Meet iShowSpeed, also known as Speed, an 18-year-old American YouTuber, gamer, football player, and live-streamer from Cincinnati, Ohio. From his early days as a content creator to his involvement in controversies, iShowSpeed’s life has been an interesting journey. Let’s explore his profile, age, career, and the controversies that have surrounded him.
Who is iShowSpeed?
Darren Jason Watkins Jr., known online as IShowSpeed or Speed, is an 18-year-old American gaming YouTuber, football player, hip-hop artist, occasional vlogger, and live-streamer from Cincinnati, Ohio.
Darren was born on January 21, 2005. However, there has been some debate among his fans about his age, with arguments about whether he is 19 years old (born in 2003) or 17 (born in 2005). When his fans debated his age, he would often insist he was 19. However, on November 18, 2022, Darren finally admitted in a tweet that he was 17 years old at that time and was indeed born in 2005.
Darren has a younger sister who sometimes comes into his room while he’s livestreaming to say goodnight or interact with him. He also has a younger brother named Dian, who is around 13 or 14 years old. Darren lives with his mother, who occasionally embarrasses him in the background of his livestreams by telling him to stop screaming or end his streams because of it. Darren finished his studies at Ohio Digital Learning School in Mauwee, Ohio, through online classes in June 2023.
While not fully confirmed, Darren was previously in a relationship with Ermony Renee, also known as Dream (not to be confused with the Minecraft YouTuber), even though they had a bit of a rivalry. It’s unclear if they are still dating, but there is a possibility that Darren has had a relationship with TikTok star and singer Ava Barbie, who is transgender. Darren used to play football and basketball for Purcell Marian High School.
Darren started his online journey in March 2016 when he created his account. He published his first video in December 2017 and began livestreaming in December 2018, focusing on games like NBA 2K and Fortnite. Initially, his livestreams had only two viewers.
Darren gained popularity slowly and steadily, especially after he started uploading videos and livestreaming games. One notable aspect of his content was his rivalry with Talking Ben from the Talking Tom & Friends franchise. They would engage in playful arguments using the telephone feature in Ben’s app. Darren also made videos with other characters from similar games and tried out virtual reality (VR) games while wearing a headset. He even did a skit with his friends, with one of them dressing up as Ben.
In February 2022, Darren received a warning email from Outfit7, the company behind Talking Ben. They asked him to stop livestreaming their games due to complaints they had received. However, it’s possible that the email was fake and not actually from the company.
Despite this setback, Darren’s popularity grew in 2021. He gained around 1,000 subscribers and had an average of 350 viewers in his livestreams each week. By April 2021, he surpassed 100,000 subscribers. His fanbase helped him reach 1 million subscribers within a month through sharing clips and memes on platforms like TikTok. By July 2022, he had 10 million subscribers, and his main channel accumulated 1 billion views by November 2022.
Twitch Sexist Rant Leads to Ban
In December 2021, Darren participated in a live dating show on Adin Ross’s Twitch channel. During the show, he engaged in a controversial conversation with Instagram model Ash Kaash. Darren’s offensive remarks and aggressive behavior, including calling Ash derogatory names, led to his ban from Twitch. The incident gained attention on social media platforms, with many users criticizing Darren for his sexist comments.
Valorant Sexist Rant and Perma Ban
Darren’s behavior continued to be problematic in another incident while playing Valorant. He went on a sexist rant, making discriminatory remarks towards a female player. This incident resulted in a 30-day ban from Valorant. A tweet by YouTuber Jake Lucky News brought further attention to the incident, and a Riot Games employee confirmed Darren’s permanent ban from all Riot Games platforms.
4th of July Fireworks Mishap
On July 4, 2022, Darren lit fireworks inside his bedroom, causing chaos and endangering himself and his family. The incident gained significant attention and criticism both online and in the news. While some found it amusing, others expressed concern for Darren’s reckless actions.
Minecraft Modifier and YouTube Strike
During a Minecraft stream, Darren accidentally revealed explicit content on screen, resulting in a one-week strike from YouTube. He addressed the incident in a video, apologizing to his fanbase and assuring them of his return to streaming.
Arrest and Swatting
In August 2022, Darren was arrested after being swatted, potentially orchestrated by his fans or individuals requesting a prank call to the police. The incident caused confusion among viewers, and many expressed their concerns for Darren’s well-being and urged him to distance himself from negative influences.
Crypto Scam Promotion
Darren participated in a livestream promoting a fraudulent crypto project, which drew criticism from viewers and YouTubers. The incident received coverage from various online sources, and Darren later apologized for his involvement, although some questioned the sincerity of his apology.
During the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Darren confronted a Chinese fan while livestreaming, repeatedly using a Japanese greeting despite the fan’s insistence on being Chinese. The incident sparked outrage and accusations of racism. Darren addressed the backlash, stating that he had mistakenly believed the fan to be Japanese and attributed his actions to the heat of the moment.
False Copyright Claims
Darren faced criticism when it was revealed that a company was making false copyright claims and strikes on videos featuring him. Some accused Darren of benefiting from the situation, even though his channels were not directly affected. The incident led to discussions and exposure of the copyright troll’s activities on YouTube.
iShowSpeed’s story is one of a young online sensation navigating the ups and downs of fame. From his rise in popularity to the controversies he faced, iShowSpeed has left a lasting impact on his audience. As he continues to entertain with his gaming and live-streaming, only time will tell what lies ahead for this intriguing personality and whether he can move past the controversies that have followed him.
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