Interview With Zoner2015

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Zoner is a streamer I know relatively well, and he is such a positive and optimistic streamer. I met him over another streamers channel. I am so glad to have met Zoner and I am super fortunate that I am able to interview him today. Zoner is a variety streamer who is currently grinding Rocket Leauge and Apex Legends. I asked him to say a little about himself, ‘My real name is Dakota Graf, for those who know me through my streams and socials I’m Zoner. The name was kind of just thrown at me and I stuck with it. I am 20 years of age. I reign from the USA in the state of Ohio. I come from a rural town not well known but has a great and engaging community. I enjoy playing games with my friends as it gives me time to relax and have fun.’

Above: Zoner
Image Source: Zoner2015

Jessica: ‘What is your opinion on Esports?’
Zoner: ‘My opinion on Esports is very two-sided. I have positive and negatives for Esports. When looking at Esports as a sport it allows for those who aren’t athletically gifted or are unable to do athletic sports to be able to make a name for themselves in something they love to do. However, the negative side of that is when gamers begin to see it as a job more than a hobby. I support Esports but I would like it if they made it clear that in the end of it all that its really just about having fun and honing your skills.’
Jessica: ‘Would you ever want to get involved with an Esports team or become a ‘pro’ gamer?’
Zoner: ‘I am kind of already involved with an Esports team or in the making of one. A streamer group I have joined has decided on making a few teams for Esports in games like Rocket League (the team I’ll be joining), Overwatch, and various of different games. As for becoming a “pro” gamer, I feel like that is a dream that is attainable with the right amount of work.’
Jessica: ‘With streaming, what inspired you to stream in the first place?’
Zoner: ‘When it comes to streaming, I would have to say that I was inspired by a fellow friend of mine from high school. He mentioned it to me when he found out how much I play video games and we took a few speech and improv classes together, he told me I could go far with it if I kept at it long enough. So, I tried it out and that was the start of one of my favourite things to do with my time.’

Jessica: ‘How do you keep a healthy mentality and a healthy lifestyle?’
Zoner: ‘Moderation and a whole lot of it. I take some mental days where I relax from streaming or I’ll take more than one to keep my mentality in check. A healthy lifestyle follows that as well, also keeping a balanced diet and some nice exercise. I don’t try to stress streaming over my personal life because my health and life outside of streaming is a lot more important to me.’
Jessica: ‘What would your advice be to streamers and gamers who want to prioritize gaming/streaming but also want to lead a healthy lifestyle?’
Zoner: ‘Make a stream schedule but don’t stress over it if you can’t meet it. Use the schedule that you make as a guideline more than a priority. Keep your mental health and social life in check, it will help you relax and stay sane in the long run.’
Jessica: ‘Has gaming/streaming helped you overcome challenges in your life?’
Zoner: ‘Streaming and gaming have both helped with my depression. I won’t go into too much detail, but my father had died when I was a young kid. I used gaming as a source to express myself at the time, then when I started streaming, I was able to open up more and just allow myself to interact with more people. I started getting happier as time went on through streaming.’
Jessica: ‘Have you ever had to deal with toxic behaviour instream or games?’

Zoner: ‘I have indeed dealt with toxic behaviour both in stream and in games. You will constantly experience some kind of toxicness when streaming or playing any game because there are people who don’t want to see you succeed. I just don’t let it bother me, it’s a bump in the road on the path to success. A good example of something that happened to me was when I was playing Rocket League and the other player began saying crude things about me even though he had no clue what I looked like or who I even was as a person.’
Jessica: ‘How would you describe your attitude towards streaming?’
Zoner: ‘My attitude towards streaming, I would say its positive and friendly, very easy-going and I like to try to connect with my community.’
Jessica: ‘Have you had any life changing experiences while streaming?’
Zoner: ‘I have had a few life changing experiences while streaming. It really has helped me grow as a person and helped me with several things in my social life. If I had to choose an experience to share it would be the several friends I have made and the awesome community that was created throughout my streaming career. They are what help motivate me to keep me going and I love them all.’
Jessica: ‘What is the intention of your stream?’
Zoner: ‘The intentions of my streams. I haven’t really thought about it until late, but I do it to help others through hard times, giving them a place to relax and let loose. I do it to inspire others that there is good in the world outside of the bad times they find surrounding themselves. I want people to see the positive in things and push the negative out.’
Jessica: ‘How long have you been streaming for?’
Zoner: ‘I have been streaming for almost 5 years however if we are talking about constant streaming it would be 2 years. I started when I was 15 but because of school I was unable to keep it constant like I wanted to do so my streams where like once a month or even every 2 months. Once I graduated high school, I was able to keep constant streams and I just went from there.’
Jessica: ‘What advice would you give to people who have just started streaming?’
Zoner: ‘Be yourself, I know its cliché to say but that’s really all you need. If your being yourself, you’re the most genuine person you can ever be. This will let people understand who you are, and they will connect with that. It’s going to be hard at first but it’s worth it in the end.’
Jessica: ‘What are your aspirations when it comes to streaming?’
Zoner: ‘Some aspirations, or dreams that I have when it comes to streaming would be to continue growing my community to be the best it can be. I also hope to continue growing with my streamer group and we all grow together as a whole.’

We appreciate it so much Zoner taking your time to do this interview with us! We wish you the best of luck in the future and we hope that you continue to grow and develop with the Esports team as well as with streaming. Alongside that, thank you for being so open, Zoner is such an inspiration and be sure to check out his stream!

Social Media, follow Zoner on Twitch or his Instagram @zoner2015_twitch

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Written By Jessica Clarke – Associate Writer at Dart Frog Gaming

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