Hey everyone! My name is Stephen Ellis. I’m joined by my friend David Steinberg (/u/StoneMountain64), who is the co-founder of our new company, Pipeline.

I was formerly one of the top League of Legends players in the world, captaining my team to 3rd place in the world championships and competing in over 40 countries. In the past few years, I was working at Facebook to lead their entry into building a live-streaming platform for gaming creators.

David, formerly in finance, was working a full-time 7-5 job while uploading gaming content to YouTube. He has since quit that job and transitioned to a streaming career on Facebook with over 3.5M followers across those platforms. Seen as a role model within the content creation community, he’s been eager to find a way to help content creators at scale.

We’ve been heads-down building Pipeline for the past six months, curating over a decade of knowledge to provide a roadmap for streamers to follow. We’re committed to bringing streamers together in one place to help them through the rollercoaster that is building a part-time or full-time career in streaming.

We wanted to run this AMA to talk about what we’ve learned in building a career in gaming, answering any questions you might have about our journey, our own careers, what we had for breakfast, or anything else that comes to your mind that we can answer!

Excited to dive in with you for the next few hours! ❤

Comments: 143 • Responses: 23  • Date: 

Codeskull10 karma

As someone who had never before heard about Pipeline, and has since read precisely one article about it to have a general idea of what it is, what exactly will users be able to expect for their monthly or yearly subscription fees?

snoopeh5 karma

Absolutely. I'll do my best to summarize without being too long winded :P

  • Discounts with Top Brands in Gaming
  • Curated Knowledge in a Digestible Format from people who've been in the industry for a decade and failed many times!
  • Working through that content with you in Discord but also live during group sessions.
  • A curated community that's serious about streaming, we'll keep the positive vibes and have zero tolerance for trolls/spam. You need to know anything about streaming? You can go to our team or the community to get the answer.
  • Pre-Vetted Service Providers across legal/tax/finance/design for example if you needed a lawyer to vet your contract/sponsorship? we can set you up.

Codeskull2 karma

Follow up question(s); how large is this team? If I have a question to ask, are there work hours I can expect it answered, or is it whenever people are available?

snoopeh1 karma

Our team is now 10 strong but we also have service providers which is based on their own availability.

We've a good distribution on the team (and service providers) of US/UK timezones so there's pretty much always someone around.

The community itself is alive around the clock!

TheShinyGoat9 karma

It seems that all initial content is geared towards people who are still just considering streaming. I was told that other modules will unlock over the next 2-3months.

Now, at $29 per month, someone who is an established streamer, I struggle to see the value until about 2-3 months from now. So can you tell me when the community and monetization modules will be unlocked? What is my incentive to keep my subscription and spend $100+ until the platform introduces the value adding benefits that are most relevant to me?

Thanks.

snoopeh2 karma

Firstly, thanks for joining the community!

When we think about who Pipeline best helps _now_ it's for sure those who are earlier on in their journey and each module will be unlocked monthly.

In our research in chatting with streamers, a lot of them felt overwhelmed which is why we took this model of distilling what we've learned into a playbook and actually working through it with you.

While you're waiting on us to unlock for e.g. Growth/Systems pillars, you should still get plenty of value from the discounts we have with top-tier partners in the space, opportunities to collaborate, pre-vetted service providers for legal/tax, a community that can help you debug/triage pretty much anything related to streaming.

TheShinyGoat5 karma

Thank you, I really appreciate the response. I can certainly see a lot of value in the points you've made for the current value proposition. I think I'm the small % that has their tech sorted, everything is purchased, and the only thing that I'd benefit from is collab. But spending $29 is quite a bit for just that. I am most certainly going to resub in the near future.

snoopeh3 karma

No worries at all man! I appreciate you joining and hope to see you again in the near future <3

We'll also be looking for ambassadors in the community, so if that's something you're ever interested in - let us know!

favdulce7 karma

Snoopeh you came down to a place called Dave and Busters in Chicago years ago. I remember meeting you and it was great. Do you ever miss that atmosphere about being a professional player?

snoopeh6 karma

That Chicago Meetup was INCREDIBLE! Had so much fun.

I also wasn't in Chicago very long but I did not want to miss out on the food.. I think I ate about 7000 calories one day. No regrets.

As far as missing pro play.. I'm a competitor. I don't think I'll ever stop being one. While I'm not on a stage these days, there is a lot of analogies to building a company.

I do miss my fans though, it's actually been super fun to start streaming again (twice a week). You should swing by at Mon or Wed @ 1PM PST :)

kagekitsune1166 karma

By far away one of my favorite old school league players. CLG.EU was one of my favorite teams.

Do you still keep up with any of the gang? Do you follow league esports much at all anymore?

As far as pipeline goes what would be your advice to someone just starting streaming? (Specifically someone who wants to be a shoutcaster :D)What will your involvement with the company be like?

Cheers and thanks for doing this

snoopeh3 karma

Answered above but I do check-in with the guys every now and then, especially Krepo. I tried to convince him to move to LA for a while :P

I don't watch all the regular games but I deff watch the bigger ones. LOVE what the LEC has accomplished this year.

Watching worlds last year actually got me back into League and I'm HOOKED again.

There's lots of things to consider when just starting out as a streamer but one thing I'd put high up there is getting clear on what your expectations are of it. You don't have to go all-in right away but you need to be clear on why you're doing it.

As for my involvement, I'll be there every single day. We've been building this for the past 6 months and we're just getting started!

wmgtea3 karma

/u/Snoopeh! Miss you on the professional League stage :<.

Did you have a game plan set after you left competitive gaming, or did it take some time before you transitioned to working at Facebook? How hard was it?

snoopeh3 karma

I had many plans, some worked, some didn't ;)

My biggest thing I realized is that I was more passionate about being involved in the back-end of gaming (business side) than the front-side personality wise. So the past few years of my careers have focused on making impact there.

The transition wasn't easy at all and something I have conversations with current/former Pro's. There's quite a few analogies to traditional sports where it can be hard to transition after your career.

BosozokuGX3 karma

I emailed Josh from your communications team earlier, and I have a few questions.

As an incredibly small-time streamer, how quickly can I be expected to see results? I want to fully commit as much as I can juggling university and a full-time desk job, so from 50+ followers (twitch.tv/bosozokugx (shameless plug)) what can I expect to see in terms of building a following and learning the tricks of the trade?

If I sign up (and it's certainly tempting!) would I be able to set my payment dates up so that the payment comes out on payday for me?

Finally, what learning resources would be available for things like video editing?

snoopeh4 karma

We've got people joining that haven't started yet but are thinking about doing so, all the way to people who are already doing this full-time but want to know how to take it to the next level.

Firstly, I'd just recommend you calibrate your expectations with what's feasible given your IRL circumstances. You can do this, it'll just take time. Step by Step. You might only be able to commit 3 hours a week right now and then in a few months, 6 hours a week etc.

We can't promise growth, no one can. However, we think we can give you a better shot based on what we've learned.

As for the question on payments, it's every 30 days based on the time you sign up. We can't accommodate custom but if it's a little too much now you can always join us in the next launch in a few months. Prioritize IRL first!

KrayZ901 karma

Kind of adding to the questions here. If I would join using the monthly plan, will I be able to cancel any time or do I have to stay for a certain time (like 12 months or so)?

It is kind of intriguing for me, since I already did stream for some time, but then life happened and I also kinda lost the initial passion. Since both things could be happening any time again, I would rather dip my feet into the water for a month or two to see if this feels right for me instead of making a full commitment for a longer period.

snoopeh2 karma

You can cancel any time! We've got members at many different stages in the journey.

ArchangelRyzera2 karma

What do people at twitch think of your project?

snoopeh2 karma

So far the reception from them has been great! I'm a big fan of what things like the Creator Camp and other resources they have for folks just starting out on their journey.

We hope to amplify/compliment the amazing work they're already doing.

EquusTV2 karma

What does our monthly subscription pay for? Just for membership or does that go towards paying for designs/extras within the community? Like would I be provided with designs or will those cost as well. Thank you guys for making this. I love y'alls openness and your drive to make something to help us all.

snoopeh4 karma

It won't cover the cost of design work. We do have amazing designers in the community that we've pre-vetted though and the community is keeping them busy! 😂

Our commitment is to curate our knowledge (and the communities) down into a digestible format that we can work through with you from thinking of starting, all the way to building our your team as an established streamer.

We'll be partnering with top brands in the space. We've teamed up with Elgato, NZXT, CORSAIR and Streamlabs for launch where you can save hundreds of dollars.

It's also a place that you know you can come to figure shit it out, you don't have to go it alone and we're going to make sure the community has positive vibes only and is filled with people that are serious about turning this into a career.

STOMMR2 karma

What do you think is a crucial part of streaming that not a lot of people pay attention to or think about?

snoopeh2 karma

Being clear on WHY you're doing it. Are you doing this as a hobby? Then why do you have the expectations of someone who is trying to make it a career? Why put that pressure on yourself?

Being realistic. Circumstances means you have to adapt your approach. Many people when they first start out cannot commit to 6 days a week, 8 hours a day and nor should they. Make a plan that works for your life. That's entirely different for every person.

TheCanadian6661 karma

Hey Snoopeh, are you still in touch with any of your former CLG.EU teammates?

snoopeh5 karma

I actually bumped into Froggen last week in LA :) Not in touch much these days but we do see each other every now and then.

Myself and Krepo always check-in with each other from time to time!

p.s. Can anyone tell me what Pete is doing these days!? So curious! Miss him.

TheCanadian6662 karma

I got curious and did some googling on Pete. His online presence disappeared after 2016, so no idea what he might be up to.

snoopeh1 karma

I believe he got an MBA in Germany, then married.. but haven't seen or heard from him since :(

SloshMcGee1 karma

Hey Snoopeh, used to enjoy watching you in the pro scene. Out of curiosity, do you still actively play/enjoy League?

Cheers!

snoopeh1 karma

I had a few years hiatus but worlds last year got me hooked again. Been playing pretty consistent since and actually stream twice a week even though I'm swamped building Pipeline :)

AMUMU BUFFS!! :D

Cuhlaymore_1 karma

Hi Stephen and Dave! I appreciate you guys taking the time to do this AMA and I think it's incredible what you're building here for content creators, both old and new!

(also big fan of season 2 CLG EU :D)

I guess my question requires some context. I have wanted to create content related to gaming for a while now and I have a few ideas. I've also laid out a basic format for a podcast that I have wanted to do, because I as well as several friends always enjoy talking about games and the various gaming communities that we are part of (including League!). I have even tried dipping my toes into streaming with speedrunning!

However, I haven't been very consistent in working toward these goals I have. I guess I'm finding it difficult to put the time into everything I want to do. There are a lot of factors to this certainly... such as my day job, having no energy at the end of the day after work, relax with other games (perhaps putting too much time into them!), recently having bought a house to live in that I have to maintain, and that's not to mention other personal details like depression and family/relationship stuff. I've tried making a sort of schedule in the past or a plan to do even something small every day to work toward stuff, but they would always fall through.

With everything that's going on in my life at the moment, understandably I have to prioritize certain things, but part of me feels like that I may not have the discipline or even a realistic amount of time and dedication to put toward being a content creator or a streamer.

All that said, I suppose all that I'm wondering is what your thoughts on this are. I think there's probably a fine line between balancing your life with being self-employed in this manner, and perhaps it's true that it can't be for everyone in their different paths in life, but as someone who really wants to give this a shot, what do you think I should do?

I look up to people like you guys in so many ways, and I'm super happy to see your success here! Thank you for your time if you see my message! :D

snoopeh2 karma

Great question. Also, shout out to the CLG.eu! Will never forget Season 2 :)

Firstly, want you to know that you're not alone. I've worked with thousands of streamers over the years and it's a recurring theme. It's so difficult to find the time or motivation to be disciplined. Especially when there's so much going on on the "LIFE" front.

It's unique to every person, but I'd recommend you get clear on your expectations of streaming. Do you see this as a hobby (nothing wrong with that!) or do you want try see if you could turn this into a part-time or full-time gig?

You should calibrate your expectations according to that, then starting breaking it down. People often over estimate what they can accomplish in a week but underestimate what they can do in a year.

Don't go "all-in," until you start getting good traction that can offset your IRL costs (rent, phone, food, bills, etc)

Now, how much time can you carve out consistently? At a stretch is it 6 hours? Then dial it back to 4 hours. Never let yourself or your community down with that 4 hours.

Have the conversation with your S/O, Family/Friends about how this is important to you. Honor that 4 hour commitment. Do that for a few weeks/months (typically 60 days is good) and then you can re evaluate/see where you can start to do more OR if streaming is actually for you! It might not be!

Don't just go live all the time. Spend time on the research/learning side that's incredibly important. A good bench mark is spending 20% of your time in the beginning "learning" when not live.

BurkeGod1 karma

Totally random, what are your projections of how VR will interact with streaming as it grows and becomes more popular?

snoopeh1 karma

It's still early but I'm really excited by what we're starting to see in the NBA and some of the explorations in esports. It has struggled to find that killer use-case but I've no doubt that it will.

There's a lot of VC money keeping the industry alive at the moment, I'm wondering how long that can sustain for them to find that 'killer use-case.' Unfortunately, a lot of companies are running out of money and can't sustain the investment :(

ecbob1 karma

Who was your all time favourite teammate? Who and Why?

snoopeh1 karma

Krepo.

I never had any actual brothers (do have two sisters!) but he might as well have been my brother. We grew up a lot together over the years.

Faded_ac1 karma

Would you say that Facebook would be a better platform for streaming? In terms of being able to grow. I've streamed on twitch and mixer both and have seen very little growth.

snoopeh1 karma

Honestly, they're all great platforms.

Finding which one is right for you is about 1) figuring out who you are as a streamer 2) which audience would resonate most with that 3) where is that audience 4) where's the opportunities for you to engage with that audience.

Even though you might be a console streamer and Mixer could be perfect.. it could be completely saturated in your timezone/language/niche.

Try think about it from your "ideal viewers" perspective.

wolf6_actual1 karma

Could you explain some the perks in joining pipeline? Most of the big wins I see in streaming are from actually upping the quality of the content not just what the streamer is doing but the frames, the cuts, the production value.

Stone has even brought up the key is editing and actually producing content. How can pipeline help there?

To be honest I have a full fledged career in tech where I can afford to join pipeline but in terms of graphics, technical help, utilizing framing, elgato streamdeck tips/tricks, editing and the key production side of things is where I am not growing.

Can pipeline help with production and these elements? The website doesn't mention any of these things.

snoopeh1 karma

So there's a bunch of things listed on the website but one thing we probably haven't spoken much about (and honestly, we only started realizing this after we had a few hundred members in the community)

Because everyone "gets it" and they've all been through or going through a similar thing... it's a massive hub of knowledgable people. The vibes are extremely positive and support in the community. We have dedicated people on the Pipeline team helping debug/optimize setups but also members of the community are chipping in to help out.

Every hour, people are triaging audio/video setups.. it has been amazing to see!

J_Lion291 karma

Once the enrollment closed, are you planning to re open enrollment for the people who couldn’t join during initial launch?

snoopeh1 karma

100%! We're going to close the doors for a few months while we work with founding members but absolutely we'll be open again in the future.

MolecularAG1 karma

Any opportunities for those of us with industry experience (marketing) to contribute to pipeline?

snoopeh1 karma

We're not actively looking at the moment but that could change quickly. Want to shoot me an email to [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) with your experience and what you'd love to do? I'll take a look later this week!

MolecularAG1 karma

Done, thank you! As a side question, if we subscribed at the yearly price when will we be given a schedule to book a 1:1?

snoopeh1 karma

After launch, we'll be getting those scheduled!