In the past, streaming was seen as merely a hobby - a way to share your interests and communicate with like-minded people over the internet. If you're lucky, you could make a decent income via subscriptions and donations; otherwise you were streaming purely for passion.
But now, with the boom of esports and gaming, streaming has become a viable career path that can provide consistent income for individuals to sustain their finances. While some may think it is only an opportunity for younger gamers, Teh Jin Shi, also known as FanCFreakz, proves it's definitely never too late to dive into the streaming industry.
Before becoming a streamer, FanCFreakz was a businessman and branch manager of a Japanese company for 10 years - that's an entire decade - after graduating. He was also an avid traveller who enjoyed experiencing the unique cultures of different countries.
Despite having what would consider a well-defined career path of 10 years, FanC took the leap into the streaming industry after being inspired by a secondary school friend. His curiosity was piqued after seeing the interactive nature of his friend's stream, so he sought tips on how to start his very own.
"I loved his reactions from his gameplay and his engagement with his viewers and fans," he explained. "So, I approached him and asked for his advice on how to start my first stream."
With neither a suitable streaming PC or webcam, FanCFreakz still managed to accumulate over 800 views on what he described as his 'laggy' first stream.
"I was shocked that I had 800+ views and engagement from the stream. I loved the feeling of being acknowledged, and slowly it became a passion for me to stream."
FanC was heartened by the warm response he received on his first stream and soon cultivated a passion for it. He started streaming consistently - almost every night after coming home from work. When asked what he considered the best part of streaming, he simply replied, "being my true self."
After countless long nights spent grinding, FanC was finally picked up by Facebook Gaming as a partner in November 2018. Since then, he has gone on to attend the APAC Facebook Summit in Manila, Philippines as one of the 21 creators representing Malaysia, traveled to Taiwan to shoot content for eGG Network, and was recently signed as the newest ambassador for gaming peripheral brand Corsair.
However, FanC knows that the future is never certain. When asked what his plans were for the future, he remarked, "nothing is forever and it will always be uncertain. However, I want to become a superstar in gaming and be acknowledged."
Apart from streaming, FanCFreakz has started a content creation channel called V1Red, where he teamed up with 3 of his friends and fellow streamers - JanuaryAKG, MGMouthgun, and XiiaoCong - to create variety content with the intent to go viral. One of the their videos achieved 29k views on Facebook, which is no easy feat for a budding channel.
From working a decade in the business industry to getting paid as a streamer and subsequently branching out as a content creator, his successful career trajectory should be an inspiration for all, especially those who consider themselves 'late to the game'. As for up-and coming streamers, he only had one piece of advice to give:
"Be yourself, don’t give up. The stage is yours."
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