Welcome to another affiliate snapshot! This week we meet Flake:
Twitch URL: www.twitch.tv/watchflake
Team Affiliation: Team Rankstar
Country of Residence: Canada
Primary game you stream? Why do you stream this game in particular?
I wouldn't say I'm tethered to any one game, but rather a genre. Card games are what I grew up on and immediately gravitated to when the digital versions became mainstream and competitive. It might be the nerd in me who adores collecting and trading, but card games have always spoken to me. They give you the sandbox and let you create the winning scenarios. Games like Magic, Gwent, Hearthstone... these all have given me such jolts of joy, and shocks of frustration. It's an addiction I'm fine nursing.
If you’re looking to take a break from your primary game, what are some fun secondary games you enjoy?
Typically after a stream I'm usually in the kitchen cooking, or by the lake near my apartment reading. Late in the evenings, however, I'm usually anchoring a rag-tag squad of misfits as Reinhardt in Overwatch. I have a few friends in other cities and coutnries that I love, and the only way we can regularly stay in touch is though the grueling task of trying to be cohesive and coordinated. It often just strengthens our bond. Unity through common anger.
Why do you stream? The love, the money, the fame?
I'd be lying if I didn't say that fantasies of being a gaming celebrity haven't danced through my head. I also thought that I'd be married to Shakira by now. Unfortunately reality is a cruel bitch, and she forces us to face the music. I stream because I love to entertain, to broadcast, and to share ideas and discussion. From high school, college, and all the way to today, I have dabbled and yearned for a career in broadcasting. Finding out that there are avenues to take that mixes in my love of card games made this career choice a natural one... albeit it risky. I eat Ramen 6 days a week, and claw for every penny I earn, but I wake up every morning knowing that I love what I do. I also moved on from Shakira. Now I'm waiting for Taylor Swift to return my calls.
What are your goals now with streaming on Twitch?
Years ago I was an intern on a sports radio station in Montreal. I got a microphone and some pretty lax rules in terms of speaking my mind. That little taste was enough to stay on my palette for years and years. I want to broadcast. I want to commentate matches. I want to analyze, discuss and reach beyond the basic front of broadcasters that just describe what they see. I am a broadcaster at heart, and I love to connect with people. You might misconstrue this to say that I believe I'm better than a lot of broadcasters in esports. That's not what I'm saying, really. What I'm saying is that I know I'm good, and I know I can improve, and until I'm given a shake at it, I'll continue to hustle.
What are some hobbies you like to do when you’re not live on Twitch?
I wish I can tell you that I build birdhouses in the style of Victorian mansions. Really, I cook, I read, and I write in my little time that I have. I find writing is an outlet that is therapeutic for me. I suffer from depression that tends to haunt me in the most inopportune times. Writing is an escape, and often times rescues me from some very murky waters that I'd otherwise wallow in and possibly drown. Writing fiction, or op-ed's on the esports industry really motivate me, and flow nicely.
I've also started a podcast called Flake 1v1. I used to do interviews of personalities in the gaming community, getting them to open up and explore some of the lesser known fires that drive them. That was a written venture which I've since turned into a podcast, discussing a myriad of topics with truly fascinating people.
Beyond that, I've dabbled in guitar, but haven't mastered anything but Wonderwall. True story.
What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to someone who is looking to get into content creation?
Set ambitious goals, but have realistic expectations. I've been at this for almost three years, and nobody knows who I am. I say that with some modesty, but truly you need to understand that instant success is for the person who craps his pants accidentally on stream, and it goes viral. Not for the person who grinds every day producing content that isn't controversial. There is no fast route for sustained success, so you better adore what you do. Despite a plethora of evidence, the internet isn't stupid. They'll sniff out a phony the second you try to be something you aren't. Love what you do, work hard, and respect your peers. Your peers aren't exclusively other content creators, either. Your peers are those who play the game you do. They're your viewers. They're your followers. They're your fans. Most importantly, they're people who choose to spend their time to enjoy what you bring to them. Respect that.
Is there anything you would have done differently when you were first starting streaming? What was the big, “lightbulb” moment for you?
I like to say I have no regrets, but unfortunately I still have some decisions that haunt me. Sometimes you trust the wrong people, or back the wrong horse, and in the end you see people jettison ahead of you in terms of fame, recognition, or doors that fly open. If you dwell on that, you will never grow. Regrets are shackles you wear that slow down your progress. I think if I could do something differently it may have been trusting myself more, and not paying much attention to the numbers. The data aspect of content creation - the views, follows, subscribers, clicks - is a poisonous mistress that is over your shoulder shoving a thorn in your side. Ignore her. She sucks.
Any parting words of advice, shout outs, projects that people should be aware of, or anything else you would like to talk about?
Be kind. Seriously. Reacting in anger or hostility might be cool and edgy but it is not sustainable. So many people need a smile or a genuinely nice word to reshape their day, and re-align their path. I'm fortunate enough to be supported by great friends, many of whom I've met through this streaming life I've delved into. Be a friend, not an adversary.
In your ever-expansive trips across the galaxy, you have gained more Star Wars lore knowledge than most could ever dream about. What is the most interesting piece of lore about the Star Wars universe that no one knows about?!
There is so much to pull from, and I'm going to absolutely blow your mind. So in A New Hope (Episode 4), Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi visit Mos Eisley, a city on Tatooine. Kenobi refers to the spaceport there as "a wretched hive of scum and villainy." They enter the Cantina to meet Han Solo for the first time. As the scene is set in the movie, the camera pans through the bar to really set the tone of just how diverse in species and races the place is. They pan by the band, a quartet of big-eyed aliens playing an array of instruments. It is never mentioned in the movie, but the band leader is named Figrin D'an, and his band is called the Modal Nodes. Now here is the wacky part. The genre of music they play is called 'Jizz'. Yes, you read that correctly. Jizz. George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars confirmed this, it is 100% cannonical lore.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know Flake a little bit more!
Now get back to fudgeling!
The Inked Gaming Team