The pandemic spawned a surge in the stay-at-home economy. People cooped up inside spent more time cooking, renovating, and shopping online than ever before. The pandemic also created an explosion to the upside for another notable industry: online gaming and streaming. For many people during the last year, gaming has been an outlet and a source of connection with others. (Remember when wallstreetbets investors and nostalgic gamers sent the stock of GameStop skyrocketing.) Recently in the US, the spread of vaccines and an increase in herd immunity has led more and more places to relax restrictions. As aspects of the stay-at-home home economy are falling apart, the legacy of social change brought about by the pandemic remains intact.
Today, I brought in an old friend and social media personality, Futvictor, to offer a window into the world of online gaming. Futvictor is a 24-year old graduate from Ohio University, with a bachelor’s degree in Pre-Law. When he’s not working his full-time job as a manager for an e-commerce company, there’s a good chance you can catch him live on Twitch, streaming FIFA, Grand Theft Auto, or whatever game fancies his interest in the moment. Futvictor’s fast-growing Twitch following currently stands at 4,100 followers+ and a few hundred paid subscribers. Futvictor attributes his success in this growing industry to his passion for sports and gaming, and the support he has gotten from people around the world. You can catch him on Twitch @futvictor, Twitter @FUTVictor_, and on Instagram @princekaati.
Tell the people a little bit about yourself.
Hello. My name is Victor. I’m a Twitch streamer. I’ve been streaming on Twitch for a little over two years now. I mainly stream FIFA but would call myself a variety streamer where I stream a variety of games. I would not call myself a professional gamer. I’m more of an entertainer, meaning that while I do play FIFA at a decently high level, people tune into my streams more for the entertainment value. I also work for an Amazon-affiliated company specializing in ethnic hair and beauty products. I manage the warehouse, 9-5, Monday through Friday.
Streaming for me is like a second job. Typically, I stream as soon as I get off work. I try to stream at least three hours a day. Obviously, life happens. I have a lot going on between my family, friends, and girlfriend. There are days that I miss. My Twitch Chat calls me a part-time streamer, and they’re not exactly wrong. Hopefully, that won’t always be the case, but right now I have my Twitch life and I have my regular life.
As far as hobbies, I enjoy golf. I’m very bad at it, but I’ve been going more often. I like spending time with my girlfriend’s cat, Mena. I don’t really do much else outside of that. After work, I’m either streaming or doing something related to the stream.
How did you first get into streaming?
It started with my friends and people close to me, particularly my college roommates and girlfriend. They watched me play FIFA in real life and saw how I would scream and yell at the TV, both happily and angrily. They thought it was entertaining and told me I should start my own stream. I guess they saw how passionate I was about it and figured as much time as I already spend on it, I might as well make it official and try to make a few bucks.
At the time, I didn’t know anything about Twitch. One of the first streamers I came across was a guy named Nick. There are people who teach about the stock market, and there are people who teach about the FIFA market. Nick streamed FIFA and traded coins and taught people how to make coins without spending real life money on the game. I greatly enjoyed his content and he introduced me to the world of online streaming.
In sum, I didn’t just wake up one day and say, “Today I’m going to turn my camera on and start streaming.” It was a combination of factors, and I think the two main ones were me discovering Twitch and the encouragement of people around me.
You mentioned Twitch as a kind of second job. Do you get compensated for your streams?
I get compensated through a variety of methods, the main one being subscribing. People can subscribe for $5 a month. Subscription grants people special badges and privileges, the most important being the removal of ads during the stream. Twitch periodically will put up ads whether they’re chosen by the streamer or not. I personally choose not to place ads because I don’t want to take away from the stream and I’m not an official Twitch partner yet.
People also sometimes send you donations. Bit is Twitch currency. A hundred bits is worth ~$1.40. I have gotten donations in the past anywhere from 100 bits to a thousand bits. I also accept donations via PayPal. I would say my biggest revenue source is subscription and bits. I put this money back into the stream by investing in the latest technology and through other giveaways and promotions. Because I’m only an affiliate and not an official partner, I get about half of the $5 subscription fee. When I become a partner, I get a bigger cut of subscriptions and can potentially monetize ads and other sources of revenue.
When you become a Twitch partner, you get an official check mark, like Twitter’s, but purple and white instead of blue and white. My Twitch Chat and other streamers are circulating the partner push hashtag for me, so shout out to all of them. I think they can tell by our numbers that we’re getting close and everybody wants to help push us over the edge.
What makes a popular streamer?
First, I would not consider myself popular yet. I have a growing audience, but there are streamers who average tens of thousands of views. The two main factors, in my opinion–you either have to be very good at the game or very entertaining while playing the game. There are streamers who are unbelievably good at certain video games but extremely boring to watch, and people only watch them because they play the game at a world class level that very few people can match.
In my case, like I said, I’m knowledgeable and I play the game at a decently high level just because of how long I’ve been doing this. I’m familiar with various technics and strategies. But, overall, I would say people watch me for who I am first, and for what I know, second.
Your Twitch description reads “I’m probably not the strangest streamer on Twitch, but I’m definitely top 5.” What is so strange about Futvictor?
What’s funny is I wrote that description when I first started streaming. In the FIFA community there weren’t many personalities quite as eccentric as mine. I’m willing to toe the line between funny and going too far and people, I think, appreciate that about me—the fact that I don’t really have a filter. But, on the opposite end, the more I stream and the more I discover Twitch, there are far stranger streamers than I am, that do wild things that maybe should not even be allowed on Twitch considering it’s a website for children. I may be eccentric, but I don’t compare to them at all.
I’ve always been high-energy about the things I’m passionate about. People who know me in real life know I’m not just over-the-top about everything. It takes a certain something to get my juices flowing, whether that’s FIFA, American or world football, basketball, sports in general, and music. I’m very passionate about these things. And that passion turns into energy—screaming and jumping and yelling. I rarely watch sporting events when I just sit there with my eyes on the TV. If it involves a club I support, I’m probably going to be jumping up and down screaming just because I’m so passionate about it.
At the end of the day, I’m an entertainer, and people tune in to be entertained. It’s rare on my stream when the energy is low. People come in expecting to get the screaming and the shouting and the passion that I’m known for.
You now know have close to 5,000 followers on Twitch. I imagine a lot of these people like getting touch in with you. How available do you make yourself to your fans?
I try to be as available as I can. It’s obviously difficult because I have a busy life, but at the same time, I do know that people value my friendship or opinion or outlook on a certain subject. When someone takes the time to reach out to me, I want to honor that by trying my best to communicate with them. They support me so it’s obvious they appreciate who I am. Obviously, it will get to a certain point where I can’t talk to everyone. I’m not that big of a streamer yet, so it’s definitely manageable right now.
There are a lot of people who watch me, and as soon as I’m offline, that’s the end of their interaction with me. They just tune in for 3 hours when I’m live, or however long, and wait until the next time I go live again. But there are dozens and dozens of friendships I’ve made with people around the world, and we talk every day. I’m sure these initial friendships will last even if I blow up on Twitch. At that point, it will just be harder for me to make new ones.
You’ve been playing FIFA since 2007. Do you ever get tired of it?
Over the years, specifically the past three or so FIFAs, they’ve been getting exponentially worse, and it can be a frustrating game to play at times. But at the same time, it’s the only game I play on a regular basis, and now it’s become a source of income for me, and so I don’t envision myself not playing FIFA for the foreseeable future.
What about other games?
Recently, Grand Theft Auto (GTA) has had a resurgence on Twitch for whatever reason, despite the game being 6 or 7 years old. But I’ve actually gained viewers and followers from playing GTA, and a lot of the FIFA community has stayed and enjoys watching those streams. I know of streamers whose viewership dipped after they stopped playing FIFA and started playing something else. What often happens is a lot of the FIFA community will leave, and the community from the new game will stay. I don’t know if the FIFA community has an affinity to GTA, but I have a lot of the same guys watching both FIFA and GTA streams.
What are your goals for the channel for the rest of 2021?
My main goal is to get partnered. If I’m not partnered by the end of the year, I will feel massively disappointed because I feel I’m already so close. Obviously, we’ve reached a lot of milestones this year. We hit 4,000 followers. Now we’re well over that mark. We’ve got 200 subscriptions. I think partner right now is the biggest thing. I’d trade all those subscriptions right now for a partner check.
On your profile, you wrote, “I will be streaming FIFA (except for the times I rage quit and play Apex or Fortnite instead).” How often do you get triggered?
Not as often as I used to. I think the more I play these newer editions of FIFA, the more I understand that these games just stink. And there’s nothing I can do to make them not stink. Don’t get me wrong, there are still times when I lose it because this is a billion dollar corporation giving us a piece of sh*t game. And I’m thinking, Why? Why is this game so bad? But I definitely don’t rage as much as I did in the past.
What are your biggest critiques of the game?
I literally could do a 90-minute interview right now on the gameplay fails of FIFA 19, FIFA 20 and FIFA 21. If you’re interested, there are hourlong videos on YouTube detailing the failure of EA Sports in regards to their most popular franchises. I won’t bore you with those details.
Have you thought about quitting your job and streaming full time?
I’m not at a point right now here I feel comfortable quitting my job and doing this full time. What I make from Twitch doesn’t come anywhere near what I’m making in e-commerce. I have bills and I hope to get married within a few years. For me, to quit my job and just stream full time would not be smart. I have to handle my real-life responsibilities first and hope this Twitch stuff ends up working out.
In order for it to ever happen, I would need to grow my audience substantially. My focus right now is on growth and exposure. Dedicating more time to grow my presence on other social media platforms, whether that be Twitter, YouTube, or TikTok, and using them to increase my following on Twitch. I’m also trying to dedicate more time to streaming, which is hard to do with a full-time job.
During the pandemic, gaming gained in popularity with people spending more time at home, and gaming companies like Take-Two Interactive ($TTWO) and EA Sports ($EA) did very well. How do you foresee online gaming in the post-pandemic world?
Before the pandemic, online gaming was an exploding industry that big-time corporations and big-time people were getting involved in. In my opinion, the pandemic sort of accelerated that trend. People were at home having absolutely nothing to do.
Post-pandemic, I see nothing but growth for the industry. Kids that are my cousin’s age want to grow up and be like Ninja. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Ninja. He’s one of the pioneers of online streaming who got famous for playing Fortnite. He signed a deal worth $50 million with Mixer, a Twitch rival, and got many other endorsements.
You also see celebrities investing in Esports [professional gaming]. Drake bought into one called 100 Thieves. I believe he has a small ownership stake in the group. And former NBA player Rick Fox has an Esports team that he either founded or bought into. These are just a few examples of famous people trying to get in early on a booming market, although I don’t know if you can call it early at this point.
Online streaming is a very saturated market. That means there is more interest in what I do, which is good for everyone. In my opinion, there is room for everyone to eat and do well, but I’d be lying if I said there isn’t a bit of competition involved. Everyone wants to be a partner, but not everyone can get partnered. Now it’s both easier and harder.
What’s next for you in life?
My girlfriend is moving to my city. She currently lives in Cleveland. In a couple weeks, she will be moving within ten minutes of where I live. Once she moves here, the next big thing is preparing to get married. That includes finding a place to live, hopefully buying a house, and just getting ready to have our lives intertwined.
As far as work, taking on a bigger leadership role within the warehouse. Continuing to take on more responsibility, so my bosses have less, and eventually won’t ever need to show up.
On Twitch, after I get partnered–because you have to speak those things into existence–it’s about taking it to the next level and seeing where I can go with it. Time will tell if I can turn this into a real full-time gig.