What is it like to be a full time Twitch Streamer?
What is it like to be a Twitch Streamer? We sat down with Twitch Streamer theoli_ to get a better glimpse into his life as a full time streamer.
For those that have enough skill or a big enough personality to stream video games, few make it to the top. For many, however, it is possible to have a small community on Twitch. One of those people is TheOli_ whose real name is Oliver Clark. Oliver can be described as introverted by some of his friends in his day to day life. But his followers on Twitch would say otherwise. He is a 20-year-old streamer based out of Miami, Florida. At the time of this article, He has over 5000 followers and 22 subscribers on Twitch. He has been playing video games since he was a little kid and has spent hours playing games like Fortnite, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Team Fortress 2.
To get a better sense of what his challenges are as a streamer, I sat down with him and asked him a series of questions that new streamers might want to know starting off. He gave advice for new streamers, and he shared insight into some of his past mistakes, and some decisions he made that he was right about. For those looking for more insight into the life of the streamer, this is the article for you.
Interviewer: When did you start streaming?
TheOli_: “I started streaming in September of 2019.”
Interviewer: Why did you start streaming?
Theoli_: “When I started doing it, I was really into the games I was playing, I was playing around video games for around 12 hours a day. I also got into it because I love what I do, I have always been very into video games.”
Interviewer: What would you say is the biggest challenge for new streamers?
TheOli_: “The hardest thing about it, in my opinion, was being able to stay confident and stay motivated. You will have zero viewers for months and months, but it’s something you need to build and create individual connections. Create a brand, create an image for yourself. Never lose faith that you won’t be able to create what your goal is. Eventually you will be able to be the person that people look up to, and people will laugh and enjoy themselves with you. The goal is to be an inspiration, to be a mentor, to entertain people. I have always been introverted, but being able to build myself as a brand and talking to people for hours, it has helped me develop better social skills. When you put yourself out there, you have to be you, and you have to entertain people.
Don’t only do it for money.”
Interviewer: Do you have a goal with streaming? If so, what is that goal.
TheOli_: My goal with streaming is to have a community, and obviously make it a career. I want a consistent viewer base and a community that supports me, and no matter what I do, as long as I am enjoying myself on screen, they will support me. I want to get to the point where I can play what I want, and people are watching me more than the game I’m playing, I would say that is probably every streamers goal, to play something he enjoys playing and something the viewer enjoy watching.
Interviewer: What draws you to gaming?
TheOli_: I have always been really passionate about virtual worlds, and the capabilities that we as people have to create virtual scenarios. They are fascinating, and I am willing to commit my life to it. I could spend hours upon hours playing different games, and I am really enjoying my life as a streamer.
Interviewer (impromptu): Have you considered going into game development as opposed to streaming?:
TheOli_: I did for a bit, actually. I took 5 months of game development classes from Full Sail University, which is one of the top names in game development. They do courses by the month, with 38 total months of classes. With a new month comes a new class, and it’s all online. However, It didn’t work out due to a combination of things. Now I see myself as more of an entertainer in this industry, now I want to be someone that is fun to watch.
Interviewer: What are some of your biggest challenges as a streamer?
TheOli_: Just the constant push to play the games that bring me viewers, or the games that keep my average viewership. It’s a chore to play a game that is not supported by its developers. It’s worth it to play and push because I started at 0 followers, and now I have over 5000 followers, 22 subs, and it keeps on growing. What I would say to new people is don’t expect anything from it for a long time. Have a constant fan base, if you are spread across social media, you might get bigger, but it’s all about streaming.
Take Mizkif, for example. He was an ordinary Twitch viewer, but early on, he realized he would never be a streamer. So he went to college, then he was diagnosed with a medical condition and lost his career, so he started streaming. Deep down that’s what he wanted to do, and now he is one of the biggest and funniest streamers. Now he has a big house and a hot girlfriend.
At the end of the day, your sitting in front of your computer. You should try streaming if you have the capabilities. I have friends who have the capabilities but are too shy to do it.
Interviewer: Do you have any streaming inspirations?
TheOli_: “That’s a tough question, but if I had to narrow it down to two or three, I would say my streaming inspirations are:
#3; Nadeshot (Matthew Haag)- He is the founder of 100 Thieves. From Chicago, played Call of Duty really well, good enough that he joined OpTic gaming, moved into the house. However, Scump (another member) was treating him like (expletive), but he still pushed through. Eventually, through that, he became the most favorable player on the team. He got back on the main roster and was living well. Then he got kicked out/left and decided to start his own organization. He got an investment to start his own League of Legends team. He found players that were good, and it became really successful. He is really humble, he is passionate about gaming, and he is really inspirational. He started off at McDonald’s as a cook and worked his up, and he has found big success.
#2 – TSM_Myth – He pushed boundaries. He became well known for his skill. He was at really good at Fortnite, but eventually his skill faded. Now, the best players are 15-16 years old. This didn’t make his popularity fade away because he built his own brand. He could have lost his clout, but he did the right things and and now he is an inspiration to so many gamers and streamers.
#1 – People that I knew that started streaming are probably my biggest inspiration. The fact that they were able to build a community. They averaged around 10-15 viewers, I didn’t know about them doing it, but then I heard and thought that I should do it too. They showed me it was a career for anyone. Now, Making it something you can live off of is hard, but starting out its anyone’s job.
Interviewer (Impromptu): How do you feel about the little barriers to entry in streaming? Do you think that it makes it challenging?
TheOli_: It is definitely intimidating, there are already so many people that have so many viewers, and it’s easy to think that the chances I can grow and become successful are slim. We (streamers who joined later) missed the launch, the “golden days” of it (Twitch). If I started then, I would be big, but now I am here with millions of others, the goal is to do it better than them, or to be distinguished, kind of like being a black sheep but in a good way. Millions of streamers are on everyday, many have 0 viewers. As a streamer, you want to stand out to people, you want to be at the top of the recommended page. You have to be unique, you have to find ways to fine-tune and realize your mistakes. Being unique on Twitch, you have to watch others, take their traits, learn from them. For example, one thing that makes my channel unique is that my viewers can change my hat while I’m streaming. Wearing a hat is something that makes my craft and my channel unique.
Interviewer: When did you start playing video games?
Theoli_: I have been playing since before I could speak. I started at around 4-5, just messing around with Pokemon, Mario, and other Gamecube games. Growing up, I was really into adventure games. When I was around 11 years old, I started playing Minecraft. Then that turned into Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Team Fortress 2 it was around this time that I transitioned over to PC, I started playing with Xbox less, and at a certain point, I just went full PC. I have been playing FPS since I was 12 and now I am almost 21. At a certain point, I transitioned over to Fortnite, I started grinding out for a while, But I’m not a big fan anymore. Epic doesn’t care about it anymore. Even Pslam (the 2nd place winner of the Fortnite World Cup) doesn’t like it anymore, he is playing Valorant, but it just goes to show that if one of the best players in the world doesn’t like it, it’s time to change things up.
Interviewer: With so many games out there, what are your favorite games?
TheOli_: This is a really tough question. I think most of these games will speak for themselves, so I won’t go much into detail. But not in any particular order, my top 3 would probably be: Sonic: Adventure Battle Two, Team Fortress 2, and Counter-Strike: Global offensive, that’s just a classic, and I could, and have, spent hours playing it.
Interviewer: As a Twitch streamer, you do not need to follow a strict daily schedule, so what is your daily routine?
Theoli_: I usually Wake up anywhere from 8am to noon. I try to eat a healthy breakfast, get a work out in, and drink a lot of coffee. The workout is easy or hard, depending on how sore I am. I never do cardio, because I have the body type that I can do certain exercises to the point where I don’t need it, and I can stay fit. I try to drink a lot of water during the day. Then after my morning routine, I try to go live for 5-6 hours per day, sometimes I’ll do more if I’m feeling it. I try to eat 3 meals per day to stay properly fueled. I’ll spend anywhere from 30-45 minutes of training using Kovaak trainer every day. This is a big part of my day because it allows me to work on my skills. If you are passionate about becoming a better player, you should use this as much as possible because it will help improve your game, if you are fighting someone and they beat you. Did you think of them as an individual challenge, or did you want to win the match? The person who wins is the person who wants to win more, he is more focused on his game than the other person. The person who analyzes their gameplay, and uses it to improve will be the person who wins.
Interviewer: Do you Stream full time? Is it a side hustle?
TheOli_: At the moment, it’s my only pursuit. If (coronavirus) gets better I will pursue getting a full job, but the quarantine is forcing me to stay inside, so this is really helping me get more hours.
Interviewer: The world of Esports is growing aggressively, do you have any plans to pursue a career in Esports?
TheOli_: Right now, I am not, but once Valorant comes out, I will pursue that. I was on a competitive Team Fortress 2 player and Overwatch for a bit. I was top 500 in a unique game mode called Lucio ball, which was similar to Rocket League for two summers in a row. I tried to focus on being a competitive Fortnite player, but I didn’t have the motivation to succeed.
Interviewer: With so many games to play, so many people playing those games, which game do you stream the most?
Interviewer: As you mentioned earlier, there are so many people already streaming on Twitch. Why should people subscribe to you?
TheOli_: I have some pretty fire emotes. But really, viewers should subscribe to me if they believe in me and in my success. I don’t think that the mindset on Twitch should be “why should people sub to you,” that just isn’t what it’s all about. If you are a streamer, don’t ask people to sub. Because if you only care about money, you should not be on the platform. Streamers should be really grateful to whatever subscribers they have. (subscribers) really care, they are throwing money at you, they are taking their hard-earned cash and supporting you. This is especially nice because everything (on Twitch) is free, so your subscribers are people who want to help you. Treat each sub as a really wonderful thing. Right now I have 22 subs, I had zero at one point got 40, then went back down, and now at 22 and growing.
Interviewer: Here is a hypothetical, If you woke up with one million followers tomorrow morning, what would you change
TheOli_: I would definitely invest in better graphics and in cooler aesthetic, creating better alerts, overlays, and generally just make everything look nicer and more professional. I recently joined a content team called Oracle unit, which is sponsored by Logitech. I hope I can build a community with the support of a team.
Interviewer: With so many new releases coming out soon, What games are you most excited about, or what games have caught your eye?
TheOli_: Just Valorant at the moment. I have been on drop streamers for over 60 hours since they announced the beta key drop. I’m still hoping for a good future in Fortnite if (Epic Games) can turn it around. I also might grind out Overwatch 2 if it ends up being any good.
Interviewer: With so many options out there with respect gaming hardware, what products have proven superioriority in terms of performance and reliability.
TheOli_: For a combination of a mouse and keyboard, The Apex Pro TKL by SteelSeries, it has the fastest actuation on the market.
Interviewer: With so many streaming services available to the general public, what is the best streaming service?
TheOli_: Twitch is the best. I considered moving to Mixer, but looking back, I am glad I didn’t because now Mixer is dying. I thought youtube would take over, but now there is a sort of mutual relationship going on between Twitch and Youtube Gaming, they more or less coexist than compete. I love Twitch as a platform and as a community. I feel like community engagement is the highest here. With Twitch, I feel like I am watching a live stream vs. someone just playing a game.
Oliver has put a lot of effort and grit into streaming. While some may say that streaming does not require any effort Oliver proves them wrong. His hard work, his determination, and his confidence are all admirable qualities that new and old streamers should take from. He truly cares about video games, and he cares about his followers. As he continues his journey through the world of Twitch, it will be interesting to see what new ideas he comes up with to add more substance and quality content to his streams.
You can follow Oliver on his various social media accounts, and if you log on at the right time, you can watch his streams.
You can find Oliver through the two links below.
Oliver’s Twitch Channel
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