With nearly seven million YouTube subscribers, Vikkstar knows a thing or two about popularity.
The content creator, real name Vikram Singh Barn, has joined the Call of Duty London Royal Ravens esports team as a co-owner and says he wants to help grow the professional league.
The 25-year-old told the BBC Sounds Press X To Continue gaming podcast that he wanted to help “bridge the gap” between content creators, esports and the public.
“It helps them build what they do because esports is huge. But a lot of times in the past there hasn’t been an overlap with other things.”
A member of the YouTube Sidemen collective alongside other British vloggers such as KSI and Behzinga, Vik has been creating content for over 10 years.
Listen to the full interview on Press X to continue on BBC Sounds
Team up with the Ravens
Vik has always had an interest in Call of Duty and the competitive scene, which is how to join the Ravens.
Its Battle Royale streams and Warzone tournaments were popular enough to grab the attention of the Call of Duty League.
This led to the league sponsoring Vik organizing co-streams of league matches, where he found himself commenting and hosting watch nights.
He says the collaboration with the Ravens will see him create content, build brand recognition, follow streamers “and hopefully watch the Ravens do amazingly well.”
Grow the league
Vik’s goal is to “build the footprint” of competitive Call of Duty, and he believes the people who play in the league are “the biggest thing to help develop esports.”
Getting players to express their personalities and broadcasting live is “more important than ever,” he explains.
“I think the icing on the cake is when they are fun to watch. You feel like you can get to know this person and have a reason to support them.”
“The intrigues that take place behind the scenes, if there is a little drama, it is not always a bad thing. The rivalries are big,” he adds.
Vik thinks behind-the-scenes NFL and Formula 1 documentaries are role models to help popularize esports.
“A similar thing in the league would be amazing to see, where people start to understand the players better and their motivations, motivations and rivalries.”
“I’m excited to be a part of this and to help bring this to the fore.”
Be consistent, fun and unique
Vik told the Press X To Continue podcast his “three basic tips” on how he wants to help streamers build audiences.
“First, you have to be consistent with it and give it time. I think I’ve spent seven years in a row uploading a new video every day.”
“It was a reliable place where people could get a new video every day. And I think consistency is an important thing.”
For his second tip, it’s all about fun.
“You have to find something that you like or a way to give something a twist that makes you like it.”
The “only way” to be consistent is to do something you love.
And make sure you are unique.
“Either do something that no one else does or take something that someone else is doing and find a unique niche or rotation.”
For Vik, this used tomahawks and axes in his Call of Duty videos.
“I won games with my friends using only the throwing axes. And people really enjoyed that because it was something they couldn’t see anywhere else.”
‘A silver lining’
As 2021 begins with lockdown announcements and many people find it difficult, Vik believes the game can be “a silver lining in the clouds.
“Anyone who’s involved in the gaming space has been preaching for a very long time that it’s a great way to spend their time.”
It helps you develop as a person, he adds, “And skills in social media management, saving money in video games, and bonding with other people.”
Being online means “you can invent yourself however you want”.
“You can meet like-minded people, you are not limited by the people you meet in the real world, you can connect with people all over the world.”
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- Activision Blizzard