It always amazes me how quickly the gaming landscape changes.
Being someone that’s used Twitch since the Justin.tv days, the platform is night and day compared to where it started—especially the content available on it. Before, Twitch was essentially League of Legends TV, the game almost always dominating viewership and comprising the site’s most popular streamers. If you wanted to be a big streamer, being a professional League of Legends player was usually a requirement. You had to be an established name on a big team, or you probably weren’t going to make it.
How times have changed.
While League of Legends is still massive, it no longer holds such supremacy. Other games frequently top it: Grand Theft Auto V, VALORANT, Minecraft, etc. The last one is especially interesting. While it’s no surprise the game has high viewership given it’s the most popular game of all time, it’s unusual in that its primary viewerbase is younger than many of the other popular games on Twitch. How people have risen up the ranks as streamers in the game can be far different than others. Hannahxxrose is a good example of that.
Hannahxxrose (or Hannah, for short) is one of the biggest personalities in Minecraft. Over the past few years, her YouTube channel boasts over 600K subscribers, and has TikTok and Twitch accounts each with more than a million followers. Her story not only shows how much the landscape for gaming content is changing but also the value of hard work and perseverance.
Hannah has worn her inspirations on her sleeve.
She said: “Some of my main inspirations when it comes to Minecraft content were CaptainSparklez and Joey Graceffa. Both of them uploaded Minecraft Hunger Games videos around 2013-2014 and that's what made me buy the game originally! When I started making my own videos in 2015, I just posted clips I thought were cool and that other people would enjoy.”
That year, Hannah already found her bread-and-butter content: PvP. Early videos of her’s consisted of short joke clips, or highlight reels of her matches on the Minecraft minigame server Mineplex. What’s worth noting is that her early videos didn’t have any facecam—or even commentary. Only music and gameplay.
Hannahxxrose explained: “When I first started on YouTube, I wasn't super comfortable sharing my appearance, or even my voice for that matter. I was always afraid that people would find a way to use those things against me, which is fairly common in competitive communities. As time went on, I definitely became more comfortable with using facecam and now it's an essential part of my streams!”
Though she had a consistent formula, it didn’t yield success immediately.
“I've been making content since 2015 and started streaming on YouTube in 2016," she continued. "Making videos and streaming was something I did for fun in my free time in high school, but really started taking it seriously when college came around. I definitely felt like giving up multiple times mostly because of hate and negative comments. But thankfully I pushed through and kept creating because of where it got me today! Some of my biggest challenges have definitely been staying motivated when I was in college studying Chemical Engineering. It was super difficult to continue making content because of my lack of time back then.”
How she grew to the size she is today is really interesting to observe. By late 2016—after almost a year of effort—she had amassed 2,000 subscribers. For the most part, her videos averaged less than 10,000 views each. Respectable numbers—but nothing out-of-this-world.
As the years went on there weren’t many changes in her content. She played on a different minigame server (Hypixel), but for the most part it was still clips and highlight videos. Viewership was about the same as well. Eventually, she began introducing regular commentary and having new types of videos like game guides and real-time footage of her competing in PvP. Even still, her growth was modest—her average viewership climbing to twenty-thousand per video.
Then, a shift occurred.
Looking at her list of videos, it’s clear this video is a benchmark for her career. Her channel skyrockets from here—more than 10 times larger than before. What caused this change? There are a couple of factors.
The three factors in Hannahxrose's rise to the top
One is that she began focusing on Bedwars content.
“Bedwars is one of the most popular Minecraft minigames in the world. When you join the game, everyone starts with a bed. The goal is to protect your bed from being broken and be the last player standing. Once your bed is broken, you cannot respawn. It's a super intense game mode with its own unique items and strategies. It is definitely the most popular Minecraft minigame on YouTube, Twitch, & TikTok!”
Though she had used popular game modes in the past, this one certainly resonated the most with viewers.
This is also when Hannah began regularly implementing facecam footage into her videos (and stream). Having a more interactive approach with facecam is obviously a staple in streaming—something that certainly helped her create a more personable image.
The third factor was due to something I had never casually seen work in gaming: TikTok. Obviously, the platform is huge and can create celebrities overnight, but in my world where a large corporations struggle to make an impact—it didn’t seem like TikTok was viable for gaming content. With people like former-Counter Logic Gaming CEO Devin Nash stating the “carryover” from other social media platforms being very poor on it, it didn’t seem promising. Hannah contradicts that.
When asking her how she thinks she grew to such popularity, she stated: “I think what made my content stand out is how I tried to create original content, especially on TikTok. I made Minecraft clips that nobody had really seen before in the community, and I think that was the huge reason behind my content being successful on there. To my surprise, that viewership transferred to Twitch and really helped me get to where I am today.”
Her TikTok has an enormous reach, with more than a million followers and dozens of videos with millions of views. Her page is larger than companies like Counter Logic Gaming and Team Liquid! With how much her other social platforms have blown up since her rise on TikTok, there’s no reason to doubt her sentiment—the results speak for themselves.
Hannah described the incredible luck that caused her rise: “The moment I switched my content from Ultra Hardcore to Bedwars was when everything really took off! I think that adding facecam was an additional factor that helped me grow, but I think the sole reason was Bedwars. The resurgence of Bedwars as a minigame really began around the time I started playing it, so it was the perfect storm of TikTok, Bedwars, & new Facecam content that helped my channel skyrocket!”
Since then Hannah’s channel has continued to grow. She’s broken her way into creating videos with some of the most popular gaming figures in the world—even being invited to participate in the legendary Dream SMP.
Said Hannah: “The craziest thing I’ve done on the Dream SMP so far is developing the storyline of my character. The Dream SMP is super well known for its “lore” and storylines, and I’ve done a few streams so far getting involved in the lore of the server. The community loves the lore streams and they’ve been super successful for me so far.”
Her first day on the server remains her most popular video.
Being a successful female streamer obviously comes with some strings attached. Hannah admits the hate directed her way can be a challenge.
“If I were to change anything about Twitch, it would be the toxicity and harassment that streamers, specifically female streamers, deal with. It can be tough being a creator because of the hate you have to deal with, but it’s just a part of the job," Hannah said. "I wish that nobody on the platform would have to experience it and if I could change one thing about Twitch it would definitely be that.”
Hannah has taken many measures though to create a strong community and support network.
“I think when you take a stance to have no tolerance for hate of any kind, it can help foster a welcoming and kind community... From my personal experience, I have some amazing female streamer friends who always support each other. It can be hard especially in this industry, but within my friend group we always have each other’s backs. Something I love about the Minecraft community is how the creators are always there for each other. The best way that I’ve found to cope with toxicity is to completely ignore it. It’s an answer every streamer will give, but if you give a troll attention it encourages the behavior and they always come back. That’s the best advice I can give to any new streamer.”
It’s working. When speaking with her manager Josh "Caru" Glodoveza, he stated: “The fanbase Hannah has built has completely changed our lives (especially rosetwt). It’s allowed us to build partnerships with brands and publishers to further propel Hannah’s aspirations. As artists ourselves we try our best to use the platform we have to support creators and artists within our community through sharing fan-made art works on our stories in Instagram and amplifying creators on our streams. We are hoping to create an even bigger rose army that spreads even more joy, positivity, and our competitive winning spirit in Bedwars!"
How long Hannah can keep the iron hot is unknown. Considering how well she’s done so far in such a competitive space like Minecraft content creation, it’s hard to doubt her. And as someone that was satisfied for years making content to a small audience (a good percentage being trolls), she’s shown resolve to never give up. Even when she plateaus—as all creators do—she’s readying herself for the long haul.
“I would say my 'end goal' as a creator is to keep transforming my content to help find longevity in this career. I want to continue to create original ideas, whether that’s in Minecraft or another game, that will help me pursue this long term. My goal is definitely to find longevity in a career that many people see as 'short-lived,'" Hannah concluded.
She may just do it.
I write. I rap. I run. That’s pretty much it.