Imane “Pokimane”, queen of Twitch and the co-founder of Offline TV, is leaving the group and embarking on a new journey. The beloved content creation group announced on May 19, 2023, that Imane has “graduated” from OTV and will now pursue other ventures.
thanks for the years of content and camaraderie❤️ OTV will always have a special place in my heart & i look forward to supporting eachother in all of our future adventures
— pokimane (@pokimanelol) May 19, 2023
Poki established OfflineTV with William “Scarra” and Chris Chan in 2017. She is considered a pioneer of the streaming industry and an inspiration to thousands of streamers around the globe. As she bids farewell to the group today, there is little doubt that her list of accomplishments will only continue to grow.
Pokimane to “chase new things” but will always be a part of the OTV family
OfflineTV posted a special video on YouTube, titled Thank you Pokimane, to announce the streamer’s departure — no doubt, a watershed moment for the content house. Featuring a hilarious three-act play depicting Imane’s journey as a streamer and a heartwarming group chat at the end, it is quite the emotional roller coaster.
The play has LilyPichu playing an adorable Pokimane, Disguised Toast mimicking her cat Mimi, Masayoshi taking on the role of her father, and many guffaw-inducing moments. It traces how Imane began playing video games as a child and convinced her parents to let her move to Los Angeles and pursue a streaming career. The final act is her realizing that she needs to start a new chapter in her life.
Towards the end of the video, Pokimane discusses the circumstances of her “graduation” with the rest of the OTV members, and it is delightfully wholesome. Scheduling conflicts that prevent her from participating in the group’s activities full-time seem to have driven her to this decision. Additionally, she also implies that she was getting too comfortable.
Imane adds that she is working on a big project at the moment, which could be made public within the coming year. However, the real twist comes when Lily and Scarra pour a bucket of a green slimy substance all over her as a farewell gift.
Alongside the video, the following tweet from OfflineTV convinced fans that there are truly no hard feelings involved — it is simply a matter of growth.
Pokimane went on to address the news in a recent livestream and opened up to viewers about her state of mind. Many in the community loved the concept of the streamer “graduating” from the content house, and Imane also approves. She said,
“I don’t like the term ‘leaving’ OTV. It sounds so dramatic and exaggerated. Basically, as we said in the video, I felt like it was becoming really really hard for me to continue to be a full-time OTV member. I feel like I will always be part of the OTV family. Especially, living in LA, we can always do things together.”
For Imane, it has always been important to put her best foot forward, but her hectic schedule was keeping her from committing to OfflineTV full-time. However, she is confident about staying in touch with the members and even doing things together from time to time post her departure.
In a touching moment, Imane commented that she was basically transitioning from the “OTV” part of “OTV and friends” to the latter.
“When I announced it to everybody, the way that I worded it was like…I think it’s time for me to join the “and friends” part of OTV and friends.”
For context, OfflineTV has built an extended community and are often clubbed with their long-term and frequent collaborators as “OTV and friends.” Streamers like Valkyrae, Sykkuno, and Fuslie fall in this group as they don’t belong to the content house officially but are close friends with the members.
Imane also pointed out that the other OTV members had compatible schedules due to living together, and she found it difficult to accommodate all their events and shoots while doing justice to her personal projects.
“Especially seeing as everybody lives together, and their schedules tend to align quite a bit — for me to be able to dabble in different things and continue to evolve and explore in my career and in my personal life…I found it really really really hard to do that and attend all of the OTV things.”
She did not want to be a “barrier” to OfflineTV’s growth, but she also could not give up on her urge to explore what lay beyond. Fans had also been less than accepting of Pokimane appearing in fewer videos from the content house, which added to the pressure. She decided to be fair to her friends, her fans, and herself during the decision-making process.
“I’m someone who likes to chase new things, and try new things…having one foot in OTV and one foot out. It’s not fair, right?”
Streamers and fans react to Pokimane leaving OTV after six years
Twitter and YouTube understandably erupted after the announcement of Pokimane’s departure. Some fans had seen it coming, while others were shell-shocked. Some were emotional, while others took the opportunity to wish the streamer the best. Considering how an entire generation of gamers grew up with Pokimane, it was perhaps not surprising that many shed tears.
Imane’s friends, including members of OfflineTV, joined in to thank and congratulate her.
Pokimane paved the way for hundreds of female streamers to thrive in this career. Nothing deterred her from pursuing her dreams fiercely — she held her head high even in the face of thousands of negative and toxic comments. She has never backed down from a challenge and is willing to push herself out of her comfort zone.
Imane helped revolutionize the world of streaming with OfflineTV, bringing immaculate vibes to the online space. Now, she is looking to scale new heights. Onward and upward!