Streamers on the Rise: MacieJay wants people to watch for him, not just for the game he’s playing

By 10/31/2023
Streamers on the Rise: MacieJay wants people to watch for him, not just for the game he’s playing

Welcome to Streamers on the Rise, where we find streamers who are growing their channels, content, and audiences in extraordinary ways. Each week we’ll talk with a creator about what goes into livestreaming–both on and off camera.

MacieJay was on track to become a veterinarian when he injured his foot and found himself stuck at home.

His injury was “pretty bad,” he says, and not what he wanted to be dealing with after completing a bachelor’s in biology. His plan had been to transfer on to veterinary school, but he couldn’t hike around a campus with his foot the way it was. And, on top of that, he was an avid skateboarder, so his usual top hobby was off the table, too.


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Luckily, he had one more hobby he loved: gaming.

He’s been a gamer his whole life, he says, and started playing on Nintendo systems as a kid. As he got older, he found the Tom Clancy games, and when Rainbow Six Siege debuted in 2015, its approach to strategic gameplay had him hooked. While injured, he realized there wasn’t much content on YouTube for Siege–and since he was down one hobby, he figured he could try making videos.

Those videos did a lot better than he expected. Without much competition for views, “it was easy for me to stand out,” MacieJay says. He made a couple videos, and then a couple more, hoping to inspire discussions with fellow Siege enthusiasts on Reddit. Before too long, he had 30,000 subscribers. It was some of those subscribers who urged MacieJay to try streaming.

Now, seven years later, content creation is his full-time job. He’s passed one million subscribers on YouTube and one million followers on Twitch, and says right now, he’s at a bit of a crossroads. Rainbow Six was his way into content creation–but he feels like the game has shifted away from the strategy-heavy style he loved, and he’s hoping his viewers will join him if he expands into more games.

Check out our chat with him below.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Tubefilter: Hi there! Let’s dive right in: for anyone who doesn’t know you, give me a little bit of background about you and where you’re from.

MacieJay: My name is Maciej. It’s a Polish name. My online name would be MacieJay, which comes from a mispronunciation of my actual name. It’s hard to read Polish, so people really struggle with it here in New York. I grew up in New York my whole life. Queens, New York. I just moved out of there.

Tubefilter: Very cool. Queens is fantastic. Did you have any cool hobbies as a kid?

MacieJay: Skateboarding.

Tubefilter: Really?

MacieJay: Yes. I played a lot of music growing up, but skateboarding is the one that really stuck for my whole life. I still do it to this day.

Tubefilter: When did streaming come into things?

MacieJay: Right when I graduated college. I started streaming straight out of college. The timing just happened to be…I kind of fell into it. I didn’t really plan on it.

Tubefilter: Streaming, I feel like, can be especially intimidating for people to start.

MacieJay: It honestly wasn’t intimidating, because I didn’t actually expect it to be a career. I was just doing it for fun. I actually started with YouTube. I made a couple videos that just took off right away. Again, it was just for fun. It was just to have some discussions on Reddit. Once YouTube started to take off, I remember I had 30,000 subscribers. I remember I had the Polish people asking me to start livestreaming so they can just have better conversations. That’s really all it was. It was just me talking with the people from YouTube, just conversing with them. There’s really no pressure. I didn’t really expect anything out of it.

Tubefilter: When did you start gaming in general?

MacieJay: Oh, my whole life. I’m 32 now, so I started on the original Nintendo. Super Nintendo was the big one for me. I’ve been through them all. All the generations.

Tubefilter: Got you. One thing I hear from people on Twitch compared to people on YouTube is that it’s virtually impossible to grow your audience just on Twitch. I’m curious how your audience growth went.

MacieJay: On Twitch I started off– My first stream, I remember, I was just under 100 viewers. Right away I started going, just because I had a base on YouTube. I really don’t know how it would be just trying on Twitch straight away without anything else. I would agree, you probably do need some background elsewhere. If not, then you just need one big moment that really pops out.

Tubefilter: So when you started streaming, it was a hobby for you?

MacieJay: It was just something I did for fun. Funny enough, right out of college, I ended up injuring my foot pretty bad.

Tubefilter: Oh, no.

MacieJay: I was stuck home. I was supposed to do a bunch of internships because I was getting prepared to go to veterinary college. I ended up injuring my foot, so I was stuck home. I had plenty of time on my hands and fell into content creation through that.

Tubefilter: For veterinary school, that’s a big commitment.

MacieJay: You have to do eight years of school in total. For my undergraduate, I majored in biology because there’s no like a pre-vet course like there is pre-med. I ended up doing biology and then was going to transfer over to a veterinary college.

Tubefilter: Got you. Was there a point where it was like, “I’m going to commit to streaming and do this”?

MacieJay: Again, I was just doing it for fun during my injury, just as a hobby. Once it started to take off, and I started seeing numbers, I saw the potential. It was a no-brainer, because I really loved it and the opportunity was presenting itself there.

Tubefilter: Perfect. I know you’re a big Outlast player and Rainbow Six. What draws you to these games in particular?

MacieJay: I primarily play Rainbow Six and just horror games in general. Rainbow Six, I was always a fan of the Tom Clancy games. I’ve played pretty much all of them, including the original Rainbow Sixes. It was actually one of my first PC games, Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear. I just got the game because it’s a Tom Clancy game, big fan of the franchise then. Rainbow Six actually was a big departure from the traditional Tom Clancy games, but I loved it regardless. It fit my play style of strategy and tactics. I don’t know. I also like horror just because of the adrenaline.

Tubefilter: Absolutely. Outlast is such a good game.

MacieJay: Outlast is great.

Tubefilter: It’s terrifying. It’s so good. Does your audience ever influence what you’re going to play on a particular stream?

MacieJay: Oh my god, absolutely. I am in a part of my career where I’m pigeonholed into Rainbow Six. It influences it heavily. Absolutely. I feel like this is a problem with most content creators, is that they get associated and stuck with one particular game, and anytime they try to branch out, it doesn’t work out as well. That’s where I’m at with Siege. I’m still trying. Horror stream seems to do fairly well.

Tubefilter: That’s interesting. Are you thinking about how to break out?

MacieJay: Yes, it’s something I really want to do. I love Siege as they went through, but the game is moving to a direction that’s not really for me anymore.

Tubefilter: Why? What in particular? Just out of curiosity.

MacieJay: It’s just that it’s the tactics and strategy elements of the game that were so prevalent and so strong, it was the primary factor of the game. Everything revolved around strategy and tactics. And now they’ve shifted the game more towards a run-and-gun shooter. It’s losing the whole purpose of the game, in my opinion.

Tubefilter: That sucks.

MacieJay: I’m trying to branch out, and horror seems to be doing well because I genuinely love it. I think that’s a huge thing. You got to really love what you do. It’s wearing on me with Rainbow Six. It’s starting to tell that I don’t enjoy it as much as I used to.

Tubefilter: I’m biased because I’m big Apex player, but have you considered other games?

MacieJay: Yes. I’ve played Apex. I don’t know. Again, my audience does not roll over from one game to the other. Apex was a disaster when I tried to stream it.

Tubefilter: Oh, no. I was going to say, because Apex is very strategic.

MacieJay: Apex is great. I am a big fan of the game.

Tubefilter: Have you always stuck to a specific kind of stream schedule?

MacieJay: No. I stream every single day, just because I want to. I don’t abide to a strict schedule. I’ve tried to but when you start forcing yourself to stream when you don’t want to, I feel like it affects the stream. I just stream when I want to, which is pretty much eight hours a day.

Tubefilter: A full-time job! You just hit a million followers, right?

MacieJay: Yes, both Twitch and YouTube.

Tubefilter: That’s a very significant number, especially on Twitch.

MacieJay: Yes, especially on Twitch.

Tubefilter: Congratulations.

MacieJay: Thank you.

Tubefilter: What year did you start streaming? Do you remember?

MacieJay: 2016.

Tubefilter: How have you continued to build your audience over the years? What was the motivating factor in building it?

MacieJay: It’s just Rainbow Six. I filled in that niche of tactics and strategy that nobody else did. I had, I don’t know, just a unique perspective or take through that specific game people really gravitated towards.

Tubefilter: And then over on YouTube, do you feel like you have a lot of audience coming from YouTube to Twitch?

MacieJay: Yes, a huge portion of my audience comes from YouTube.

Tubefilter: Interesting. Yeah, I’m always trying to talk to creators about discoverability on YouTube versus Twitch, or other plaforms versus Twitch, and how other platforms play into it on Twitch. Do you have a team working with you at all or is it just you behind the scenes?

MacieJay: Not in terms of content creation, I have Viral Nation to manage like sponsors and stuff, but as for the content itself, that’s all me. I do all the editing, all the posting, everything.

Tubefilter: That’s a ton of work. You’re streaming for eight hours a day and then you’re doing your own editing?

MacieJay: Yes.

Tubefilter: Do you feel like you will reach the point where you need an editor or is that just not something that’s in the cards for you?

MacieJay: I don’t know. I don’t mind. I like doing all my own stuff, just because I like being in control of all that’s being presented. I considered having an editor, but I don’t know. I don’t feel like I need it. I’m not that big of a streamer in comparison to others. It’s easy work. It’s just time-consuming. That’s all.

Tubefilter: What else do you get up to outside of streaming and content in general?

MacieJay: Like I said, I still skateboard. I’ve been doing a lot of bike riding. Got into that. Basically anything outdoors I’m happy with, because I spend so much time at the computer. Anything that gets me out of the house is something I’ve been really focusing on.

Tubefilter: Do you have any plans or goals or projects you’re working on? I know that you want to move into more games, but anything else that you’re looking to take your channel into?

MacieJay: For right now, I just made a second channel yesterday. It’s really just to do all my playthroughs of other games. Again, particularly horror. It’s cool because it’s something that– I feel like it just lifted almost, not a weight, but with YouTube, you have to be careful what you post because if a video flops, it might affect the algorithm, and then affect future videos, whether or not people get it recommended.

With the second channel, I’m using that to basically post whatever I want. It’s just giving me that creative outlet that I need. It’s honestly more for me. I’ll see where it goes. You just have to do it and then see where everything goes.

Tubefilter: It’s like the pressure off.

MacieJay: Yes, yes. I still love content creation, and I just want to…It feels like another passion project.

Tubefilter: Do you feel like this is your career for the foreseeable future?

MacieJay: Oh, for the foreseeable future, I don’t know. It’s such an unpredictable space. It concerns me, especially with me not liking Siege as much as I used to. It does concern me. I really have to try and see if I can branch out into the variety space. Like I said, you got to just go for it and see what works and what happens. It’s hard to predict.

Tubefilter: You said you tried Apex and it was a disaster with your audience. How could you tell that it wasn’t a positive reception?

MacieJay: Oh, number one, viewership went down. Even on Twitch, sub count went down drastically and I never recovered from it. I decided to take a– On Twitch, if you don’t stream, you lose subs. That’s just the nature of it. Every day you don’t stream is a day you lose subs. The week that I streamed Apex, I took a whole week just dedicated to Apex, my sub count went down faster than if I had streamed nothing at all. I could have literally taken the week off and had a higher sub count. My audience really did not like it. They thought that I was taking a break for the long term.

Tubefilter: That’s difficult.

MacieJay: That one sucked. Just because I knew that if I just took the week off, it would have been better in general than having streamed that, so that one hurt.

Tubefilter: Do you have a strategy to expand into other games?

MacieJay: Yes. For now, I’m just holding on to Siege, keeping my core audience engaged. Then after six or so hours of Siege, then I start playing the other games that I really am into.

Tubefilter: Got you. I hope things shake out for you. To wrap up, what would be your number one piece of advice for somebody who’s looking to get into streaming?

MacieJay: Number one piece of advice, I would say, it’s definitely harder now than it was seven years ago when I first started. That’s for sure. That’s not advice, but the biggest piece of advice is you have to genuinely love it. You have to have some passion behind what you’re doing. You can’t just do it just because you want to have a good job. There has to be some genuine passion behind what you’re doing. Also, one of the best things you could probably do is find a niche game. Not Fortnite or Call of Duty. Not those oversaturated games, because with niche games, it’s easier for you to stand out amongst the content creators. That’s where Siege was for me. Siege, when it first came out, was dead. People did not like it when it first came out. It was easy for me to stand out since there were so few people making content for that.

I’m hopeful that people gravitate more towards me, and not just Rainbow Six. I’m in that crossroad right now, so it’s really been on my mind as of late. I hope to figure out how to branch out to get people to watch me for me, and not just for Siege.

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