So our very own Relentless put us on to Silverfuse as she is a kind of mentor to him. It was recently announced that she was making the pivot in her life to go full time streamer and we just had to catch up with her to talk about her journey and of course Legends of Runeterra.
G.U: So we just wanna thank you again for taking the time to let us pick your brain and talk streaming. We always like to start these with the personal touch. So for those of us who may not know. Can you tell us a little on who you are and what you do?
S.F: My name is BreAnna, but I'm more commonly known as Silverfuse. I had been streaming and working as a teacher for a couple years. After Coronavirus, I was no longer teaching daily, so I ramped up the amount of videos and streams I was doing. Now, that's my main focus and generally what I'm working on each day, every day.
G.U: Okay, wow. A lot to unpack there. Let's start with teaching. What grade?
S.F: I taught K-5 computer lab. I saw each class once a week for one hour
G.U: That's pretty awesome. What lead you down that path to begin with.
S.F: Growing up I did a lot of tutoring and always loved helping other people understand things better. In college, I became an undergraduate teaching assistant while working on my degree in Molecular Biosciences. I also worked at a school the next year as an assistant algebra teaching. I loved working with students and helping them learn. During the last year of my degree, I worked in two different biology labs, and I hated it. I looked to what I loved and started teaching instead. On top of teaching in a classroom, I also found that I really loved teaching people about card games on stream.
G.U: And that you do. So that said. How has the transition been from teaching to streaming?
S.F: During my time as a teacher, I had a principal who was flexible and allowed to do different things with the curriculum. For example, I taught the kids how to use PowerPoint by allowing them to create their own memes. I did many things like this that allowed the kids and myself to be creative which I felt like is lacking in schools at the time. I love to be creative and with streaming I have even more freedom to do so and share it with others. I've missed my students a lot, but I've been so happy being able to focus on streaming. It's made me incredibly happy. Besides missing my students, the transition has been quite easy for me.
G.U: That's truly awesome. Fostering creativity and real world skills is definitely something every school should do. So it's definitely a loss to the teaching community and a gain for the streaming community. So the other part of this is why the name Silverfuse?
S.F: I made the name when I was 16 to play League of Legends. I wanted to make something original. I ended up picking silver because it's a cool, shiny color and it was also the color of a pinewood derby car I made as a kid that won a big tournament. My softball team name was Fusion. SilverFusion was too long, so I shortened it to Silverfuse
G.U: Well that's a back story if I've ever heard one. Haha. So how long have you been a streamer?
S.F: My first stream was August 26, 2017 where I mostly streamed PUBG and Overwatch. It was something fun to do to meet new people while I was a full time student and working full time at a biology lab.
G.U: Understandable. And now you're a professional streamer. Was this always a goal for you. Because you're definitely well educated and versed in other avenues of success.
S.F: When I first started streaming it wasn't even a thought. As time went on, it started to become a dream of mine. However, it was one that seemed unlikely to happen. It wasn't until mid May where I started seeing that it could actually become a reality.
G.U: And what happened Mid May that started to change things for you?
S.F: I hit a lucky break in the YouTube algorithm and got more views and more subs than I could have really imagined. I was a channel with 1500 subscribers and in 6 days I gained 1000 subs and it just kept going for a bit. For a channel my size, it was incredible to see this type of growth.
G.U: Indeed. And what do you think was the crack in the armor that led to this gain? Because those darned YouTube "algos" (algorithms) can only account for so much.
S.F: I made quality and consistent content. I worked on quality as much as I could including hiring an artist to make my thumbnails. I also had a breakout video "Unyielding Kegs" which is a video that really got things going and that I'm really proud of. It was a more unique idea than most decks, so it got a lot of people excited to try it and they shared it with their friends. It was the video that really started it all for me along with YouTube pushing the video.
G.U: So I have to ask. Who came up with Unyielding Kegs first. You or Saucy? As I see you two are good friends.
S.F: Personally, I don't really see it as anyone's idea in itself as I knew lots of people who had played it early on. GrappLr played it on day one, and I saw people on ladder playing it as well. Saucy very well could have arrived at the idea independently as he sure didn't get the idea from me. Personally, I first saw it while watching Hyped stream and his opponent was playing it. I don't think any one person first had the idea. I think a lot of people had the same idea which spread. With a player base as big as Runeterra's, it becomes a lot more unlikely for people to have an idea that no one else had.
G.U: That's fair. And quite the diplomatic answer. Regardless of it being the truth. Haha. But, speaking of Runeterra. Thos is definitely a game that has had an impact on a lot of us. Mogwai was just speaking on how it's helped him hit 200,000 subs on the tube. What was it about LoR that captured your attention and stole your focus?
S.F: I had played a lot of League of Legends in the past and loved card games, so I was eager to try it as soon as it was announced. I really liked how I could play with some of my favorite LoL champions and how interactive each turn was. It is what really grabbed my attention.
G.U: It's definitely not something I had personally ever seen before. And I've played a lot of Card Games. Do you believe this has the staying power of Magic The Gathering. The game CCG players instinctually think of when talking cards.
S.F: Yes, I do. I believe that Riot knows what they are doing. They have the resources to run a successful game and have already done so with League of Legends. They know the drill. They have also created an innovative game with a free to play system that appeals to a wide audience.
G.U: That free to play is what really makes them above the competition. The other part of it is being Digital. However, I feel as though it has its downside. For example, we talk about the "Meta" in the community vs the Creative. A And it definitely goes back to what you said about the game being so popular that one would be hard pressed to come up with something original. But I think there is a huge lack of creativity when it comes to deck builds. Everyone wants the tried and proven winning deck. And my question to you is do you feel as if having such instant access to what works and to how to build it ruins the integrity of the game?
S.F: No, I don't. The thing I love about card games is you can play it how you choose to play. Whether it means you play the best deck in the game or something you made blindfolded - it's about how you enjoy playing the game. The "net decking" war is one that I find silly. Proven decks can teach players so many things from how to pilot a new deck to improving their own deck building skills. As well as, not everyone has time to create a new deck on their own. I know some people see their deck essentially as an extension of their personality, so when other people aren't doing the same it feels like they are breaking the unwritten rules of the game. However, the way I see it I think both ways should be viable. Ideally, the meta should be one that allows for strong decks, but not decks that become oppressive to well built, creative decks. There is space for both of them under the right conditions.
G.U: That is a well stated perspective. I fall under the extension of personality category myself. Haha. And info feel as though it falls on Riot to give incentive to create and discover. One of the examples I always use is VS System. This was a game that there were so many WINNING combinations. Do you think that there is a chance for people to come up with surprising "teir 1" decks that were originally seen as trash or just not to the caliber?
S.F: Sure, there are always chances like that in card games. Someone figures out the secret sauce and all of a sudden a deck becomes tier 1 or even better.
G.U: So as a LoL player. You'll have a better idea than most LoR players. What are 4 Champions you'd like to see in the next expansion?
S.F: Diana, Leona, Taric, and Aurelion Sol
G.U: Man. No one is giving Wukong any love! Haha. Why THOSE four though. For those of us who may not know them. Self including.
S.F: I have always liked Diana and Leona. Leona is related to fire and sun. Diana is related to darkness and the moon. This causes them to have some interesting reactions to each other. I am really hoping for some cool interactions between the two champions in Runeterra! Taric is a champion I used to play a lot when I played League. I have fond memories of a friend of mine playing him as AP Taric before his rework where he would two shot people. Aurelion Sol is just such a cool concept. He is a celestial god who controls stars. The idea of him controlling stars with ease was such an interesting concept to me. Most champions use guns, swords, or some type of sorcery via spells. Aurelion Sol is unique in the fact that he is literally controlling stars.
G.U: You're definitely a LoL professional. Haha. So in regards to your streaming career. What would you say were some of the biggest hurdles you had to over come?
S.F: I think the biggest one was self confidence as well as patience. Content creation has ups and downs. Some days I feel like I was made for this and other days I wonder what I'm doing. There always feels like there are more things I can do. It can be hard to take a break sometimes. Most of the confidence comes with time as well as seeing people who really enjoy my passion and videos.
G.U: That's understandable for sure. And I think, and correct me if I'm wrong, you have an added stress being a female. Do you think that's made things harder or easier for you?
S.F: I think overall it makes things a bit harder. I feel like people tend to be more judgmental about women in gaming. Whether it be her looks, her game play, or her motives for playing the game in the first place. I often get comments on all of these things. I'd say 95% of it is fairly normal and a vast majority of people in the LoR community mean well. It generally feels more like a bad apple feeling rather than an issue as a whole. I have certainly ran into people who had blatantly been sexist against me, and I know there are more of those people hidden in the shadows.
I think the hardest thing about being a woman content creator is earning the respect of people. It also can be harder to get an audience to relate to you at times. Men tend to relate to other men and women tend to relate more to other women. It's a pretty normal thing and isn't sexism, but it can still be tough when more than 90% of the player base is likely to be male. For perspective, 97% of my viewership are men. This doesn't make being a female content creator impossible, but I do see it as an extra hurdle I have.
I think another issue I've had in the past is people questioning, "Is she only successful because she's a woman?" Which is one of the more frustrating things. It discredits everything I do.