Streamer Sundays: Chin Valdes, From Idol Philippines to Fanny One Trick
From Idol Philippines to the Land of Dawn, Chin Valdes has become one of the best-known Fanny streamers in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. The celebrity streamer started streaming Mobile Legends in 2017 with the encouragement from singer Christian Bautista. Now, with a following of his own, Chin is flying his way to become the next big-name streamer in the industry.
We caught up with the star-studded talent from Rumble Royale and checked in on how he’s doing in Esports Inquirer’s feature series Streamer Sundays.
How are you doing, Chin?
“I’m doing great, actually .I say I’m doing fine, because…amidst the quarantine, and amidst everything, nothing has changed much, because before quarantine, I was always just stuck at home anyway.”
Chin started playing Mobile Legends: Bang Bang in 2017 and continues to stream as a partner of Facebook Gaming. Since 2018, he said that “not much has changed” for the past two years. He’s always been doing the same thing – working hard to improve his gameplay and streams.
You come from a background in showbiz with ABS-CBN’s Idol Philippines and even acted in films such as Bar Boys, can you tell us about why you shifted towards the streaming and gaming industry?
“Siguro ano…yun sa showbiz it was like a blossomed passion. Opportunities came up, and then I just grabbed it. I actually just parang went with the flow.”
He continued, “It was actually a friend, Christian Bautista. Kasi, while I was doing a show with him, he found out that I used to play Mobile Legends competitively, so he opened up na parang, ‘There are opportunities in streaming Mobile Legends’. So I got interested, and then we looked into it, then eventually, we both found ourselves streaming.”
You mentioned you played Mobile Legends competitively before, what’s your history playing professionally?
“I didn’t go really pro, pro. Pero, I would join in tournaments, I would compete for rankings in the leaderboards. Yung mga online leaderboards lang, and in-game. Kasi normally, we have yung top players.”
Back then, Chin explained that there was only Glorious Legend and Legend in the game’s ranked system. He compared the popular MOBA to DotA and owed his interest to the game because it was “easy to pick up and play”.
“On average [a Mobile Legends game] lasts for 15 minutes. DotA kasi on average is 45. So I started to go into it. Eventually, I got into other work, I started my own construction business and I found less time playing DotA and more time playing Mobile Legends.”
So you started your own construction business in 2017. Did you complete college while you were working in the showbiz industry?
“Actually, I didn’t finish school. When I got into showbiz, I was in school nun. I already started earning, and then one of my bestfriends is an architect. At that time kasi, before I studied engineering also, he opened opportunities for me, tapos we partnered up and then tried to open up our own construction business.”
“So we did that for a while, we started earning. Eventually, I decided nalang to pursue construction, and showbiz at the same time”. However, that meant that Chin would not be able to continue school any longer.
You got picked up by Rumble Royale in 2018 and were on your way to become a big streamer. Since you started from showbiz, did you have viewers that followed you over to streaming? Or did you have a completely new audience?
“Siguro from the start, meron [viewers] from showbiz into gaming that actually, in a way, helped me build my viewership. In showbiz kasi, I took it strategically. Even from my joining of Idol Philippines and all that. It was actually parang supplementary into my streaming already.”
At the time, streaming was already budding. So, it was but only natural for Chin to take the leap.
“I was bigger potential in streaming, more than in showbiz at that time. ‘Cause I was already trying showbiz since 2011. I knew how things went there. So I had to look for a way, to get back into showbiz, and then also find a way to exit showbiz, while taking whatever I can, with me, into streaming.”
Right now, Chin does streaming full-time and has taken a step back from the limelight of showbiz.
How did you find your stride in creating content? Since you switched from a completely different field altogether.
“Okay, so eventually I was able to test things out and I found content that worked for me and my audience. It was developing my skills in this character called Fanny. So by focusing on that, and developing on that, I was able to build up my page, I was able to grow my [viewership]. Ayun until now, that’s still what I’ve been doing for the past two years.”
So, you’re a one-trick Fanny?
“Well that’s…To an extent, for streaming, yes. Pero for gaming, or for the actual playing the game, definitely no.” Chin laughed as he defended his honor as a high-ranking player.
“Kasi, I can use all heroes eh. I mean, I’m capable of using all heroes. It’s just that my viewership, or my followers and my fans, they come to my page to watch me play Fanny. Kasi at that time, when people started noticing me, there was a time that some of my tricks that I do with Fanny [were] only done by me.”
Though, he adds that the players have now gotten better and the metagame is completely different.
Now, what do you think brings viewers to your stream?
“Ngayon, actually, [Fanny] is not the most powerful character, or the most powerful hero in Mobile Legends. Pero it has a lot of untapped potential that people have not yet discovered yet. So it’s up to me, and my fellow content creators, or my fellow players, to actually discover those things, and then eventually bring it out on social media or our streams, on how to do such things.”
Chin confidently continues saying, “So, I think people still come to my stream because they’re waiting for me to discover that and show them the untapped potential of Fanny.”
Although, being a one-trick has its drawbacks because if Chin didn’t use the hero, “people didn’t seem to care or watch”. “It was only when I used Fanny that I could get people to actually watch me.”
What do your viewers like about your stream then? Aside from Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.
“When I play other genres, you’ll really notice a huge drop in viewership. Maybe 90% of my viewership really just want to see me play Fanny.” Chin then goes on to say that when he streams other games, it’s just because he’s an avid gamer at heart.
“So those who actually stay to watch those other video games are viewers I probably developed friendships with already. Because they’re always on my stream, they become supporters, they’re some of my top fans. So, you know gusto lang nilang tumambay habang nag lalaro ako ng ibang games.”
How have you found streaming so far then?
“Streaming and [gaming] is very difficult. This whole career path is extremely difficult. Probably, one of the most difficult career paths I’ve tried out anyway.”
“To actually stay in this career path, will take a lot, a lot, a lot of time, effort, and focus. I was actually also a basketball player back in college. Pero the focus na I put in that, and the focus I put in here, parang ano eh, it’s probably the same.”
Chin continues, “Like kung ano yung passion ko nun for basketball, that same level of passion needs to be here also, for gaming. To actually stay there, so it’s a hit or miss right now. If you miss, you’re out, like you’re gonna lose this career. So you better make that shot. You get what I mean?”
Streaming has always been a competitive industry and for Chin, you always have to be on the top of your game to succeed. If they miss days of streaming, their careers could be upended just as fast as it came about. Unless you’re AkoSiDogie or Choox that is.
What do you think is it about Choox and Dogie’s content that gets them their following?
“If you try to emulate [their comedic style], it’s gonna fail. [Your content] has to be organically you. If you’re not funny and you try to be funny, it’s not gonna work for you the same way it works for Choox. Kumabaga, the natural you, needs to come out.”
So how does that translate for your persona on-stream?
“For the longest time na I’ve been streaming, my persona is really just me. Like, I didn’t really have to change my voice or change my appearance. I tried to be as organic as I can be. Since I try to focus on my gameplay, yung personality ko will only cater to a certain audience as well pero it’s not exactly my main content.”
He continues with an analogy, “When you’re a pro player, right, and, if you’re really good at your game, it doesn’t matter what your personality is.”
“You can be, you can be a bad person or you can be the kindest person in the world. Pero the people will be looking at your gameplay, at the end of the day.”
How do you think your growth has been in the past year?
“In the past year, siguro, I’ve already seen a lot of huge downs, and a lot of huge ups as well. It kinda helps [to] build up your own emotions. It helps keep your emotions in check, especially now, when there’s way more fluctuations in those ups and downs.”
As the years have come by and the pandemic came in, Chin has grown to become resilient to the changes in the streaming space. In the past year, the streamer has been striving to expand his content as well. “I always try to develop, and to grow my content. So, in terms of improving, parang I don’t want it to go stale. I’m not the best player out there even as a Fanny content creator.”
But, he shares that he tries to keep the streams entertaining. He even compared himself to basketball trickster And1. “I kinda see my content as that [style]. So I’m kinda looking more into developing more of that for the next year, or for the next coming years at least.”
After streaming for a while now, what kinds of difficulties have you encountered in the space?
“Siguro since I’ve been in the showbiz industry, I guess I could say na I’m very used to [negative comments] already. [In showbiz], people can see you, you can’t see them, so, some people are probably sad, [laughs] or probably not doing well in their own lives, so they try to make themselves feel better by attacking you”.
Though the streamer chalks it up by saying that if it makes them feel better, he’s glad. “You know, my job as a streamer is to entertain, if they feel entertained by attacking me, they’re very welcome to do so, and I’m not getting hurt anyway.”
“If ever they stay to attack me, they don’t know they’re actually making me money”, Chin says jokingly.
To end the interview, do you have words of advice for your viewers?
“Siguro, I would like to advise my viewers, and everyone else out there na during this quarantine season, you should really, really, really, make sure to check out facebook.com/chinvaldestv. And watch all the streams, and check out all the posts on that page.”
These days, the celebrity-turned-streamer still continues to play a masterful Fanny on Mobile Legends: Bang Bang while grinding the hit Gacha game Genshin Impact on the side. Catch his streams on Facebook and support him on Rumble Royale!
The quotes from the interview were edited for brevity and clarity. This interview was held in September, 2020.
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