Nick Eh 30, YouTube’s top Fortnite streamer, announced Thursday he partnered with Twitch and will begin streaming on the Amazon platform. Creative Artists Agency (CAA) orchestrated the deal for Nick Eh 30 and Twitch.
The announcement comes almost a month after Ninja left for Mixer, which is run by Microsoft. Nick Eh 30, repped by CAA, will still post gameplay videos and vlogs on his channel, which has over 4.6 million subscribers. But the move is a significant pick-up for Twitch after losing esports’ biggest name in Ninja.
If you aren’t familiar with Nick Eh 30, he’s known for more than just his Fortnite skills. His manners and family-friendly content are what he’s built his foundation on, along with funny moments, and unbelievable tricks on the world’s most popular video game.
He took time to talk to SB Nation about his move to Twitch, his perfect manners, and why he microwaves his ice cream, among other interesting food habits.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
SB NATION: For some people who are reading this and might not know who you are, tell us how you got started in gaming.
NICK EH 30: It started with trying to prioritize school. From junior high to high school, I was getting straight As. On top of this, I was doing taekwondo, guitar lessons, and many other extracurricular activities. When I do something, I want to do something to the best of my ability, so the main thing I wanted to do was become a doctor. Eventually, I stopped doing all those extracurricular activities. I wouldn’t really do much outside, I didn’t have too much of a social life or anything, I didn’t really go with friends.
So naturally, I had to take breaks from studying. Video games were my quick break, my quick little getaway from school, and then I could get right back into it and really, really grind. Eventually, this kind of turned into a love and a passion that I wanted to share.
When I was in university and high school, I would be uploading videos just for fun. People would say, “Nick, you make my day, thank you for making this, thank you for making me laugh.” It made me really happy, and I loved editing and recording, and it basically kept going on from there.
My parents gave me a year to take a break from university. They would support me, and if I became successful [at something], I could keep on doing it. If not, I’d have to go back to school and become a doctor.
Live streaming took off around the time of Fortnite, and I had a little bit of talent on Fortnite when most people were very new to the game and didn’t catch on as quickly. People really liked tuning into my streams because I share tips and tricks and because I was walking through my thought process. It just kept spiraling up from there and growing, growing, growing, and here I am today.
SBN: Obviously, there’s no sure thing in this world, so what was it like taking time away from school since that’s not a traditional move? Were there any nerves there?
NE30: Oh yeah, and before then, school was my bread and butter. That was my happiness, that was what I relied on. When I started to do a little bad in school — like I wasn’t performing like I used to because I was just burnt out on it — it got me feeling a little down and nervous. That was my future up until I thought, “OK, maybe I could do YouTube.” When I started doing YouTube, I was a lot happier. It was scary, but I would say because of the hard work I was a little more confident.
SBN: Was there one thing that really helped your channel take off, or was it just about consistently putting out good content that people knew was going to be there?
NE30: One big thing was streaming early in the morning when every other big streamer on YouTube was offline. I would be a streamer with like 200 viewers, but I was the top streamer because everyone was offline. Everyone who was getting 10,000 viewers, 15,000 viewers, they were all gone. I was making sure to get up early — 5 a.m. — every single day, which transitions into another point: consistency. Literally took no breaks — seven days a week, five hours in the morning at the time, five hours at night at the time. It was just an early-morning stream every single day, and an afternoon stream every single day. So I think those were the two big things.
SBN: Your move to Twitch is obviously a big deal, and the timing shouldn’t be lost on anybody with Ninja’s recent move to Mixer. I’m curious for you, as somebody who’s built up a huge following on YouTube — were there any nerves in making that switch? You’ll still do videos and vlogs on YouTube, so those followers won’t go to waste. But you still have to hope those people move over to Twitch.
NE30: Twitch has been so accommodating, and they’re making sure that all of the loyalty badges and tenures of my members will be getting transferred over, and it’s the first time they’ve done this for anyone. So my entire community — if they’ve been supporting me — that recognition will still be there on Twitch. That’s one thing that makes me really confident. Another thing is that — you know, I’ve worked really, really hard to build up a community and have a family-friendly community. And you could almost say I’ve become friends with my audience and with my community. A lot of them really really support me, and I’m just focused on the fact that I get some incredible support. I’m going to try to entertain and do the best that I can to entertain people that want to follow me, and I absolutely know that a lot of people will. Because at the end of the day, it’s still going to be the same me. Nothing has changed — it’s just the platform that changed.
SBN: You mentioned having a family-friendly stream — one of the things you are known for is your manners. Please and thank you. How did that become such a staple for you?
NE30: This was just one of those things when I’d be interacting with my chat. As with any chat, [fans] try to help you. They’ll try to say, “Nick, you missed that!” or “Nick, go back there!” And the way I interpret it — because with text online, it’s hard to interpret tone and how people are saying things. I was interpreting it as rude, and I explained to them how I interpreted their messages, and I’m like, “Guys, maybe add a please and thank you on the end, and I’d be more than willing to do what you guys are asking me to do.” I would reinforce that behavior in the chat, only responding to people who would say please and thank you, and then eventually it just kind of became a thing that people recognize me for and think that it’s all I say.
SBN: Is it hard to keep that same energy all the time? In the streams that I’ve watched, you’ve always been chill and happy even when things might not go your way. Your “tired” is a lot of people’s peak energy. How do you maintain that?
NE30: I think it’s a combination of things. No. 1 is just being grateful for what you have. Every day before I start my stream, I’m like, “Oh my God. Wow. I get to live a dream job, I get to play video games for a living.” That definitely helps keep you motivated.
Another thing is I know that so many kids are watching that I want to try to set as good of an example as I can. I get so many emails where people say, “Nick, I’m so glad that I can turn on your stream with my five-year-old in the room and not have to worry about you swearing or getting angry.” I always think of those moments, and I’m like, “OK, keep it cool. You get to live an amazing life, an amazing job.” And I just want to try to set the best example that I can and influence people in a positive way.
SBN: I know many people just want to watch the best Fortnite players possible, and obviously you’re one of them —
NE30: Thank you very much!
SBN: — but I think part of the entertainment value of your stream is when your parents get involved. What’s that like?
NE30: With my parents, my mom, she’ll help even behind the scenes. She just does so much, and I think it’s kind of nice to get them involved. I really enjoy that, and it gives people another way to relate.
SBN: Do you ever show up to these events with people screaming “please and thank you” and just stand there and tell yourself, “I can’t believe this is my life?”
NE30: [laughs] The last fan meet-up I did at the Fortnite Pro-Am, there were so many people. Not everybody was able to get a picture because the line was so big, and people were waiting around the fence and screaming, “Please and thank you!” I got everyone to do push-ups outside in 35-degree weather [95 degrees Fahrenheit]. The fact that I can do that and inspire people in a positive way through fitness doing push-ups — I mean, it will never get old, and I’m just always so grateful that I can do that, and I want to continue to be the best example of a person that I can.
SBN: Most consecutive push-ups you’ve ever done?
NE30: I don’t know if you’d believe this, but when I was younger I would do push-ups every single day. When I was lighter and younger, I’m talking 14, I would do 200 push-ups in a row. The most I’ve done recently is about 80.
SBN: Whenever we cross paths, I’m challenging you to a push-up competition.
NE30: Bring it! You better come prepared!
SBN: I’m going to get into the hard-hitting questions here because I am a big important journalist. Can you please explain why you microwave your ice cream?
NE30: OK, let me do some clearing up here: people think I microwave my ice cream to the point where it’s melted, like completely melted and it’s a liquid —
SBN: Can I stop you right there for a second? Because in your Twitch announcement video, that looked like SOUP!
NE30: [laughing] That was definitely overdone! I want you to think of McDonald’s or Dairy Queen soft-serve ice cream. It’s a soft type of ice cream versus the tub that you get, and it’s rock-hard frozen. It’s like taking a piece off the side of the top versus in the center — the side is usually a little more melted and a little more soft.
SBN: That’s fair because I don’t microwave mine, but I do need a more solid consistency, where it’s almost chewy? It’s weird, I don’t know, but that video took me out, man. I was like, “There’s no way that was appetizing, even for him.”
NE30: I had to do that take like 20 times to get it right, and it was only in there for like 0.5 seconds. But I took like 20 bites of that melted, disgusting ice cream.
SBN: Were you actually throwing that down, or were you spitting it out for each take?
NE30: I was actually eating it because I didn’t want to make a mess. We didn’t have another bowl, but yeah, I was eating it all. I probably gained a solid pound by the time I left.
SBN: Do you have any other weird food habits? Not that that one’s really weird, but just others where it’s like “what are you doing?”
NE30: I pour the milk before the cereal.
SBN: That’s a problem.
NE30: That’s a problem, I know. I’ve heard that from a lot of people. When I have tea in the morning — when I was younger anyway, not anymore — but I’d have tea as well as some toast, with peanut butter on the toast. I would dip the peanut butter and toast into the tea, so it would almost get soft and mushy, and then you take it out, and you bite it, and it’s consumed in the tea, so it’s moist. It’s pretty gross now that I think about it, but that’s what I used to do.
SBN: Would you do that today?
NE30: I mean, honestly I wouldn’t mind doing it. It definitely tastes good. I think it sounds gross, but it tastes good. But I don’t do that anymore.
SBN: You should do that on stream one of these days, just for old time’s sake. A throwback Thursday, if you will.
NE30: It would definitely trigger a lot of people, so only when I’m feeling extra positive. [laughs]