Rolling Stone Magazine once hailed Michael Santana, better known as Imaqtpie, as the best league of legends streamer in the world and the reason is not far-fetched. As a professional player, the American internet star served as the backbone of the eSports team, Team Dignitas, for about three years, 2011 – 2014. During this time, he helped them win several titles in the North American League Championship series including the 2011 Atlantic City’s IGN ProLeague and the 2012 San Francisco LoLPro.com Curse Invitational.
Santana has since struck out on his own and has gone on to maintain his status as one of the best eSports players in the world. With over 2 million Twitch supporters and about 300 million views, he is one of the largest League of Legends personalities online. Such a level of success has been well documented by several organizations that want to understand the secret behind it all. The truth however remains that Imaqtpie doesn’t have any secret weapons he is deploying but is simply a young man who is passionate about what he is doing.
Sheer Hardwork Directed at His Passion Earned Him Attention From Rock Solid
Like most young boys all over the world, Imaqtpie grew up with a love for two things, namely food and video games. The former had him watching the Food Network while the latter fact saw him spending hours on video games such as the PlayStation multiplayer shooter game, SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs. The young boy eventually got so good at SOCOM that he began seeking out other games to play. There was however a snag as he didn’t have many resources with which to purchase games.
This bitter reality made the young Imaqtpie content himself with playing the free versions of the mobile games out there. Luck however shined on him after the epic game, League of Legends, was released in 2009. The MOBA-style game was initially free and the 17-year-old boy threw himself into it with reckless abandon. He quickly mastered it and his pals convinced him to join hands with them to form a team that would participate in local gaming tournaments. Imaqtpie agreed and it was in the course of one of such competitions that a small eSports organization, known as Rock Solid, recruited him to serve as their AD Carry in April 2011.
His First Notable Title Was Winning the Third Season of Atlantic City’s IGN ProLeague
Imaqtpie spent about five months with team Rock Solid during which he served as the team’s ADC, a champion that usually has low health but deals a lot of damaging attacks later on in the game. His obvious skill and proficiency spurned interest from other larger and professional eSports organizations but he shunned them off and remained with Rock Solid until they were purchased by a bigger team, Team Dignitas, in September 2011.
With Team Dignitas, Imaqtpie retained his position as ADC and spent about 14 hours each day playing League of Legends. He managed to establish a wonderful camaraderie and chemistry with his teammates, Scarra and Voyboy, and this helped them to emerge champions on several occasions. The first notable title that the group won was the first place position in Atlantic City’s IGN ProLeague (IPL) Season 3. They defeated the team, Epik Gamer, 2–1 in the final game to scoop up the $10,000 team prize.
In 2012, the squad took the first position at the San Francisco LoLPro.com Curse Invitational and won a $20,000 team award. Later that same year in September, Team Dignitas placed 2nd in Season 2 of the North American Regional Finals at PAX Prime in Seattle, Washington. They lost to Team SoloMid in the finals but qualified to compete in the Season 2 World Championship in Los Angeles.
Team Dignitas experienced a slump in fortunes in 2013, placing last in the spring playoffs and finishing 4th in the summer playoffs. This decline continued in the 2014 season, they did not qualify for the playoffs, and Imaqtpie decided to leave the team in October that year. This decision was borne out of his belief that his teammates were not being serious. Another factor was his quest to rediscover the joy of playing LOL with friends rather than playing competitively, which was sucking the whole joy out of the game he cherished.
His Reign as one of the largest LOL Streamers on Twitch
Following his decision to quit professional gaming, Imaqtpie turned to Twitch and began streaming games with his friends in earnest. From just a handful of followers, the Florida native has grown his empire to about two million subscribers. His channel has also been viewed 333.1 million times.
Industry watchers have pointed out the reason behind the gamer’s success and it is not just his sheer skill at playing LOL. A factor that comes in quite handy is his goofy character and sense of humor. One can always count on Santana to deliver novel jokes and catchphrases. He also isn’t afraid of making quips at his own expense. This quality ensures that even when trolls make toxic comments about him, he turns it into funny laughs that crack up people.
Another factor behind Santana’s success is his willingness to invest in what he is doing. Whilst streaming gameplay, he has quality songs from big names, such as ASAP Rocky, Pusha T, and Migos, playing in the background. This is in stark difference to the free generic EDM stuff that most of his peers rely on and it has positively impacted his viewing numbers.
A Breakdown of his Estimated $2 Million Annual Income
Thanks to the consistency as well as the hard work he has put in over the years, Imaqtpie has been able to build up a thriving empire which makes him lots of money each year. According to an estimate by his management company, Everyday Influencers, the Florida native makes as much as $2 million from his Twitch streams alone. A considerable amount also comes in from sponsorship deals but the exact value is not known.
Santana has been able to build up a net worth of $1 million and is putting it to good use. Asides from taking care of his family, he owns a gorgeous mansion in Silver Spring, Maryland. He has also been known to take his friends out for really expensive meals. This however does not mean that Imaqtpie is extravagant. He remains quite level-headed and this has to do with the fact that he only plays games out of his passion for it and not necessarily due to the money.
The Sad Ending to his Long-Term Romance with Lisha Wei
Imaqtpie was previously one half of an adorable internet couple with the other being Lisha Wei. Wei is Chinese-American and was born in the year 1993. She streams games on Twitch using the handle, Owolisha. She is however not as popular as her ex and has about 30,000 supporters.
Santana and Wei first met each other thanks to the dating app, OkCupid, in 2010 and fast became friends. They later started dating after Wei boldly made the first move. The couple would remain together for a good number of years during which they shared a home together. Wei often interjected in her man’s streams, either with comments or to bring him food. She also helped him make decisions on which direction to take his career, they adopted three pets namely Smallcat, Mellowcat, and Dapperdog.
The lovebirds dated for eight years and tied the knot at a surprise wedding in July 2018. The wedding gained attention online, thanks to Imaqtpie’s choice of attire for the event; a t-shirt and shorts. Sadly, they could not make their matrimony last for long as the gamer revealed in a Twitch stream in April 2020 that they were no longer together. The reason for the split has not been revealed but the couple is being very mature about it. There has not been any washing of their dirty laundry in public as some of their peers tend to do.