Streamer of the Year 2015 (All of Twitch)

Rize Up Gaming has a yearly tradition: A company vote is held to select two streamers for Streamer of the Year – one for Main Channel and another for Off-Channel (personal). The Off-Channel SotY selection for 2015 went to FarringtonEmpire, a dapper gentleman with a friendly bird-bot, and a glorious raid response to boot.

Known to many as Farrington, he casts nearly daily on his own channel, and does Networking for Rize Up on his free time. If you check his stream, he will almost certainly be garbed in a way that fits the very steam-punk nature of his channel. I caught up with him to ask him a few questions about himself:

Kritty: First, let me congratulate you on winning the Streamer of the Year for Off-Channel Streamers. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Farrington: Well, I’m an actor by trade, and actors are generally an accepting group when it comes to people. Yes, there are rivalries, but they are embracing groups of individuals when it comes to differences. I never did like online gaming because of the caustic communities. I originally started on YouTube, but was eventually drawn to Twitch. I prefer performing in front of live audiences, because you can feed off of the viewers in a live setting. I started my own Twitch channel, and had a specific set of rules that I enforced heavily on the viewers. Shortly after I started streaming, I was invited to join Rize Up Gaming. Firecrow had watched my first stream, and came back throughout the week. A month or so later, I was invited to join.

Kritty: I know you went a bit into this already, but can you tell us more about your story of joining Rize Up Gaming?

Farrington: It happened very, very quickly. Firecrow and Rev were discussing bringing me on board, unbeknownst to me. The first message I got was from Firecrow, giving me a brief outline of what Rize Up was about, and also informing me to expect a more formal message from Rize Up about potentially joining. I later received the message from Rize Up (Rev, more particularly), and it echoed many of the same things as Firecrow’s. I was originally being brought on as a YouTube reviewer, which I had already done in the past. I had a quick meeting with Rev, who went over some of the basics and information, and Rev set me to work as a Youtube reviewer.

Kritty: Moving forward off of that, what would you say your experience in Rize Up Gaming has been like?

Farrington: It’s honestly been really fast-paced, for me. My day job made it extremely difficult for me to keep up with YouTube reviews. I was trying to make it work, but I was failing miserably. When I told Rev I couldn’t do that any longer, there was discussion about what I could do best to help out RU. It was decided that Networking was a strong suit of mine, as I have very little fear of approaching others. Meeting new people is something I enjoy, and, being an actor, I like talking. It was nice to find a way where my expertise could assist the company moving forward, with things like fundraisers and prizes for them.

Kritty: Now that you’ve discussed a bit about your experience in Rize Up, how does it feel to be selected as the Streamer of the Year Off-Channel for Rize Up?

Farrington: Really flattering. Kind of unexpected, to be honest. I don’t know… it’s pretty cool! I’ve always made the joke that I’m just a dude playing video games in his basement. To have the knowledge that people are watching is cool, and to be selected as Streamer of the Year for this group – it’s surreal. It doesn’t feel deserved, in a weird way. It’s very, very flattering that something I do to be happy is able to make others happy as well. It’s very, very flattering, very humbling.

Kritty: So you feel flattered, and maybe that the honor isn’t deserved, but there are obviously others that look up to you. What advice would you have for those streamers looking to either start streaming soon, or get back to streaming seriously in the near future?

Farrington: Don’t get caught up in numbers. When you get caught up in the numbers and worry about people leaving, it is going to show. Also, don’t play games you don’t enjoy to pander to the masses. If you don’t enjoy a game, it is going to come across to the viewers. People get excited when they can tell a streamer is enjoying their game. There is no reason for anyone but 2 people, my parents, to watch me play Truck Simulator; I’ve received notes from people who watch me play the game that say they would personally never play the game, but that they enjoy watching me play.

Basically, what I’m saying is build a community that you enjoy – one that you don’t dread having show up.

Also, in terms of tech, start small. Make sure you have a return on your investment before you start buying new stuff. You don’t have to have a webcam, a standalone mic, or a green-screen to stream.

Kritty: Now that you’ve given your advice, it’s time to talk about your inspiration. What streamers do you enjoy watching?

Farrington: I really enjoy the Rize Up marathons, during the fundraisers. You get to see so much variety – it’s kind of like speed-dating. You get to check out all these awesome streamers, and can track down ones you want to see again. You’ll get everything from the anime games that LoliNia likes to stream, go to someone like PhotoFusion or Jojo playing Minecraft, and then go to someone like AeroGarfield who enjoys more of the high-tech action combat games like WatchDogs. There’s even some MMOs and MOBAs thrown into the mix. In addition to those, I think it’s no mystery that I watch a lot of Firecrow. Also, ElegyofGames – he’s one of the guys who reached out to me after my first cast. It was complete dumb luck. I had a lot of questions, and he sat down and walked through a lot of what to expect while streaming. He’s part of what I would consider my Twitch family. OverBoredGaming – they’re a pair of casters that have supported Rize Up’s fundraisers in the past. I watch a lot of LondonGaming4Fun as well – he’s mostly an Elite Dangerous streamer, though he does play some Euro Truck Simulator occasionally as well.

Kritty: What would you say your favorite memory, either in Rize Up or of streaming in general, is?

Farrington: I distinctly remember – I think it was my first charity stream with Rize Up – I was playing Dark Souls, the bane of my existence. I just don’t have what it takes. I love watching people play it, but put me in control of the person, and I just – I can’t, and the salt flows. So I was playing that in my first marathon, and that was back when I thought I had a hang of the game – and oh, what a mistake that was. It was a lot of fun, and we raised a ton of money. The shenanigans of singing karaoke actually gave me a chance to step away from the game that was frustrating me SO much and clear my brain – it was a lot of fun. I think I had 60 people watching, and that was more than I had seen in one room before. I was flattered, and that really sealed the deal that I wouldn’t be leaving the company, or even stopping streaming, any time soon.

Kritty: Do you have any closing comments?

Farrington: If you’re a new streamer, just remember that Twitch ebbs and flows. Don’t get discouraged because you don’t see progress right when you start – even the best streamers on Twitch had to start somewhere.

Friendly on-screen and off, FarringtonEmpire is truly a streamer to be admired and modeled after. Make sure to catch his casts on his channel, and follow his Twitter for updates on when he’s going live!