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Two years ago, Nick Amyoony pulled the trigger. He was dropping out of Dalhousie University, where he was studying to become a doctor, to be a full-time gamer.
Now, the 24-year-old, better known as his screen name Nick Eh 30, has more than 4.6 million subscribers on YouTube and was recently signed by Twitch.
“If you asked me a year ago, I never thought I would even be signed,” Amyoony said from his home in Halifax.
Amyoony’s road to gaming started back in high school. The straight A student was trying to balance school work with taekwondo, guitar lessons and football.
“I wanted to become a doctor and the only way I felt like I could do that was focusing 110 per cent of my time to school,” Amyoony said.
So he stopped all of his extracurricular activities and turned down his friends invitations to hang out.
Eventually, Amyoony’s friends stopped asking.
When Amyoony needed a break from studying, he hopped onto his PlayStation 3 for an hour before getting back to the books.
“It was the most convenient for me, like I wouldn’t have to plan my day for it and make sure I wasn’t late to it,” he said. “It was just there if I needed a quick study break.”
But the study breaks started to get longer when Amyoony transitioned into university and discovered The Last of Us.
As Amyoony started to upload clips to his YouTube channel, people began commenting on his videos.
“My channel kept evolving, but by this time I’m at the library until 12 a.m., sometimes 3 a.m. during exam season, then up super early in the morning to study more and I’m trying to keep uploading content,” he said.
“I got to the point where I was just mentally exhausted from doing all of that.”
Amyoony pitched the idea of dropping out of school to pursue gaming, but it didn’t go over smoothly.
“We started fighting a lot because they didn’t want me to,” he said. “At the time, they didn’t understand people making a living off video games.”
But Amyoony persisted, so his parents cut him a deal: He could take a year off university and if it didn’t work out, he would have to go back to school and become a doctor. Then Fortnite hit the market and Amyoony’s channel took off.
“I started to live-stream it on YouTube and I got 200 viewers, 500, 1,000, 10,000, 30,000 and then here we are today,” he said.
Now, Amyoony is streaming for at least eight hours a day — in his studio set up in his parents’ garage — on Twitch after recently signing with the Amazon platform. When he’s not streaming, he’s answering emails, managing his YouTube channel or posting on social media.
“It’s a pretty chaotic day right from morning till night,” he said.
And he wouldn’t change a thing, including moving out of his parents’ home.
“I could move out whenever I feel like it, but they’re supporting me so much that I literally need them or else I would have to cut my streams in half to do everything else,” Amyoony said.
Since gaining momentum, Amyoony has travelled to Korea for a Fortnite tournament, met actor Chandler Riggs, teamed up on Fortnite with LA Chargers’ Joey Bosa and recently played at TwitchCon.
So what’s next for Amyoony? He’s hit pause on thinking that far ahead.
“What I’ve been doing so far works and I’ve been so fortunate to travel the world because of it,” he said.
“Those other opportunities will arise naturally, I think.”