JdotB on Competitive WoW, Streaming, and Blue Microphones

He recently took some time out of his intense streaming and practice schedule ahead of an upcoming tournament to talk about getting his start in WoW, turning streaming and eSports into a viable career, and how he creates professional quality streams.

How did you get your start in World of Warcraft? And how did you make the jump from casual player to a pretty big name on Twitch?

It released in my sophomore year of college, so I had a dangerous amount of free time. Throughout all of my post-secondary education, I was playing World of Warcraft. Then, when I got done with law school, it was kind of like, "Okay, I’ve got to be an adult now", and so I put Warcraft down for probably two or three years.

It wasn't until the Mythic+ format came out in Legion that I went super hardcore into it, playing all day, all night type thing, and then when Blizzard announced the first tournament for the Mythic+ thing, then I kind of went, "Hey, if there's enough interest for a tournament, maybe there's enough interest to watch me on Twitch." After our first tournament, I started getting enough viewers where I went, "Wow, I think I could actually maybe do this for a living."

How big had your channel grown at that point?

I went from streaming for maybe 400 or 500 people a night to... at the start of the expansion, I think I was streaming to 2000, 2500 people a night. And the popularity of WoW is kind of cyclical, so it ended up where I stream now for probably 1200 to 1500 people a night. That's definitely enough, based on the subs that you get and donations and stuff, that it's a comfortable lifestyle. I think I could actually do this for the next 20 years or whatever, and feel like that was a fulfilling career.

Did you start out with a pro streaming setup, or is that something that you’ve built out as your channel has grown?

When Blue first approached me about using their stuff, I was already using one of their microphones. I was always sort of afraid that somebody would send me some stuff that I didn't really want to use but I would be obligated to use it. But Blue was a microphone company that I'd already done a bunch of research on, where I was like, "Okay, if I'm spending money on a mic, this is a good value pick for my money."

What gear are you using from Blue these days?

They sent me the Spark SL. I was using the Yeti originally, and they were like, "We want to send you one of our better mics." So they sent me the link, and I was like, "Yes, please." At the time, I think they had just come out with the Compass boom arm too. I think that had just been released within a few months of when they sent me one. I had played around with a really inexpensive mic arm, towards the start of my streaming career. It quickly became apparent that when you spend $10 on a mic arm, you get a $10 mic arm. It was pretty bad. So they sent me the Spark, the Compass, and the Icicle, as the interface for the XLR.

How have you liked Spark since you got it?

I used it for a week and it was pretty much just a week of comments like, "Dude, did you get a new microphone?" I was like, "Yes, I did." They're like, "It sounds good." To me, that's always the test of a new thing on stream. It's one thing if your stream title is like “New Microphone," and they're like, "Hey, did you get a new microphone?" But if you're just kind of using a new thing, and you're getting questions all the time, like "Dude, did something change in your setup? Because you sound way better," then it's like, "Whew, okay, it's not just me."

Do you have any big events coming up?

The tournament I talked about, that kind of launched my streaming career, actually started almost exactly a year ago. That was kind of what started getting interest in my stream. They haven't had another one until right now. The first portion of the tournament just concluded this past weekend, so the next, basically, six weeks will be dedicated pretty heavily to practicing and competing in that tournament, and that's all online play. Then they'll have a LAN tournament where everybody actually shows up in person, I think in early June.

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