Streaming has become mainstream, and many choose it as a full-time career. However, with an influx of so many streamers, it becomes hard to break out. Gamelevate sat with popular streamer TubButter to go over his Warzone career and advice to those gamers looking to start their own streaming legacy.
The following interview has been edited for clarity and length.
What made you want to start streaming? Did you ever believe when you started that you would make it to the spot you are at now?
I’ve never really expected much out of streaming; it was just sort of a hobby and something I wanted to do to pass the time. Most of my gaming friends are older, and there aren’t as many people my age out there that are actively gaming. So to find that group of people was pretty fun. As far as what made me want to start streaming, back before the height of the pandemic, my wife challenged my two kids and me and asked, “since we are non-essential workers, what do you want to try and accomplish during the lockdown?”. I said that I really wanted to start making more effort to stream and actually work on everything that goes into streaming.
What is it about Warzone that makes it so easy for you to stream?
I think it is obviously a popular game, and so many people play it, plus it’s free to play, so it’s accessible to everyone. But the customization part of it, which allows you to make parties and have 50 or 60 or 70 people, really makes it interesting. You also start to form relationships with the people you meet in those games. You only know them online and may never meet face to face, but the fact that I have the opportunity to do events like that with good people makes it, so fun to stream.
I’ve been playing Call of Duty since 2007 with the release of the first Modern Warfare. It was really my first experience with a multiplayer game. Even before I started streaming, I played Call of Duty with my buddies just for the multiplayer aspect. Because of that it made me want to continue playing even after all these years, despite how the game has changed.
When did you realize that you had “made it” as a streamer?
I talked with my wife about this, and I still do not believe I have “made it.” I gained some popularity after my daughter’s viral TikTok about me, but I knew it was going to wear off. I was hoping to capture an audience, which I believe I did, but I knew I would never get 20,000 viewers in a stream. It was a new experience, and it was fun, and everybody thought it was fantastic. However, once people start noticing you and what you’re doing, that is when I feel I have “made it.” It’s the moment you realize that people out there use you as an outlet for whatever they may have going on in their lives. People don’t think about that when they stream, they don’t think about the viewers that may have had a rough day or just want some entertainment. But you must say to yourself, “I am going to make my chat laugh tonight,” and provide that comfort to your audience. However, I definitely haven’t “made it.”
Do you have any advice for aspiring streamers and how they can start streaming?
I would definitely emphasize the kind of impact you can make on your viewers, but I would also say don’t try and imitate someone; just be yourself, be original. There are a lot of very successful streamers out there who I watch and then realize that they aren’t always the kindest to their teammates or viewers. I wonder, “how can somebody like this person?” The best advice I can give is to go forward and be genuine, be positive. It is also essential to build a community; making friends through games or through other streams is what I have done to help increase my viewer base, and it has helped me build lasting relationships.
Do you think that there is an age limit for playing video games?
Oh no, absolutely not. My grandparents were the ones that actually got me into gaming. They used to play Super Breaker on Atari 2600 and would keep a notebook to keep track of the tournaments they would have with each other. As a kid, I just thought it was so cool, so I would always go over to my grandparent’s house to play on their gaming system. They were really the ones that got me into gaming in the first place. So no, there is no age limit on it whatsoever. There is a game out there for everyone.
What was the biggest moment in your Warzone gaming career? Would you call yourself a Warzone professional?
I would say that the most significant moment in my gaming career was finally being noticed and getting into a Warzone tournament. Eventually, being recognized, especially as an older player, was a significant achievement for me. There were almost 150 teams in the tournament, and my duo and I finished in 5th place. Because of that, I got a lot of words of encouragement from professional players, which felt really validating. The opportunity definitely has given me the chance to get some big partnerships for my stream, which gave me an even better opportunity to be recognized.
There is always room for improvement, and I definitely wouldn’t consider myself a professional. However, I would love the opportunity to even try out to be an alternate on a team somewhere and hopefully give some of the younger players a run for their money. If I had my choice and could be on any team, it would be the London Ravens. I say that because a media relations representative from that team reached out to me and gave me some words of encouragement and merchandise for myself and my family, which felt really good to be acknowledged by a professional organization like that.
Finally, what advice would you give players looking to start playing Warzone?
There are a lot of famous content creators out there who have been successful because of following meta trends. My advice to these aspiring players would be to not pay any attention to that. Find something that works for you and just use it. People are always talking about which weapons or loadouts are meta and are constantly going back and forth between what is popular. From my experience in the current Warzone community, no one is using the newer weapon; everyone is using the Modern Warfare 2019 weapons because that is what they are familiar with. You could tell me that a certain gun would easily allow me to pick up kills, but what is the point if you aren’t comfortable with it? If you know a acertain weapon inside and out, you can play it with success even if it isn’t strong or isn’t meta. Just use what you are comfortable with and stick to that.
Fans can get a hold of TubButter’s content on his Twitch channel.