Luqman Podolski: Comedian, rapper, and now streamer
The connection Luqman has been forging with his viewers via streaming is what compelled him to be a Facebook Gaming Creator.
Before the existence of TikTok, Vine was the place to be for six-second doses of the weirdest, most unorthodox videos produced by humans, which propelled several Viners into Internet stardom for their unique sense of humour. One of them is none other than homegrown Malaysian boy, Luqman Podolski, who rose to prominence for his localised take on trending memes.
Unscathed by the downfall of the short-form video platform, the wig-wearing eccentric - said with utmost admiration and respect - went on to star in advertisements and his own video content on other platforms, not to mention he fulfilled his childhood ambition of becoming a rapper. So, why did the Malaysian entertainer make video game streaming at Facebook Gaming as his next stop?
A gamer at heart
“I have loved playing games since I was a kid,” Luqmanul Hakim revealed, saying that he played games like Pokémon before he got into FIFA and survival horror games (such as Resident Evil, The Evil Within and Layers of Fear), the game genres that he has also been regularly streaming. “I like how horror games can play with the minds of the viewers,” the Manchester United fan said. “Some people love getting scared, so I like to be shocked and scream in terror to entertain them,” although he later clarified that gameplay is important too.
Overcoming the hurdles
The self-proclaimed introvert - which he covered in his song Sorang (Alone) - credited his previous work for enabling him to be more talkative, a trait that’s usually necessary for streamers. “A lot of charismatic people I’ve met taught me to be humble, which is an important mindset to have to develop charisma and talk and interact skillfully.” He also had to force himself to get out of his comfort zone to be a streamer, thinking to himself, “To hell with it (not his exact words), I just want to do what I like and enjoy it.”
Back when Luqman was enthralled by huge streamers - such as YouTube superstar Pewdiepie - during high school, the former Vine star didn’t have the faintest idea he’d ever become a streamer … until he discovered the previously-viral game of Mario Cat late last year, which gave him the idea to stream it due to its insane difficulty. “I rehearsed my reactions before I streamed myself playing the game on Facebook,” he recounted, saying that he wasn’t expecting anyone to watch his first everstream. “But, trying it out sparked another idea for me: why don’t I stream playing horror games?”
However, Rome wasn’t finished in a day - it took Luqman two months to get the hang of the gig. Not only do streamers play games, but they also have to read comments and interact with viewers, juggling all three tasks at the same time. “When the game gets intense, I have to stay relaxed and not rush it.” Even Luqman’s balancing act extends to his whole career, forced to turn down several project offers and accept the more flexible ones, so he can manage his schedule better. Fortunately, he finds some form of respite in his streaming, a more relaxing task in comparison to his video content, which requires a lot more preparation and effort to produce.
An unexpected journey
With more experience in recording his content as opposed to entertaining in real-time, one can’t help but wonder why he chose to stream his gameplays instead. “When I’m streaming, I feel like I’m connecting with other people on a journey and enjoying the game together,” the only child opined, saying that it’s not as fun recording himself playing the game alone. “I get to interact with my viewers and come across unexpectedly funny moments or comments, like viewers jokingly trick me into dying in-game,” he recollected, amused at the thought of it. Sometimes his mother - who was initially unsupportive of his endeavours before she grew to accept them - watches his streams and gives them “likes”.
At the end of the day, Luqman attributes his success to the steadfast devotion of his fans. “I just want to say thank you to my fans for the unexpected support,” he said. “Without you, I wouldn’t have been able to become a streamer. Also, thanks, Cat Mario.”
Witness Luqman Podolski's eccentric video game live streams on Facebook Gaming today.