We talked to some professional streamers to find out if streaming was indeed a viable career option.
The Twitch scene in South Asia only recently started showing promise when streamers like Shagufta Iqbal aka xyaa started getting sponsored. Seeing our fellow Asians becoming prominent on Twitch, raises a very curious question. Can every one of us start streaming? Or is it only meant to work out for a very few individuals who’ve got the knack for it? I had conversations with a few well known streamers from South Asia to know their opinion on this subject.
Kartikeya Awasthi aka WoooMonsta from Delhi, was one of the first people I talked to. He streams regularly even though he has a full-time job and he is a Twitch affiliate. According to Kartikeya, having a streaming career in India is currently very rough. He believes that the reason for this is shared between both, the streamers and the viewers. “Many of the Indian streamers do not properly interact with the chat and some of them do not use webcams either. It is very important for the streamer to keep the chat interested and make them feel welcomed” says Kartikeya. “And the viewers are not familiar with the streaming culture where people tip very liberally when they feel like the streamer is entertaining.” This is very true. Donations are very important for a streamer. And it comes down to us to support our favorite streamers by donating and subscribing to them.
Next, I had a conversation with Saloni Pawar aka Meow16k from Mumbai. Saloni believes that anyone can be successful in Twitch as long as they find their own unique quality. But at the same time, she mentioned how we have so many problems in South Asia. “Most of the people here do not know what gaming/esports is. This makes it harder for us gamers to convince our parents that gaming is a viable career option” says Saloni. This is very true. As a semi-professional Dota 2 player, I had to jump through a lot of hoops to convince my parents to let me pursue gaming. I still get messages from them every week – “stop playing games and just get a job”.
The next conversation I had was with Ayesha Khan aka Mythica from Lahore, Pakistan. Ayesha is a streamer and a CS-GO caster. She also sponsors 6 professional teams under the name “Eximious Esports”. According to Ayesha, it is very hard to be outstanding as a streamer. “The person has to either be extremely good at the game or he should be able to entertain everyone consistently to keep them watching the stream.” She also expressed that being nice is an important quality. “Positivity attracts audience”. She mentioned a streamer named SpaceLyon who streams Fortnite, and is known to be really nice and very positive on his stream. Of course he is a great player but Ayesha says that she watches and subscribes to him because of the positive vibes.
SpaceLyon started streaming in March 2017 and he was well known for the positivity he maintains on his stream even if he is on a losing streak. He had a steady growth on his channel when Fortnite got big and he got really well known. He gets a lot of donations on his stream because people admire his humbleness and kind personality. Here’s a clip where he gets a crazy donation while streaming Fortnite.
A few days later, I had a chat with Mohit Rajgaria aka Sup3rm4d from Bangalore. He is a full-time software engineer and a part-time streamer. Mohit believes that it is not easy to become a full-time streamer. “Twitch scene in South Asia is still growing. We have many problems here. For example, there’s around 3 million amazon prime users in India but Twitch prime is not available here. The internet is really bad here and we don’t even have Twitch servers in India. But at the same time, if you work hard enough, put enough time into it, you can become successful”. He mentioned that promotions are very important for a streamer to grow. “Doing giveaways and being active on social media really helps a streamer’s career.”
What the numbers say
On further research, I found out that there are actually close to 5 million amazon prime users in India. If Twitch prime was available in India and if even 1% of the Amazon prime users enable Twitch prime, Indian streamers can get a total of 50,000 subs. Of course, these users may opt to subscribe to the top tier streamers like Ninja or Shroud but if more people are made aware of the Twitch scene in South Asia through proper advertising, that would be a really big deal for our streamers as they could be getting a lot of subs.
Finally, I had a conversation with Dinesh Bishnoi aka Dinu from Rajasthan. Dinesh works for Twitch as an Admin Moderator and after his work hours, he starts streaming. Dinesh says that it is possible for anyone to be successful at streaming as long as they are consistent and interact with their audience. “Just keep grinding and don’t concentrate on the numbers. You will get viewers as long as you focus on your content. Just enjoy while streaming and have a good time with the chat” says Dinesh. He also mentioned a few streamers who have gotten to the top just by grinding:
Dakotaz used to stream games like Miscreated and WarZ, and had around 200 to 300 viewers for about 3 years straight before he became the famous sniper from Fortnite.
Jakenbakelive started streaming when he went to Japan and he started with around 10 viewers, he consistently pulls off around 5000 viewers almost every stream now. Here’s a clip of Jake talking about how he started streaming.
Wagamama started out as a small time Dota 2 streamer in 2013 but now he is 15th most watched Dota 2 channel on Twitch.
Even with all of the hurdles, the future looks bright.
As long as you are consistent and passionate about streaming and you put a lot of hours into it, anyone can get to the top. The Twitch scene in South Asia is just starting to get bigger as many new streamers are getting affiliated and partnered. Even though we have a lot of troubles to go through currently, the future is bright.