How Dream went from streaming Minecraft to speedrunning the internet


Nova Roden and Sam Jourdan

From 1 million subscribers to 20 million in under a year and a half, now a well-known name in the gaming community: Dream. Currently one of the biggest influencers on the Minecraft side of YouTube and Twitch, the faceless streamer has set a new high for the title of online popularity.

While a majority of Minecraft players don’t aim to “beat” Minecraft, it is possible. In order to do so, the player must defeat the Ender Dragon. In the speedrun community, the goal is to beat the game as quickly as possible. Dream took three world records for Minecraft speedrunning on versions 1.14 and 1.15 of the game, but it came to somewhat of a halt with his well-known 1.16 run.

In October of 2020, Dream beat Minecraft (version 1.16) in under 19 minutes, taking fifth place on the leaderboard. Soon after, an investigation by speedrun moderators declared that the percentage rate at which the items he needed to win were dropped was highly unlikely, and that he must have manipulated the game in some way in order to win. Dream attempted to defend himself in various manners, but eventually accepted their decision, without admitting fault.

Though his speedrun records are commonly heard of, his real accomplishments lie with his most watched series, Minecraft Manhunt. In Manhunt, Dream attempts to beat the game while his friends hunt him down. If Dream dies in the game, even once, before killing the Ender Dragon, he loses and the hunters claim victory. The first Minecraft Manhunt, with Dream being “hunted” by fellow streamer GeorgeNotFound, was uploaded in December of 2019, and Manhunts after that got progressively harder for Dream with the addition of hunter advantages, and eventually, more hunters. Recently, in April of 2020, Dream uploaded his first Manhunt against five hunters, a video that immediately hit the YouTube trending page.

Yet another series was started by Dream in April 2020, known as the Dream SMP. The SMP is a Survival MultiPlayer (SMP) that has very rapidly become one of the most well-known servers on the internet today. While it started as a chill server for Dream and a couple of friends, the arrival of fellow YouTuber and Twitch streamer TommyInnit brought chaos and novelty. This caused the server to branch off from traditional SMPs, evolving into a combination of complex storytelling and lore and creating an overarching and fascinating story, one that is still going strong and continuing to gain followers.

Even with his most popular content being majorly Minecraft-based, Dream decided to branch out and begin making music. His first song, “Roadtrip,” premiered in February of 2021, and was reported to have 2.81 million streams worldwide within just two days, as revealed by co-producer PmBata. Recently, Dream began working on another song called “Mask.” A snippet of the music video was recently shared on Twitter, showing an animated version of Dream and hinting at a backstory behind his character’s signature mask. The song is set to be released in the near future, and is greatly anticipated by fans across the globe.

Though the Minecraft community seemed to be shrinking, that trend was quickly reversed by Dream’s ingenuity. His records and fanbase have already greatly exceeded those before him, and have brought back an experience that was a large part of the current generation’s childhood. As Dream and those around him continue to change the ways of virtual storytelling, there’s no doubt his name will be well-remembered by the youth of this world.