EXCEL’s Leahviathan explains the challenges of ‘making it’ on Twitch
While breaking out on Twitch is never easy, EXCEL’s newest content creator Leah ‘Leahviathan’ Alexandra discusses the pros and cons of trying to make it as a variety streamer in a highly competitive world.
With the growth Twitch and of competitive gaming, players across the globe can now hone their skills and transform their hobbies into full-time jobs.
Leahviathan, British variety streamer and now EXCEL member, is one such content creator. Starting her journey in 2015 focused on Destiny, Leah has done everything from cosplay streams to watching reality TV on YouTube.
The curse of variety streaming, though, is that constantly chopping and changing games means you won’t become a go-to for one specific community. As she joins EXCEL, we spoke to Leah on the challenges of ever-changing streams, and she sheds some light on her personal journey to being a full-time content creator.
There is luck involved
While Leah’s vibrant personality and feisty quips make her streams a must-see, she confesses that “she got lucky” when it comes to building an audience on Twitch.
“I actually started off not as a variety streamer,” she tells Dexerto. “I intended to start doing variety streams, but then the Destiny community was incredible on Twitch back then; Twitch was very different back then.”
As Destiny declined, Overwatch took pole position, but she recalls “you see quite a substantial drop in viewership and interest when you switch to variety streaming because people are there to watch one game, and it’s hard to capture the interest of people who might be interested in you as opposed to the game.
“But I stuck at it because I thought to myself ‘to be honest, if I can’t sustain a channel doing what I want to do then I don’t want to do it.’ To me there’s no point in forcing that – I don’t want to just be playing a game to keep the channel alive, because it would be quite obvious I wasn’t enjoying myself and I knew I would end up hating my life! Which is so silly – you’re playing video games – but it is interesting how that does things to your mental.
“So then I started variety streaming, and I’ve just been super, super lucky. I play whatever catches my fancy: sometimes it’s the latest game that’s come out, sometimes it’s something that’s been out for a very long time. I just ride the wave of whatever’s happening with my channel. It can be really hard to grow on Twitch, and to be honest, these days if you were starting as a variety streamer I think it would be incredibly difficult.”
While Leahviathan also notes that “from my limited perspective it seems like the only way you can grow these days is to have a TikTok or post your other content constantly on other platforms,” she thinks that the grind is very much worth it.
“There’s a sense of freedom where if I’m like ‘oh, I want to sit on YouTube for four hours and watch house tours’ then I can do that. I don’t look at my sub count, I don’t look at my viewer count – I don’t look at any of the metrics.
“In a way, it’s hard because you pigeonhole yourself sometimes in your content because you think ‘oh I probably do things this way’ – but it’s good to get out of that mindset and realize you can kind of do whatever you want, and if you have an audience who are interested in watching you then it’s up to you to keep their interest.”
So sure, variety streaming may not be easy, and sure, maybe Leah was “in the right time at the right place,” to borrow her words. However, her magnetic personality and sense of joy are traits that even some of the world’s biggest streamers would envy. As she continues to grow as a creator under the EXCEL banner, we can’t wait to see what she does next.