The past two years have been nothing but an unexpected turn of events for the 25-year-old Sanjan Gautam, also known as Cr7 Horaa, a YouTuber and game streamer from Morang, currently living in Kathmandu. He played PUBG (an online shooter game) for fun but it quickly became a lot more when he began streaming his gaming sessions live on YouTube in 2021. Within three months, his YouTube channel ‘Cr7 Horaa’,P had garnered 100,000 subscribers, breaking records among Nepali game streamers. Now, he has around 9,000-10,000 people viewing his live streams daily.
“I started streaming PUBG because I was bored,” says Gautam. It was during the Covid-19 lockdown when he first came up with the idea of streaming live on YouTube. At that time, Gautam had dropped out of college while pursuing a bachelor’s degree. He had initially planned on going abroad but the pandemic put a damper on his plans. “I spent all my days playing games. Then it occurred to me that I should stream it live,” he says.
None of his family members were aware of what he was up to. He would often have disagreements with his mother who wanted him to stop playing games and do something productive. “I was a college drop-out so I understood her concerns,” he says, adding that was why letting them know about him being a streamer wasn’t an option. “I don’t think there are any Nepali households that would support their child when s/he wants to become a game streamer,” he says. He eventually had to tell them but it wasn’t until he began earning quite well from his live streams.
Gautam wasn’t aware that becoming a streamer would make him famous. “I didn’t make any investments, and I didn’t have proper streaming tools,” he says. But in less than two years, Gautam has managed to become one of the PUBG partners because of which his voice will be added to the game itself. “I have now managed to get myself a good computer through which my live streams are even better,” he says.
He starts live streaming his sessions at around nine at night and is done by two in the morning. “I like to get it done by midnight so that I can get some decent sleep but that hasn’t been possible yet,” he says.
“I think people like the way I speak more than how I play the game,” he says. Indeed, a lot of people on his social media have admired his way of talking and how that has kept them engaged in all of his live streams. This, Gautam adds, puts a certain pressure on him.
“It’s difficult to keep people engaged with your content for a long time,” he says. He mostly streams PUBG and occasionally some other games too. But, he says, just streaming games can easily become mundane for the viewers. “So I like to entertain them [viewers] by talking about different things while I’m live,” he says. So he talks about the current political and social scenarios of Nepal besides picking other random topics where he can be his witty self. “I would like to think I’m a funny guy. I try to bring in some humor in all my content and keep my viewers entertained that way” he says.
Streaming games has also become his source of income which he has put to good use. “When you are earning and earning well you shouldn’t just keep the money for yourself. You need to give it to people who need it,” he says, adding he often organizes charity streams since he started getting requests from people to help them out. “I give every rupee I collect from that day’s livestream to the one for whom I organized the event. And sometimes I give money out of my pocket,” he adds. In the two years he has been into game streaming, Gautam has donated around Rs 150,000. He mostly gives money to those who need immediate medical attention.
In the future, Gautam doesn’t just want to be limited to being a streamer. He also wants to sell his merchandise. “I have already started my merch business and, so far, it’s going well,” he says. He further mentions that he is planning to complete his bachelor’s degree as well. “I don’t know what I’ll study but I want to go to college and get a degree,” he says. That doesn’t mean his life as a streamer is over. “I don’t know for how long PUBG or other games are going to be relevant. But if indeed my reason for fame is the way I speak then, no matter what, I think I will always have an audience,” he says.