Cau7ioN is Team Razer’s freshest recruit. The Apex Legends Pathfinder main is a rising streamer who invested in himself to follow his dream.

Rising Twitch streamer Cau7ioN is the latest personality to become part of Team Razer. The 30-year old Apex Legends player’s charisma and masterful skills with legend Pathfinder have helped him make a name for himself, and we sat down with Cau7ioN to talk about his story in his first interview since joining Razer.

Chapter 1: The unforgettable 14-hour road trip to MLG

Cau7ioN always knew he belonged in gaming ever since he was young. So if he wasn’t playing video games, he was drawing up strategies about them in his notebook at the back of the class.

Cau7ioN grew up playing shooters, and although he dabbled in Halo and Rainbow Six, another series hooked him like no other. “From Gears of War 1 to Gears of War 4, that was my life,” declared Cau7ioN. “I ended up knowing the whole community, and I’m still friends with a bunch of them. For Gears, I was obsessed with becoming the best I could.”

In 2008, Cau7ioN was a senior in high school and determined to travel to MLG Toronto to meet and compete with fellow gamers. But first, he had to tell his mother, and he wasn’t sure how she’d take it.

“So I was there. Finally at my first LAN at 16 or 17 years old. After a 14 hour drive and then… I got double eliminated right in front of my mom. I’ll never forget it. (laughs)”

Cau7ioN on his first trip to LAN at MLG TORONTO

“At first, I tried to play it casual and say hey Mom, I’ll see you in a couple of days,” said Cau7ioN. “But the moment she looked at me, I had to tell the truth. She knew when I was lying, so I told her I was going to Toronto for a video game.”

“I’ll be honest, my gaming habits were tough on my Mom early on, but after I told her about Canada, she was like ‘let’s do it.’ She even offered to drive me all the way from New Jersey to Toronto.”

“So I was there. Finally, at my first LAN at 16 or 17 years old. After a 14 hour drive and then… I got double eliminated right in front of my mom,” said Cau7ioN laughing. “I’ll never forget it.”

On the long drive home, Cau7ioN was pensive, but he had no intention of resting or licking his wounds. So instead, he hopped online, plugged in his new headphones and got to work.

“That MLG event sparked something in me. I was hooked,” said Cau7ioN.

Chapter 2: A tough but necessary year in Florida

In the years that followed, Cau7ioN intermittently returned to MLG events across the United States, paying visits to MLG Columbus, MLG Anaheim, and MLG Dallas. However, his dreams of pursuing his passion for gaming were put on hold when his parents separated, and Cau7ioN followed his mother to Florida.

“My mother decided to move to Florida, and I couldn’t let her go down by herself, to have no one. It was a rough time for us, but we supported each other,” said Cau7ioN.

The move to Florida, however, meant leaving a life behind. Friends, family, and familiarity.

“It was a tough year for me, but a necessary period for my Mom to re-adjust to life on her own.”

Cau7ioN on putting his gaming dream on hold after a move to Florida

“I didn’t realize at first. I thought I was just going to be gaming, and everything’s going to be great. Sure, I’ll miss my friends, but I get to focus on my passion. I just didn’t realize how big of a toll being away from everybody would be,” said Cau7ioN.

It was a challenging period for Cau7ioN, who was now in his early 20s and unable to find work as an audio engineer in Florida despite his best efforts.

“I just ended up in a bad spot, I wasn’t working, I was just living. I would sit in my room for days at a time. I was depressed,” said Cau7ioN reflecting on one of the toughest years of his life. “It was a tough year for me, but a necessary period for my Mom to re-adjust to life on her own.”

Chapter 3: Cau7ioN decides not to let life pass him by

His time in Florida ended abruptly following an eviction notice and sparked a move to Orlando, which Cau7ioN felt was the beginning of something positive.

“When you’re really depressed, sometimes a change of scenery can help you to have a different mindset, an opportunity to get away from the bad. That eviction notice was a wake-up call, I realized I was just letting life pass me by.”

“Moving to Orlando was a big blessing. I sold my Xbox to avoid the temptation, thinking it was the reason for my mind state, and I focused 100% on getting an audio engineering job in the future. I did that for like seven to eight months, but in the back of my mind it just didn’t feel right. I had that voice telling me this isn’t what you really want to do.”

Cau7ion
Cau7ioN – Image courtesy Razer

Chapter 4: Hey son, why aren’t you streaming. I thought you liked video games?

With doubts in his mind on whether he was cut out for a traditional working life, Cau7ioN called his mother in what would prove to be a turning point in his life. It would spark the rise of the streamer and content creator we know today as Cau7ioN.

“My Mom called me and told me she just saw a news about how Ninja had played with Drake and was saying how cool it was,” remembers Cau7ioN. “Then she said, ‘didn’t you used to play video games? Weren’t you good at it. why aren’t you streaming like them?’, and I just replied I don’t know, but I do miss gaming.”

“Then my Mom just said ‘well, then go fucking get your XBOX and figure it out!'” said Cau7ioN.

Cau7ioN didn’t waste any time, and soon he was back to gaming. “I relinked my Xbox and connected with my old Xbox friends and I started to feel happier,” said Cau7ioN.

“Eventually, I started streaming. At first, it was like Overwatch with no camera, absolute dog sh*t setup. Streaming to one viewer. But I’m self-aware enough to know it wasn’t enough if I wanted to succeed.”

” I think there are a lot of people who aren’t happy because they went down a path that was decided by other people. I realized if I’m going to make something of my life, it’s going to be doing something I chose.”

Cau7ioN on his motivation to succeed as a streamer

Cau7ioN soon invested in a webcam and stream overlays. Overwatch was soon put to the side in favor of Apex Legends, a game he felt scratched that competitive itch he had felt at MLG Toronto a decade earlier.

Between January and June 2018, Cau7ioN streamed over 200 hours a month to less than 10 viewers. Yet, while many might have called it a day, he soldiered on.

What motivated him to keep going? “I think there are a lot of people who aren’t happy because they went down a path that was decided by other people,” said Cau7ioN.

“For me, after grinding eight months after giving in to the pressure of following a traditional path, I realized it wasn’t my calling. You know what was? Gaming,” said Cau7ioN. “That’s a passion that has always brought me joy, and I realized if I’m going to make something of my life, it’s going to be doing something I chose.”

Chapter 5: Cau7ioN stops dreaming and start creating

Cau7ioN, now satisfied he was going down a career path of his own, began to improve himself and his stream.

“Early on I just dreamed, I didn’t really understand,” said Cau7ioN. “Skill in a game is only going to take you so far unless you’re a pro player. But if you’re a content creator, you need to work on your content. People aren’t just going to watch your streams if you don’t put the time into developing your content, you need to invest in yourself.”

“I had the mindset that I had to learn new things,” said Cau7ioN. “I learned how to use Photoshop, I learned how to edit videos. In fact my Team Razer announcement video, I actually made that myself. But that was the result of a few years of teaching myself new skills.”

Cau7ioN went on to say it’s up to the streamer to make people care about who they are but encouraged aspiring content creators to stay true to themselves.

Cau7ioN edited his own announcement video for joining Team Razer

“You have to ride the fine line between just selling yourself and creating content you enjoy making,” said Cau7ioN. “If I’m going to be doing this for ten plus years, I’m not going to wake up on a Tuesday eight years from now and be excited for what I do unless I’m doing what I genuinely want.”

“If you’re doing things for other people, you won’t get that satisfaction. I used to do that, and I think that’s why it took me so long to get here.”

One creative avenue which saw great success was TikTok, and at time of writing Cau7ioN has over 100,000 followers on the platform.

“I was one of the first Apex creators to hop on TikTok, at least for the competitive streamer side. It’s such a brilliant platform, it’s so open and there are so many people and they just don’t care who you are. If it’s good content, they’ll watch it,” said Cau7ioN.

“That’s the magic of TikTok, anyone can go viral on there. I’d recommend it to any creator looking to grow their brand, but take the time to keep improving the content you’re putting out.”

Chapter 6: Training the skills to pay the bills

2020 was a transitional year for Cau7ioN, who realized the limitations of being a controller player. Deciding that mouse and keyboard was the way to go, especially to master complex movements, Cau7ioN made the switch. Unfortunately, a side effect was his stream viewership numbers took a dip.

“I dropped down to 30-40 viewers. I was bad when I switched to mouse and keyboard, and at some point it’s just not cute,” remembers Cau7ioN. “It’s like okay, he’s not killing people, and not everyone will be watching just for who I am, they’re also watching for gameplay.”

Checking the viewing figures for Cau7ioN’s stream for 2020, the drop in viewership was significant. In January 2020, when he was still on controller Cau7ioN was streaming 225 hours to an average of 145 viewers. Within two months of switching to mouse and keyboard his viewership was down to 45 viewers.

“At that point I was still doing streaming full-time, even though I didn’t have much money. But I’m a minimalist, I don’t need much to get by, I can live off peanut butter and jelly like I did for the first year. That never bothered me,” said Cau7ioN.

Cau7ioN was in it for the long game.

“I’ve always had the mentality that sometimes you got to work hard now to get what you want later,” said Cau7ioN when asked how he persisted through 2020. “I would rather do what I love and not make much money. I didn’t have a girlfriend, i didn’t have anything. I could only rely on myself.”

“I started listening to random things on YouTube while training my aim on Kovaak’s, like how the pyramids were built, or the life of Picasso or Gandhi’s speeches.”

Did Cau7ioN ever consider swapping back to controller when viewers dropped? “I’ve never talked about it before, but it was the hardest point in my streaming career by far. You have that question in the back of your mind like ‘have I made the right move? but at the same time I couldn’t sulk about it,” said Cau7ioN. “I just had to get better.”

So, in addition to learning editing software for his stream, Cau7ioN also put the time in to improve his aim and mechanical skills. He did that by using Kovaak’s aim trainer.

“I downloaded Kovaak’s and I sh*t you not, I was doing two hours a day full force,” said Cau7ioN. “I got to the point where music was boring, so I started listening to random things on YouTube while training my aim on Kovaak’s, like how the pyramids were built, or the life of Picasso or Gandhi’s speeches. Just to fill the time as I tried to get better.”

Cau7ioN’s skills and personality catch the attention of Razer

The blood, sweat, and tears that Cau7ioN put into his content and stream did not go unnoticed. A post of one of his montages blew up on Reddit and caught the attention of Seeson Mahathavorn, Razer’s Senior Global Esports Marketing Manager.

“The video blew up, and I didn’t think much of it. It was just a case of pat yourself on the back and kept going. But then Seeson from Razer hit me up in my DMs and offered to give me a brand new keyboard and mouse,” says Cau7ioN.

“At first, I was like ‘Nah, I’m good man,’ but Seeson is a big Apex fan, and he was like no seriously, I want to send you some gear. So over a few months, he sent me the Razer Huntsman Mini 60% keyboard, the Razer Viper ultimate mouse, and he even sent me that sweet $500 Razer Iskur chair. It was crazy. I couldn’t believe it,” added Cau7ioN.

Fast forward to the summer of 2021, and Cau7ioN was being signed as an official content creator with Razer through talent agency Elicit Talent.

“Elicit Talent are good people, and for me that’s important. When I signed they only had a hundred followers, but numbers don’t represent who you are as a person,” said Cau7ioN. “They were persistent and they wanted to make me feel good and secure. So I went with Elicit, then they hit me up and set up a meeting with Seeson and Razer.”

“I remember I was sitting in the parking lot at a gas station mini-mart, and I was freaking out because I never imagined I’d get a sponsorship. I was just appreciative of what Seeson and Razer did for me. They’d signed Courage, then Cloakzy and there are plenty of people you can name before I come up, but the fact they went with me just means so much to me.”

“Razer told me to just keep doing what I’m doing and that’s exactly what I’m going to do,” said Cau7ioN.

Cau7ioN joined Team Razer on October 1st, joining the likes of League of Legends’ icon Faker. He streams on Twitch and is active on Twitter.

Lawrence

Lawrence "Malystryx" Phillips

Director of Content | Twitter: @MalystryxGDS | Twitch: MalyPlays

Malystryx is Editor-in-Chief/Managing Editor at Esports.gg. and a veteran esports journalist, content creator and personality. He has been involved in the esports scene since 2004 and has worked with many different organizers and portals, including SK Gaming, ESL, Dexerto, GINXTV, Razer and Monster Energy. Malystryx was also a broadcast talent on Valve's Dota 2 Pro Circuit over the last few years, creating on-site video content for PGL and Starladder. In his spare time he streams on Twitch as MalyPlays.