Matt “Mizkif” Rinaudo is an American Twitch streamer who rose to fame thanks to his laid back sense of humor. Now, he helps other gamers achieve their dreams. H.B. Duran with NGame Esports sat down with him to learn more about how he grew his audience and what it takes for newcomers to succeed as a streamer today.
Streamers are the New Celebrities
There’s a reason that Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook Gaming compete to sign exclusive contracts with streamers. The top 20 streamers bring in an estimated $23 million per year, and many have been signed to major talent agencies. No wonder so many young people have turned to livestreaming as a dream career.
Tyler “Ninja” Blevins isn’t the top Fortnite player in the world, so why is he the most famous? He created a massive online audience by livestreaming gameplay and outlandish reactions. The undisputed streaming site leader remains with Amazon-owned Twitch, which is home to around half a million streamers that generate more content than one person could ever watch in a single lifetime. In October 2020, a record 1.6 billion hours were watched on Twitch alone, according to data from Arsenal.gg.
Twenty-five-year-old Matt “Mizkif” Rinaudo grew up in the small township of Montclaire, New Jersey. Like many young gamers and personalities on the internet, Matt “Mizkif” Rinaudo was attracted to the idea of becoming a streamer, but knew it would be hard work.
“The money was a big factor for me,” he said. “I was a cameraman for this guy, and people thought I was really funny. I thought I could use that to become a streamer.”
And so, he did. Rinaudo now has over 700,000 followers on Twitch, which is his preferred streaming platform. He also has over 90,000 followers on YouTube.
Fact check: Streaming is not an easy career
One might tune into a Twitch stream to see a gamer chatting and laughing with his/her followers, casually playing a video game. It would be easy to think, “Wow, what an easy job, anyone can do that!”
“It takes nonstop work and dedication,” says Rinaudo. “I literally eat, sleep, breathe Twitch – it’s my entire life. I don’t ever stop thinking about it. It’s all I’ve ever thought about. Because of that, I think that’s why I made it. You can’t stop — you always have to keep moving. It does require a bit of luck, but it requires that you keep going every single day working hard.”
You will be talking to yourself for a while before you build an audience, but Rinaudo offered a simple way to keep morale up.
“Have your friend watch your stream, so you go from zero viewers to one. That makes a big difference,” he said, adding that you need to watch successful streamers to learn from them.
“I’m going to be honest, it’s such an overfilled area that if you want to become a streamer, and you think you have what it takes, you can watch me to figure out how to grow. Just copy me,” he laughed.
Learn from Others, Teach Others
“I’m just an idiot on the internet that likes to help people sometimes,” said Rinaudo. “I do feel that streamers should help out more. It’s really not that difficult. All you have to do is answer a few messages and you can make someone’s dream come true.”
Ranaudo recommended two streamers to learn from by watching: Pokimane and Valkyrie.
“Pokimane has a good, unique style for her stream — she’s very charismatic, which goes a long way,” he said. “Valkyrie seems to care about her community.”