On the Desk: How to Successfully Stream TESL

Ever looked at a streamer on Twitch and said, “Hey, I can do that” and decided to start streaming? At some point, most viewers do give streaming a shot. My name is BreAnna, known in the community as Silverfuse, and I did just that. I started streaming TESL consistently at the end of May. I have seen strong growth, and I wanted to share some tips on how you can improve your stream and work towards being a successful streamer in Legends.

1. Have a Consistent Stream Time

Consistency is arguably the most important tool for growth on Twitch! This is often overlooked. One of the biggest parts of being successful on Twitch is being consistent. People often know when their favorite show is going to be on. It is the same with their favorite Twitch streamers. For instance, I stream almost every night for the same time each night. My viewers know when I am going to stream and expect me to be there for them. You do not need to stream every night. I would recommend streaming 3 to 5 days a week on a schedule. Do what is best for you though! Consistency makes all the difference for growth on Twitch.

2. Quality

A lot of people worry that because they don’t have a high-tech mic or green screen that they can’t stream properly. This is not the case. I started off with just a headset and a low-quality camera. After streaming for almost a year, I was able to acquire some of the more high-tech aspects of the stream through subs and donations. The important thing to note is to have a mic that gets the job done and doesn’t have feedback. I highly recommend a camera as well. Streams with cameras typically get more clicks than ones without unless the streamer is already well-known and established. As a streamer starting out, the more clicks you can get, the better! Being on camera can feel pretty weird and even cause some anxiety. I think almost every streamer starts off feeling the same way. I try my best to not think about it too much. However, if you cannot stand the idea of being on camera, do not let this divert you from streaming! Just don’t use one if you don’t feel like it!

3. Interact with Chat

Most viewers who go to small streams are looking for interaction with the streamer. I would also say that this is the main reason why viewers come to my stream. I am constantly reading chat and answering questions. I believe this is what makes my stream enjoyable for most viewers. When you have a handful of viewers, your focus should be on them! It can be hard to find a balance between the game and interacting with chat and playing the game properly. This is a skill that takes time to learn. I have accidentally roped my opponents many times because I was distracted by chat (I’m sorry anyone). TESL is more kind than the average game as most of the time you can interact with chat during an opponent’s turn. While streaming you aren’t 100% focused on the game and this might cause misplays. However, I believe that interaction with chat is much more important than the occasional misplay. The smaller streamer you are, the more important chat interaction is!

4. No Dead Air

This is perhaps the hardest skill to learn as a streamer, especially when you start out! When starting, almost everyone starts with that big fat 0 staring them in the eyes. First, go ahead and hide that number and stream as if you have 100 viewers who are at your attention. The skill here to learn is talking to yourself. It feels weird at first, but is generally critical to streaming when starting. To do this, talk about the game, your thoughts on the game, your thoughts about a card you or your opponent played, show your disgust for a card, talk about your plays and what you think your opponent will play. Always be talking. It feels weird at times, but if you are sitting playing stone faced, would you want to watch that? Always pretend you have an audience listening no matter what your viewer count says. When someone enters your stream, they typically decide within 10 seconds if they want to stick around. If you don’t say anything for 10 seconds (unless you are doing an amazing Nix Ox combo) they will probably leave and never come back. However, if you are engaging and starting a conversation or asking questions, they are a lot more likely to comment or ask a question! Then you get to do the fun part: talk with your viewer(s)!

5. Some Salt is Fine, But Too Much Gives Your Stream a Negative Tone

This is self-explanatory. It is okay to get salty! We all do! Unless you brand yourself for saltiness (like our lovely community member TheShankShow) then think of salt as a fine addition but too much spoils it. There is a fine line between some entertaining salt and salt that ruins the tone of the stream. Viewers typically go to a stream to enjoy the game and interact with each other and the streamer. If you are dumping a salt shaker and creating a negative environment, then people aren’t going to stick around.

6. Stream for at Least 3 Hours a Session

A problem that I see many new streamers have is that they stream for less than an hour and wonder why they didn’t get any viewers. One important aspect of streaming is to be live for as long as you can. The more hours you are live, the more likely people are to find you! You have a higher chance of retaining viewers and climbing up the browse list of streamers. I typically recommend 3-6 hours of streaming per session. The reason I say 6 hours is because believe it or not, streaming isn’t easy. Talking for hours at a time while focusing on the game you are playing isn’t an easy task. All too often you see new streamers get too tired and not able to keep the energy up. When I feel this is when I typically end my stream. It is more important to have a high-quality stream than a long stream. This is why I make sure I don’t overdo myself with a stream that is too long and pushes me to my limit.

7. Be Unique! What Makes You Stand Out?

Why would someone watch your channel over the person next to you on the browse page? Often it comes down to 3 main things: skill, community, personality. Viewers often come to a stream to see gameplay, be part of a community, or have a good time! Which category do you fit in? Once you decide this, capitalize on it! For example, I am very community focused and love talking to different members and discussing plays and different decks. I am also a Legend and competitive TESL player. Personality, you can decide for yourself – everyone has their own flavor they appreciate. Make sure to be you. Emphasize the best parts of your personality. Oftentimes, people come to your stream for you!

8. Don’t Expect Growth in a Couple Streams

Being successful at streaming means putting in a lot of time and effort. The streamers who you see with great numbers are not the ones who are streaming for their second time ever (unless they had a generous host or a YouTube following beforehand). These streamers have often put in a ton of time on stream, with years of hard work to get the numbers they get. Growth takes time and consistency, which doesn’t happen overnight. I started many nights of having no viewers and no followers even after streaming hours. This is common, but a lot of new streamers give up after days like these. Don’t fret, this is quite normal! Just keep going. As time went on, I started seeing myself go to 3 viewers and an occasional follower at night. Then up to 5 viewers and getting a follower or two a night, and it kept going as I kept streaming consistently.  Don’t focus too much on numbers as a new streamer, or even if you’re more experienced. It will drive you nuts. Followers, viewers, subs, etc. all go up and down for various reasons. Just because you have a couple unfollows or lose some subs doesn’t mean that you are bad streamer! People unfollow for various reasons, and that is just part of life. Don’t focus on them and instead focus on how you can improve your content and stream for your future viewers! Streaming is a grind, and growth is slow. Don’t be discouraged by it and keep going!

9. Burn Out and Mental Health

This is one that most streamers struggle with. As I mentioned earlier, streaming isn’t easy. It looks easy, but after doing it yourself, you see how mentally draining it can be. It is important to always take care of yourself and to put your well being before your viewers. It sucks to have to cancel streams because you aren’t feeling your best or aren’t in the right place mentally. However, your viewers would much rather you cancel your stream than stream when you aren’t up for it! They will notice that you aren’t yourself. Taking time off is one of the things I struggle with most, but I also know that I want to give 100% whenever I stream. If I can’t deliver that, then I shouldn’t be streaming. Taking breaks is crucial when you are on the stream grind.

10. Support Other Community Members

TESL has one of the best communities out of any game on Twitch. There are amazing streamers, viewers, and players wherever you go! Go and be active in other streams and get to know other members! This does not mean go to someone else’s channel and say, “Hey, I am streaming soon. Will you follow/watch me?” This is often referred to as self-advertising, which is highly frowned upon by streamers as well as community members. Instead, focus on becoming friends with others and being active in chat! One of the best ways is to also host other community members either on your auto host or after your stream! This is a great way to help other streamers as well as for them to get to know that you are streaming. I personally love to help new streamers, but if someone comes and asks me to host them, I am not going to appreciate that unless they are already a good friend of mine. Focus on helping others and not ways that others will help you. TESL is already a very generous community and open to helping new streamers. If you are consistent and help others, they will most likely return the favor and welcome you!

11. Don’t be Worried About Being New!

I have had many viewers tell me, “I want to stream, but I am still on the stories and don’t think anyone wants to watch that.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. I actually started streaming the tutorial and I had so many wonderful community members come and introduce themselves as well as help me learn the basic mechanics of the game. Most of them are still in my channel talking to me and helping me almost 8 months later! This community loves helping others, so don’t let the fact that you are new to the community keep you from streaming!

I have always said that pushing the “Start Streaming” button is the hardest part of streaming. Nerves and not knowing what to expect are two of the biggest reasons for this, but you never know until you try.

I hope you found these tips useful for streaming TESL as well as other games. If you have any questions, feel free to message me on Twitter. I am @SilverfusePlays and I will get to your questions as quick as I can. Thanks for reading and have a great time playing and streaming Legends!

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