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SA Gaming Heavyweights Weigh In - The Twitch Streamers

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Two weeks ago MWEB GameZone discussed local Twitch streaming in South Africa. The article in discussion mentioned the lack of support from local viewers towards the lucky few who do pride themselves in bringing entertainment to local shores. I got in touch with some of these local streamers to get their input on:

  • The current state of being a streamer in South Africa
  • What we, as a community, can do to insure more like them rise through the streaming ranks

The entertainers

I sat down with Luca "RoBoHoBo" Tucconi from Orena, Sean "Suumpmolk" McCalgan and Nathaneal "BurningRed" Slabert from nAvTV to peak inside the world of a local Twitch streamer.

RoboHoBo and Orena:

RoBoHoBo has extensive experience in the local eSports scene. He is considered one of South Africa's top Call of Duty players and captains and he has numerous of the top wins under his belt while competing with the legendary Bravado Gaming. He started Orena two years ago with the idea of creating local tournaments for competitive gamers in South Africa. Their latest ventures include competitive tournaments and ladders with the aim of improving local talent through continuous competitions and tournaments.

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BurningRed:

BurningRed is what some would consider "the old wise man" of Counter-Strike in South Africa. Offering a much needed interesting flavour of shoutcasting, and years of experience for his viewers. He also shares his knowledge with up and coming casters, so if you need help, he;s your man. BurningRed started Navgaming TV last year with the idea of bringing together South Africa's top shoutcasters for all disciplines. If you're a rising shoutcaster star, then NavTV should be your home. They currently have some of SA's top shoutcasters for games such as Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends.

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Suumpmolk:

Suumpmolk is a competitive Battlefield player and represented South Africa at top international tournaments. He's currently part of Bravado Gaming and competed at last year's Battlefield 3 ESL Nation's Cup where they took the championship. Being a respected competitive gamer in South Africa, Suumpmolk has extensive experience in Battlefield which he hopes to share with local viewers.

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First things first, let’s talk internet. Everyone’s question to local streamers is “what connection do you have?” To take it a step further, tell us what your entire setup is

Orena

Currently running on a 20mb Fibre line supplied by SmartVillage. I get 20mb upload and 20mb download to local servers and around 10mb download and 4-6mb consistent upload speeds to the UK with peaks of 10mb. They offer a pretty solid service with a very reasonable price for my current speed at R1359per month.

My PC needs some serious improvement, I’m currently sitting on the following specs:

PC Specs:

  • CPU: i7 920 @2.67ghz
  • GPU: nVidia GTX950TI
  • RAM: 6.00GB DDR3PSU: 1000watt
  • Mobo: Gigabyte X58A-UD7
  • HD: 1TB Western Digital Black

Perpipherals:

  • Mouse: Razer Deathadder 2013
  • Keyboard: SteelSeries 6Gv2
  • Headphones: SteelSeries Siberia v2 Black Edition
  • Mousepad: Razer Goliathus Speed
  • Screen: Samsung 22" 65hz
  • Webcam: Logitech C920 HD Pro

BurningRed

I have a 10mb Fibre link. I use my gaming PC or provided laptop to run the streams. I prefer to manage my own production when it comes to streaming as well. I also use professional Microphones in order to deliver the best possible sound to the viewers.

Suumpmolk:

When I began streaming more regularly, I migrated up to 20mb VDSL and then 40mb. However I found that in order to appease the South African audience, a 20mb connection was sufficient as I needed to keep the quality down slightly. Aside from that, I don’t have any other special streaming hardware, I just play with my regular gaming rig that has been sponsored to the Bravado players by Alienware and Razer.

How long have you been streaming for? Would you say the audience you’ve gained,be it big or small, will support your stream regardless?

Orena:

The Orenaza channel has been active for about 6 months now. The majority of ouraudience is drawn by the Orena tournament streams for popular titles such as Counter Strike: Global Offensive, DOTA2, League of Legends, Hearthstone, Call of Duty and a few others.

Our individual streaming which is led by "RoBoHoBo" has had varied levels of success with most viewers tuning in when playing titles such as Counter Strike: GO as well as a fairly popular following when doing playthroughs of brand new gaming titles.

Late in 2014 we received partnership on the channel which definitely has helped with regards to local viewers being able to choose streaming quality. This allows us to cater to our local scene as well as the international viewers who usually don’t have broadband speed issues.

The local following we have gained on our individual stream is very much dedicated, although we do definitely see a trend with the rise in the popularity of Counter Strike: GO. Whenever we stream tournaments or go live with RoBoHoBo's individual stream, we generally see an increasing amount of return viewers, regardless of the content.

Orena's Twitch Channel has: 931, 932 channel views | 5,753 channel followers

BurningRed:

I would say ive been streaming/casting since about November 2013. It also depends really, some people would watch the stream for the game specifically. I have a few followers which enjoy my casting, but I cant definitively say that it has increased or reduced over the period.

Navtv's Twitch Channel has: 142, 350 channel views | 1, 078 channel followers

Suumpmolk:

I created my account a few years ago and was streaming some of my competitive Battlefield matches from time to time, but never really more than that. From Oct/Nov 2014 I started to stream more regularly, about 3 times a week, sometimes more. Given that many of my followers were from previous years and were only interested in the match streaming, my follower number is not really indicative of current support. I generally get about 5 viewers per stream, and up to about 15 should I stream a match. Most are regulars, so I haven’t really seen much net growth.

Suumpmolk's Twitch Channel has: 21, 564 channel views | 236 channel followers

Which games do you prefer streaming? Do you stick to what you know best, or do you feel streaming relevant and up to date content is preferred?

Orena:

I definitely favor streaming First Person Shooters being an avid fan of the original Call of Duty: Modern Warfare or "CoD4". Counter Strike: GO is quickly becoming my game of choice. I also play my hand in titles such as League of Legends, Diablo 3 and World of Warcraft which will be getting some screen time very soon! "Hints at @CongoKyle for those WoW gear runs". I will definitely be looking into streaming some of my all-time favorite "Platformers", "RPG's" and "Action" titles such as the Finally Fantasy series, Metal Gear series, Abe’s and a few others.

BurningRed:

CS:GO is my specialty. I occasionally cast random games, but I prefer to stick to my main title as I know the game very well and that helps with producing a better quality stream/cast.

Suumpmolk:

I was back and forth on deciding which games to play and while I’ve experimented with a few I don’t think it has influenced my following much. At the end I reverted to playing Battlefield, the game I’m best at and play competitively, as I felt it would be most applicable to show that. I think because Battlefield is being left behind somewhat in a competitive sense is why I don’t get much viewership.

Lastly, as a streamer what do you think is needed from the South African community to bring streaming to that level which most are used to internationally? Consistency or content?

Orena:

I feel it requires a big improvement in both aspects. Consistency is a key factor we have struggled with as juggling tournament admin, studies and a streaming schedule has proven to be quite difficult. Being consistent and allowing your viewers to schedule around your stream will become pivotal when your viewership begins to rise and you have a steady flow of subscribers. In terms of content, providing local viewers with something new and fresh with a South African feel would do wonders in my view. At times I definitely do find it difficult to relate to some of the popular streamers even though they can be very entertaining. We have some hilarious characters as well as very intuitive players who can provide valuable information to upcoming players in the SA scene that I would love to see live on twitch sometime soon...

As a group, we definitely need to show each other support where possible. If you enjoy a local stream, do your best to tell your friends and other gamers in your circle about it, drop the channel a follow and if you feel obliged, provide tips, engage with the streamer and make reasonable requests that you think might bring in more consistent viewers. At the end of the day, substantial growth in all parts of the gaming "scene" is key to the overall status of casual and pro-gaming in South Africa.

BurningRed:

To actually start supporting the streamers/casters more. Most of these streams/casts are done out of pure passion. And like many people would say you can tie in a cost to it all. Keeping their motivation going, you would need the community to really pay attention and support.

Suumpmolk:

Streaming is not an easy environment. I don’t think being local provides you any advantages over an offshore streamer, you need to be as entertaining as all the rest to really keep people interested. I think locals need to get more used to the idea of local streamers streaming more consistently, but at the end of the day I think the exposure to broader audiences and delivering quality content is definitely top priority.

Keeping up an active social media presence is half the job when breaching the streaming world, so be sure to follow:

More from our SA Heavyweights:

Congo's Twitter | Facebook / MWEB GameZone Twitter Facebook

Other News from Around the 'Net:

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not MWEB Connect (Pty) Ltd

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