Who is your favorite YouTube gaming celebrity

Stars next door

They started small and inspire millions: five creative people who became famous with videos - and how they live and work today

YouTube channel: Seniors Gambling; Category: Gaming; Subscribers: approx. 380,000; Top-Video / Views: Seniors play Minecraft / approx. 1.2 million

The other day it happened to the old lady again in the U8: "That's Evelyn," shouted one, and shortly afterwards the 87-year-old Evelyn Gundlach was surrounded by a whole school class. "I had to give autographs to my stop," says the elderly woman and smiles. The Berliner is easy to recognize by her short, bright red hair, and her fame has been rising and rising since she was first seen on YouTube in 2015. In the video she desperately fights her way through the video game "GTA 5 - Grand Theft Auto". "Where do I want to go again?" One hears her calling out, and: "Nothing is going to happen here!"

It was the first time in Evelyn's long life that she had held a controller to control people and vehicles on a screen. "I had no idea what to expect, but I just tried it," she says. Since that day, the Berliner has been one of the four elderly stars of Senioren Zocken, one of the most unusual of the Let's Play channels. Computer games are demonstrated and commented on in this popular web video category. Usually by experienced players whose expertise the community values. Not so with Evelyn and her teammates, who all have no idea about gaming and are accordingly clumsy. Two freelance cameramen came up with the idea of ​​putting them on YouTube precisely because of this. Since then, they have been choosing the games, filming and editing the videos. The refreshing awkwardness of seniors in an increasingly perfectly programmed and styled gaming world is probably the project's recipe for success - and, according to Evelyn, that is not in danger either: "In this life I will certainly not learn to play any more," she says and laughs according to.

And although she can't, Evelyn loves senior gaming. "I'm so happy to be able to do this," she explains. She is convinced that the project will keep her mentally and motorically fit - not least because the computer games require a high level of concentration. By the way, she prefers to play »Super Mario«. Above all, however, she is happy about the recognition she has received thanks to YouTube, whether in thousands of comments under the videos, at autograph sessions at major YouTube and gaming events - or in the Berlin subway.

This is where you can find senior gaming

YouTube channel: Diana zur Löwen; Categories: Beauty & Fashion, Female Empowerment; Subscribers: approx. 640,000; Top video / Views: Decoration hacks for your room / approx. 900,000

When Diana was 13, she lived in a Hessian village of 350 souls and dreamed of the big world. From New York's Upper East Side, the setting for her beloved "Gossip Girls" novels. And about the red carpets and fashion shows that her favorite blogger at the time, Tavi Gevinson, reported, a 14-year-old who was invited to New York Fashion Week. "As a teen, I couldn't imagine anything better than Tavi's life," says Diana zur Löwen. Ten years have now passed and she has long since become a role model for many young women. She used the Internet to communicate from her village nursery all over the world, first with a fashion blog, then with her YouTube channel, on which she initially only speaks English - "as training for school".

Diana zur Löwen teaches herself everything she needs to be able to do this. First the photography, then the filming and editing. She invests countless hours to present her latest favorite dress, to give make-up tips and to tell her viewers about her everyday life. By the time Diana graduated from high school, her German-language YouTube channel already had 100,000 subscribers. During her business studies in Cologne, the following continued to grow - meanwhile, several 100,000 people also follow her on the photo and video platform Instagram. There is also iron discipline behind this: Diana gets up every day at 6.30 a.m., works ten hours a day on videos, photos and texts for various social media. She maintains advertising cooperations with major brands, receives fashion and cosmetics without being asked, and is now actually allowed to sit in the front row at Berlin Fashion Week. But she also feels: that is not enough.

“I'm a very curious person,” she says, “fashion and beauty alone don't fill me up.” Diana speaks more and more often in her videos about sustainability, politics and above all: female self-confidence. "I would like to encourage my viewers to trust themselves more," Diana describes her mission. In addition to knowledge of cosmetics, she now also provides her 18 to 24-year-old core audience with »girl boss hacks« - tips on motivation, organization and achieving goals. She herself has long since achieved more goals than she could have dreamed of when she was 13. Her previous career highlight has little to do with high fashion: in 2017 she conducted a live video interview with Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the EU Commission.

This way to Diana zur Löwen

With waste to a 100 million hit

YouTube channel: bausashaus; Category: Music; Subscribers: approx. 380,000; Top video / views: What you call love / approx. 115 million

When Bausa was supposed to produce a video for his hitherto biggest hit “Was du Liebe nennst” in 2017, his record label gave him 40,000 euros. And what does the rapper from Bietigheim-Bissingen do? Can be filmed how he wasted the majority of the budget, for Rolex, Goldring, luxury hotels, breakfast in Paris. Nevertheless, there can be no question of wasting money: Bausa manages a casual and funny allusion to the swanky behavior of the hip-hop scene - and one of the most successful German YouTube videos of all time. Within a few months, the four-minute clip was viewed more than 100 million times.

"I believe that a good video gives the song even more expression and impact," says Bausa, who with Was du Liebe nennst was the first German rapper to ever sell more than a million singles and more than 400,000 fans follow him on Instagram. An insane success for the artist, who flew out of the reform home as a rowdy youth and then turned his back on music for a few years. Bausa is convinced that YouTube is one of the keys to his success, and not only because it was there that many fans first noticed him. "For me, the platform is also a very good pool for new inspiration," says the musician, who likes to watch old live performances from the US cult program "Soul Train" and regularly scrolls through the recommendations that YouTube Music has to offer. He also gets visual input there: "For the video for the song 'FML' we were heavily inspired by clips from the 80s, by Michael Jackson, Prince and A-HA."

Since his first, semi-professional shoot in 2014, Bausa has been involved in every video production. Does he feel the pressure to follow up his 100 million hit with something even more powerful? "No, you have to tick off a big success as well as a flop," says Bausa, who also uses YouTube to clear his head between the studio, shoots and appearances. Mostly with soccer videos on the smartphone. His club is called Werder Bremen, in recent years it has often only been midfield in the Bundesliga. But Bausa knows, of course, that a steep climb is always possible.

This way to Bausa

YouTube channel: Sally's World; Categories: Do It Yourself, Food; Subscribers: approx. 1.4 million; Top video / Views: Coca-Cola bottle cake / approx. 3.9 million

Probably the most famous private kitchen in Germany belongs to a three-room apartment in Waghäusel, a small town between Mannheim and Karlsruhe. The kitchen is bright, modern and open to the living room, and Sally Özcan cooks here for her two daughters, her husband Murat - and for millions of viewers. Three times a week, Sally's kitchen becomes Sally's World, Germany's most successful YouTube channel for everything to do with cooking and baking. Then the trained primary school teacher shows and explains how to make milk slices yourself, how to prepare sushi or how to make perfect spaghetti bolognese.

"Cooking and baking is not difficult," says the woman, who even as a child liked to be in the kitchen and also studied housekeeping as a teacher. “The art is to inspire others to do it.” Sally noticed overnight that she had a talent for it: Because many of her friends struggle with yeast dough, in 2012 she filmed herself baking nut plaits with a table tripod. She shot four versions, edited the recordings with the help of video instructions and posted the clip on YouTube and Facebook. "The next morning the video had over 1,000 views!" Sally, then still a student, bought a better camera and kept shooting - to the chagrin of her husband, who was worried about the money. The baking ingredients in particular hit the young family's budget.

Sally continues anyway because she has so much fun. At some point, a friend explains to her how she can automatically generate income through her YouTube channel. After her legal clerkship, she puts everything on one card and fully concentrates on her role as a creator. "But I feel a bit like a teacher when I cook in front of the camera and get feedback from my community," says Sally, who is now also an entrepreneur: She employs 36 people, designs and sells kitchen products, publishes cookbooks, and has a TV Broadcast on Vox and a total of around more than million followers on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. She will soon be leaving the kitchen of her three-room apartment, because at the other end of Waghäusel, Sally and her husband are building a large house for their family, their parents - and millions of viewers. They can then no longer just look into the kitchen: Sally's world should continue to grow and soon also provide tips from the garden and the garage workshop.

This way to Sally

With the greatest in the field

YouTube channel: freekickerz; Category: Sports; Subscribers: approx. 7.2 million; Top-Video / Views: Best of - Top 500 Goals / ca. 35.5 million

Konstantin »Konzi« Hert and his team play against stars like Ronaldo, Lewandowski and Neuer. At the World Cup they are sitting in the German coaching bench shortly before the kick-off and reach millions of viewers when they test soccer shoes. Nevertheless, they are not football professionals, at least not in the traditional sense. Freekickerz's playing field is social media, where they inspire more than ten million fans with free-kick duels against superstars, soccer tricks, game analyzes and product tests.

Konzi, who has been running the world's largest amateur football channel on YouTube and offshoots on Facebook and Instagram since 2010, is a fan like millions of others: he loves football, played at a club when he was young, with no prospect of a professional career: »For that I started too late. ”But with freekickerz he proved perfect timing. What began as a hobby alongside business studies has long since become a full-time job that by far exceeds the 5-day week. But also a dream job where Konzi and his friends earn their living by combining their passion for football and moving images and getting to know world stars. The whole thing wasn't planned that way, but it still worked out. "If I had started the channel to make money, it probably wouldn't have turned out so well," explains Konzi, for whom quality is the most important criterion. He only publishes a video when he is completely convinced of it - even if he has to work on a clip for several days.

The loyal community that freekickerz systematically integrates into the program proves that this strategy works: compilations of spectacular amateur goals that users film and send in are particularly popular and even outperform professional challenges. Konzi is convinced that this combination of passionate amateurs and approachable professionals makes his channels in the social media so successful. And that it pays not to lose sight of your own desires: "You can achieve anything if you specialize in one thing and stick with it." His freekickerz prove this not only with high numbers of subscribers, but also on the pitch: In in their free-kick and penalty duels they have beaten Robert Lewandowski as well as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mario Balotelli.

Click here for the freekickerz

Photos: Sandra Stein (Diana zur Löwen); Felix Brüggemann (Evelyn Gundlach); brownshootta (Bausa); Petra Arnold (Saliha Özcan); Ilya Pusekoff (Konstantin Hert)