All we know about YouTuber Kai Cenat, whose PS5 giveaway led to New York riot

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Kai Cenat at the 2022 Streamy Awards (Image: Kathy Hutchins/REX/Shutterstock)
Kai Cenat at the 2022 Streamy Awards (Image: Kathy Hutchins/REX/Shutterstock)

A popular YouTube star has been charged with inciting a riot after a PS5 giveaway attracted thousands of teens who ended up climbing over vehicles and throwing objects at police desperately trying to control the situation.

The 21-year-old Twitch streamer Kai Cenat was charged with two counts of inciting a riot and unlawful assembly, as well as other charges, NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said at a press conference on Friday night. 65 people including 30 juveniles were detained.

In one shocking video, two police officers were seen grabbing a teen and throwing him against the backdoor of a vehicle, smashing the glass in the process. The boy was later photographed with blood pouring down his face from wounds to his cheek.

All we know about YouTuber Kai Cenat, whose PS5 giveaway led to New York riot rriddqixxiqezinvPeople spilled out into the streets (Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

A video from the scene appeared to show Cenat being escorted away by police officers as fans watched in bewilderment. Reports indicate the online star did not have a permit for the event.

Kai Cenat was later issued a desk appearance ticket and then walked free from a Manhattan precinct. Twitch streamer Cenat had landed in New York after visiting Japan to perform the giveaway. On his Instagram story, Cenat urged his followers to attend.

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For many, this wild incident will be the first time they have heard of this YouTube star. So who is Kai Cenat and how did he get all those people to New York's Union Square?

Kai Cenat, 21, is a New York local hailing from the Bronx. He has been making content on YouTube since 2018 but didn't find fame until he launched a profile on the streaming platform Twitch in 2021. He would live stream himself playing video games and chatting with fans, who pay to access his content.

He broke streaming records in February this year during a month-long subscription drive where he filmed himself constantly, even while he slept. During this, he broke the record for the most subscriptions on Twitch, topping 300,000. His considerable efforts have paid off and he was awarded "Streamer of the Year" during the 2022 Streamy Awards.

All we know about YouTuber Kai Cenat, whose PS5 giveaway led to New York riotNew York Police Department take popular YouTube and Twitch broadcaster Kai Cenat and some attendees into custody (Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

He has previously done generous giveaways including $10,000 to a 13-year-old fan with a rare heart condition. Mr Cenat has claimed he once spent time in a Georgia shelter.

Although undoubtedly the most high profile, the Union Square riot wasn't the first time the streamer's antics have got him in trouble.

He was banned from the streaming service on multiple occasions. He was kicked off Twitch for a week for “repeated explicit simulated activity” during a stream of himself playing GTA 5, Game Rant reported.

All we know about YouTuber Kai Cenat, whose PS5 giveaway led to New York riotRiot of mostly teens breaks out at YouTuber's giveaway event in NYC's Union Square (CBS News WS)

Previously he was temporarily banned for eating a marijuana edible on live stream and passing out. On two occasions, he was punished for using hateful language and he was also pulled up for showing a video with nudity on his live-stream.

In January this year, TikTok star Jov Pena claimed on X (formerly Twitter) that she had been brutally raped by one of Mr Cenat’s friends during a New Year’s Eve party at the streamer's house.

All we know about YouTuber Kai Cenat, whose PS5 giveaway led to New York riotBlood pouring from the face a boy whose face was pushed into the rear window of a taxi (Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

She claimed that Mr Cenat had suggested she stay over rather than travelling home after drinking. While sleeping in a guest bedroom she has said a friend of Mr Cenat's came in and assaulted her, reports Dextero. Following this she says the streamer avoided her messages and did not cooperate with the police. Mr Cenat publicly responded on Twitch, stating he does not condone sexual assault and that he spoke with both police and his legal team.

Charlie Jones

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