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Dr Disrespect's Insane Teaser Stream Numbers Explained

After over a month of waiting since his mysterious ban, Dr Disrespect has returned — sort of. The Doc surprised and delighted fans yesterday with an announcement on his Instagram that he "may return to streaming" later that day. While the Doc himself didn't make a physical appearance onscreen, he certainly teased the heck out of fans, and managed to make some serious bank while doing so.

The clip teasing the Doc's return was shared by games journalist Rod "Slasher" Breslau, who pointed out some interesting changes to Dr Disrespect's YouTube channel. The channel in question now had "a $4.99/Join button," suggesting that YouTube would be where the party was happening.

Sure enough, following a bizarre music video posted to Dr Disrespect's social media accounts, the Doc's YouTube channel went live. Though fans were probably expecting something more substantial, perhaps even an explanation for the Doc's absence, they got something entirely different. 

As pro gamer Avalanche put it during the Doc's broadcast yesterday, "Dr. Disrespect has really had 300,000 people staring at a gas station for almost an hour."

And no, that wasn't an exaggeration. According to numerous people who tuned in, the Doc's viewer numbers exceeded 300,000 people at one point. A mere 48 minutes into the stream, he'd accumulated over 326,000 viewers. So many people were curious to see what the Doc had in store that they sat and waited as the camera displayed an image of a Lamborghini parked in from of an abandoned gas station. The image and the accompanying music fit the Doc's overall '80s aesthetic, but it definitely was not what people expected.

After about an hour, the Doc popped into the chat to let people know that he would be going live the next day. Earlier this morning, the image of the car and the gas station was still playing on a loop.

Some people were genuinely impressed by the Doc's ability to build up hype for whatever comes next. However, more than a few fans felt very misled by the very nature of the stream, feeling that they didn't quite get what they were promised. One person called the whole stunt "disgraceful."

However, it should be noted that, regardless of what people were had hoped for or expected, the stream was a smash success.

Dr Disrespect's surprise stream managed to draw more viewers than another high profile streamer's "return." Ninja has gone live on both YouTube and Twitch in the past two months (and has teased that he'll be back soon). These were Ninja's first streams since Microsoft shuttered its Mixer platform and Ninja reportedly turned down a deal from Facebook Gaming, so the hype was presumably there for those new streams. 

While Ninja's fanbase is passionate about his work, his YouTube and Twitch streams only reached around 167,000 and 100,000 viewers, respectively. In other words, his YouTube stream just barely exceeded half of the viewers the Doc had at the peak of a stream he never even appeared on.

Besides the wild viewership numbers, it also appears that the Doc made a substantial amount of money from the broadcast. On top of the $4.99 subscription fee he nabbed from many, he also received a steady stream of donations. According to one viewer, the Doc had already made around $20,000 when he popped in to say that he wouldn't actually be appearing on camera. A few hours later, esports player Tecknofreak said that the Doc had racked up roughly $400,000. The exact figures haven't been made available at this time, but it's not hard to imagine how much money could be made from literally hundreds of thousands of viewers, many of whom were tossing donations his way. This is all without actually appearing on screen through the entirety of the stream.

Given how wildly successful this test stream was, it's not hard to expect the Doc's first "official" stream to do even better. As of this writing, the Doc is planning to go live at 12 p.m. PT. It would make sense for fans to expect more teases and bangin' electropop music, but hopefully the Doc knows that people have waited long enough.

Despite all of the hype, fans should probably still manage their expectations if the Doc actually appears on camera today. It's highly unlikely that the streamer will discuss the reasons behind his Twitch ban, for instance. In recent interviews, Dr Disrespect has been encouraged to stay tight-lipped in that regard. However, if there's one thing the Doc has taught fans to expect, it's the unexpected.