Sitting down with the pair, we talk through the history behind the duo, their affinity for Intel processors, and some of their more memorable moments throughout their gaming careers. They have great charisma, and are happy to share their story with us, starting with their beginnings.
How did you get started? How did the Two Angry Gamers begin?
Tommy: “We’ve been friends since school. We’ve been to university together, even lived together during that time, so we’ve been best mates for ages. We were inspired by JackFrags, another school friend who started off uploading YouTube videos of Battlefield 3.
Some of his comments expressed how funny people found us, which we loved. Adam was working in an office at the time, and I was in retail. When we saw how well Jack was doing, we thought why not start our own channel, see how it goes?
“When we saw how well Jack was doing, we thought why not start out own channel, see how it goes?”
Up until around January, 2014, we were working full-time, creating YouTube videos in our spare time. Come 2014, we decided to give YouTube our full attention, handing in our notices and moving back home to dedicate ourselves to it. Then I remember watching Hearthstone live-streams – there was a lot of people playing the game on this new site called Twitch – and I remember thinking why don’t we have a crack at live-streaming ourselves?
Adam: I remember being quite sceptical at first.
Tommy: Yeah, you were. We thought it might be a bit of a fad, but decided we’d give it a go anyway. This was around March/April 2014; one of our first ever streams was a 24-hour stream for Titanfall’s release.
Adam: I think our first stream, we had 20, maybe 40 viewers? We were coming from YouTube with about 20,000 subs, so we already had an audience to start with. Twitch was very small back then, so it was a great time to jump in.
Tommy: Yeah, we caught the wave early, and we’re seeing the benefits of that now. We get to do plenty of events, charity stuff, and we get a lot of “Oh hey, you’re the Two Angry Gamers!” a fair bit.
We got our Twitch partnership pretty soon after we started, and ended up primarily live-streaming since then. We do still post content on YouTube, but it’s mostly Twitch highlights now, or silly and interesting videos.
“I think the biggest thing is that we get a lot more reward from three hours of streaming than ten hours on a YouTube video...”
Adam: I think the biggest thing is that we get a lot more reward from three hours of streaming than spending ten hours on a YouTube video that might not necessarily be well-received.
Tommy: I’ve spent weeks on videos, getting people together, recording, editing, etc. There’s so much time spent creating these wacky videos we do, and they get so many thousand views, which is okay. But then you see these ten-minute Minecraft videos getting millions, and all they’re doing is p**sing around killing a pig. You just don’t know. YouTube is much harder to predict than Twitch. We get more scope there to do what we want and be ourselves, with instant feedback that tells us what works and what doesn’t for our viewers.”
What is it about streaming your games that you enjoy? Is there anything that stands out as particularly enjoyable?
Tommy: I’m not gonna lie, the main thing that’s attractive is that we get to sit at home, play games, and it’s our job! It’s also nice to have a community that respects what you’re saying, mostly! (Tommy and Adam chuckle here).
“It’s nice to have people like who we are, our personalities.”
It’s nice to have people like who we are, our personalities. That’s great. It’s nice to get to know the people in our community. Some of our viewers have met through our channel, and gone on to get married, have babies – it’s just great to be a part of that.
Adam: A wiser man than me once said, that if you enjoy your vocation, you’ll never work a day in your life. I used to enjoy programming a lot, but with the stress of commuting four hours a day and pressure from managers, I wasn’t happy. With this job, I’m happy to be awake. I get fulfilment from hearing that people find what we do funny, and that it makes their day better.
Tommy: We’ve had messages from people who’ve been feeling down or in hospital, thanking us. They tell us they can rely on us to be online, to help cheer them up. It’s nice to be able to do a job that you and others enjoy.
That said, it’s not like it can’t be stressful. We often have lots of jobs behind the scenes, and events stacking up on us. We try our best, but it can be a lot to deal with.
Adam: There was one time I travelled to an event in San Francisco; I spent more time in the air than I did in America. It sounds like “Wow, you got to go to America” but not really – you know, we’re working.
Obviously, you’re sponsored by Intel. How did that start, and how does working with Intel impact your streaming and day job overall?
Tommy: Honestly, I’ve no idea why Intel approached us. It was as much a surprise to us as I’m sure it was to many people (Both Tommy and Adam are laughing at this point). We knew Chris (Sacriel) had been working with Intel for a while. We met a bunch of Intel folk back when Battlefield 1 was just coming out. Naturally we mentioned we’d love to work with them. It wasn’t until later on, when we were introduced again by a friend who did some work with them, and it all kicked off from there.
We’ve worked with all sorts of brands; we’ve worked with EA, NVIDIA, BBC, and so on. But Intel is the most prestigious brand I think we’ve worked with. We’ve always been huge PC gamers so yeah, it’s a big deal for us to be working with Intel, and a natural fit.
Adam: I remember getting my Pentium 200 in like 1994 or 5.
Tommy: I remember Pentium 4 as my first proper gaming PC, the silver one, and just used to play Counter-Strike, that was it. Intel is synonymous with PC gaming for us, so it’s really awesome we get to work with them now.
There was no hesitation when Intel offered to work with us. In terms of helping our stream, it’s great to have top-tier Intel Core i9 9900k processors, especially since our stream is different to a lot of other streamers in that we still use a single-PC set-up for both gaming and streaming.
“The processor can just be smashing whatever game we’re playing.”
We’re streaming on the PC we’re playing on. We’ve always gone for the higher tier Intel processors, like the Intel i7’s, and now we’re on the i9’s. The processor with such power in conjunction with the graphics card, means that the processor can just be smashing whatever game we’re playing.
I find I just like being able to play, stream, and edit on the one PC, and Intel’s processor allows us to do that.
You define yourselves as variety streamers; what do you typically go for when choosing which games to play?
Adam: 70-80% of what we play is on PC. We’ve been PC gamers since the 90’s, so FPS games, RTS, etc. We’ll play just about anything. If it’s fun, we’ll play it.
Tommy: Yeah, mostly co-op or multiplayer obviously, though we do also play single-player games. We’ll usually alternate, so we’ll decide between us who will play what. We also have our own slots on the stream as well. Bong’s an early bird – I’m definitely not! So I’ll do the horror streams on Wednesday evenings, and Bong’ll do the Monday morning breakfast stream – gets a big Australian audience, that one.
We do target the new releases, obviously. It’s what people want to see, and of course we want to play them. We’ll also give older games a go, especially if they’ve gotten a recent update. We play a lot of Hunt: Showdown at the minute. It’s a smaller community game, but we really like it.
We go back and play retro games sometimes.
Adam: Shadow of the Colossus [remastered], Final Fantasy, that sort of thing.
Tommy: Shadow of the Colossus is my favourite game ever made, so I try and do at least one playthrough of that a year.
We aim to be true variety streamers. It’s funny, ‘cos when people ask us what we play, we simply say “Everything” and people think we can’t be arsed to answer.
“When people ask us what we play, we simply say “Everything”, and people think we can’t be arsed to answer.”
The only genre we don’t really play is sports – outside of racing games which we love! We’re really working on getting RTS games back into the limelight. We’ve always said they need to be more accessible. Hardcore games attract a hardcore audience, which puts off more casual players.
Adam: In terms of what we’re currently playing a lot of alongside Hunt; any Battlefield release, a lot of EA games really – games like Apex Legends.
Tommy: We enjoy shooters mostly, and play a lot of titles like Rainbow Six: Siege, Battlefield V, and Call of Duty. We always enjoy these games more in the early days, when everyone isn’t quite so hardcore!
There’s this meme that we’re a bit s**t at games, which I sort of resent, because we’re not! We’re pretty good at games! Especially because we play so many!
We typically get dunked on in games that we’ve not been back to in a while, particularly games like Siege, where people have just spent a lot more time on it than us. We don’t often stick to one game for long periods of time. We tend to spend a few weeks solid on the latest game – Apex Legends, PUBG etc – then move on. Otherwise we get people coming into the stream saying “Oh god, you’re not playing that again, are you?”
Adam: I just took a look at our channel. In the last 30 days, we’ve played 28 different unique games, so you know – we play a lot of different games. That doesn’t even count the weird games Tommy plays for ten minutes on a Wednesday!”
Are there any titles coming up that you’re looking forward to playing?
Tommy: Final Fantasy VII is getting a remake that’s coming out in March, and we both ordered the super-collector’s edition as soon as that was announced. I’m absolutely excited about that.
We’re both huge Final Fantasy and RPG fans, and for me, Final Fantasy is the daddy RPG. And I don’t care what people say, including Bong, Final Fantasy VII is the best Final Fantasy! They wouldn’t be remaking it otherwise!
“I don’t care what people say, including Bong, Final Fantasy VII is the best Final Fantasy!”
Cyberpunk as well, just like everyone else, I guess.
Adam: I tell you what I’m looking forward to personally, is DOOM Eternal. It was so fun, the first one.
Tommy: I love games that are 6-12 hours long. I can’t be arsed with these long-winded open-world games that keep coming out. We just don’t have time or energy to commit to those sorts of games anymore. We much prefer the condensed experiences that games like DOOM offer.
You two are absolute characters, and you must have countless stories or funny moments from your streams to share. Can you tell us your favourites?
Tommy: Well Bong, I think you know what yours is.
Adam: There’s a moment that all of our community will remember, that instantly springs to mind. Tommy and I were playing Halo 5, and I have a love/hate relationship with Halo. I remember being destroyed by my friends back in the old days of Halo 1. I’ve hated the game’s multiplayer ever since then.
Basically, I got very very annoyed and threw my controller through a window.
“Basically, I got very very annoyed and threw my controller through a window.”
Tommy: Yeah, we’re playing Halo, and Bong gets angry, slams his controllers down, then throws it to his left, and I hear glass smashing. And I thought “that’s not gone through a window, has it?”. It went straight out into the street, into the cold of winter.
(For those interested in seeing the moment, a video kindly provided by TAG can be found here.)
So many people thought it was made up, but it actually happened. It’s the epitome of the angry part of Two Angry Gamers.
For me, some of the best moments are from our recent invention, TAG Fest [our annual celebration of all things TAG]. We usually do special events, like the 700-egg omelette challenge. We said “if we get 700 subs, we’ll make a 700-egg omelette” as an off-the-cuff comment. Turns out one of our viewers is a metallurgist of some kind, and made us a giant pan big enough for it.
Then I thought “well f**k, now we’ve got to make it!”
Adam: Walking into Tescos; “700 eggs please!”
Finally, any words of advice for people looking to get into streaming?
Tommy: We get asked this a lot. It is difficult. I would just say set your expectations low, and don’t get disheartened when you start out and not many people are watching.
Adam: It also depends on what your motivations are. If you want to stream, and all you’re thinking is “I’m gonna make loads of money like Ninja!”, it’s never gonna happen. If you think “I really like playing games, and I want to share my experiences in games with others”, that’s much more powerful.
Tommy: If it’s money-motivated, it can be really disheartening. If it’s a hobby, that’s much more interesting. If you don’t have people in chat, make sure you’re still talking. If people come into your channel and see you sitting there stone-faced, they’re gonna leave again.
“If people come into your stream and see you sitting there stone-faced, they’re gonna leave again.”
It’s great if you have friends to play with, ‘cos there’s constant dialogue and people can watch and listen. People are more likely to think “oh, these guys are pretty funny.” Another thing we tend to mention is scheduling.
I find it rather important; if you can be online the same kind of time every week, it can mean the difference between a regular viewer tuning in every single time or not. We’re creatures of habit. There’s a bit of meme that we’re always late, but people know our schedule, they know when we’re going to be here.
“There’s a bit of a meme that we’re always late, but people know our schedule, they know when we’re going to be here.”
Adam: Just as proof of how habitual people can be, if we’re away for a week or so for something like E3 or Gamescom, our viewership can drop by 10-20% for the next few weeks. People instantly find something else to fill the void, and that’s then their new habit.
A few parting words from the Two Angry Gamers…
Adam: If you’re a fan at an event, make sure you come and say hi. Because we always hear people in chat saying “I saw you!” and it’s like “Well, why didn’t you come and say hi to us?”
Tommy: Make sure you introduce yourself as well! It’s hard sometimes to remember everyone we’ve met, and I’ll feel bad. So I start by introducing myself “Hey I’m Tommy..” and they’ll say “yeah, I know!” and I don’t know who they are! So yeah, introduce yourself!
Maybe it’s nerves, but don’t be shy!
Tommy: One more thing. We’ve worked with so many companies, and I’d like to just give them a huge shout-out for their support over the years. Companies like Intel of course, NVIDIA, EA, and obviously Twitch. We couldn’t do what we do full-time without people like Intel, so thank you for those opportunities.
If you’re interested in catching the notorious Two Angry Gamers yourself, make sure you stop by their Twitch stream every weekday and Sundays: Two Angry Gamers TV