When Sofie Siegel was 4 years old, her older sister Abigail handed her a Game Boy Color handheld game console, and Siegel was hooked. Unlike other kids who may have gone on to other hobbies, Siegel never stopped. By high school, she was making competitive Pokémon YouTube videos.
“Many of my peers at the time were broadcasting some of their content on a website called Justin.tv,” she says. “I did my first stream there in 2011, and not long after, the website was changed to Twitch.tv.”
Now she makes a living showing off her skills online while earning a degree in finance. Seven nights a week, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., you can find Siegel in her custom gaming chair immersed in the world of Final Fantasy XIV on her Twitch network. The game is what is known as an MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) based on the JRPG (Japanese Role Playing Game) style of the Final Fantasy series. The series is known for its mixing of fantasy, technology and Japanese aesthetics.
She plays with other users across the world while her 46,000-plus viewers follow the action. Tiny avatars cheer her on and ask questions about the game, which she happily answers. She is able to monetize the channel through a monthly subscription fee and tips.
“I adore gaming and playing games with others,” says Siegel. “Twitch has provided me a platform to meet people and foster a positive community of individuals.”
It has also provided her a way to go to college. “I plan on pursuing streaming as a full-time career,” she says, “but at some point, I may go into the finance part of the gaming industry or look towards taking the CPA exam.”
Whether it’s numbers or videos, clearly she’s got game.
Featured image of Sofie Siegel by Mike Ledford