Months of hype came to a peak Saturday for the self-declared “biggest event in internet history” —a boxing match between two YouTube celebrities in Manchester, England.
The “fight” was between Logan Paul, the vlogger infamous for filming a dead body in Japan’s suicide forest, and KSI, the British YouTuber infamous for making sexist remarks in his early content.
Both men are heavyweights in the only context that matters to YouTube: subscribers. Paul and KSI have more than 18 and 19 million followers, respectively.
More than 21,000 fans were in the audience at Manchester Arena, while around 800,000 people paid the $10 charge to watch the event’s official stream. But the majority of people watched the fight the same way they watch YouTube — for free. More than a million people watched illegal streams of the event, primarily on Twitch.
As for the match itself, the headline fight was declared a draw, setting things up nicely for Paul to immediately announce a rematch, which had conveniently already been agreed upon by the two sides months earlier. Not that the fight was ever about who won or lost — it was always about converting their massive subscriber base into paying consumers. And not letting them forget to like and subscribe, of course.