- YouTuber Dream has broken records and pulled in millions of views, but the man behind the avatar is still a mystery.
- With 16.4 million subscribers on YouTube, Dream is one of the fastest-growing YouTube channels on the platform.
- Though he has faced controversy, the Minecraft expert still has one of the most loyal and devoted fanbases online.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Minecraft YouTuber Dream has quickly risen up the creator hierarchy, becoming one of the fastest-growing YouTube channel’s of 2020 and the number two overall creator of the year, according to the platform. The faceless green avatar with a knack for uncovering “Minecraft’s” cavern-filled secrets has managed to acquire over 16 million subscribers in under two years. But what exactly makes Dream so unique and popular when there have been thousands of content creators building worlds with Minecraft’s characteristic blocks?
Who is Dream?
Dream’s personal life and identity are still unknown, with the sleepy-named YouTuber choosing to keep his face private. His online avatar is a simple figure drawn with a neon-green background. The figure’s aesthetics are iconic, and easily recognizable to the average “Minecraft” viewer.
As YouTuber Mysticat puts it, “Dream’s branding is unprofessional but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. Dream uses a Microsoft Paint drawn character that’s super doofy and appealing to children, which is Minecraft’s core audience.”
Dream created his YouTube channel in 2014 but it doesn’t appear that he uploaded regularly until July 2019. In his first video, he intentionally “triggers” those watching by playing the game as poorly as possible, doing things like placing blocks on top of chests, killing sheep for their wool, and eating rotten flesh.
After his first upload, Dream started posting content fairly often. Felix Kjellberg, known online as the hugely popular PewDiePie, had been playing “Minecraft” for his massive audience of over 100 million subscribers by that point. Dream managed to find a way to re-engineer Kjellberg’s “world seed,” meaning, the randomly generated world his “Minecraft” game had created, using tricks he had learned from forums. In the first two days, the video would pull in 200,000 views, leading him to make three more that would get over two million views in total a little under two weeks. At the end of July, Dream had gained 54,000 subscribers and his star was born.
For the next few months, Dream’s channel would continue to gain millions of views and thousands of subs but his second big breakout moment came in November 2019. After uploading multiple videos that capitalized on the trend format “___ but ___ changes every time,” Dream struck diamond. His video titled “Minecraft, But Item Drops Are Random And Multiplied…” went viral, pulling in 32 million views and giving him 600,000 new subscribers.
Over the next year, Dream would upload fairly regularly, steadily gaining hundreds of thousands of subscribers a month and millions of video views. His “Minecraft Speedrunner vs.” series, where Dream would choose to complete the game while certain NPCs, or non-player characters, chased after him, or objectives needed to be completed, were massively popular. He would also start collaborating with GeorgeNotFound, a friend and future member of Dream’s roleplaying server that he created in May of 2020.
Dream has been accused of cheating in Minecraft
Dream’s channel was reaching its subscriber-growth apex, gaining 2.6 million subscribers in August 2020, and becoming the face of the game. He had uploaded a speedrun of the 1.14 version of Minecraft in March of 2020 and 1.15 in June, so when version 1.16 version launched later that year, he had to take it on. He ended his run in fifth place, happy with where he settled on the leaderboard.
On December 11 of 2020, moderator of the official speedrun forums Geosquare uploaded a YouTube video titled “Did Dream Fake His Speedruns – Official Moderator Analysis.” Geosquare and his fellow Minecraft moderators had analyzed the livestream runs and believed that Dream had recorded events that were too statistically unlikely to have happened without the help of mods or cheats. In a 29-page-long document, the mods came to the conclusion that the odds that Dream managed to find the two items needed to finish the game that quickly was 1 in 1.75 trillion.
Dream has denied any wrongdoing or cheating in multiple Twitter threads and videos. In his own video discussing the claims posted on December 23, Dream shared a study he had commissioned with analysis company Photoexcitation that came to the conclusion that the odds of his run happening were actually 1 in 100 million.
—dream (@dreamwastaken) December 14, 2020
The speedrunning mods then released another five-page document dismissing Dream’s study. Dream responded in a final tweet writing that “this drama has been stressful for most of the Minecraft community, and a lot of that was probably due to my original response to the drama, so I take full responsibility for that.”
—dream (@dreamwastaken) January 9, 2021
Dream has faced harassment including doxxing
On January 1 2021, Dream fans managed to locate his home using a picture of his kitchen that was posted to his second account, and share the information, an invasion of privacy that’s called doxxing.
—Def Noodles (@defnoodles) January 2, 2021
In a Twitlonger on January 7, Dream discussed the incident and his ex-girlfriend who he believes is spreading false rumors about him. He denied what he said were her accusations, that he “doesn’t care about YouTube” and that his friends who appear in his videos do not get a “revenue” cut from his channel.
—dream (@dreamwastaken) January 8, 2021
How Dream mastered the YouTube algorithm
Dream’s massive growth over 2019 and 2020 can be attributed to his understanding of the YouTube algorithm.
He puts his keywords in the right places, capitalizes on trends, and makes thumbnails that fans want to click on. Similar to the wizardry that Jimmy Donaldson, known as the hugely popular Mr. Beast puts on his videos, Dream has figured out how to succeed on YouTube.
Controversy happens, but it hasn’t slowed the dream down.