How does it work?

You start off with 325 points and the ability to unlock champions to add to your fantasy roster. Those champions gain points for you based on how I perform in my games on stream. For a more detailed breakdown of how the points work, you can view the rules listed at the bottom of the league page – http://www.destiny.gg/league.

The first beta-season is going to be starting tomorrow, on Monday! The season will end on June 30th.

 

What can I win?

Subscribers are eligible for real prizes (cash paid out to Paypal accounts), but anyone can play.

Subscriber prizes:

1st: $150

2nd: $100

3rd: $75

4th: $50

None-Subscriber prizes:

1st: A metaphorical pat on the back

2nd: A metaphorical high five

3rd: 15 internet dollars, redeemable: no where

4th: A free gmail account, that you have to set-up yourself

 

I’ll be a bit more creative with the prizes next season. This one is mainly just a beta test to see how things go.

System Information

Build specs

Pictures

Cost – $1200 (parts) + $180 (labor) + $25 (shipping) = $1405

Rationale

My goal was to build a computer that could play pretty much all games at a very high level and be able to stream at the same time. The budget laid out for this build was around $1,200, though we ended up going a bit over as he wanted to add in an SSD.

Since he wanted maximum gaming performance, it was pretty clear that the build was going to call for either a 7970 or a 670. SLI and crossfire were out of the range of this build’s budget, as was the Titan and 690. The 7970 in single-fire card set-ups seems to edge out the 670 so we ended up going with that GPU.

The next big decision was for a CPU. I think 8 threads is optimal for streaming, although you may be able to get by with an i5 these days if you use OBS. That being said, 4-core (with hyperthreading) is definitely preferable. Since the i7-3770k was out of the range of this budget, and I wanted to avoid an i5, I looked at an alternative that’s not often used in a consumer PC: the xeon 1230 v2 (the ivybridge model of the 1230). Since we weren’t planning on overclocking, I went with the H77 chipset. The boards are generally cheaper and the features they lack are ones we wouldn’t need anyway.

We went with 8 gigs of RAM as that’s the pretty standard minimum these days. We may have been able to get by with 4, but since he wanted to stream with this build we wanted to go with 8.

The case is a very budget-oriented case by NZXT, and it was perfect for this build. It’s cheap, yet efficient and holds everything we need it to.

The 840 Pro Series Samsung SSD was a bit of a splurge, but the customer wanted an SSD and this is an absolutely awesome SSD on the market at the moment.

Difficulties

There were absolutely no problems assembling this machine! Everything went perfectly, and the system booted after the first start-up with zero issues!

Conclusion

I am amazingly happy with how well this build went. I was able to stream Crysis 2 on ULTRA graphics and it was still playable WHILE streaming! On a $1000 build (if you omit the SSD) I thought that was pretty amazing!

———-

If you’re interested in having me put together a system like this (or something completely different), let me build your next PC!

MAJOR EDIT

As of now, Microsoft has patched Skype and this guide is no longer necessary. I’ll leave it here for posterity’s sake, but Skype has been tested by multiple, reputable sources via Wireshark and other IP grabbers and should no longer leak your IP address to people not on your friend list.

Foreword from the Author

April 26th, 2015

We’re smack in the middle of 2015 and e-sports as a whole is growing larger and larger. LCS 2014 for League saw 27,000,000 unique viewers, Dota 2’s TI 4 prize pool surged to almost $11,000,000, Hearthstone’s been released for Android and even CS:GO has made a come-back from nothing to become one of the most popular e-sport titles in the world. Along with the growth of e-sports and internet gaming, a sister industry has sprung up alongside it: live-streaming.

Every streamer on the internet who’s grown to any level of popularity has found themselves confronted with the infamous “DDoSer.”

Most people have simply created alternate Skype accounts with barcode names. Some have stopped using Skype altogether. A few others use commonly leaked Skype names, hoping they don’t get “hit offline” by a lurking opportunist. None of these options are necessary, however. A few years ago, I penned a DDoS prevention guide which I’ve been following since the day I published it. I’ve seen it posted across almost every gaming subreddit on Twitch, and I’ve seen a number of responses/criticisms/critiques posted of it as well.

My Skype ID, Steven.Bonnell.II, is known by most people in the communities I’m involved in. I do not hide from Skype while I am streaming. I do not change my IP address every day. I do not get DDoS’d while I stream. Instead, I use the method outlined in the following pages to protect myself from  attackers. It is the most simple, elegant, reliable, and secure method to protect yourself. To this date, I have never seen another guide on the internet which will secure your Skype the way mine does. I have seen other guides which claim to accomplish the same for easier, such as the guide written by Fire from Twitch. None seem to accomplish this level of protection as perfectly as my method For more information about why Fire’s proxy guide in particular is a poor recommendation, see this critique I’ve posted here.

The next 4 pages contain information should you wish to understand more about the process of DDoSing. It’s not necessary you read it, but if your job is streaming you should be aware of at least the basics of how DDoSing works. It’s astounding how many professionals are still utterly clueless when it comes to DDoS protection.

If you simply want the walk-through on how to protect yourself, skip ahead to page 6.

At this point in time, it should be absolutely inexcusable to miss a tournament match due to DDoSing. Players who miss matches due to DDoSing should be immediately disqualified the same way someone who misses work because their car ran out of gas. There is no excuse anymore to be leaking your IP address to the wild lands of the internet. This is your job, treat it as such and you should remain safe.

I will continue to follow the methods outlined until I discover a superior method.

I will continue to stream, free from the threat of being DDoS’d while doing so.

One of the most common questions I receive in my e-mail is “How do I become a popular streamer?” often followed by “what did YOU do to become a popular streamer?”

I’ve seen more than a few people guess at why I grew in popularity. Some people say I was incredibly lucky. Others say I was just being as vulgar/grotesque as possible, akin to a “shock jock.” Some say it was just because of the volume of streaming I did.

In truth, it was a little bit of all three, plus a bit more.

When I started all of this a few years ago (Around January of 2011 was when I moved to Justin.TV), I had no idea what my end goal was with streaming. It was literally just something I was doing in my free time because it looked fun. I was initially unemployed, then began working with a small local business cleaning carpets/upholstery/hard floors, and doing other work related to water damage or carpet removal and installation.

My bestest buddy, Kyle, pointed out that there were a handful of people who streamed Broodwar. I did a little bit of digging around and found out that there were websites in existence (Livestream, Ustream, and Justin.TV) where people could sign up and stream for free. Back then, there were data caps and quality limitations on how much you could stream. You made no money from advertisements; hell, you couldn’t even control when commercials were played, they would literally come on in the middle of a game without any control at all from the user. There were no saved VoDs or any kind of archiving system unless you paid a ridiculous amount of money (per gigabyte). The software of the day was horribly inefficient, bandwidth was more expensive for everyone, etc…etc…

Basically, the entire industry was just starting to take off.

I was incredibly new to the industry and I had zero connections. No one knew who I was. I was a relatively average player, and I had no inside sources with Teamliquid or with any teams. Essentially, I was starting from scratch in an industry that was heavily populated with already-made names on a website where preferential treatment is dished out to established names.

I’m giving you this background now so that you can understand where I’m coming from when I talk about the things I did to get to where I’m at today. A lot of people feel incredibly overwhelmed when breaking into the streaming scene (or any new industry, for that matter), but it’s possible with proper planning, time commitment, and the right strategy.

– I did a lot of research into streaming technology.

When I first got into streaming, I was a complete and total noobie. I had never been involved in any kind of video/audio streaming before in my life, and every single program I’d come to use and understand was foreign to me. There were two huge problems to overcome when approaching streaming, from the technology side:

1) All of the software was relatively new and not commonly used, meaning there weren’t very many people using it, and finding it was sometimes incredibly difficult.

2) Finding help for your problems was impossible; you had to troubleshoot everything yourself. This downloading obscure .dlls or trying to figure out obscure and nondescript error messages. Forums and communities were filled with loads and loads of misinformation and it was impossible to take anything you read for face value because no one followed up with any posts.

The only way to overcome this was through brute-force research. Since there were no software guides or anything available, I would literally have to read up on encoders and how they function in order to understand what was the more efficient/optimal choice (vp6, anyone? hhehehe) for streaming, especially since my processor at the time (I’ll remember you forever, E6750) restricted my ability to stream and play simultaneously. Although, to be fair, the 300-500kb/s bandwidth caps placed on streamers at the time limited the amount of information you could even stream at all. Even when you had downloaded the correct program, sometimes you had to swap out the internal components (such as the encoder) for a more efficient, later version of said encoder.  I remember that at one point I was using an encoder with an insanely weird name composed of all numbers that you had to download from some obscure Japanese website.

It’s mind-boggling how I was even able to stream, given the number of programs required to even get the stream running. Here’s what I needed to have running at the time in order to get a stream off the ground:

  1. Flash Media Live Encoder running with a modified h264 file
  2. Virtual Audio Cables service running in the background
  3. 2 Virtual Audio Cables running, 1 to connect audio from the computer into the stereo mix, one to connect audio from the microphone to the stereo mix
  4. Camtasia Studio to capture the screen region

Each one of these programs took a painstaking amount of research and tweaking to get them to run just right, and if any of them updated or glitched out, everything had to be readjusted and reset in order to get things working again. Troubleshooting was a nightmare and help was non-existent. It seems easy to think that “streaming just worked” from the broadcaster’s point of view because people never really saw what was going on from my end, but this was, honestly, one of my hugest headaches in getting started. There were a lot of programs being worked on at the time, namely the Livestream’s Livecaster application and Xsplit, which aimed to do things in a more streamlined fashion, but even they were rife with bugs and errors.

Why waste so much time researching into all of these different streaming options when I could just stream at the same quality as everyone else? The reason is because I was looking to set myself apart from other streamers in as many ways as possible, and streaming quality was an easy area to compete in since a lot of people weren’t motivated or knowledgeable enough to do the required research to set up a stream that looked nice. An easier option would have been to simply wait for one of these programs to come out before I started streaming, but every single day I wasn’t streaming I was missing out on the opportunity to grow my fan base of 5-15 people to something larger.

If you’ve been keeping up with any online gaming communities, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Anita Sarkeesian’s Tropes vs Women in Video Games. Anita’s goal in the production of this video series is to analyze commonly used tropes in video games. She hopes to explain why they are sexist and, ultimately, damaging to women as a whole.  As of March 8th, Anita released the first of these videos on her Youtube channel. I’m going to be discussing why I disagree with a majority of what she says in the videos and why I believe that the “Damsel in Distress” trope problem is one that can be easily dismissed as a problem in today’s video game market.

To start things off, I am aware of Anita’s past. I am aware that she raised a lot of money to produce these videos. I am also aware that it took her a long time to release the first video in her series. I want to make it very clear, however, that I am only interested in the ideas set forth in Anita’s videos, not in Anita herself.. If you are here looking to bash on her for whatever reason, you have come to the wrong place. There are plenty of circlejerks that exist on the internet that will gladly rave and rant about whether or not she is qualified to produce these videos. I will not deal in ad hominem here, however, because I believe it detracts from the overall argument of sexism in gaming, which is a very important discussion to have. Also note that I am only discussing the trope of Damsel in Distress, the same one that Anita discusses in her video series. Just because I am dismissive of this trope in particular does not mean that I am naive enough to say that there is no sexism present in today’s world of games. I very much agree with Anita in that “it’s both possible, and even necessary, to simultaneously enjoy media while also being critical of its more problematic or pernicious aspects.”

Firstly, let’s start with some factual analysis in one of her primary examples.

The first game she spoke about was Dinosaur Planet, a game that was later cancelled and turned into Starfox Adventures. Anita uses this as one of the largest examples in her first video, claiming that “the tale of how Krystal went from protagonist of her own epic adventure illustrates how the Damsel-in-Distress trope disempowers female characters and robs them of the chance to be heroes in their own right.” When speaking of how Dinosaur Planet was transformed into Starfox Adventures, Anita mentions that Miyamoto “joked about how he thought it should be the third installment in his Star Fox franchise.” If you do a bit of research and you find the exact interview that she’s referencing, however, the relevant point in the interview where they are discussing the game makes it appear as though Miyamoto is more interested in how visually similar the game is to Star Fox, rather than just wanting to take over a completely unrelated game for no reason and turn it into another Star Fox game. To be fair to Miyamoto, it’s easy to see the resemblance between Sabre and Fox McCloud. It’s also much less risky from an investor standpoint to reinvest in currently existing and successful intellectual property rather than to launch a completely new title. All that being said, I don’t think it’s fair to use this as a prime example of a woman being “robbed” of her ability to star in a game, rather it was a prudent business decision to sell more video games by continuing the Star Fox franchise.

Another point in Star Fox Adventures that she criticized was how Fox McCloud ogled the now “Damsel in Distress.” While I agree that this part is pretty cringe-worthy, I take issue with two things. Firstly, she edited the video clip to make it look worse than it actually is (here it is in its entirety). If you’re going to be criticizing something, especially in regards to a topic as controversial as sexism, editing your videos to strengthen your argument is usually a bad idea. Regardless, even the unedited video is pretty bad. Secondly, however, the reason why this video is objectionable has more to do with the ogling/objectification of Krystal as a character rather than her being a “Damsel in Distress,” which makes her rather irrelevant to this topic.

Secondly, let’s talk about the myriad of examples that she uses of video games containing plots that are primarily driven by “Damsels in Distress”. Here’s a list of the games she used:

  • Castlevania
  • Crash Bandicoot
  • Double Dragon
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Rolling Thunder
  • Sonic Adventure
  • Super Ghouls and Ghosts
  • Super Mario
  • Time Crisis
  • Wizards and Warriors

One absolutely crucial detail that Anita overlooked is that there’s a common thread connecting all of these games to each other – the plot is incredibly simple and almost completely unrelated to the game play of every single one of these listed games.

A bit of misinformation has been spread recently, and just wanted to clear some things up concerning my contract with own3d.

The penalty for leaving was simply paying 60% of the average revenue earned for each of the months that you had remaining on the contract you signed. Nothing was said about “all payments owed to you will be void etc..”

I’m not even sure why I bother with contracts in this industry anymore, to be honest.

This is the contract I signed in its entirety. I have only removed my personal information (address/phone number) for the safety of my family – Own3d.tv contract with Destiny.

Hi. My name is Destiny, and I am one of the most prolific streamers in the world at the moment. I stream League of Legends, primarily, and I used to stream Starcraft 2.

In December of 2011, I was approached by own3d.tv to switch over from twitch.tv. I wrote a relatively detailed article explaining that my decision was primarily motivated by financial reasons. Basically, own3d.tv promised me more money for advertising plus a cash incentive for signing up with them. According to the contract, own3d.tv would pay “within 30 (thirty) days of receipt of revenues from advertising.”  I was also promised “60% of all Premium Subscription” revenue, referring to the people that subscribed to me via the $5/month system on own3d.

Let’s look at a few different things that I was promised as part of my contract:

Signing Bonus

Upon signing up with own3d.tv, they agreed to pay me a cash incentive bonus for signing up with their service. According to the contract, “50% upfront payments for the first month” was to be paid out. I also had a smaller amount ($5,000) to be used for an event of my choice, such as hosting a tournament or showmatch series, that own3d.tv would put up for me. In requesting whether or not the cash incentive would be paid out, I contacted Oleg (COO of own3d.tv) multiple times [1] [2]. After the first three times, he said that it would be wired to me next week, back in April. I inquired again about it and received no response, then was assured sometime in May that I’d be receiving it within the week. Finally, on May 25th, Oleg assured me that the signing bonus was wired to me. Of course, later I’d find out it was only 1/3rd of what I was owed, and that I’d be receiving it in 1/3rd “chunks” over the next few months. So after 7 months of streaming with own3d, I was finally paid my cash incentive for signing up with them. Not the greatest, but at least I received all of it.

Event Bonus

I was given a certain dollar amount “to be managed by own3D.tv to run events for the Publisher.” As time went on with own3d.tv, my paychecks gradually came in later and later. They were incredibly unreliable with paying me, and I was incredibly uncomfortable trying to manage an event with them being responsible for paying anything out. I wasn’t willing to risk my name and reputation with them in regards to paying out prizes or payments. As a compromise, I inquired about using my event budget to schedule a trip to Poland to stay at the Ministry of Win with my family. Although this wasn’t in the contract, Oleg assured me it would be okay via Skype on June 12th. At this time, I told Ministry of Win I would be coming to visit them and entered contract negotiations with them for my stay. I messaged Oleg later asking how I would go about booking the plane tickets, but (as usual) received no response. Eventually I received an e-mail from someone working with own3d.tv that it would be impossible to use it unless I signed another contract with them to “unlock” the money. Since they were incredibly shaky with payments (among other things) I  imagine they were worried that I would be switching streaming platforms upon the expiration of my contract. That’s just conjecture, of course. Finally, Oleg told me on Skype that it would be impossible to use said funds for traveling.

As of January 17th, I haven’t been able to use this event money for anything, and I assume that I’ll never have the opportunity to.

If you’re into PC gaming, it seems like everyone these days has a custom built rig. Even the suggestion that you purchase a pre-built box can cause people to ridicule you in the gaming world.

Building a PC today is actually an incredibly simple process. The parts fit together almost like lego pieces (even easier, in some instances; some of those larger-box lego instructions were incredibly confusing!) and everything comes with incredibly detailed instruction manuals. That being said, there are still a lot of people who are hesitant and squeamish about building their own. What if you bend one of the CPU pins? What if you break a PCI slot trying to install a graphics card? etc…etc.. While anyone can learn to build a PC, it’s understandable that some are a bit nervous when it comes to putting one together.

Overclocking is another thing that people are a bit shy of. While a bit more complicated, this is something else that people will struggle with due to the risks you run of destroying a PC part. Overclocking does, however, offer undeniable benefits. It’s essentially free additional performance out of parts you already purchased. And then there’s the whole idea of delidding a CPU…

Who am I? Why am I qualified to build your PC?

I’m one of the first individuals to ever make a living off of live-streaming PC games on the internet. I first started streaming on an E-6750 box I put together several years ago.

I’ve built and owned my own PCs that I use every day to stream for the past 2 years. I’ve also got a great interest in technology and I keep up with the current PC builds and parts. I’ve put together dozens of systems for different people, from pro gamers to college students looking for a cheap rig for school.

Who should use this service?

Honestly, no one! There are a great number of amazing online resources you can use to learn how to put together a PC. There are also a number of websites available online to consult when it comes to picking out parts as well.

Sometimes, gathering and synthesizing all of this information can be daunting. If you’re someone who’s interested in having a custom-built PC, but you’re too afraid or don’t want to dedicate the necessary time to do it yourself, I can (for a small charge) put it together and overclock it for you.

What about other third party services that offer customized, pre-built PCs?

I wrote an article describing some of the problems with those sites, and I recommend not using them.

What is included in my service?

If you’re interested in having me put together a PC for you but you’re not sure where to start, I will help you pick out the parts you’re interested in (based on what your needs are), have you ship the parts to my house, assemble and overclock your system (will require some time since I need to stress the OC for stability), then ship the completed build to your house. I’ll stream the entire construction and overclocking process. I’ll also sign or autograph anything you specify, if you’re a fan of me for my streaming/gaming achievements.

Is there a warranty? What if something is destroyed or breaks?

If I break anything or destroy your system, I’ll cover any and all associated charges. I’ll also provide tech support via e-mail or Skype if you have problems after the computer’s been shipped to your house. If a part malfunctions after it’s been shipped and there is a hardware problem, I can assist you with the RMA process if you need help.

How much does this cost?

15% of the price of all of the parts (pre-tax) with you covering the shipping to/from my house.

 

My contact information:

If this is something you’re interested in, e-mail me at Steven.Bonnell.II@GMail.com with “custom PC” somewhere in the subject and I’ll respond back to you so we can get started! Please include the following information for the fastest response:

1) What is your budget? How much are you able to spend, and how much would you prefer to spend?

2) What exactly are you going to need your computer for? 3D modeling? Gaming? What kind of games?

Processor: I7-2600k (Overclocked to 4.4GHz)

Heat sink: Noctua NH-D14

Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Professional Gen3

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series (2x4GB)

Storage: Crucial M4 CT128M4

GPU: MSI N580GTx Lightning

Case: Cooler Master HAF X Blue Edition RC-942-KKN3

PSU: Corsair AX1200

Monitor: 2x ViewSonic VP2365wb

Headphones: Sennheiser 598 HD

Keyboard: TTEsports Keyboard

Mouse: The Nascita, from Feenix Collections

Mousepad: The Dimora, from Feenix Collections

Webcam/Microphone: Logitech HD Pro Webcam C910

Comments on the build –

Since I do a lot of multi-tasking (streaming + games) and I require a lot of processing power (the encoding process for streaming requires tons of processing power), I figured the 2600k was the best way to go. The ability to overclock it absurdly high (I was stable at 4.8 until my case was severely fucked up in all of the airplane flying, now I’m at 4.4) and the optional hyperthreading seemed like it was a great chip for streaming. The heat sink is a BEAST, a lot of people have commented that it’s the de facto best air heat sink on the market. Since I planned to do quite a bit of overclocking, this was a must.

I splurged a bit on the GPU, I’m not sure why. I think the 560ti was the best buy on the market in terms of price/dollar, but the 580 means I can max out pretty much any game on at the moment (at least at 1920×1080). The 660ti might be a better buy now, but I’d have to go research again.

SSD’s are amazing, the loading and boot times are phenomenal. I don’t know if I’d say you really “need” one, but once you have one, it’s hard to go back to a platter-based drive. Haven’t had a bit of trouble with this SSD.

This motherboard featured the newer Z68 chipset and seemed to have a pretty beefy heatsink on it, leaving me with more room for overclocking. I’m not partial to any brands at the moment even though I generally stick with ASUS, but I tried this and I haven’t had too much trouble with it. It’s nice for newbies who aren’t too familiar with overclocking because it has “auto-overclocking” features in the BIOS that have presets for different chips. I’m not too sure how I feel about these, though, as the presets seems to have the voltage up pretty damn high on some settings.

For RAM, I couldn’t care less. RAM is RAM, meh. 8GB seems fine, even given all that I do. I’ve never used more than 6GB of RAM at any point in time. I think anymore is overkill.

My PSU is HARDCORE OVERKILL, I bought this on mistake a while ago. I could easily get by with 700W or less in this current build.

I really recommend these Cooler Master cases, these things are beasts when it comes to cooling and durability. My Cooler Master survived 6 international flights of being thrown around on airplanes and it’s still in 1 piece.

I’d always wanted to try IPS panels. I have two. They’re pretty, and I like the viewing angle on both of them, though I’m not sure if the extra cost (over $300 per monitor) can be justified over a normal TN panel.

The keyboard sucks balls. I would never, ever, ever recommend black switches on a mechanicl board. Ever. Just get normal dome switches. There’s literally no other point.

The mouse and mousepad are from Feenix. The Mouse is pretty nice, though it’s a bit large compared to some gaming mice. You can adjust the DPI on the fly from 5 different settings using buttons on the mouse. It uses the Avago 9500 sensor, which adds a bit of positive acceleration to your movements, but I don’t really notice it and haven’t had any trouble with it.

The Logitech Cam I have the moment is pretty much the standard at the moment. I think pretty much everyone uses this guy. No complaints here in regards to the webcam or the microphone on it.