For months, brothers Jake and Logan Paul have mocked their boxing match against a few British YouTube siblings, Deji Olatunji and KSI, as the "biggest event in the history of the Internet & # 39 ;. This is what the Pauls do well: they hype everything with their name on it, especially their merchandise and their popular YouTube channels. Their collective ability to produce hype and drama from nothing has made them famous.
The contest was perhaps not the biggest event in internet history, but the controversial brothers will be able to claim the game as a success: more than 800,000 people watched the official livestream of the fight at its peak – each paid $ 10 for the game privilege to see how the four YouTubers pack each other for a live, paying audience in an arena in Manchester, UK. If you measure the people watching the unofficial, free, live streams of the fight on Twitch and Twitter, the number of online viewers will reach about two million. The event was partly boxing, partly the culmination of a complicated, drawn-out drama, that was performed online since KSI challenged Paul's family in early February after winning a match against YouTuber Joe Weller.
The brothers now have another formula to make money with their fame after a series of high-profile scandals – in particular Logan Paul's vlogging of a corpse in a Japanese forest.
The YouTubers had huge fan base to attract virtual audiences for their battles on Saturday. Logan Paul and Jake Paul have 18 million and 16 million subscribers respectively. KSI (whose real name is Olajide Olatunji) and Deji Olatunji have 19 million and 9 million subscribers on their game channels. Each of them has discussed the fight with their loyal fans since the beginning of this year, treating their viewers for a dramatic succession of news conferences, insults, training updates and diss-tracks.
Jake and Deji were the undercard, while Logan and KSI were the main event. Jake wore white and Logan black as they entered the ring for their fights, each with a Bane-like face mask. KSI's cloak was marked with the phrase 'The Nightmare & # 39; and he walked into the ring in a completely black skull mask. KSI & # 39; s intro, announced in the arena just before the fight, called him the "Undisputed YouTube Boxing Champion of the World". Each hunter ran to his own diss track from his opponent.
If you wonder why this happens, the simplest answer is: why not? The brothers Paul have armed the drama to make themselves famous – culminating that drama with other YouTubers in a physical, monetizing event is not really that far removed from their existing business models. And especially Logan wanted to weave the struggle in the redemption story he tried to tell about himself all year. Paul stepped back from his daily vlog schedule in the past few months. This struggle had become the focus of his content.
"As most of you know, I was at the lowest point in my life at the beginning of the year because of my own actions," he said after the fight to pay from the crowd, referring to his notorious vlog of a dead body that, among other things, canceled Paul's premium advertising deal with YouTube.
"I owe you a real thank you," he told KSI. "You say you saved my career, and for the past six months you have allowed me to step back from the internet and realize who I am again."
Claiming that his salvation was not over yet, Paul said the time was "the beginning of a new Logan Paul."
Jake won his fight against Deji and celebrated it by challenging Chris Brown to beat him. Deji grabbed the microphone and spoke of his immediate loss as if it were not just a boxing match, but a blow to his career. "This is not the end of me, I'll come back to this," said Deji. "Jake Paul, he surprised me, he hit hard."
As far as KSI and Logan are concerned, the fight was a draw – which means that KSI remains the champion of boxing on YouTube. The end was the perfect setup for a sequel.
"Logan, I think there is only one thing to do, I think we should try again," KSI said.
Logan replied: "I think it's what people want."