A long-time member of the Stream Team, Ninja614 is one of ESO’s most engaging and successful Twitch streamers. Learn about how he got his start and built his channel in this new Community Spotlight!
Tell us about yourself! How did you first come to ESO?
I used to play FPS games like Quake CTF and Tribes, etc., almost exclusively until EverQuest released and it was all over. I have been religiously playing MMOs ever since (1999). Having also played all Elder Scrolls games since Daggerfall, it was only natural that I play ESO! I took several breaks in the first couple years, but in 2017 I came back and was so impressed with what I found it became my new "home game." ESO is still my main jam and looks to be for the foreseeable future!
How did you get your start as a streamer? Did you have a specific goal in mind?
I started Twitch to see what I could learn and where it could take me. It was a similar idea to when I started my YouTube channel. I wanted to learn videography, editing, and how the YouTube algorithm works. I had no idea if an old biker like me could find an audience on Twitch but wanted to give it a go.
After a test stream on July 26, 2017, I fell immediately in love with it! I had a conversation with my wife the next day about this new "thing" I was going to try. I said I needed six months and was to treat it like a second job. She had no idea what I was talking about but agreed ... and now here we are. She's now an active part of the show! This experiment turned into something much more, however, as it is now also my full-time job.
How did you go about building your audience as a new ESO streamer?
Community. It is all about community. Every hour I was awake and not streaming myself, I spent time in other ESO streamer chats getting to know them and the ESO Twitch directory at large. I have seen many different types of communities in MMOs over the twenty some years of playing them. I can honestly say I've never been so impressed with the quality, helpful, inviting, and inclusive community that is ESO! I think maybe being a weird, old biker maybe helped me stand out a little too?
How do the ESOFam streamers help each other?
More community! Spending time playing in game together, collaborating in game and on stream together, raiding each other's streams, and participating in community Discords are all a big part of how streamers in the ESO directory engage. This has an added benefit, of course, of building a broader community via attraction more so than maybe via promotion. It's been a special experience to observe, for certain!
Is there any one stream or event that you’re especially proud of?
There are way too many to name. However, being invited to the ESO Live reveals and playtests have been massive highlights! Having the opportunity to hang out, discuss the game, and share a meal with some of the developers of my favorite game has been a regular "pinch me I'm dreaming" situation, and I'm forever grateful for the trust and honor!
How do you keep your audience engaged?
I never stop talking and I work hard to interact with every person who speaks up in chat. It has always been a goal to make sure my streams are a welcoming and relaxing experience for all who want the same. We have zero tolerance for people being rude toward others and I think the community appreciates that.
Do you have any tips or advice for streamers starting out with ESO?
I could write a novel. However, there is a lot of great information all over places like YouTube and Twitter in terms of streamer advice. But if someone wants to get involved in the ESO Twitch directory as a streamer, I suggest spending as much of your off-air time as you can in other ESO streamer chats getting to know them and the community. The ESO Twitch directory really likes cool people who put down tent stakes and make a home here (so to speak). It's an MMO, it's a long-term game, and viewers appreciate streamers who are also there for the long haul!
During your streams, how do you balance gameplay with audience engagement?
I don't. I let my group die so I can interact with chat! Just kidding, kind of. For me, the show comes first. And given that I'm an entertainer, I focus on chat and the show above all. Most players who regularly participate with me in on-stream gameplay understand this and are used to me causing a wipe while tanking or long breaks of our characters standing around in game waiting for me to finish a rant or me completely missing the objective while I'm alt-tabbed dealing with some sort of stream issue. There are times where I call "focus face" and I put my energies in game for more difficult content from time to time, but most of the time, I put most of my attention on the audience.
In a word, how would your viewers describe you as a streamer?
I imagine it would depend on who you ask! Some might say I’m a funny, loud, bearded streamer...one guy once said I was garbage. I don't think I fit in a box, though—perhaps “enigmatic” (which is just a fancy word for weirdo)? Editor’s note: This sounds about right.
How do you manage your energy levels and real-world life with your streaming career?
As soon as I figure that out, I'll let ya know! Seriously, full-time streaming and content creation can be quite demanding. It's a constant struggle to find balance for me. I hear this from a lot of other streamers, as well. Forcing myself to get decent sleep and limiting the total amount of hours I stream each month has gone a long way, however.
When you aren’t streaming, who is your favorite streamer to watch?
This is a really tough one! There are so many good streamers I'm not sure I can fairly say ... but I certainly would recommend checking out Inklings when he decides to stream. Lots of great info from that dude!
Big thanks to Ninja614 for taking the time to chat with us about his ESO streaming journey! If you’d like to see more, you can find him streaming on twitch or posting guides and tips on his website. Check him out!