From the humble beginnings, through the insane manhunt series and career-striking controversy, let's see how Dream was able to amass over 25 million audiences on YouTube.
Dream is undoubtedly one of the biggest Minecraft content creators on YouTube. His speedy rise to fame through the fan-favorite Minecraft Manhunt series is also definitely a story to tell, breaking all records and expectations from the community. However, Dream is also not free from the fair share of controversies of famous pop culture stars today with his speedrunning allegations that occurred last year. With that said, let’s take a look at the story of how this Minecraft player from Florida was able to gather millions of loyal followers and become one of the most successful YouTubers in Minecraft History.
Before Youtube Popularity: How the Dream Team got assembled
Dream actually created his Youtube channel way back in 2014. However, we may never see what the old videos look like since Dream either private or unlisted all of them. What we do know about his activities in those days is playing in the Mc PVP server, where he also met his most notable partner in crime: Sapnap. Dream was never really into the grind of posting YouTube videos for a long time until he came up with an idea to create his own Minecraft server. This is ultimately when he learned his useful coding skills since he coded the entire server entirely by himself. His work also got noticed by BadBoyHalo, which used to be a much more popular YouTube channel than Dream and consequently asked him to join Bad’s server (MunchyMC) developer team. Coincidentally, Dream crossed paths with another favorite figure we all know as GeorgeNotFound in the dev team. And thus, the Dream team bond that we know and love today has been forged.
The Start of the YouTube Grind
Dream hadn’t made any moves on YouTube for 5 years after the creation of his channel. However, he decided to change his fate forever. He posted a comment on Discord, mentioning that he will be a giant YouTuber and that he will do anything to achieve this goal. Thus, he began studying the gears that run the YouTube website, how the infamous algorithm works, and how to manipulate it to his own advantage.
After months of research, he uploaded his legitimately first YouTube video entitled “This Cursed Minecraft Video Will Trigger You”. The video was relatively simple and essentially contains Dream breaking all the unwritten rules of Minecraft like mining dirt with a pickaxe, killing your pet dog, not using shear with right-click, and so on. Despite its simplicity, the video was able to blow up due to its easily sharable moments; not bad getting more than a million views for your first video. However, the video also shed some light on Dream’s programming capability when he was able to sleep in the nether and make a pig blow him 10 feet into the air.
Dream continued to post these “triggering” Minecraft videos for quite a while, and all of them were all viral hits. However, while most YouTuber’s might decide to stick with the winning formula of success, Dream improvised and initiated another project that is correlated with one of the biggest names on the website: PewDiePie.
The PewDiePie Saga
In July 2019, PewDiePie decided to create a YouTube series on Minecraft. The game was somewhat considered to be dead, and many avid fans have left the game for good. However, PewDiePie ultimately relighted Minecraft and brought back millions of audiences to the game. PewDiePie’s viewers were also incredibly curious in getting his Minecraft’s world seed, and Dream took this opportunity to do the impossible: locate the exact seed out of 18 quintillion possibilities. He gathered a team of Minecraft experts and tried to reverse engineer PewDiePie’s world seed using coordinate locations, maps, and other crazy shenanigans. They eventually succeeded and released the world seed to the public. However, a few hours later, PewDiePie spoiled the party by announcing that he won’t be releasing the world seed until he defeated the Ender Dragon. Dream ultimately was under fire from a barrage of criticism and made an apology video towards the matter. Luckily for him, some people recognized the sheer skill, effort, and time required to find the world seed, further growing his following on YouTube.
After the charade with PewDiePie, Dream quickly took advantage of the fame that he had accumulated and released yet a novel series on his channel called Minecraft Unsolved. The series tackles intriguing questions in Minecraft, such as the infamous Herobrine and the longest possible jump in the game. Needless to say, the series far exceeds expectations and showed the knowledge Dream had about Minecraft. The videos are also deeply researched and highly informative, which helped Dream establish his trust with his audience and the community.
The next series that Dream released was exponentially popular compared to the previous one, namely the coded Minecraft challenges. Here, Dream showcased his programming skills that he has learned to create Minecraft plugins that infinitely increase the game’s excitement. He also teamed up with all of his friends to complete these challenges. Some of the popular videos from this series are beating Minecraft with X-ray on, placing a massive black hole that slowly swallows everything, and random gravity flips.
Yet again, Dream continues to improvise and implement the element of PvP in these coding challenges. Instead of working together, Dream and his friends would duel to the death and be the last man alive. A popular video from this series is Minecraft Block Shuffle, where players have to stand in a designated block before the timer runs out. Minecraft Death Swap is another example of these PvP coded challenges and, this time, players would have to cleverly set traps before swapping positions with the opposition.
The Manhunt Era
The YouTube series that needs no introduction. Dream created the Manhunt series as another iteration of the coded PvP challenges and titled the first video “Beating Minecraft, But My Friend Tries To Stop Me”. As we know, the videos displayed Dream’s prowess in Minecraft PvP in an incredibly fun fashion. He also did several modifications to Manhunt such as the “Assassin” video where Dream’s opponent will one-shot him but will freeze if Dream placed locks his crosshair on the opponent. It was also around this time that Dream broke through the 1 million subscriber mark, a feat that is probably not that amazing considering his later achievements. The Manhunt era eventually still lasts until today, producing over 25 videos and a million Reddit-worthy plays or clutches that you are all too familiar with. If by any chance you haven’t experienced any of this fun, here is the playlist for all of Dream’s Manhunt videos.
The Dream SMP initially just started out as a private server between Dream and GeorgeNotFound, where they try to explore the new Nether Update in Minecraft. Soon, Dream invited some of his team crew, with the likes of Sapnap and ItsAlyssa, to join the server. Eventually, more content creators joined the fray, and the Dream SMP spiraled into all the chaos we all know today. The content made in the server ranges from drama, war, politics, friendship, and betrayal, you name it. Most of the events that occurred in Dream SMP are only shared on Twitch streams, so a majority of Dream’s YouTube fans might never get a full glance at what truly transpired in the server. However, you can check out the fascinating Dream SMP documentary below to catch up with all the drama.
Speedrunning & Cheating Controvery
To train for the Manhunt series, Dream decided to embargo his journey of Minecraft speed runs. After all, random seed Minecraft speedruns require a similar set of skills (excluding PvP) and achieve the same goal of eliminating the ender dragon, like Manhunt. Streaming and doing Minecraft speedrun essentially kills 2 birds with one stone: train for Manhunt, and try to get a world record in the speedrunning category. Dream did his speedrun streams for quite a while and things went pretty normally. However, in early October of 2020, Dream achieved a world record and placed 5th as the fastest runs in the 1.16 random seed category. He subsequently submitted his run on speedrun.com and his name was placed on the podium.
Unbeknownst to Dream, another Minecraft speedrunning expert has been spectating his stream and noticed the significantly higher drop rates of Ender pearls in his runs, an integral item to have in this category. A few weeks later, Dream denied all allegations of cheating or tampering with his Minecraft drop rates, dismissing it as another form of cherry-picking random events.
However, after two months of rigorous investigation by the moderators of speedrun.com, Dream’s run was concluded to be not legitimate and was consequently removed from the leaderboards. A YouTube video on Geosquare’s channel (one of the speedrun.com mods) and an in-depth report were soon released to explain the whole matter. In short, the primary reason behind the verdict to discard the run was Dream’s insane drop rate odds of 1 in 7.5 trillion.
Guilty or not, Dream was considerably pissed off at the whole thing and went on a Twitter and discord rant that produced quite the drama, to say the least. Nevertheless, he still believes that the allegations are false and will soon hire an expert to back his perspective. On December 23, Dream released his response as well as the report made by an anonymous statistician claiming that Dream’s odds were much closer to 1 in 10 million, far less than the initial 7.5 trillion. However, the report eventually received a lot of criticism and other statistics or math experts, such as the likes of Matt Parker, quickly pointed out existing errors and still stand on the side of the moderators. At the end of the day, Dream did not get his speedrun reenlisted on the leaderboards, and the controversy was at a stalemate. On the one hand, we have people who believe in the maths and, on the other, we got people who do not exclude the chance of someone’s lottery-winning lucks.
Fortunately, the drama was finally concluded on May 30, 2021, when Dream made a statement that admits that he accidentally had a mod that tinkered with the item drop rates. So yes, Dream did cheat, but it is now only an issue of whether it was done unintentionally or blatantly
Other Ventures Outside YouTube
On April 2021, two YouTube giants, Dream and MrBeast, did a crossover no one expected. MrBeast collaborated with Dream to release the Dream Burger in his MrBeast Burger fast food restaurant.
Unbeknownst to most of Dream’s fans, he also released several songs on his music channel. His first-ever song, titled “Roadtrip” was released on February 4, 2021, as part of a collaboration project with PmBata. “Mask” was released a few months later on May 21, and his latest song, “Change My Clothes“, which features Alec Benjamin, was released on August 19.
Featured Image: Dexerto