If the year 2020 brought anything relatively optimistic to our lives, it’s the fact that TikTok entered the viral stream. With billions of views each day, TikTok has brought people together through song, dance and even gaming. Whether it’s C9 Jack dressing up in anime attire, G2 posting memes and Fortnite creators getting their moment to shine in highlight reels, the gaming community has been getting in on the TikTok trend.
Three of these creators, Emoney, Jylesss and SurfNBoy, have been quickly rising up in popularity, with each content creator boasting thousands of weekly views. Stropse sat down with these three stars to talk about their successes.
From Simple Gaming to TikTok Fame
Each of the gamers share a similar backstory: a common love of video gaming, streaming and Twitch. But through chance, TikTok entered their lives in the past year, and they made the transition over to the popular video service.
Emoney, a streamer based out of New Jersey, said that he streams games like Fortnite on Twitch, but discovered TikTok after using Musical.ly. His career took off after his gaming set-up video made 4 million views.
Now, he spends a lot of his time on the popular video sharing app creating Fortnite montages while also posting IRL videos about his life, his family and other interesting content his fans share and love.
“I could go one day with posting a GTA to one day posting an IRL content. Kind of just depends on the day, but I usually try to rise on doing variety. So I kind of like to not stick to one thing,” he said, touting his ability to grow a wide fanbase on multiple games and content.
Jylesss, a streamer for Optimal Ambitions who also manages the TikTok of pro Fortnite streamer Sceptic, said that he gives credit to Gary Vee to the rise of TikTok.
“Gary Vee was preaching about TikTok over a year ago about how it’s gonna be the next Instagram,” he said. “So I hopped on like the wave early, got on and started posting and blew up.”
Jylesss focuses primarily on Fortnite. Through his organization OA, he streams on Twitch weekly while also focusing on daily TikTok content and weekly YouTube highlight montages.
SurfNBoy had a different approach. He was originally a mobile competitive player in titles such as Clash of Clans and Clash Royale, even having an opportunity to sign with Misfits Gaming. After creating short-form content on YouTube, he eventually found his way to TikTok. But it was his girlfriend who beat him to the punch.
“My girlfriend actually, she made a TikTok and it went super viral and she gained like thousands [of] followers,” said SurfNBoy, “I was like, okay, that’s crazy. … I need to actually start making TikTok content. Not just my random Fortnite clips like actual gaming content that’s like made for TikTok.”
The Daily Content Drive
Each of their drives to success were traveled down a different path. While both Emoney and Jylesss juggle school and their professional careers, SurfNBoy juggles gaming full time. Each of them explained their drive to hit their daily content goals.
Emoney focuses on a balance between his IRL content and gaming montages, but he also makes it a point to keep his community and himself happy while creating his videos.
“Whenever I’m streaming, someone tells me how much I made their day. It means a lot to me,” he said. “People just telling me how much they enjoy my videos, if I should make another one, that keeps me motivated.”
Jyless spoke of something similar, saying, “It’s kind of like a fine line. But like, I can basically push out whatever content I want on there. And if it doesn’t do good, so be it. I can post an hour later the content that they like.”
As a professional gamer, SurfNBoy has to not only balance what the fans want, but what helps his brand. When talking about the professional side of esports and content creation, he explained that his fanbase has been really understanding.
“A lot of people are really supportive of ads, especially lately, I would say, and I’ve the bigger creators that have been doing this for a long time to thank for that, for bringing like normalization to that,” he said.
These younger stars also have the support of their families and relatives, despite the new career paths of esports. Emoney’s family has been a part of his videos, aiding his support and his career.
“I believe my mom wants me to keep going because I made one video with my mom. And it blew up,” he said in reference to a video that garnered over 300,000 views on TikTok.
SurfNBoy echoed Emoney’s response, saying his own family was immediately supportive of his goals and ambitions even when it came to career-defining moments and tough life decisions such as ending his part-time job and balancing school.
However, Jylesss’s family had an opposite reaction. He explained that it wasn’t until his first paycheck where his family realized there is a career in video games.
“At first, it’s definitely a tough pill for them to swallow,” he said. “But whenever I started, like, showing them that it has real value, and I can actually do something, they became very supportive.”
Got Any Advice for Younger Gamers?
We asked each of the three streamers what their advice would be for people their age who are just starting out their careers in esports.
“What you have to do is honestly, stay motivated, keep grinding, and make sure you keep being consistent on posting, and just have a good time while you make the videos,” said Emoney.
“My advice would be… you have to have a vision,” said Jylesss, while also emphasizing the importance of looking up to role models in the gaming world and using them for influence.
Finally, SurfNBoy simply urged individuals thinking about content creation to start making content today. “The barrier of entry is very easy to create content. Don’t wait until you have the perfect mic, the perfect face cam, the perfect PC. Start creating content now.”