If you’re a 20-something gaming enthusiast — or someone who has kids — you’re probably aware of Twitch. The streaming service, which largely provides a venue for viewers to watch other people play video games, has grown from a niche site to one of the most popular sites in the world; according to Alexa, it’s the 14th ranked site in the U.S.
Twitch’s popularity may seem weird to people who grew up without the internet. Why would you want to watch someone else play video games, after all? Well, aside from the fact that some games (like Dota or Dragon Ball Fighterz) make for great spectator sports, Twitch is home to some great personalities. The people playing the games are as much the draw as the games themselves, and for fans of the digital card game Hearthstone, streamer Disguised Toast is a guiding light. Toast — his name is a play on the Hearthstone card SI:7 Agent, which says “This guy’s toast” when you play it — not only plays games like Hearthstone multiple days a week, he also provides useful guides to popular decks, the best cards to acquire, and more.
Toast stopped by DT Daily to chat about life as a Twitch streamer, Valve’s upcoming Hearthstone competitor, and more.
Although Twitch is the premier site for gaming streamers, Toast actually got his start on YouTube, making videos that could be both informative and humorous, like this combo compilation. Success didn’t come easily.
“it wasn’t until my second year of streaming that I started going to 2,000 viewers, 3,000 viewers, 4,000 viewers, and slowly building up,” he explained. “I spent a long time at just a hundred viewers. I think once you hit the thousands, you feel like you’ve made it to the point where you can sustain yourself.”
Although Twitch is ground zero for the new streaming boom, Toast’s advice to wannabe streamers is to get their start on YouTube, instead.
“If you open a Twitch account right now, you just turn it on, you’re gonna get zero viewers, and how do you get people to your stream when there’s hundreds of thousands of other streamers offering the same thing?” he explains. The key is to build a reputation for making quality videos, and pre-recorded videos allow creators to edit out rookie mistakes.
“People need to know that you can provide good content before they’re willing to watch you live,” Toast says, “because live is very hard to do. You have to be entertaining constantly, and if you can’t be funny or can’t be interesting in an edited video, how are you gonna convince people to watch you in a live setting?”
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