For most of us, family plays a huge role in our foundation as human beings, our personalities, fears and strengths shaped at an early age. And it helps when we have a supportive family who balances the tightrope between being strict and understanding, with some nailing it and ending up raising an exemplary person. One such individual is Facebook Gaming Creator, Syahmi Hafiy “Oohami” bin Shahrul Zaman, who received the full support of his father, Shahrul, in venturing into the world of gaming content creation right after his high school graduation.
“As a father, you have to be supportive of your son,” the father of the streamer explained, saying that he himself worked many jobs before stumbling upon one he loved in his late twenties. “I thought that if I let him pursue his passion first, he’ll figure out whether it’s what he likes to do. He can just go out into the working world later if it’s not his interest.” Shahrul even extends his father role into Oohami’s professional gaming life by being his manager, seeing firsthand the struggles his son faced to succeed. He recounted the times when his son uploaded gameplay highlight videos every single day for one whole year. Plus, it took him eight hours to complete each video, from playing and narrating his games to editing - which he self-learned - and uploading it with then-slow Internet speed.
In case the readers wonder why “videos” were mentioned, it’s because Oohami was a popular YouTube since 2017 before being invited to join Facebook Gaming as a streamer late last year. “It’s a new experience that I love,” said Oohami, who prefers being a streamer than a YouTuber due to the ability to interact with his fans in real-time and not needing to worry about editing his video. Although his process as a streamer is much smoother now, he felt that he wouldn't have persevered this far if he didn’t have the interest. “If you don’t have the passion for it, then it will be hard,” not forgetting that his dedicated legion of fans is also the reason why he reached this milestone - they even started a YouTube channel named OOHAMICHAN to share clips of his Facebook Gaming streams to promote his channel and the platform.
“My proudest moment as a Facebook Gaming Creator is giving away PS4s to my fans for free,” Oohami recounted, saying that he wants to show his appreciation in any way he can for their support. “Some of them have been asking me to give them a free PS4 anyway,” he said jokingly. Although his fans are pretty awesome, it’s hardly a competition when it comes to who his biggest supporter is - his father. “What I’m doing now, is all thanks to my Dad. He’s my assistant, cameraman, manager, everything.” The relationship between him and his father is a two-way street, with Oohami helping out his father and sister with the family business when he’s off-stream. From an outsider’s perspective, it seems like family comes first for Oohami and his family both ways. And it’s the shared love for football between him and his father that also contributed to his success.
The Manchester United fan used to stream or upload videos of his FIFA gameplay when he was starting out, most notably the series’ online mode, FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT), where you can build your dream team and play against other FIFA players. “My fans used to like seeing me play FIFA, but they got bored when I kept winning all my matches,” Oohami reminisced with a chuckle.
But, the time came to reap what he sowed: his FIFA content ended up getting recognised by EA Sports, who invited him to represent them as an FUT Captain, an official ambassador for FIFA. What’s even more impressive, is that he’s the only FUT Captain in Malaysia, helping EA Sports promote the football video game series - he live streamed the then-new FIFA 19 for its launch. “We were so surprised by the invitation e-mail that we thought it was a spam mail,” Oohami’s father recalled, amused at the memory. “He was just doing his own thing, and he got noticed.” He is even the brand partner for Monster Energy.
However, the 22-year-old reduced his time streaming the football game and instead started playing a wide variety of other genres that he enjoys, including horror, shooters, online games and even story-based games. This compelled his fans to engage with him even more when he made the change, maintaining a steady viewership regardless of what games he plays, which is an admirable feat when streamers are usually known by the games they regularly play. “I like trying out many types of games to produce different content, which is what my fans know me for,” Oohami explained, whose streaming style depends on the game he plays on-stream. “And I think my fans like me as a streamer, not just for the games I play.”
It’s been a 3-year journey for Oohami, having struggled through thick and thin just by doing what he loves: gaming and creating content to entertain his fans, an opportunity he cherishes from the get-go. “I want to say a huge thank you to all my fans, the Fabulouss Army. It’s because of them that I’m here, and I’ll continue working hard to make them happier and give better content.”