The doctor is in: Meet Dr Disrespect, who hopes to be a pioneer in online gaming
The doctor is in. But he isn’t your typical doctor. He says he has his doctorate in “online video game blood shedding.”
He’s 6-feet-8, wears a mullet, headphones and sunglasses. Not to mention, he has over 1.3 million Twitter followers and 1.4 million YouTube subscribers. He’s never in a hospital or taking in patients to help with their medical needs. Instead, he’s competing against streamers online in first-person shooter games such as “Call of Duty.” Fans can watch him dominate other players in his Champion’s Club.
Meet Guy Beahm, professionally known as the always-in-character Dr Disrespect. He describes himself as the “face of Twitch” with over 4 million Twitch followers who watch him play video games for a living. Beahm, 37, also recently signed an exclusivity contract to remain with the streaming service.
While shooting his hype video for his exclusivity announcement, he told The Times why he decided to stick with his Champions Club empire on Twitch.
“Twitch is where I built my Champions Club empire and will continue to entertain the millions of fans looking for me to dominate the competition,” Beahm said.
What started as just a character reacting to other streamers playing video games on YouTube became a character YouTube viewers got hooked on.
But Beahm’s character didn’t necessarily take off immediately. He started doing reaction videos in 2010 but took a break from it for his job at Sledgehammer Games. He started as a community manager and became a level designer for games. After his stint at Sledgehammer, he decided to bring the doctor back. This time, he started streaming on Twitch and that’s where it took off.
“My community was built on a foundation of organic growth through watching people play video games,” he said. “I can relate to the culture Twitch was built on.”
Beahm didn’t know his character would blow up to become one of the top streamers in the world. He is now compared to the likes of Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek.
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However, he is different from most popular streamers. He ensures that every livestream is authentic and true to his character. The vision is not always to win, increase followers or become the most popular streamer of all time.
“I don’t want to be a sellout. I want to build something legendary,” he said. “I want Dr to be sort of the next Batman.”
It’s not that he wants to be exactly Batman, but rather, a leader of the pack. A leader of the next wave of streamers.
“I want to be 70, 80 years old and want someone else to play Dr Disrespect. I think streaming has helped set out the foundation of what that could be.”
Streaming has so far helped him pivot toward that vision. He recently signed a deal with Skybound Entertainment to help bring out the backstory of his character and work on other creative projects outside of streaming.
“This is why it’s going to be really great working with Skybound, the fact that this will be the first time we will work on real narrative for the character,” he said. “It’s always been just going on stream, here’s who this character is. There’s no definitive backstory or the reason for the doc, what his name is, and why he wears the red vest. Working with Skybound we’ll be able to flesh those out. And we need to do that in order to expand.”
This year might be the year communities outside the streaming world get to know Beahm’s character.
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“2018 was this rebuilding year and 2019 was ‘Let’s get back to high-quality content, let’s stay in a groove, stay in a rhythm, let’s refocus on us, our community and try to push streaming to the next level,’” he said. “I feel like we have a lot of energy in 2020. It gets me excited.”
Now, entering his fifth year on Twitch, Beahm hopes to be the pioneer in online gaming.
“Gaming-related content will redefine entertainment, and I am looking forward to leading the way.”
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