Written by FFB C Insider JC
Last week, a momentous moment occurred in streaming history. Michael Grzesiek better known as Shroud, returned to streaming on Twitch. Why is this such a big moment you may be asking? Well Shroud, just one man sitting in front of a computer playing videos games, had more viewers than what some sporting events have. Roughly three million unique viewers welcomed Shroud back. His max viewer count was 516,289 at one time and he averaged 222,888 viewers throughout his almost eight-hour stream. This just weeks after clips of Joe Rogan surfaced of him on his podcast proclaiming that video games were a “problem” and “don`t get you anywhere [by playing them].” Now I`m not here to argue whether or not playing video games is a worthwhile way to spend your time or not. Using Rogan`s argument however, I spent 15 years of my life playing soccer and all I got to show for it is the realization that my 72 year old Grandfather and I have the same level of difficultly trying to get up off the couch. Everybody has hobbies and it may not be the healthiest mentality to believe that everything you do in life has to have some tangible result at the end of it. Has every relationship you been in had the end goal of getting married? Sometimes we are just trying to have a bit of fun. However, don`t get confused, I`m also not here to tell you that you should let your 9-year-old, Fortnite obsessed son sit in the house all day streaming on twitch. That decision is for you and your family to decide. What I`m more interested in is why so many people are fascinated by this new streaming industry.
The streaming industry, more importantly the gaming sub-section, is comparable to sports whether people realize it or not. Why did three million people take time out of there days to watch a man play a video game, which many people have less than eloquently said, they could be playing themselves. The simple fact of the matter is that humans become obsessed with people that can do things better than them. It is the reason why you encounter so many die hard Lebron James or Lionel Messi fans. I will never, no matter how much time I spend kicking a soccer ball around, be able to do the things Messi can do with a soccer ball, let alone ever be able to play at the elite level he plays at. Similarly, I can spend the next year of my life playing CSGO and I will most definitely never be able to pull off the crazy plays Shroud does on a regular basis in front of his thousands of viewers. Who doesn`t like to watch greatness? However, much like actual sports, again you don`t have to be the best necessarily to be popular. Athletes like former NBA player Denis Rodman, soccer player Mario Balotelli and UFC fighter Nate Diaz are all names that come to mind of people that, while being very good, aren`t the best at their given sport. However, they are still adored by the fans for their personalities and antics. Such is the same in the streaming realm. Streamers such as xQc, DrDisrespect and TimTheTatman have cultivated massive followings mostly for their personalities that provide viewers with funny and intriguing moments after long days of work or school.
So what’s the point then? This is an industry that continues to grow. Different games drop constantly that focus on different people’s interest and there is a streamer for every game. As we have seen, these streamers have started to intertwine themselves into pop culture. Many rappers such as Logic and Soulja Boy have dipped their toes into streaming and we saw Drake and Travis Scott play Fortnite with Ninja. That same Ninja is reported to have had a scene in the new Jumanji movie which they ultimately decided to cut. However, to imagine that someone that made a living off playing video games had a scene in a blockbuster film is crazy to think about. This streaming industry is definitely something to keep an eye on in the near future as it continues to grow and find its footing.