Twitch Streamer Kruzadar Exposes the Dark Side of Gaming

A Kruzadar for these times

Kruising into first place, Kruzadar is the champion we didn't know we needed. This variety streamer has generated quite the interest over her six-year-long career. Between her successful Twitch, YouTube, and TikTok, she has a combined audience of over 3 million little kruzers. While the journey has been tumultuous, this crusade remains a grounded journey she's committed to seeing through. 

Twitch Streamer Kruzadar

Kruzadar

"I think in any entertainment industry, a lot of people, when they blow up, whether it's our intent or not, lose themselves. They'll start taking a lot of things for granted. Forget the value of money or the value of people hanging out with you in these communities," Madi, the woman behind the screen name, said in a phone interview with Lifewire. "That will happen if you don't make an active effort to set aside time to keep yourself grounded."

Quick Facts

  • Name: Madi 
  • Age: 23
  • Located: Illinois
  • Random Delight: Dilemma! Before officially going full-time on Twitch, the post-graduate streamer had to choose between taking a job in the computer science world or committing to life as a streamer. This time, the road less traveled turned out to be the path to success.

A New Crusade

Early life for Madi was characterized by relentless bullying in middle and high school. She was always a target between her penchant for sports and male friends found through gaming. Her initial foray into streaming was an attempt to escape the hellish reality of her circumstances. 

Her one refuge was her relationship with her family. In a tiny rural Illinois neighborhood, her parents and little sister kept the young streamer grounded and reassured her self-worth during depressive episodes, which she said were commonplace. Her mother, a chiropractor, prepped the young Kruzadar for the judgment and rumors prevalent in these small towns. Meanwhile, her father, an enterprising engineer, imparted his love for video games. 

"I watched him playing Doom and Asheron's Call and then Quake III: Team Arena. So, I got introduced to PC gaming very early on," she reminisced. "I started to heavily game around that time. I became an extreme gamer at the age of four." 

She carried that passion through her teenage years where she discovered streaming. Those early days were just her and the game. Her initial intention was to stay relatively anonymous, going so far as to opt-out of showing her face. Before graduating high school, she had garnered a sizeable following streaming playthroughs of Minecraft and Garry's Mod

Screencapture of Kruzadar on a video stream.

Kruzadar

"I was a shell of the person back then because of my circumstances. I think a lot of the motivation for me to keep going with it was just like, wow, I can kind of be myself. I can game with other people that are interested in what I'm interested in," she said. Her star began to rise, and she officially went live as a partner in November 2017. With that stardom in this predominately, oftentimes toxically, male space has come another set of problems. Problems the streamer is still carrying to this day. 

Combating Hate

What Madi has experienced online has been divided between joyous collaborative content making with her community and the seedy underbelly of digital platforms: trolls. She suggests these aren't your average trolls, either. Instead, they're adamant misogynists with the hope of toppling the refuge she's created. 

Contrary to the public face platforms like Twitch and TikTok display, the user base remains bloated with some of the most undesirable, though inevitable, she argues, audiences. Madi said she had to completely disable comments on her TikTok page due to the mass of "deconstructive criticism." From death and rape threats to constant slurs and sexist harassment, being a woman in gaming is not easy. 

"There is no justification, they just saw a woman succeeding in the gaming field using comedy, and... they were envious, and they hated that," she said. 

"There's a darker side that a lot of people don't know that you have to deal with. Be yourself and have a good time with it."

Her community helped her through these times. She describes it as the closest thing to a family one can have online. She came to streaming to escape juvenile bullying just to endure it all over again. This time, however, well-equipped with the tools to preserve and combat the hate.  

A crusader is defined as a person who campaigns vigorously for change, and that's why Madi adopted the name. She sees herself as a woman here to shake up this space, and with 3 million people in her corner, she's succeeding. Her advice for future crusaders? Research. 

"There's a darker side that a lot of people don't know that you have to deal with. Be yourself and have a good time with it," she ended. "It's gotten lost with people now doing it for money instead of doing it for fun. Use it as an escape instead of for clout."

Was this page helpful?