Way back when Agent 00 had just 60 subscribers, a community content aggregator channel named GamerSpawn decided to feature one of his Grand Theft Auto V (GTAV) videos. The channel, at the time, had over 150,000 subscribers, and Agent 00 figured that such exposure would be the best birthday present ever.
“Everybody hated it!” he says with a laugh. “Absolutely everybody hated it. The comments were ruthless!”
These days, the YouTube star has over 1 million subscribers and is one of the premier NBA 2K personalities and gamers on the internet. Agent 00 has managed to transition seamlessly to every new iteration of NBA 2K, rising above the ebb and flow of YouTube’s algorithm and figuring out new ways to grow his viewership. He makes a point never to forget what his subscribers want, and he cautions that being able to adapt is one of the most important parts of the business.
“It’s been a crazy journey,” Agent 00 said. “I don’t even know what next year is going to bring. I kind of just live by the day now.”
He got into gaming at an early age, first playing PS1 as a four-year-old and then getting into Call of Duty in later years. Young Agent 00 competed on GameBattles before switching over to YouTube to watch montages and commentaries of the very games that he played. Gaming, he realized, was what he wanted to do, and so for months on end he begged his mom for a capture card in order to start making videos.
At first, he made montages, worried that his voice sounded too young to be taken seriously. He almost gave up, putting in exorbitant hours with minimal return; 30 hours of work netted maybe 200 views. He stuck with it, though, and finally started making commentaries when GTAV came out. After two and a half years of making MyGM videos, he switched to MyPark videos, and his channel began to take off.
Only 90 million more to catch up to Pewdiepie. Appreciate all the love, I KNOW we can make it happen!!!!! pic.twitter.com/brpSJWGixQ
— Agent (@CallMeAgent00) March 24, 2019
Agent 00 stressed the importance of finding friends and a community to offset the rigors and solitude of constant content creation. Finding friends in the NBA 2K community helped him channel more of his passion into his videos, which enabled his channel to rocket upwards. Friends who can empathize, he expressed, are vital to creating a successful YouTube career, and finding them is not as daunting as it may seem.
“It can get really lonely, so you need people around you,” Agent 00 said. “You have to try and find people around you. It’s not as hard as I thought it would be, and eventually it comes.”
Agent 00 has certainly found his community. There’s an exuberance about him, whenever he talks about YouTube or content creating or NBA 2K, that shines through no matter the topic of conversation. He rises to each new challenge with excitement, happy with his group of friends and thankful not only for his impressive subscriber count but also for how enjoyable each day is.
He’s found ways to connect that passion to his Toronto roots. In 2018, he joined Luminosity Gaming, a Canadian esports organization with teams across the competitive gaming landscape. But his most fruitful hometown connections have come close to home, with the game for which he’s most famous.
When Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment announced Raptors Uprising GC, Shane Talbot, MLSE’s Esports Manager, reached out to Agent 00 to discuss the natural meeting of minds, and the two quickly agreed to a content creation partnership. Agent 00 has worked with Raptors Uprising on various content pieces, and this season he hosts The RapUp, a weekly livestream on Raptors Uprising’s Twitch channel where he interviews personalities from around the League and discusses the team’s most recent matches.”
Working with the Uprising has also enabled him to take advantage of the Bell Fibe House, the gaming house in which the Raptors Uprising players live for the duration of the NBA 2K League season. Agent 00 made a cameo appearance in the season-two house tour video, and simultaneously used the house to shoot what he calls the best video he’s ever done on his channel.
DROPPED A SERIOUSS BANGER https://t.co/Ys4Cs2ZHys
— Agent (@CallMeAgent00) March 20, 2019
“It’s mutually beneficial for both of us,” he said. “Any time I can work with them I’m definitely into it.”
A few weeks ago, Agent 00 went back to look at his debut video on GamerSpawn. He found an old, plaintive comment of his, bemoaning the fact that he couldn’t change his voice. Now, he just laughs and shakes his head, secure in the successful development of his channel and of himself.
“I’m just glad I didn’t give up,” he said. “It put that strength in me.”
His more than 1 million subscribers also are also glad.
BIG 2K IN THE HOT TUB MOOD.
— Raptors Uprising GC (@RaptorsGC) March 15, 2019