Even if you don’t use YouTube all that much, you’ve definitely heard of Logan Paul, whose controversial “suicide forest” vlog caused a stream of backlash this past spring. And next month, Paul is facing off against fellow YouTuber KSI in an amateur boxing match.
The match is taking place at the Manchester Arena on Saturday, August 25, and a rematch is set in the U.S. before the end of February 2019, as the official agreement they signed states.
KSI’s management company shared the agreement on Twitter back in March.
Soon after, Paul posted a video of himself casually “training” for the match. YouTube is reportedly streaming the fight for free (makes sense).
But, who is KSI, exactly?
Here’s everything to know about the British YouTuber, KSI.
KSI has over 18 million subscribers to his YouTube channel
KSI, whose real name is Olajide William “JJ” Olatunji, first got his start on YouTube in 2009 when, out of his parents’ Watford home, he uploaded footage of himself playing and commenting on video games under the alias KSIOlajidebt, according to Business Insider.
He had 7,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel after a year — then around 20,000 the following year — and dropped out to pursue gaming fulltime, uploading 10 to 20 videos per month (Telegraph reported in 2014 that his total uploads can reach 40 per month). Most of these videos focused on FIFA gameplay, and he made millions from ads.
“I wasn’t really into school that much. I was in this building having to cram knowledge I didn’t really care for,” KSI told Telegraph. “But on YouTube I was able to create what I wanted and post it for people to watch.”
Now 25, the YouTuber has branched out to covering football (video games), comedy and music. Telegraph described his videos as “bombastic, bawdy, borderline” (whatever that means).
He also raps
“I mean I’ve had it for years, probably started when I was quite young,” KSI told GRM Daily last year of his interest in music. “I would use it to help me revise actually, ’cause I had a problem with remembering things, so I would use it to help me remember certain subjects. … I mainly used it for education.”
He’s reportedly released four EPs, and you can check out his music on Spotify.
KSI, as it turns out, also published a book.
KSI has been criticized for his videos
Women’s activist groups called for YouTube to take down KSI’s so-called “rape face” videos in which, as The Guardian describes, they “show the star in a variety of settings, turning to camera with a menacing expression and making sexually suggestive gestures.”
Back in 2012, KSI was banned from attending future Eurogamer Expo events due to “inappropriate behavior towards women during the show.”
“KSI is a character of JJ or Olajide, a young man with great humility and politeness and far from the character portrayed [at] Eurogamer…” his manager said in a statement at the time. “Sexism is not something he condones or wants to be associated with.”
Microsoft cut ties with him in 2013.
“KSI, if you want to talk business, is a brand,” he told Telegraph, “and I have to do stuff to protect that brand now so it doesn’t become tarnished and I am not seen as a hated person, or in a bad light.”
KSI has gotten in the ring with other YouTubers before
KSI beat YouTuber Joe Weller in a London boxing match this past February. After the fight, KSI challenged, “If any YouTuber wants it, you can come get it. Jake Paul, Logan Paul, any of the Pauls. I don’t care.”
To buy tickets to The KSI vs. Logan Paul fight on August 25, click here. Paul’s younger brother, Jake, will also face off against KSI’s younger brother, Deji.
“KSI – the biggest YouTuber in the UK – will take on Logan Paul – the biggest YouTuber in the US – live at Manchester Arena…” the event page reads.
Sounds like quite the match. Are you in?