The gaming industry of the country is expanding faster than ever. Major manufacturers of peripherals as well as hardware now have centers of operation in the country, even brands that were once cherished as “premium” brands. Thanks to improved network facilities as well as cheaper access to fast internet, the gamers living in the subcontinent can play games online without having to worry about latency.
This also has led to big developments in the esports as well as streaming culture of the country. Big brands can pump in money for conducting events for esports as well as for casual gamers, while streamers are paid to promote the products of the brands. One such streamer is Dhruv ‘Ris3y’ Gupta.
We decided to get in touch with Dhruv and get him to answer some questions for us.
Q : Let us get to know you a bit better. Give our readers a brief summary of yourself and why it is that you do what you do.
A : My name is Dhruv Gupta aka Ris3y and I’m a Twitch Partnered Streamer. I have been gaming for more than 20 years and have been working in the gaming industry for almost 7 years now. I have worked as a Game Tester, Teacher, Writer & Critic previously. I am now focused completely on my channel and have been doing so fulltime for the last one year. As a streamer, I focus on interacting with my audience, entertaining them, and bringing them new games to watch from time to time. I have spent over 1400 hours of streaming on Twitch alone (used to be a YouTube Streamer as well), and the journey so far has been exhilarating.
In the last one year, I successfully partnered with Twitch, Discord, Stream Labs, Humble Bundle & PUBG. I became the first Indian to be selected to go on the Twitch Partner Spotlight (on the front page of Twitch for 7 days in a row), and was also selected to represent India on a global scale in the Twitch <3 Creators Program (a series of advertisements of streamers from each country that they would represent; these Ads will be played throughout 2018 on social media and in conventions like PAX, Paris Games Week, Games Com etc.).
Moreover, I managed to build an amazing community (called the Phoenix Family), with over 3900+ followers, 60 concurrent Twitch Subscribers, and more than 650,000+ views on my channel. This continuous support of my community has enabled me to grow, improve and develop better streams, hence becoming a better entertainer over the last year.
I have been working in the gaming industry for about 7 years now, but I found my home on Twitch, and decided that I wanted to do this for the rest of my life. The sheer pleasure of meeting new people that are likeminded, share your passions, and enjoy what you do is something that makes me enjoy streaming rather than think of it as a job.
Q : How do you interact with people while playing games? Won’t watching the comments of the people and counting the new faces hamper your gameplay?
A : I have a triple monitor setup, as whilst streaming I have more than 9 applications open. These apps help me monitor various aspects of the stream to ensure that nothing goes wrong, and if it does, that I can find the problem and fix it in a matter of seconds and be back live again. One of those apps includes my chat, that I keep on the right-side monitor. This enables me to easily read chat while playing games, or whatever it is that I’m doing at the time on stream.
Continuously interacting with my audience is something I focus on the most, and it is of utmost importance for me that my audience feels just as important. Does it hamper my gameplay? Not really! It takes a lot of practice, and I didn’t get it right when I started off. It took me hours and hours of streaming before I could get the hang of multitasking, gaming and talking to my community at the same time. Even today, after 1400+ hours of streaming. I sometimes end up in tricky situations and have to compromise with either the gameplay or the chat, but that happens rarely and I take instinctive decisions at the moment.
Q : What factors do you think impediment the fast growth of streaming as a part of the gaming industry in India?
A : Gaming is just entering this country, and streaming is a long way to go before its becomes a pop culture in India. One huge hurdle is Internet, that isn’t enabling either streamers to stream easily, or viewers to watch easily. I don’t even have broadband at my house. I used to, before the ISP shut down, and for the past 2-3 months I have been using Reliance JioFI 4G devices to stream.
Furthermore, Gaming isn’t still popular enough for streamers to be discovered. With the gaming community still small, its hard to expect the entirety of it to be into watching streams. I know that the community is growing today, but its still a long way to go before we have the same of what USA or any other country does have when it comes to streamers and their popularity.
Q : Throughout your journey, were you ever pressured to switch careers, since it’s still a niche, kind of stigmatic market in India?
A : My parents were supportive from the beginning, just as most Indian parents. When I dropped out of school and two colleges and started working as a Game Tester at the age of 18, my parents were very sceptical. It took me years of patience and convincing them before they started to support what I was doing. But one thing my parents never did was pressure me to switch careers. They too were patient and watched me rise and fall through the journey. Once I went on the front page of Twitch and they saw my streams for the first time and understood what I was trying to accomplish (having 2500 viewers in each stream also helped), they were onboard completely and today want me to grow and flourish as a streamer.
Q : How exactly would you define “success” in the streaming sphere? Would more views and more comments in the live chat mean more to you than donations and subscriptions?
A : Views, comments, donations, subscriptions are just numbers; numbers that will appear and disappear on a daily basis. One thing that people forget about being a streamer is that this is a journey, like any other one person has in any career. Streaming is a part of the entertainment industry, and you don’t get popular overnight. Some days I have amazing viewership, pulling up to 120 people on Twitch, and some days I have only 10 people. But that doesn’t bother me. Success for me is when I do my job well, when I entertain my audience, no matter how big or small, and walk off at the end of the night satisfied. Success is what I feel today, when I look back at the past year, and see how much I grew as a streamer and as a person, with the size of my community and the mere fact that I am much more disciplined and entertaining than I used to be. Success is my community, my phoenix family, supporting every decision of mine and being there for me in my good and bad times.
Q : Do video games appeal more to you as a form off mass entertainment (mostly ones with competitive multiplayer) or are you interested in the artistic/narrative potential of them as well?
A : For me games are all about art. I don’t enjoy games like CS:GO, GTA, Rainbow Six Siege or any other such popular game that is currently streamed in India. The only exception for me in such a category is PUBG, because the games allows to play with 100 people from my community at one time. But apart from PUBG, I stay away from multiplayer games most of the times and focus on single player narratives. Games like The Last of Us, Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian & God of War are what I focus on. I can only enjoy a game if it delivers a good story, and that’s the kind of content I focus on bringing to my channel. It is the joy of sharing these stories with my community is why I enjoy streaming.
Q : Give us some anecdotes about what skillset is required to be a great streamer, how can the still-young Indian crowd achieve it and most importantly, how you developed it.
A : Endurance to stream for long durations, continuously entertaining and interacting with your audience, sticking to a schedule and streaming regularly, planning your content ahead of time, keeping your content fresh with each stream, not relying on giveaways/point systems/popular games to gain viewership, these are some of the ways that you can become a great streamer. Streaming is about entertaining people and building a community, and communities are built with trust over the course of a long time. If you can see the journey as one that is long, and that success doesn’t come overnight, and work towards building long lasting relationships with your audience, then you can become a successful streamer. How did I develop it? By being disciplined, hardworking, fearless, patient, and by willing to experiment with each stream.
Q : Lastly, leave a few encouraging words of wisdom for some of our younger, passionate and ambitious readers, who may feel the same way you did at their age.
A : Don’t be afraid to become a streamer if you want to. Don’t worry about if someone will come to watch you or not. Don’t worry about your daily stream stats. Don’t play games to please someone.
Treat streaming as any other fulltime job. You will start at the bottom, and with time rise to the top. And that time might be more or less compared to someone else, so don’t compare yourself to someone else. Work upon your content and your streams. Get creative and hardworking. Be the only reason why someone comes to watch your channel. Most of all, enjoy the journey because the day you learn to enjoy your streams, your audience will too!
If you still haven’t checked out Dhruv’s streams, do check them out using the link below.