I have gamed pretty much my whole life. I’m a Gen Z so I was born into technology. My earliest memory was probably with my sister though, she was 22 years older than me and she showed me games like sims and age of empires. I really got into Age of Empires though, because her boyfriend and herself would LAN it and I’d usually get to play with them.
Growing up I mostly played on my dad’s or sister’s PC and by the time I got my own PC I hopped around friend groups. Two or three of them stuck and we became friends IRL.
When I was 10 I was obsessed with the series Legend of the Seeker, especially these characters called The Mord Sith’s. They were these females trained in combat whom could also withstand pain and wore full pleather. Therefore when I received my first computer at 11 and made my very own Steam account, I had named it TheMordSith. But once I joined Twitch the name was taken so I mixed it with my passion for gothic movies at the time, such as “Elvira Mistress of The Dark”, to create MistressMord.
I guess it’s really hard to say when my passion sparked, I just always had one. I used gaming as an escape mechanism when I was younger though and did go through a patch where I stopped gaming as it no longer helped me escape the negatives in life due to toxicity.
It’s actually quite a funny story, how I started streaming. One day I was playing League of Legends with some friends and one of the males had asked for my number. Being a gamer, I was just meme'ing and trying to be funny so I said, “only if you buy me a webcam so that I can become a camgirl”, which I had no interest in. But then he bought me a webcam and now I had to do something with it, so I began to stream on Twitch.
I’ve been streaming for about 4 years on and off and from what I have learnt, it is a lot more hard work and research than others make it out to be. I have learnt how to work with software, how to code chatbots, about streaming equipment and much more. I thought I was tech savvy before streaming but streaming teaches me something new everyday.
I started growing an audience fairly quickly and made partnership requirements in about a year of streaming. Most South African streamers only make it after 5 years. Soon I was the top South African Twitch streamer at 18 years of age, since being dethroned to second. I feel like I have accomplished a lot and feel it necessary to keep moving forward with streaming as it is a passion of mine.
My community is almost like friends you’ve had since childhood. We will make fun of one another, all in good spirits, and also share laughs together. Due to having close interaction with my community on varying platforms, we have grown very close. I know about their lives and they know about mine. We welcome newcomers into our community all the time. I recently just added a few more mods aboard and they are being greeted and trained by my other mods with open arms.
I stream variety content, as I believe it allows a streamer to get more involved with their fans on different levels. I do 3 days a week of IRL streams, 2 days a week of computer games, and 1 day a week of board games. My favorite game is probably Dota 2, but I'm trying to broaden my spectrum of games. I'm looking at streaming Call of Duty, League of Legends, Minecraft and new releases that will be hyped such as Super Seducer 3.
I would love to mostly play Dota on stream but due to it being a dying game, many people only watch the category for the competitions and pro players. I really also enjoyed Paladins and Realm Royale but those games never made it far.
I love to play with my viewers, it makes streams more interactive and viewers can root for one another, building a tighter knit community.
I am a different person on my streams but it isn’t purposeful. I grew up with intense social anxiety and a speech impediment, meaning I struggled to interact with people in general. The way I was able to overcome this while streaming was to develop a different persona. I pretend to be confident and egotistical but it’s merely just a character. I have explained this to my audience before. But weirdly enough streaming actually helped me become more confident in real life.
I find the most important thing to consider if you want to grow a channel is viewer-streamer interaction. I can watch people play games in a game, on YouTube, or on TVv. What makes Twitch different is human interaction. People come to Twitch to connect. Offer to play games with people, take them on just chatting streams to talk about their lives, offer off platform communication, show them some of your hobbies outside of gaming. Another important thing is to keep the viewers entertained by playing games they want to see, which is something I still struggle with as I play less popular games. Viewers still want to be involved and utilizing point redemptions and donation rewards is very important.
Some of the biggest challenges in streaming can be solved with research. I learnt a lot about streaming by watching videos all day every day on the software requirements and usage, hardware requirements and usage as well as how to grow an audience. Streaming is a marathon, not a sprint. As your audience grows your stream will improve with better equipment and software. At first you feel you are behind as all these other streamers have much more advanced equipment than you and it can make you feel minuscule. What you do in these times is just think of interesting, innovative content to draw viewers in and want to help advance your stream.
It took me about a week to reach Affiliate requirements, but about 2 months to become one as I was struggling to obtain a tax number. From there it took me a year to reach Partnership requirements. I applied 6 times over the course of about 3 years.
I went full-time with streaming only about a year ago. It took 3 years of streaming to get there. I may have gone full time sooner but I started my channel whilst I was in high school and college, therefore I had other priorities.
I stream 6 days a week which can be quite draining, especially since I stream at least 4 hours a day. I start my day trying to ensure I will have the energy to stream, eat my breakfast, have my coffee. Then I set up for whatever I prepped for the stream that day, which can range from pouring slime over myself to playing PC games. I also have to set up my specialized bot which I programmed to increase viewer-streamer interaction. Post stream, I will raid someone I am either close with in the streaming community or whom I enjoy. After this I will add subs from the stream to my snapchat and interact a bit on my discord. Then I clean up after my stream. My post stream process can differ from day to day as it depends on who is snapchatting me and what work I need done off Twitch that day, such as posting to other platforms or creating custom content for customers.
It’s hard when you are a full-time streamer to classify any day as a day off because if you don’t spend your days that you don’t stream to improve your stream, you will fall behind. A full-time streamer also still works on a multitude of other social media platforms which we need to keep up to date and obtain content for which is what we use our “day off” doing.
I am a socially awkward person as well as an introvert, so not having much time for a social life actually doesn’t bother me.
I don’t really have contact with my family so I won’t ever really know how they feel about my career, but my friends are super supportive of me and try to help me out when they can. Of course you still get the few that try to use you to get into the business but don’t put in the effort themselves which can be quite frustrating.
I am hoping to be able to stream for the rest of my life as I do really enjoy it and it is my dream job. I will try to put in all the effort to keep moving forward in this career path.
I use Streamlabs OBS but due to being a South African I have to use a custom Twitch relay server, which can cause technical difficulties.
My donations go through Streamlabs into PayPal, but once again being a South African you are unable to purchase anything with PayPal so I have to then go through a process to get it into my bank account.
I mostly use 2 Twitch bots, first being Nightbot so that my mods can add commands and so that I can have timers running for adverts etc. The second bot is Streamlabs' chatbot and I enjoy this bot as you can code custom commands into it to improve the quality and interactiveness of the stream. Plus I can show off my background of coding which I studied for 4 years.
I created a Discord server for all my viewers to interact within.
I pay monthly for Streamlabs Pro which allows me to obtain special overlays, a merch store and a domain online. I pay artists on Fiverr to make my channels emotes.
At the moment I use a suggestion box extension to allow viewers to give input on my streams. I also have Streamlabs leaderboard extension enabled to allow viewers to see top contributors to the channel. The last extension I have is to see my Instagram in order to have viewers move to my other social media. An extension I want to look at in the future is the amazon one which allows for income made on products you recommend to viewers that they buy.
You should always analyze your analytics to decide what to do in the future and see what works on stream and what doesn’t.
I would recommend that new channels should plan some innovative and interactive streams to grow their channels. Maybe take a look at alpha gaming on YouTube to do some research on streaming equipment, software and how to grow your channel. If your country doesn’t have a Twitch server to stream to look for relay servers within your country that stream to Twitch so that you don’t lag.
I wish twitch was more lenient about chat because I semi enjoy trolling with chat and am always on edge about how carefully I must word things. I would also love South African twitch servers so my stream can stop crashing.