Creator Spotlight

Conversation with Duwiol, a Pokemon YouTuber, as we discuss his unique blind playthroughs, and his journey as a full-time content creator.

In a recent interview, Duwiol, a YouTuber who focuses exclusively on Pokemon content, discussed his journey into full-time content creation and the challenges and highlights he has experienced along the way. Duwiol, whose real name is Matt, had a long-standing aspiration to pursue a career in content creation and started making YouTube and TikTok videos during his free time while working as an English teacher. Recently, he turned his dream into reality by dedicating his channel to Pokemon.

During the interview, Duwiol shared insights into what motivated him to pursue this particular career path and the difficulties he encountered. He also highlighted the moments that propelled his content to viral status and discussed his current project of doing playthroughs of all the mainline Pokemon games on YouTube, spanning from Generation 1 to Generation 8. Notably, he mentioned the upcoming expansions, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, which will be positioned between Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl and Pokemon Black and White. With a strong passion for community-based challenges and interactions, Duwiol’s viewership has grown significantly, transitioning from a few views to thousands, with further potential for growth. Please note that this interview has been condensed for brevity and clarity.

Duwiol’s TikTok channel:

YouTube channel:



Q: What is the origin story behind your YouTube channel and content creator career?

A: I tried to make a channel in 2016, 2017, I think. I had a proper go at it because I was posting every single day on YouTube, but it was any type of gaming at all. I don’t know why I thought it was a good idea, but I thought that doing videos of indie games and games no one had heard of was a good idea because algorithms love that. Just have this game that nobody plays. Not my smartest decision, but I had a lot of fun with it, I enjoyed it, even though I wasn’t growing very much. I think it was a year of doing it. Then I thought of Twitch, so I started streaming and filming at the same time. In 2017 and 2018, I was doing both.

Because the job I had was very demanding on time because I was a teacher, so every evening I was marking papers, doing that sort of thing, I had to drop one, so I said “I’ll just go with Twitch, Twitch is doing better.” But life got in the way, so I was stopping and starting. I got to a point, just over a year ago, closing in on two years now, I had a big change career-wise, so I had to make the decision to just stop streaming because I just didn’t have time for it. I stopped, but I still had an itch to just keep going back to it, but I didn’t have time to stream or film for YouTube.

During the lockdown I did what a lot of people did, so I downloaded TikTok, and I was like “Yeah, I could just post a video every now and again on TikTok just to scratch the itch.” It was the stupidest choice I could have made because I started doing what everybody was doing, which was opening Pokemon cards, and it was all I saw on TikTok. There was a moment when I started using a filter off of Instagram where it would randomly select six Pokemon for me, and I would challenge the people watching my videos in 6v6 battles. It went really well. I went from getting a few views to getting thousands.

Then there was this moment where a parent said “My son Oliver was to challenge you specifically,” and I did a video where I was challenging Oliver themselves, and it just exploded because people realized “Hang on, he’ll battle me specifically.” People would ask me to battle them, and it sort of evolved, with just short of one thousand individual Pokemon battles with people on TikTok. I started to grow a lot, income started coming in, and I wanted to go back to YouTube because I really enjoyed the community aspect of it, even on Twitch, I liked having the community decide what I would do.

For example, I played Skyrim, but I only did what people in chat told me to do. It’s also why I loved the community battles, as I enjoyed engaging with them and them with me. What I’ve done since coming to YouTube, it’s been 8 months now, I’ve been playing my way through every generation of Pokemon to sort of go on the journey “This is the game I started with, and here’s where we are now.” Every single time I’ve done a playthrough I let the community decide what to do. I’m doing Pokemon White at the moment, and I started this poll online where people could vote for the Pokemon types that they wanted on my team, so I had to pick Pokemon based on the winning six types.

I really love Pokemon, so I decided to have this channel that’s just Pokemon, and then I have another channel that is me just playing other games and I can do more with the community. I started a Minecraft server where anybody who’s been a member of the community for a while can play. I want the community thing because it’s what gave me the boom. The whole reason why I started YouTube seven-odd years ago was that I had just turned 25, and I was like “I’ve surely missed my chance at this, but I want to have a go.”

Q: What did you expect from going full-time as a content creator? What made you decide to go full-time now?

A: I noticed I was growing, but I always had it in my head that “I have to have this much income,” the amount I was supposed to be earning, because with every job you need that security of income, so I was always panicking, worrying about it, like “Will I be earning enough? Will I not be able to pay my bills?” and things like that. I was always raising how much I had to be making in order to do it, and when I got to the amount that I decided I was like “Ah, but that’s not enough,” and I kept raising it.

But then, I got to a point where the work I was doing beforehand, my teaching job, I was just done with it. The more I was succeeding at this, the worst that job was looking in my eyes, so I was like “Why am I letting this hold me back? Just have a go, just do it,” and I decided to just take the plunge regardless of whether I think I’m earning what I think is enough or I’m the size where I think I’m big enough. I feel like if I took too long I would never do it.

My family has always been very supportive of what I do, but I had so many times when I thought “Oh, but I don’t know if I can do it, it’s not stable.” I always had it in my head that you need stability, but I don’t think you ever get stability with this kind of thing, or if you do, it’s much, much later on. I always had the mindset of “Do what you enjoy, even if it’s paying a bit less than what you want,” but reality gets in the way of that quite a lot when you need to pay the bills.

Q: What’s your favorite piece of content you put out?

A: You said it, and I immediately had it in my head, and I was like “I can’t say that.” That is probably the cringiest, worst thing I’ve ever put out, and yet I still giggle when I watch it. It was so early on with me posting on TikTok, but I was looking through Instagram, and I found this one filter where it literally puts your face on a Pikachu. I know, it’s so cringey, but I made this video. It was like 30 seconds where it’s just me going “Pikachu, I choose you!”, and then I throw the Poke Ball at the camera, and it goes into a Pikachu with my face on it saying “It’s me, the Pikachu,” something like that.

It’s the cringiest thing I’ve ever made, and yet I still laugh at it every single time I watch it. Every single time. It’s the sort of thing where you’re rolling the dice there and either people are going to find it funny or they are going to go “I’m never looking at this man again. I’m going to bleach my eyes out now.” I have some amazing Pokemon videos that I love and stuff where I come in clutch at the last second, beating the Champion or that sort of thing, but that one video will always make me giggle, so it’s probably that one, as bad as it is. It’s easily in the top 10 worst videos I’ve ever made, but it’s still one of my favorites.

Q: What was the idea behind having shorts on your YouTube channel?

A: Squirdle was the idea of somebody who asked me to do it. I can legitimately claim five or ten percent of the stuff I do is my own ideas. I like to have the community I’ve built around what I do as involved as possible. Someone told me about Squirdle, this Wordle clone, and told me I should do it, then loads of people wanted me to do it. So I’ve done it, there you go, there it is. The whole Pokemon battles on TikTok, barely any of these were my ideas, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. It’s difficult to have your own ideas. I try not to do what most people are doing. I completely understand why people doing something becomes popular, and as a result, everybody does it that way. It’s the hot thing, it’s what’s popular.

I want to do different things as much as possible because you’re never going to be unique, so I like to do things that are as unique as possible, but I always find somebody who’s done it before me. I wanted to do the playthrough of all the generations because I saw that out of all the creators that at least I knew of at the time, I didn’t see many people who would do unedited, full playthroughs of Pokemon, and I was like “I’d love to do that, I love to see the whole journey and everything.” Inevitably, of course, I would do a whole playthrough and there were three or four or five people doing it. It’s still fewer people than those who do the edited single videos thing. It’s hard to be unique, but you can have the occasional idea.

It may not even be a good idea, that is the problem – or people don’t watch it. I have the perfect example of that. I always wanted to do a “choose your adventure” sort of series with Pokemon, so I did a thing where I had a green screen, me acting parts, like a little show on TikTok or whatever, where people choose from a few options at the end and that decides the next path of their adventure. Kind of D&D style, but not D&D style. I loved it, and I had so much fun with it – for four videos, until I dropped it because it just wasn’t getting the views. The people who were engaging with it were loving it, and I was loving it, but the harsh truth is if it’s not getting the views it’s not worth the time. It was so much time to film it and to edit it.

As much as I enjoyed it, I can’t do something that’s not getting the views or not getting as many views as you need it to get. I never would have thought that my just using a random Pokemon generator filter to do battles with random members of the community would be as popular as it was. Sometimes I just put a lot of effort into something, and it flops. I don’t think it’s always down to how much effort it takes to do something. It’s more about trying different things, and if you see something that’s working just go for it. It’s ridiculous what people want. Sometimes I’m like “I want to read this, I want to watch this,” or whatever, and it’s so wrong compared to what the general public wants.

I’ve had so many suggestions or ideas of my own that I’ve been insistent it’s a great idea or the person who suggested it thought it’s a great idea, and then it’s awful. People don’t like it. And then I have this stupid idea or one that I think “Oh, this will never work,” or someone suggests something to me and I’m like “That’s a ridiculous suggestion, why do you suggest that?”, and then it blows up. I don’t get it. I’m not going to complain about it, but you know. I’ve had so many people suggest Pokemon Showdown. I’d love to do it, but I think I’d have to sit down and understand Showdown. I love watching people playing Showdown.

I’ve seen the videos on YouTube and TikTok and everything, and I’m like “This looks fun, but I don’t know if I’d enjoy it.” Inevitably, it’s going to be something that works. I love the community aspect of being a content creator. I almost don’t have to worry about coming up with ideas because I know someone will come to me and say “I think you should this or that.” It’s easy to say things like “I think this will be a good idea,” but at the end of the day, if people watch you and tell you that you should try something, you should probably do it.

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