A wise man once said, “They don’t want you to win.”
Let’s talk about that. I wrote a piece on esports coaching recently, and one of the things I discussed was the nature of toxicity in gaming. Far too many people are willing to throw a game away, right into the garbage. Because if they don’t get their way, no one on their team is deserving of a win. But what really made me decide to write this is I was reading a post on Facebook about one of my friends that produce music. [Really chill music too, here’s a link to his Soundcloud, fam] He asked two of his friends to repost some of his stuff, people he was cool with. They couldn’t be bothered though, no response, nothing. They have more followers or whatnot than him, are “bigger” than him on Soundcloud. Aren’t we all supposed to be a community that works together? Whether it’s livestreaming, music, videos on Youtube, or dancing, aren’t we all trying to get better as a group? That’s one thing I do not understand. It’s not a race to the finish line. We can all be successful and make a living doing what we love if we only stop sabotaging one another.
Like The Bottom Tier, I love it. We’ve been working on it for a bit over two years now. We have guest hosts on, we plug their stuff. Why? Bigger or smaller than us, they’re just trying to get their shit out there, and have a different approach than us. Example: When I have extra codes to give away, ones that I am legally allowed to, so I offer them up to other, smaller streamers or cosplayers, something they could use to get more eyes on their product. I’ve bought cosplay prints of people whose work I appreciate, like Scumbag Keeks [who also streams], who is an amazing person and a great friend. Though my favorite cosplayer is pretty much Riddle, I haven’t acquired anything she’s done yet, though I am planning on getting her calendar, when I can afford it. She’s insanely talented, and pretty friendly to boot. Not to mention “Cosplay for a Cause” is wonderful, and I’m always down for a charity.
That’s okay. In fact, that’s awesome. I’ve been really toying with this idea, this “Bottom Tier Network,” where, if we could get big enough, we’d have people on our team that could be producing content, original Bottom Tier content, in their own styles at all times of the day. So you could tune in anytime and get something entertaining. But so many people are only out for themselves. In League of Legends, people quit if they don’t get a gank when they want. If “their champ” gets picked, banned, or doesn’t work in that role, they stand in Pool forever, and never lend a hand, or jump into the enemy team to die. People in fighting game communities refuse to share their “secrets” or tactics because they want to keep winning. That’s not as prevalent as in the MOBA community though. That said, there are toxic, awful people in the FGC too. Loud mouths that just make us all look bad. Cosplayers fight against each other for fans, talk down to each other, backbite. Not all of them! There’s a lot of love in that community. But sometimes, someone blows up, starts making money doing it, and no longer wants to help other people get better. Not naming names, or pointing fingers, it’s just a fact. And I don’t get it. In order for you to “win” [be successful], others don’t have to “lose” [not grow, or improve].
We can all get money! I promise. We can all get that paper, and be happy/successful. But the key is working together. You don’t have to sabotage others to get better. All that does is show that you are petty and small. It takes literally no effort to retweet someone, make a post saying you appreciate them. If they make art, and you love their art, don’t steal it. Spend some money to help them grow. That shows you really appreciate them. Whether it’s music, a painting, or something you saw on Twitter. It doesn’t cost you anything to share someone’s work though. All it can do is help it reach someone that can afford to spend some money to help their costs to do what they love. Creating isn’t free; it takes time, effort, and resources. I try to support people as much as I can. I share work that I think is exceptional, art that I love. I spend a little here and there on the work of others if I can, even if I don’t make much money. But I share a lot, in hopes that someone sees it, loves it, and shares it with others. This is why stream teams are such a cool idea. As long as they are genuinely being used to help others grow, and not just a group at the top getting people to share their stuff, and only offering menial help. Just because someone is “famous” on the Internet, making amazing work, doesn’t mean they don’t still need exposure or help getting their name out there. Conversely, those people should still help people that are coming up, trying to do what they love for a living.
Whether it’s Twitch/Beam, Instagram, Twitter, cosplay or music, animation, modeling or comedy, if you find someone that you think is exceptional, tell them! Maybe buy something they are working on if you can, share it around so maybe someone will. Let them know that you appreciate them. It’s the little things that help us. Someone said to me after we ended a stream the other day, that we felt like “Jimmy Kimmel, only playing the games I love.” That felt amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever been paid such a high compliment. Well, once. Someone once said to us that they enjoy our work more than the Grumps. High praise, indeed. If you have a platform, use it to make things better not just for yourself, but someone else. We’re all a team in the game of life. Let’s act like it.