Many of us can relate to spending a lot of our high school years playing video games. In addition to playing video games in high school, Pokimane started streaming her senior year in 2013 and kicked off a career path she never saw coming.
“I’ve genuinely always loved gaming. In fact, high school was difficult because I didn’t know any other girls who liked gaming as much as I did, so I ended up making most of my friends online. It wasn’t until I started streaming that I realized I was part of a much bigger community.”
Focusing on League of Legends in her early days, Pokimane balanced creating content on Twitch with contributing content to online forums. Using hashtags and search terms, she initially got her first boost of 10-20 viewers, and started seeing regulars return to continue their conversations about League.
“Everyone wants to feel like they belong. That was always hard for me, feeling like the only people I could connect to were online and not in my everyday life. I owe so much of feeling like I belong to my community.”
After being told that she was a fan, Trick2G visited her stream, bringing along some of his own community with him. Having the support of a broadcaster she admired, and experiencing a boost in viewership, Pokimane continued to dedicate herself to maintaining a consistent schedule and was Partnered in 2014.
“You really can’t compare yourself to anyone else, especially in terms of numbers or career trajectory. When I was in Engineering school, I would see other girls going full-time as streamers. I never thought I could do as well as them because I was too late. Comparing yourself to others is a losing game. I never thought I could. What helped me get to where I am now is doing what I enjoy. That’s what people want to see: someone having fun doing what they love.”
Two years after launching on Twitch, she started pursuing streaming as a full-time career, looking at how she could evolve her streams for long-term success, including launching new collaborations and content. To date, she’s created content that encompasses everything from gaming, to ASMR, to IRL, to podcasting.
“Diversifying content is really important. I don’t just look at it as a good career move, but they’re things I happen to really enjoy doing. I try to make content I enjoy making first, and then secondarily look at how good it is for the channel. It’s my job as a creator to make sure people watch for me, not just for the content I produce.”
Collaborations have also been a huge part of the change of direction in her channel, responsible for much of the growth she’s experienced. A member of OfflineTV, a household of streamers including Scara, LilyPichu, Fedmyster, and DisguistedToastHS, Poki can be often been seen collaborating in IRL and gaming content, as well as co-producing their regular podcast.
“They feel like a second family to me now. It would be weird to go back to living without this group of people. I’m very lucky to have them all in my life.”
She’s been attending TwitchCon ever since the inaugural event in 2015, growing her channel as the convention has grown. From being a new channel at the first event, to now being Partnered with Meet & Greets and participating in content, she views TwitchCon as one of her most anticipated events each year.
“Going to TwitchCon filled me with so much joy, and showed me the impact that I have on my community. To put faces to Twitch usernames, and I see the positive effect I have on people, motivates me to continue doing what I do.”
You can find Pokimane at TwitchCon 2018, sharing experiences with her OfflineTV family, meeting her community, and participating in sessions during the entire weekend.