We sat down with chocoTaco for our Talent Spotlight of the month! As a seasoned gaming content creator and streamer, chocoTaco is one of the most recognizable faces in the PUBG community. With his laid-back personality and high-level gameplay, he's gained a dedicated fan base who can't get enough of his content. He's expanded his horizons and evolved his approach, playing games across all genres and hosting community events. Beyond his impressive gaming skills, chocoTaco is also a vegetarian, a classically trained musician, and a proud cat dad! We're excited to support chocoTaco as he continues to entertain and engage his fans with his unique blend of gaming expertise and fun-loving personality.
Who are you? What’s your preferred platform & content vertical?
My name is Jake aka chocoTaco, but almost everyone just calls me choco. Although I’m mostly known for my years streaming PUBG on Twitch, I now create content for a variety of PC games. Everything from DayZ to American Truck Simulator.
How did you get introduced into the content creator space?
I started content creation because of PUBG. I’d always been interested in streaming, but I never wanted to commit to the grind. I was ranked 1 in NA PUBG at the time, so I decided to stream for one month and see how it went. That was about 6 years ago!
What do you wish you knew when starting as a content creator?
I wish I knew how demanding streaming is. For the first 6 months of my career I was part-time streaming 5 hours per day and full-time at my other job 8 hours per day. Even though it was an exciting time, it was extremely exhausting. Shoutout to all the streamers out there working full-time while still trying to work on their streams.
What advice would you give your younger self or someone thinking of becoming a content creator?
If I could go back 10 years or so, I’d tell my younger self to play League of Legends. I have 8k hours in DOTA 2 and was ranked top 50, but League would have been a perfect game for me to stream and get in at the ground level. League has the most amazing longevity and global popularity. Plus it’s an amazing esport, which fits my personal preference.
To anyone thinking of becoming a content creator, my biggest piece of advice is to have fun with it at first. Don’t go into it thinking it’s going to work out full time. The honest truth is that becoming a successful content creator is extremely difficult and involves some luck. There is so much competition, and you can do everything right and still come up short. I think it’s best to have fun and see what happens.
Tell us more about how you started your gaming career and what inspired you to keep growing.
I’ve been into video games since I was a kid, but things really started heating up when I got my hands on Half Life. It was the first game I ‘got good’ at, and playing against other people online was my favorite thing at the time. That led me to Counter-Strike which really allowed me to experience competitive gaming through playing in leagues like CAL, CEVO, and ESEA. Thousands of hours in CS and DOTA made PUBG the perfect game for me, as it was a marriage of FPS and strategy.
What does your dedicated fan base mean to you?
As a streamer, viewers are everything. Being able to now play a variety of games while hanging out with my community is truly amazing. I’m lucky to have been able to pivot from PUBG to other content, and that’s because of my viewers. Not a lot of streamers have that luxury, so I’m super thankful for that.
What campaigns have you been a part of?
At this point in my career I’ve worked with SO many brands. It’s been really interesting to see non-gaming brands increasingly advertise their products through gaming. I’ve worked with companies like Hyundai, Doritos, Turbo Tax, and even CLIF Bar. My most memorable campaign was probably the Doritos Bowl at Twitchcon. It was still pretty early in my career, and my team and I were able to win a $100,000 CoD: Blackout tournament live in front of a huge audience. I even got a jersey with ‘chocoTaco’ on the back, which is now framed in my stream room.
What was your favorite or most viral piece of content? Why?
PUBG is arguably the best game of all time for clips. I had a lot of viral clips, but one clip in particular still gets posted online every once in a while. I was testing out something with the Kar98 on the test server, and accidentally killed an enemy 400 meters away that I didn’t even know existed. Never tell me the odds!
Dream collaborations - what would be your dream brand(s) to work with? Why?
I’m going to dream big here and say that my dream collaboration would be with Valve to help consult on making a next gen battle royale similar to PUBG. Unrealistic dreams aside, we are starting to see content creators directly involved in game development. I think it’s a great thing and I hope there is a shift in how games are made.
Are there any interesting projects you are working on that you would like to share?
I’m possibly working on a rebrand from ‘chocoTaco’ to ‘choco’, but it’s a complicated process. Everyone just calls me choco anyway!
What do you love the most about what you do?
Being my own boss is what I love most. Playing video games is great, but getting to choose my own schedule and decide what I want to do is amazing.
What content / personal challenges have you come across and how have you overcome them?
Mental health has been the biggest challenge in many ways. This is a subject I don’t think is talked about enough. Firstly, a main part of this career involves constantly comparing yourself to others. It’s not very healthy. Also, being in front of a camera and being an entertainer for 40+ hours per week takes a toll. For the first 3 years of my career I was streaming 70+ hours per week with no days off, and that’s just time spent live on stream. When you pair that with playing the same game every day, as many streamers do, the amount of burnout that content creators can experience is alarming.
That being said, I wouldn’t want any other job. I now take regular days off, and I have a much healthier schedule. I don’t regret grinding as hard as I did, but I’m glad that those days are behind me. My mental health is now at an all-time high for my career, and I’m looking forward to what the future holds.
Stay tuned for our upcoming Viral Nation Talent Spotlights!
_About the author
Viral Nation is a new media innovation group that powers the social ecosystem through integrated solutions that align strategy, talent, media, and technology. As pioneers in the influencer space, Viral Nation is comprised of a full-service creative agency, a creator and athlete-influencer representation agency, and a technology division creating modern marketing solutions for the social media age.