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The Explosion Network lives in this world — I mean we are apart of this world — but that doesn’t mean we don’t find time to enjoy all the great things you can find online. Be that some of our favourite Youtube channels, websites to visit, streamers to watch or podcasts to listen to.

In 2018 you could easily find great content to listen to, watch, read and more and this Top 10 list celebrates what we think are the best-of-the-best in 2018.

The following Top 10 list was compiled by Dylan Blight, Cherie Henriques, Ashley Hobley, and Ciaran Marchant


10.) Jayne (Streamer)

When you think of the word wholesome, an image of Justin “Jayne” Conroy laughing may appear in your head. His Overwatch coaching has helped bring a new understanding of the game for thousands around the world and his twitch community is one of best around. With his videos like ‘Guess my SR’ & TLDR’ , Jayne is giving Youtube users an easy way to be a part of his Twitch content that many other channels do not go to the effort to make possible.

Jayne shows that you do not have to be the very best player of a game to grow a community. Coaches and esports analysts are becoming a more prominent role in esports because of personalities like Justin “Jayne” Conroy.

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9.) Up, Up, Down, Down (Youtube)

Over the past year professional wrestling has taken a step into the light, showing the people behind the characters. Up, Up, Down, Down combines the wrestlers of the WWE with their love of video games.

Host and Creator of Up, Up, Down, Down, Austin Creed (better known as WWE’s Xavier Woods) pulls back the curtain on many wrestler’s lives and gives fans a chance to get to know their favourites on a more personal level.

This channel has had a huge impact on the content that WWE delivers via Youtube and also given other industries a chance to see the content their fans want to watch online.

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8.) The House of Mario (Podcast)

(For transparency: Dylan has appeared on The House of Mario previously)

The House of Mario quickly became everyone at the Explosion Network’s go-to Nintendo relevant podcast. With the enthusiasm of Drew and Bryce leading the discussion on everything happening throughout the year with Nintendo — be that Pokemon, Smash, Nintendo Online and more — it was a fantastic year to have The House of Mario in your ears. Not bad for two guys from South Australia.

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7.) What’s Good Games (Podcast)

What’s Good Games kicked into their second year of great content creation with the continued success of their flagship podcast and building upon their brand.

They may have had one member leave in the year, but that certainly didn’t slow the girls down as they continued to be invited to events and collaborate with other big names in the industry to put out great shows and coverage of the games industry, all with the unique personalities of Andrea Rene, Kristen Steimer and Brittney Brombacher.

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6.) Kinda Funny (Podcast)

Kinda Funny continued to put out great content in 2018 with the addition of some new shows and events. The ‘Kinda Funny In Review‘ show was a great success to kick-off the year as the team ranked all the Marvel films one by one.

And then only Kinda Funny could pull off a successful prom event — which they did, with many fans attending.

Kinda Funny closed out the year with the ‘Kinda Funny Showcase’ which was put together as a platform for smaller developers to show-off some of their games. It proved to be a great idea and successfully passion project.

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5.) Shane Dawson (Youtube)

This was potentially a career defining year for Shane Dawson, which is say something for a guy who has been making YouTube videos for a decade. Shane started to focus more on docu-series in late 2017, as opposed to the vlogs that he was doing prior, but it was his series ‘The Truth about Tanacon’ which debut at the end of June that drew widespread interest . Everyone began to anticipate the release of each part of the series that explored the disastrous fan convention created by Tana Mongeau.

Dawson followed that up with two successful series featuring polarizing Internet celebrities, ‘The Secret World of Jeffree Star’ and ‘The Mind of Jake Paul’. Each drew in millions of views and appears to have given Shane Dawson the freedom and confidence to essential do anything he wants without having to put out daily content.


4.) Nintendo Directs (Show)

Nintendo Directs in 2018 were constantly one of the most interesting and surprising media events throughout the year. The combination of a focus on bigger first-party titles leading up to their release, as well as the indie game focused showcases were a delight all year.

The build-up to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Pokemon Let’s Go also helped the year with the slivers of information for both games released slowly throughout the year after their reveals teasing and entertaining fans.

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3.) Critical Role (Show)

D&D had a revival over the last couple of years and it is largely thanks to the cast of Critical Role. Matt Mercer, Liam O’Brien, Laura Bailey and the rest of the cast of talented voice actors struck out on their own this year as they left Geek & Sundry, leading to Critical Role becoming more than just a show.

With the beginning of its second season, the channel proved that the characters of Vox Machina were not the core of the channel, it was the storytelling of Mercer and the actor’s amazing characterisations that brought the Mighty Nine (the new adventurers of Season 2) to the hearts of the community.

Critical Role is no longer just a single show, it’s a channel filled with great content that gives us insight into the voice actors many have come to love and respect.


2.) NoClip (Youtube)

Noclip had one of its biggest years with the Bethesda documentaries releasing in June. ‘The History of Bethesda Game Studios’ covered the studio’s trials and tribulations from its early days til now as one of the most popular game studios around.

Post-E3, Noclip also released a ‘Making of Fallout 76‘ documentary which was ready to go after the game’s announcement at E3 2018, the first time the channel had gotten access to a game and the team prior to its reveal, or release.

Noclip ended the year with a bang as well, releasing a feature-length documentary on the making of Half-Life, one of the most renowned and popular FPS shooters ever.


1.) PHILIP DeFranco (Youtube)

There aren’t many harder working people in the online content creation space than Philip DeFranco. Not only does he film 4 or more detailed news shows a week which regularly run over 15 minutes (much to editor James Girardier’s dismay), he is also building his company Rogue Rocket into an independent news network.

‘The Philip Defranco Show’ is the go-to news source for many, with coverage ranging from Youtube drama to American politics to International issues to crazy stuff people do in Florida.

2019 looks to be even bigger, with a lot the content that has been tested on Defranco Elite, the Rogue Rocket Patreon, finally making its way to the masses to enjoy.



Dylan and Ashley break down the Top 5 of the Explosion Network’s Top 10 Online Media list and explain some of the choices made. Each going over what they like about this year’s winners.

Listen to this special episode now and subscribe for future discussions on our Best of 2018 awards.