Nick Kolcheff, better known to his subscribers as NICKMERCS, has found success balancing his content between both Twitch and YouTube. Let’s take a look at his journey and how his story might inspire other content creators.
Though NICKMERCS has found more prominent success in recent years, he’s been around the streaming industry from the beginning. Nick’s passion for gaming came in his youth. Despite victories in local tournaments, he often struggled to convince his parents of it being a viable career. Finding himself at odds more often than not, he set out to prove himself in the gaming community.
Nick put himself on the map during the early days of the modern esports scene by joining the professional team, TH3 NSAN3Z, and winning the Major League Gaming—MLG—Gears of War 2 National Championship in 2009. His time with TH3 NSAN3Z was fruitful, and they went on to win three more major tournaments—MLG Anaheim, MLG Dr Pepper, and the National Championship at MLG Orlando. All together Nick earned over $100,000, an almost unheard-of sum during those early days of esports.
The forefront of streaming
Early on in his career, Nick leveraged his esports success into live-streaming on top of tournament participation. In 2010, before Twitch was even known as Twitch, Nick was streaming. Though he hooked a loyal following with his Gears of War videos, his transition to Call of Duty is what took his channel to the next level.
By 2015, Nick was regarded as one of the biggest names in the COD community. Known for his aggressive playstyle and humorous demeanor, his star continued to rise as Justin.tv made the conversion to Twitch.
His subscriber base had been steady for a number of years, but jumping onto Fortnite early in the title’s launch, Nick saw exponential growth over the course of just a few months. Once his squad broke a pair of world records, Nick cemented his role as one of the preeminent game streamers.
Despite some hiccups, including a public falling out with Nadeshot and 100 Thieves, Nick is now part of the most popular esports organization in the world: FaZe Clan. His continual hard work has paid off and he now commands nearly four million Twitch followers, alongside his 3 million subscribers on YouTube.
Another crucial key to NICKMERCS’ success in streaming stems from his community engagement. His Fortnite adventures garnered considerable attention considering his exclusive use of a gamepad during tournaments. Even while everyone else was playing with a keyboard and mouse —a standard for competitive play— Nick stuck to his controller setup.
This endeared him to many gamers and essentially made him the ‘face’ of the controller-based community. Nick has used this distinction to build more content for his channels; from snagging partnerships with ScuffGaming, gamepad reviews and even videos based around the settings he prefers. Nick has been able to expand the types of content offered while still sticking to a brand the community knows and loves.
Beyond that, Nick maintains an active presence within his own community, the “MFAM.” He has an active social media presence, often interacting directly with fans on top of posting links to new content. More impressive, however, is his direct outreach work within the community.
Nick frequently holds fundraising streams and has donated several thousands of dollars to the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research. This generosity extends directly to subscribers as well. He routinely gives thousands of dollars to subscribers during the holidays and just last year hosted a $100,000 barbeque open to all of his fans.
With all the hard work he’s put into his gaming career, Nick makes it clear he wouldn’t have made it without the help and support of his followers. As such, he continues to go out of his way to try and show that appreciation in a way few streamers have.
Even with a significant subscriber base, Nick isn’t slowing down. His approach to growth should be familiar to any content creator looking to grow. He adheres to a regular schedule, posting new content on a daily basis and he utilizes a dedicated space for recording. He’s also invested in his streaming/gaming setup to ensure everything looks sleek and professional.
Despite sticking to a couple of games, Nick keeps his content diverse by balancing the two major video platforms. On Twitch—his primary outlet—he streams matches in Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone, entertaining viewers while playing. He then takes those streams and turns them into YouTube content. These include highlight reels of specific matches, humorous moments top lists and specific tips for other players. Nick finds a way to take raw stream footage and turn them into fresh content.
This approach keeps livestream viewers happy while enticing newcomers with the highlights. In this way, NICKMERCS found a balance between Twitch and YouTube. This allows him to stick to the platform he’s most familiar with without excluding other audiences.
A journey to remember
NICKMERCS’ rise to streaming fame comes from his dedication and work ethic. By combining his passion for competitive gaming and being at the forefront of the streaming era, he’s proven that hard work along with basic content creation principles can get you far. Along with his constant support of the community, Nick’s legacy is one that will have a lasting impact.