriginal.
Even though he accidentally showed his face after keeping it a secret for so long, TheOneManny continues to stream on Twitch using his VR setup, continuing on as if nothing happened.
Dream has a complicated life
Dream is one of the most popular Minecraft streamers. He’s also one of the most famous streamers to refuse to show his face. Like many streamers, Dream likes privacy, and isn’t ready to sacrifice a somewhat normal life in order to reap whatever benefits would come from showing his face.
In a YouTube interview, Dream called privacy a "luxury" and said that time will tell if he ever shows his face. Right now, there’s no plan to. Of course, that doesn’t mean that Dream hasn’t trolled his fans with a face reveal. At the end of 2020, Dream teased a face reveal as a promotion for Mr. Beast’s New Year’s retrospective. Unfortunately, behind the cardboard cutout of his logo, Dream was just wearing a different, more elaborate mask.
Dream seems like a complicated person, with lots of issues going on outside the streaming world. After going through an intense breakup, Dream was doxxed. At an all time low, Dream found himself with few options but to come clean and discuss his personal struggles with fans, who worried for his safety. With an ongoing struggle involving mental health, loved ones, and personal safety behind the scenes, it makes sense that Dream would want to keep some things a secret.
DakotaZ wanted to chat
DakotaZ became popular by streaming Fortnite, but he’s also gained a following from high profile beefs with other streamers, like Ninja. He even blocked Ninja after a feud about Fortnite, causing an uproar in the fan community. DakotaZ kept his face a secret for years before finally revealing himself candidly during a stream.
DakotaZ’s reasoning for hiding his face has nothing to do with self confidence or privacy. Instead, he wants to immerse players in the games he streams, and he doesn’t want his face to get in the way of that. By not showing his face, DakotaZ is able to highlight the games and keep viewers’ focus where he wants it. In his face reveal, DakotaZ also admitted that sometimes he just wants to chat with fans in a more personal way. As a solution, DakotaZ dedicated a portion of some streams to just chatting and showing his face, sharing a bit of his personality with fans.
Now, DakotaZ’s face is known by most in the streaming community, but old school fans remember what it was like to not know what their favorite streamer looked like.
Lirik worried about perception
Lirik, like many faceless streamers, eventually revealed his identity to the world — but it wasn’t always that way.
Lirik stated in an interview that he felt hesitant to show his face on stream because he worried how viewers might perceive him. Lirik said, "I am brown. I don’t think I would be as popular as I was, or when I started out." He went on to say that in addition to worrying about his popularity, he wondered if he would be ostracized from the gaming community because of the perception of Muslims in America. Lirik referred to 9/11 as a time when he began to realize people might not always have the best intentions when thinking about their fellow Americans.
First playing World of Warcraft, then moving on to DayZ, Lirik doesn’t have one game he sticks to these days. Instead, he plays a variety of titles, including games with mods, and lets his subscribers vote for what games he plays each week. Hopefully Lirik’s popularity will serve to help other streamers of color succeed in the future.
Gosu felt shy
A 2017 interview with Gosu revealed his reason for not sharing his identity. It turns out that the legendary League of Legends chap is incredibly shy. Gosu elaborated, "I’ve always been really shy, didn’t want to talk in public. In the beginning, I definitely didn’t want to reveal my voice to everyone, I just wanted to play the game, I just wanted to stream and everyone loved that. But eventually it became my thing … and I was like okay well, I’m just going to roll with it."
Gosu continued to roll with it until he revealed his face, though he wasn’t really happy to do so. In a stream with a friend, Gosu mentioned that he thinks he looks like Shrek. Even though his friend hyped him up and commented on how attractive he was, Gosu insisted he resembled the green ogre of meme fame. Gosu still doesn’t stream with a face cam, but viewers can now put a face with a name, since he’s revealed what he looks like.
Disguised Toast had an inside joke
Disguised Toast isn’t so disguised anymore, but he avoided showing his face online for ages. Disguised Toast initially began his streaming career as a Hearthstone player, and though he uploaded several videos, he never spoke on camera. Toast believed his logo, a piece of toast with a mustache and hat, was more familiar to most people than his own face, which he’d kept secret. So, when given the opportunity to meet a Hearthstone legend, Crypt, he donned a toast mask and took a picture. He also wore the mask on a broadcast of Hearthstone. From then on, Toast decided he wouldn’t show his face online.
Toast explained that he didn’t hide his face because he was secretly a celebrity or ugly. Instead, the mask just became a joke to him and his fans, and he wanted to continue doing what gained him viewers in the first place.
Then, Toast accidentally revealed his face live on stream. He claimed that he pulled his camera’s wire in a way that pulled the camera down to show his face, and that he didn’t even realize what happened until much later. Toast said that the people who saw that stream agreed to be cool about it, but eventually someone with enough of a following managed to share his face and reveal his identity.
Mori Calliope keeps things an act
Mori Calliope is a Vtuber and a musician who charmed fans with her pink hair, cool outfits, and catchy tunes, but there’s a real person working behind the scenes to bring Mori to life. Some fans on Reddit have narrowed down Mori’s real identity, comparing her to the musician DEMONDICE. Despite the popularity of this theory, it’s clear that the Hololive fanbase does not condone discussing the real identities of Vtuber stars. One commenter said that asking More about the connection during a stream was "impolite." Mori’s identity may be something of an open secret, but that doesn’t mean that she wants people breaking the illusion she’s created.
In an interview on Trash Taste Podcast, Mori talked about her experiences outside the Vtube world. Mori explained that sometimes after streaming, she likes to go participate in underground rap events, just for fun. Even then, she said, some people ask her how her Vtubing career is going, which annoys her. Mori also said that she feels content to live both in the underground rap world as her real-world self and in the Vtuber world as Mori Calliope. Straddling the two worlds doesn’t upset her at all, and, she said, she likes participating in a variety of creative endeavors anyway.