With the rise of Youtube and Twitch being the destination to watch other gamers play games, and the ability of doing it yourself becoming much more accessible, we see a slew of new video content creators and streamers vying for our attention. Many have succeeded, to the point that these gamers can get access to what the gaming press has- early review copies for games, exclusive hands-on time and more.
But what’s it like when you’re starting at zero, with a small channel and little influence? Our gamer of the week has shared some insights of being the small fish in the big pond. Say hello to Jackson “Raijinshi” Lee. This Malaysian Twitch streamer plays a variety of games- MOBAs, MMORPGs, FPSs- and branding himself as an entertaining and interactive streamer. If you hop in his streams he’ll try his best interacting with the chat- though he can be a bit of a potty mouth.
Jackson started gaming at a pretty young age when he was introduced to the Sega Genesis by one of his cousins. Jackson didn’t stick to a few particular genres, he played platformers, RTSs and RPGs back then.
Gaming has definitely helped Jackson when real life gets tough. Games offer a sense of escapism, giving him a time away from the bleak reality and indulge in a bit of fantasy. While too much gaming can lead to negative impacts, having a place to take 5 and gain a bit of confidence and calmness by achieving something in games goes a long way. “It’s definitely brought me out of secret depressions I’ve never told anyone before,” he said.
“Pressure from studies, school problems, stress from work and many more, gaming has always been a ‘get out of jail free’ card for me. It’s always been very relaxing to be able to temporarily escape reality for that 3-4 hours and be able to dive into a fantasy world where I can do and be whatever I want to be.”
The time playing games has also given Jackson insights on how to do better in real life. “I think I need more stat points into charisma though, it feels like speech check requirements just keep get higher and higher as I grow older [laughs].”
Jackson has massive respect to those that made it big with gaming. He cited Youtubers Pewdiepie and Markiplier as well as Malaysia’s Ohaiyo and Mushi- pro Dota 2 players for Fnatic as role models. “These people have definitely played a big role in helping me realize what I truly wanted to do: To be able to make a living through gaming.”
The dream of a gaming career has a long way to go. With 283 followers on Twitch at the time of writing, he considers himself a small-time streamer.
A small streamer with big aspirations.
” So far, there is no famous entertaining streamer from Malaysia that has made it to [Pewdiepie and Markiplier] level yet, so, here I am, pushing on and grinding on day by day, in hopes to one day be talk of the community worldwide! ”
However, the grind is not as easy.
Jackson is focusing on Twitch streaming at the moment. While there’s a huge Malaysian audience watching videos online, Twitch is not as popular here in Malaysia. Their global number is huge, but how many Malaysians are actually watching streams on Twitch? Their old flash player were not reliable for most internet plans here (the new HTML5 player fares better). The best way to watch Twitch is to reduce the stream quality but with that feature only offered for partnered streamers, which will take a while to achieve when you’re starting out small, it’s hard finding a local audience if you’re a Twitch streamer from Malaysia.
Jackson agrees.”Yes, I do agree getting a Malaysian audience for streams IS pretty hard, and ESPECIALLY on Twitch. I have a few streamer friends that have better luck on Youtube Gaming Live and Facebook Live, but rarely anyone with a big following on Twitch“.
On that note, Facebook Live is nothing to scoff at. Malaysians are usually on that social platform and it’s proven to boast good number of viewers. Recently, the Malaysian Fighting Game Community (FGC) has garnered huge exposure through their FB Live streams of the FV Amateur Cup Qualifiers, amassing almost 13,000 total views.
Despite a relatively low number of Malaysians on Twitch, the platform can attract international audience, which Jackson has now garnered. ” I do get international viewers and supporters, sometimes even more than my Malaysian followers. [laughs]”
But this does show that there’s one common problem for Malaysian streamers- the lack of local audience support. It was something that was brought up by our previously featured gamer Maxhaze, and it is still true. Jackson cited this as one of the main issues our local streamers are struggling.
“The unfortunate lack of an audience who would support a local talent is very saddening.” To prove this point, he brought up one example: the singer Yuna. “Yuna is a Malaysian who made it big in the US, but before she hit the jackpot, her name was not as well known as it is now.”
Jackson also also talked about the Malaysian culture of being afraid to branch out and do other brilliant things for a living- which in turn, in his opinion, makes gaining support for streaming difficult here. “It is your fans and your viewers that will keep your drive and spirits up, but because there is no demand for talent and potential, there is no supply for such talents,” he said.
“Not many local people want to see you grow even though you’re trying your best here. This is basically the killing blow for many, MANY talented people in Malaysia.”
Is it really true that we don’t give enough support to streamers? And if so how can we help rectify this issue? Jackson believes more has to be done to garner this support. “What we need to do is to gather the support of people, to change the mindset of the people of Malaysia when it comes to supporting local talents. No I am not saying ALL Malaysians are unsupportive,” he chimed.
Why not we gamers consider supporting local streamers? Hopping in a stream for a while, chat a bit, and move to other streams. It’s awkward going in alone into a stream, especially when there’s no one else in the chat. It’s why Fundeavour just recently launched an initiative by banding people from the network to go on a stream raid– joining a stream en masse to help give support to the streamers, especially the smaller ones.
There are already big gaming channels by Malaysians out there, sure, but why not help all of these talents grow big together? Maybe ask your favourite streamers and YouTubers to collaborate? Jackson believes it can work.” Collabs can only mean good things for everybody, and especially a small streamer, ” he said. “It helps them get their name out, it helps them show the world what they are capable of doing when there is a guidance or at least, a helping hand.”
Outside of our own initiatives, Jackson believes a bit more brand recognition should help legitimise gaming as not just a pastime activity. ” Brand involvement in gaming is basically the bread to butter. Without one another, they would not be able to strive as well as they do now.” Jackson compares it to how brands have been supporting professional sports like football which have made it something respectable. Why not do it with games? “I strongly believe if branding for gaming was stronger, it would definitely change the perspective of viewers and drive further interest [in games] to people all around the world.”
But despite being a small streamer, and the rough grind he is facing, Jackson will keep on pushing and doing it. So what really drives him?
“Passion. Pure passion.”
“I have always wanted to make a career out of streaming, and I have always dreamed of making something out of myself at this line of work. The people that come in to support, the people that come in to watch, or talk with me further fuels my passion to make this happen one day!” he added.
Thankfully, he still has the support of his loyal fans. It may not be many but he sure is thankful of them sticking around.
“I have to give it to my fellow Malaysian supporters nowadays though, they’ve been with me through thick and thin, from 1 viewer to 16-18 viewers daily, they really have helped me a ton! Special shoutout to the only person that has stayed with me from start to now and long time friend: Exojarhead! This guy’s a true lad.”
Finally, we asked Jackson for any tips to those starting out streaming:
“This is probably the cheesiest and most used line in the history of streamers trying to make it big, but don’t give up. It can be lonely, it can be frustrating when nobody stays in your channel for more than 5 minutes, it can be demotivating when you stream for 4-5 hours a night and nobody follows you, I fully understand that.
But never, EVER consider stopping if you truly want to make it out there because if this is truly what you want for your future, keep your chin up. Just keep smiling and talk to yourself . Trust me, nobody wants to come into a channel to see some person just playing a game with a serious face and saying nothing during the stream.
Whenever there is someone that comes in and asks a question answer it, talk to your viewers and supporters, make friends with them! And don’t expect people to just follow you, give them a follow, check their channel out, be friends with them! Because in the end, they will be your supporter as well and they will promote you if you take the initiative first!“
Expect to see Jackson keeps on streaming on Twitch. He is currently dead set to make streaming worth making a career of. Hopefully he can realise that dream one day, but like many other small streamers, they all need your support. Come support small streamers!
This feature was written as part of a partnership with Fundeavour, a site that helps aspiring gamers around the world to get a head start on beginning their journey as content creators, streamers and eSports players. Want to be featured and share your stories with over 50,000 readers? Check out more info here or sign up with Fundeavour.com!