We’re used to seeing giant contract extensions and signings for streamers overseas, but not in Australia. Today, that changes. Twitch has announced that it’s re-signed one of the world’s biggest Fortnite creators and streamers, 18-year-old Australian Harley “Fresh” Fresh.
Like the deals with Dr. Disrespect and other streamers, neither Twitch or Fresh’s management would disclose the terms of the deal or the length of the contract. The deal, however, does solidify another Australian the echelons of streaming stars like Ninja, DrLupo, Shroud and others popular enough to warrant their own exclusive extensions and deals with Twitch.
“The plan is to have more of a life, because obviously I work on other things, but I choose to put in so many hours,” Fresh said.
“I choose to put in 12 to 15 hours a day because I want to make sure I can stay at the top, be one of the best. But the plan is to start going back into the real world, being able to do things outside of playing games and doing content.”
The deal here is interesting because Fresh’s largest following is actually on YouTube, where he has 6.3 million subscribers (compared to 3.2 million on Twitch). On YouTube, Fresh regular gets between 1.5 to 3 million views per video, making him easily one of Australia’s biggest content creators — and naturally a prime target for an exclusive streaming contract.
I asked the Australian Fortnite player why Australians are having success on streaming platforms — Pestily’s success in Escape from Tarkov another recent example — and he said Australia’s humour and larrikin-like nature was a natural fit for what Twitch viewers want.
“People like to watch Australians; Australian humour is different from the rest of the world,” Fresh said. “And our voices, our accents, people love it — people just love Australian accents. We do things very differently, and there’s not much big Australian content creators, so people just like to watch us do dumb stuff. Like when I play with Lazerbeam and stuff and we’re bantering, people just love it.”
Fresh mentioned that he now works in an office with some of Australia’s biggest creators, including Elliott “Muselk” Watkins and Lannan “LazarBeam” Eacott. I asked whether Fresh would start putting more money aside for the future, but — understandably for his age — the Fortnite star he hadn’t really thought that far ahead.
“I don’t really know much about all that kind of stuff — I don’t really use my money anyway, I always just save it,” he said. “But the extension of the Twitch [deal] just means I can have a better schedule, be able to structure everything a lot better, be able to build teams around my content, makes it a lot easier.”
Fresh’s position also gives him a unique ability to help influence Twitch in positive directions. When asked about Twitch generally as a platform, the Australian suggested Twitch could help surface smaller streamers more.
“Being able to push the smaller creators that are trying to make it as well, because it is really hard to make it in the streaming world. Maybe the algorithm should push smaller creators that are grinding to try and make it, but other than that I’m pretty happy with how Twitch are doing things,” Fresh said.
Australia hasn’t typically seen a lot of competition between Facebook, YouTube and Twitch when it comes to exclusive contracts. Fresh suggested that competition won’t be far away, however, particularly given the growth of gaming and esports in particular.
“I believe esports and gaming is growing very quickly in Australia,” he said. “Games is growing in Australia. It’s definitely going to be a lot bigger in the future. I feel it’s going to be bigger than fishing and IRL streams and stuff like that.”
“Gaming is super international and I think brands keep forgetting that some of the biggest names in gaming worldwide are actually Australian,” Fresh explained. “We still have a way bigger reach from Australia. Obviously we still have a lot of people from America watching, but Australian brands are investing back in for sure and realising that.”