|Full concentration: Amalie at the "NVIDIA GeForce GTX Challenge" Foto: Turowski|
Amalie does what what most teenagers may just dream about: The 18 year old girl earns money by playing video games and showing it live to anyone who wants to watch. Amalie, better known as "proxyfox" on the internet, is a Norwegian streamer. Since almost two years by now she entertains her steadily growing audience by playing video games like "League of Legends", "Hearthstone", "Counter Strike" or guitar. The game which takes up most of her streams is "League of Legends". It belongs to the genre of MOBA games, short for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena , and is theoretically a rather simple game.
Two teams made up of five Champions that are played by one person each battle each other. The playing field consists of two bases which are connected via three lanes. The objective of the game is to destroy the main building, called Nexus in "League of Legends".
Sounds simple at first. In practice, however, it is much more complicated to play it since there are so many champions to choose from that execute different functions.
When Amalie is not streaming from home, it is not necessarily due to her doing something different, but rather because she is streaming from somewhere else. Like, for examaple, at the "NVIDIA GeForce GTX Challenge", a livestream event in cologne, in which streamers and youtubers from all of Europe came together to play against each other in various games. The participants were grouped according to their country of origin. United Kingdome, Germany, France, Poland, Spain, Italy and Nordics, Amalie's team.
They were competing in six different games, amongst others there were "Counter Strike", a first-person-shooter, "Shovel Knigh", a 2D-platformer, in which the players had to speedrun the levels, "Dota2", another MOBA similiar to "league of Legends" (but not quite), and "Project Cars", a realistic car racing game.
The games were picked from a diverse range of genres so that no player was favoured due to his or her skills in one particular game. Each team had to compete in every game. At the end all points have been combined in order to find the winners. "We took some inspiration from the "Eurovision Songcontest", because such a countryclash among streamers and youtubers has not been there yet.", said Christian Beer, one initiator of the event.
Amalie unfortunately did not win the competition this time. The winners came from Poland, second place went to Germany. After all the Nordic-team came out third. As a reward the winning teams pocketed high-end-devices in order to pass them on to very lucky fans. And there were many of Fans: The challenge was watched by about 30,000 Fans for the most part.
Amalie explains the strong growth of the eSports industry by the increased availability of the necessary technology to view streams, play video games or even to stream oneself."Kids these days get their own computer or console at the age of eight or ten. Most kids and teenagers play video games these days and thus it is very easy to do marketing with , for example, internet providers or gaming gear producers.", said Amalie.
However, not everybody is as successful as the eighteen-year-old. Thanks to many fans and sponsors Amalie is able to stream as her main job. "A job I thoroughly enjoy." she emphasizes. "While my past jobs were cumbersome I now look forward to streaming and everything else alongside it like preparing the stream, making overlays for it or doing marketing." With so much success there comes a lot of envy as well. "Of course some people say to themselves: This streamer has made ten times more followers than I have in the same time. Where did I go wrong? But I think it is just about peoples taste. Some people prefer watching League of Legends with someone who has big boobs. They do not have to have a good gameplay, they just have big boobs. And then it depends on the reputation you want to have: Do you want to be that girl who is challenger in League, or do you want to be that girl with the boobs?"
Even though Amalie is getting recognized in the streets of Norway and at gaming events: She does not want to be a star. She just wants to play.