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5 Things That Top Streamers Do That Make Them Stand Out

Top Gaming Streamers

At this point, seeing how successfully the top gaming streamers have penetrated mainstream media, we can no longer deny the success of streaming.

With its increased popularity, however, also comes a growth in public interest. In particular, more and more people are looking to see if they can get their own slice of the proverbial pie.

And, why not?

With reports from reliable sources such as Reuters confirming that top gaming streamers like Tyler “Ninja” Blevins were paid as much as $1 million by Electronic Arts to play and promote one of their latest titles, Apex Legends, it’s only natural to be interested.

But, as enticing as that big load of cash is, the journey to the top isn’t easy.

It can take months, if not years, for a streamer to go from zero or a couple of viewers to hundreds. In fact, there are hundreds of streamers today who’ve been streaming for years who struggle to reach a thousand viewers.

Of course, there are a lot of factors that come into play when it comes into your potential viewer count. The game you’re playing is a huge one. You can’t exactly start off playing some obscure and relatively unknown game and expect thousands of people to come and watch you play. But, we won’t pretend to know the secret sauce behind what makes successful streamers as popular as they are.

What we do know is that there are some things that they do that other streamers don’t.

With that said, below, we’ll try to go into detail on some of the things that we have noticed that some of the top gaming streamers on Twitch do that others don’t.

Just keep in mind that these won’t always apply to everyone. But, even so, there’s something here for every aspiring streamer to learn.

So, without further ado, let’s get started.

1. Committed to a consistent streaming schedule

One of the first things that you should always do if you want to go on Twitch and be a streamer is be consistent.

After all, how can you expect people to show up to watch you when you can’t even show? If someone’s following you, that means you show up to their “Following” page, and if you stream consistently enough, you’ll show up there often and they’re more likely to subscribe and keep on watching your streams.

Not streaming consistently means that you’re losing out on viewers and giving them a chance to go somewhere else.

Eventually, if you keep your inconsistency up, your followers will start to forget you. Some might even start unfollowing and unsubscribing from you.

You don’t want that to happen.

Having a consistent streaming schedule might be exhausting, but it’s what you need to do to give interested viewers a chance to know when they should tune in if they want to watch you play and entertain on Twitch.

For example, Ninja often streams for around 11-14 hours on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays between 6 AM to 7 PM.

Prior to him becoming as popular as he is today, Ninja used to stream even more often. In fact, he used to stream everyday! He’s since toned down his streaming schedule to pursue other endeavors, but if you’re still starting out, find a way to stream as consistently as possible — do it everyday if you can!

Whether you only have a dozen viewers or a record-breaking number of viewers today, being consistent is important.

Be on your stream as stated in your schedule, even if you have to force yourself to do it.

If you can do that, then you’re already way ahead of the curve.

2. Flexible enough to adjust and improve themselves

When you stream for a living, you have to treat it like a job.

That means taking it seriously and not doing it solely just for fun.

Being flexible can be extremely helpful in these situations.

Having a back-up plan for your back-up plan when things go south, or being able to roll with the punches and take things as they go, are great skills to have as a streamer.

Sure, consistency is great, but you can’t always predict everything.

Your reaction to things that you cannot control, from simply having a bad day and going on a losing streak to having a couple of trolls try to get on your nerves, says a lot about you as a person.

This doesn’t mean that you have no right to get mad.

Rather, what we’re trying to say is that you should try to do it in a positive manner in a way that won’t drive away your viewers.

Having a positive attitude and disposition can go a long way in attracting viewers because it greatly improves the viewing experience, as well as the quality of your stream.

3. Self-awareness and open mindedness

If you’re going to take streaming seriously, you must exercise the power of self-awareness and being open-minded enough to assess when you become your stream’s biggest problem.

So many streamers fall into a rut because they blame everything but themselves when things go wrong in their streams.

Remember, 99% of the time, you are the reason why your stream is not growing.

It’s not because the top gaming streamers are also on when you are, or because you have a crappy gaming set-up, or whatever it is that you came up with to make yourself feel better about why your stream is going the way that it is.

As a streamer, you are your own boss, that means you have to learn how to criticize and tell yourself when things are going wrong.

Also, being open-minded helps because it makes you more open to experimentation.

The road to being a successful streamer isn’t always going to be clear and straight — you have to be willing to fix problems as they come and forge your own path.

4. Business-minded

Streaming is a business, whether you like it or not.

The sooner you agree with this statement and treat it like a business, the better your stream will be.

The top gaming streamers know that what they are doing isn’t just a job. Streaming is a business and they are their own brand. They treat everything professionally (even if sometimes, that may not seem like the case). They also do everything they can do to further the brand, not the other way around.

As you start growing your audience, you’ll inevitably receive offers from various companies and individuals.

It is up to you to decide whether you should work with them or not.

Once you do come to a decision, you’ll have to come to terms to a contract as well. This is where being business-minded and having a good nose for business comes in handy.

If you don’t treat yourself as a business and don’t know how much your value is, you might end up underselling yourself and sign a sponsorship deal that is not in your best interests.

That’s not something that one of the top gaming streamers do.

5. Uniquely entertaining in their own ways

Being entertaining is one thing — doing your own thing is another.

Being yourself works great when streaming, you just have to take it up a notch and make your stream entertaining.

If being yourself means being one of the best players in the world, then by all means, do that.

Artour “Arteezy” Babaev remains one of the top gaming streamers in Dota 2. He doesn’t stream consistently, but people still watch him. Why? Because he is literally one of the best players in all of Dota 2.

He doesn’t try to be entertaining or anything. He just plays the game and puts on some music. Sometimes, he doesn’t even interact with the viewers.

But, of course, that’s Arteezy, and you’re not him.

In streaming, the people who copy other streamers are those who end up failing. They may find some success temporarily, but in the end, streamers who have unique content end up enjoying success and a strong community.

In order to be a successful streamer, you have to find out what makes you different from other people.

Once you find it, you need to do your best to keep on working at it.

The Endless and Random Journey to Becoming One of the Top Gaming Streamers

The truth is, there’s no set path when it comes to being a successful streamer.

Each successful streamer got where they are today via their own means. Some made it there because of their skill. Meanwhile others made it there because they were genuinely good people and people loved watching them playing games, even though they were not as skilled.

Regardless of whatever it is that you find that makes you different, the most important thing in pursuing a career in streaming is determination.

You have to be determined enough to continue pursuing this endless and random journey.

It also helps to be open-minded, self-aware, and be obsessed with improvement. You have to keep on working on yourself every day and you have to learn how to fix every problem as they come. More importantly, you have to be willing to listen to feedback from others.

Of course, the path to being one of the top gaming streamers don’t have to be so lonely.

If you’re persistent enough, you’ll find other streamers that can help you progress.

You can do the same for them as well.

Ultimately, the most important thing here is to never give up.

Because, well, if you do, then what’s the point?

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TWITCH

Tips for Staying Healthy While Streaming

So, you’ve been gaming and streaming for hours now. Maybe you’re sniping enemies, delivering payloads, winning chicken dinners and what-have-you. Suddenly, your throat’s getting a little dry, you feel an imminent headache coming, you feel the pangs of hunger eating away your stomach, you’re a bit dizzy, and—are you seeing things or is that really an Italian plumber hanging on your ceiling fan? 

Slow down on the gaming for a sec. As much as you love gaming, it’s important to keep yourself healthy, too. How would you game and stream in the future if you become unhealthy? Checkmate, lazy bums. Don’t let your real life health points deplete because of virtual health points. Here are 10 tips that will help you stay healthy while streaming.

1. Stay hydrated

Don’t underestimate water. Dehydration can cause headaches, and that’s one of the last things you want while staring at a bright screen. It can also affect your vision perception and psychomotor ability—imagine losing a game because you didn’t drink water. Yikes.

Sure, you hate the occasional trip to the toilet, but unless you’re willing to wear diapers that’s just one of the things you have to put up with water. Is that really so bad?

Have a jug or pitcher of water with you when you’re streaming for long periods of time. Remember to take a chug every now and then and you should be good.

Vision perception and psychomotor ability: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/

Also check out https://www.twitch.tv/stay_hydrated_bot for friendly reminders!

2. Don’t skip meals

Skipping meals is another thing some people do whenever they get too into their games. While it’s cool and all that you’re very dedicated to your game, and I’m sure your teammates or viewers appreciate it, your body needs fuel, too. You might also develop some stomach or weight problems if you’re not careful.

When you’re about to do multiple hours of streaming, eat before starting and prepare some snacks that you can easily munch on while playing. Healthy options are fruits and nuts, but let’s not kid ourselves—we know it’s gonna be potato chips. If you hate the flavoring and food coloring getting on your fingers (like the dreaded Cheeto dust), you might want to use chopsticks to pick up the chip instead. Clean hands equal clean keyboard and mouse.

Weight problems: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/ten-weight-loss-myths/#skipping-meals-is-a-good-way-to-lose-weight

3. Maintain proper posture

I’m not gonna nag at you for slouching, but you gotta have proper posture, especially if you’re streaming for a long time. Improper posture can strain your back and can cause all sorts of pain and discomfort in the long run, not to mention getting back and spine problems.

For starters, make sure your chair doesn’t let you have a bad posture. You can research and shop around for an ergonomic chair that will help your back, but be wary of chairs that have style over purpose instead. Also, one chair might be perfect for one gamer but it may not be for you, so don’t go rushing on buying what the pros are sitting on and make sure the chair is actually comfortable for you.

Don’t forget about your wrists, too. You’ve been clicking and moving your mouse for too long, not to mention abusing your wrists for other things. Here’s a video from a doctor on how to exercise your hands and wrists. There’s also a handy infographic of it made by a Reddit user.

Proper posture: http://www.drleviharrison.com/proper-keyboard-placement-in-gaming/
Improper posture: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/common-posture-mistakes-and-fixes/
Ergonomic chair: https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/ergonomics/office/chair.html
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiRC80FJbHU
Infographic: http://i.imgur.com/Q02Yx2F.jpg
Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/videos/comments/3bdlss/hand_and_wrist_exercises_for_gamers_actually/csle1cq/

4. Take breaks to stand up, walk, and stretch

Sitting too long can lead to a myriad of health problems, and it just feels too uncomfortable after some time. Get up, walk around a bit, and do some stretching to relieve your muscles and bones from too much sitting. Your body will thank you.

You can even make a game out of this with your viewers, like asking them what simple exercises or dances you can do. You can also try video games that make you up and about.

Health: https://www.businessinsider.com/14-horrible-things-that-can-happen-if-you-sit-at-your-desk-for-too-long-2014-3
Problems: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/why-sitting-too-much-is-bad-for-us/
Too much sitting: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1050641112001721

5. Take care of your eyes 

If possible, and I know this is a big if for a lot of gamers, rest your eyes every now and then. I know current trends are pretty big on multiple-hour streaming, even lasting for a day or more, but the strain that you’re doing to your eyes while staring at your screen for long periods of time can affect your eyes in the long run. 

A short eye break after an hour or so, maybe for 5 minutes or less, while closing your eyes or staring at a distance should be okay. You can also do the 20-20-20 break: every 20 minutes, pause your game and take a 20-second break to look at something 20 feet away. 

If you’re using glasses, it will immensely help if the lenses have a coating that can help protect your eyes from the glare and blue light of your screen. You can also use a program that can block blue light in your computer screen.

Blue light: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side
20-20-20 eye break: http://www.bluelightexposed.com/protect-our-vision/#useful-tips-to-relieve-digital-eyestrain-caused-by-digital-devices

6. Take care of your voice

While some streamers take the silent route, a lot of streamers prefer to engage with their audience by talking and cracking jokes, sometimes screaming for joy at getting a great loot or howling in imaginary pain as their character got ganked. 

So if you’re gonna stream with your voice, try not to overwork it. Take some vocal breaks, drink water (seriously, drink water) to soothe your throat, and learn proper breathing techniques when talking. If you notice some hoarseness or raspiness in your voice, definitely take a break to recover. If your voice stays hoarse for more than three weeks, or you get on and off raspiness and hoarseness, you might want to visit a doctor there, bud.

Breathing technique: https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/taking-care-your-voice
Hoarse for more than three weeks: https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hoarseness

7. Sleep isn’t for the weak

You often hear the saying “Sleep is for the weak!” on the internet so many times. You see so many gamers forgo a good night’s sleep for a couple more hours of gaming. Hey, I know how raiding is very important to you, or maintaining your high score is a must, or the game’s story is just too gripping and you gotta know how the story ends after choosing only one character to live—but you gotta sleep.

Sleep isn’t for the weak. In fact, lack of sleep will make you weak. 

Lack of sleep: https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/sleep/conditioninfo/sleep-deprivation

8. Set a reminder for your meds or vitamins so you won’t forget

When you’re gaming and you get in the zone, often times you forget a lot of things. Sometimes, it’s just harmless things like taking out the trash, or heartbreaking things like forgetting to call your grandma. But there are important and pressing matters that can slip off your mind, like taking your meds or vitamins. Set an alarm reminder so you won’t forget your medication. Gaming is great, but your health comes first.

9. Make sure you’re safe

So you’re building your fort in your game to keep out monsters or enemies. You’ve checked on everything and you deem it quite secure. You rest easy knowing you’re safe. 

But what about your real life self and your real life fort?

If you have a family member or a buddy living with you, inform them that you’re about to game and stream and will stay in your cave for quite some time. They can check up on you or tell you if an emergency is happening outside your room. This can be quite important if you have a health problem that could happen at any moment, like seizures and heart attacks. If you get too focused on your game or use noise-cancelling headphones, you might not notice things going on outside, so it helps that you have a buddy system in place.

If you do live alone, you can always call someone you know or close to, so at least someone will know what you’re about to do. Check your windows and doors before streaming to make sure you’re safe.

10. Don’t neglect your mental health

Last but definitely not the least, do not ignore your mental health.

When you find that gaming and streaming are getting overwhelming, and the pressure is too much to handle, not to mention the toxic comments are making you feel pretty bad, please take a break. 

If you’re not enjoying things anymore, do something else for the time being until you get your bearings again. Clear your head. Seek out help. Talk to someone. It’s gonna be okay.

Forcing yourself to continue will not only affect your mental health, but it might also affect your performance, which will be obvious to your audience and impact your streaming reputation.

Next time you schedule a stream, brush up on these tips and make sure to put yourself and your health first. Have fun and stay healthy, player one!

^_^

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TWITCH

‘Game Queue’ Twitch Extension is Live!

Invite your viewers to game with you, completely hassle-free.

We are happy to announce the release of our latest Twitch extension panel — Game Queue!

Game Queue makes it easy to invite viewers to game with you. Viewers can join your game of Overwatch, PUBG, and many other games with a simple chat command. With full Twitch integration, users don’t need to leave the site to join the queue and we have built hassle-free controls for streamers. Game Queue is fully customizable and handles queue management, prioritization of subscribers, and gamertag collection, so you can focus on your stream.

How do I add the extension to my Twitch profile?

You can install the panel here: http://bit.ly/2A8sI9H. We also made a step-by-step video guide for getting Game Queue up and running! It takes less than 5 minutes and you can start engaging viewers in an exciting new way.

What features does the Game Queue have?

Game queue has many exciting features. In addition to being completely free, we have highlighted some important features below.

Simple gamertag management

Manage gamertags with a simple whisper command

Subscriber-only mode — Subscriber priority queue

Customizable colors and messaging

How can the Game Queue improve my stream?

We have talked with hundreds of streamers and viewers to understand what tools are missing and what challenges exist. During this process and during our beta testing, we have distilled our learnings into 3 key improvements.

Increased engagement

Game Queue is the only extension of its kind. Many extensions are read-only, and don’t allow for much interaction. Game Queue allows viewers to interact directly with you and have unforgettable experiences. This is also a very new extension and will help differentiate your stream.

Improved subscribe rate

Many streamers have activated subscriber-only mode. This is a direct incentive for people to subscribe to your channel.

Better donations

Last year, over $100MM was donated to streamers. This level of generosity and engagement is unheard of. Now imagine giving someone a more hands-on, unforgettable experience during your stream. “Remember that time I won a PUBG duo with DrDisRespect? Or when I had that amazing Zarya ult playing with TimTheTatman?” Game Queue gives viewers a stronger incentive to donate, and leaves them a bigger fan than ever before.

What our users are saying:

— “This is unlike any panel I’ve seen. It’s very interactive and gives viewers something to look forward to.”

— “I could see myself using this for charity streams. It could motivate more viewers to tune in and donate to charity in return for a fun experience.”

— “I have a really hard time managing gamertags for my viewers who want to game with me. This completely solves that problem.”

Game Queue was built by the community, for the community. Your feedback is incredibly valuable, and we will do our best to build tools and services to help create exciting new experiences.

Pixels Team

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GAMING

Online Gaming — What’s Next?

Since 1985, Nintendo has continued to revolutionize the way we play games. From solo adventures in Zelda to Super Smash Bros with friends on the couch, the gaming experience is constantly changing.

So what’s next? eSports are on the rise, VR is becoming more immersive and more affordable, and online gaming continues to grow as the Internet becomes widely available. Another huge shift in recent years has been the rise in popularity of video game live streaming. Viewers can watch their favorite gamers and tournaments with a click of a button — and it’s completely free.

Live streaming allows for a much more interactive audience. Between the ominous Twitch chat, the streamer’s personality, the game being played, and the custom panels/overlays, there’s never a boring moment. Live streaming is already transforming the gaming experience, and we are betting our company on its growth and success.

At Pixels, we are creating new experiences to help streamers engage their audience. One pattern we’ve seen across streams of all shapes and sizes is the eagerness of viewers to game with streamers. Imagine playing a soccer game with Beckham or a basketball game with Kobe. This is the best analogy for the excitement a viewer has to game with their favorite streamer. It would be a thrilling and unforgettable experience.

v0.0.1

We have recently submitted our first panel, Game Queue, for review. Game Queue makes it easy for streamers to invite viewers to game with them. Each stream has their own queue that viewers can join. Streamers can invite viewers in the queue to join their game of Overwatch, PUBG, and many other games. With full Twitch integration, users don’t need to leave the site to join the queue and streamers have hassle-free controls. Game Queue is fully customizable and handles queue management, prioritization of subscribers, and gamertag collection, so streamers can focus on their game.

We believe this is one of the next evolutions of online gaming — allowing people to play with whoever they want whenever they want. It truly is a different gaming experience. Play the games you love in a whole new way.

^_^

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