YouTubers from rival clans have been sparring verbally for months, now they’re set to face off in a massive boxing match on Aug. 25.
Logan Paul, one of YouTube’s most notorious stars, will fight KSI, one of the most famous YouTubers in Britain. Jake Paul, Logan’s younger, equally famous younger brother will face off against KSI’s younger brother Deji Olatunji better known online as comedyshortsgamer.
Nick Crompton, COO of Jake Paul’s vlog squad, Team 10, will fight Ethan Payne, a YouTuber known online as Behzinga.
The exact time and location of the fight are still being nailed down. Fans have speculated that it could take place in London, Las Vegas, or New York.
KSI, his younger brother, and Payne are all members of a YouTube clan and gaming collective called Sidemen. The group has a history of taunting the Paul brothers and Jake Paul’s Team 10.
After KSI won his last boxing match against fellow gaming YouTuber Joe Weller, he challenged “anyone with the last name Paul,” to a beat down.
In a video released yesterday Logan Paul presents a paper contract to KSI at his training gym.
“I came here to close a deal, let's get a deal done, bro,” Paul says as he hands KSI the document.
KSI promptly throws the papers on the ground and the pair exchanged several minutes of trash talk. Finally, they agreed to a match on Aug. 25, 2018.
“It’s gonna happen, trust. I can’t wait,” KSI says. He then tells Paul: “You can wrestle but you’ve never been hit in the face.”
Later in the video KSI attempts to explain to fans why it’s taken so long to hammer out the details of the contract. “The reason why it’s taking long is because all our teams can’t agree on f*cking terms. They’re both f*cking douchebags. I’m doing the world a favor by knocking Logan’s ass out,” he said.
One thing they agreed upon is that the revenue will be split and even 50-50.
Terms around Jake Paul and Deji Olatunji’s fight and Crompton and Payne’s fight are still up in the air, however they’re all expected to take place as part of the big Aug. 25 event.
YouTubers feed on manufactured drama. Beef with other creators or clans is a daily occurrence that helps drive views and keeps fans interested and infighting is nothing new.
However, while beefs used to be settled in the form of Twitter spats and diss tracks, it only makes sense that eventually things would devolve into IRL fights that can be heavily monetized.
Since the whole KSI vs Paul flight blew up online, other YouTubers have attempted to capitalize on the trend.
Yesterday, teen YouTube sensation Tanner Fox attempted to get in on the action by posting a video to his channel challenging RiceGum, a YouTuber with nearly 10 million subscribers, to a match, though he quickly deleted the video shortly after posting.
Meanwhile, YouTuber Jack Douglass, who has nearly 4 million subscribers on the platform, joked, “Instead of YouTuber feuds getting settled in the boxing ring, let’s take it to the Dance Dance Revolution mats.”
Phillip DeFranco who has more than 6 million subscribers responded: “I challenge you to a Captain Jack dance off. Its been 8-10 years and Ive gained like 50 pounds but its just muscle memory.”
KSI’s February fight with Joe Weller was simultaneously streamed on both their channels and racked up millions of viewers, which resulted in a subscriber bump for each. The live stream has since been viewed more than 20 million times.
Logan Paul’s channel has been hit hard since he was kicked out of the Google preferred ad network earlier this year for problematic content. A high profile YouTube boxing match could give his channel a boost during the slow summer months, and also provide generous revenue through in-person ticket sales and limited edition merchandise.
Eight thousand fans attended February’s fight in a London arena. At $92 per ticket, the event generated at least $736,000 in ticket sales.
But if YouTube fighting matches prove popular, it’s only a matter of time before YouTube itself gets involved.
As Julia Alexander at Polygon notes, “YouTube has found itself in a bit of a pickle. YouTube is a company at the end of the day, and that means it wants to generate revenue. But YouTube is also under scrutiny from just about every corner of the internet, as critics demand why this type of content is allowed. The last thing the company needs is to be seen as a proponent of a violent sports match.”
Still, it appears that the Aug. 25 fight will go on. “Can’t wait to end you Logan :),” KSI captioned his video on Tuesday.