Streamer and geek influencer een mercado isn’t just your typical girl gamer
It’s a rare yet amazing thing when stuff in life just seems to fall into place. Een Mercado has everything she needs to become a successful streamer in the gaming industry: She’s entertaining, knowledgeable about the culture, has garnered a loyal fanbase, and has a face you’ll never get tired of looking at. But that doesn’t really make her stand out from her contemporaries. In a world where every content producer is vying for the Internet’s attention, figuring out what sets you apart could make or break your career. Een Mercado shows us that it takes more than just a pretty face to make it in any industry.
Why do you think people find it special when girls like to play games?
It’s so weird that people still make a distinction between guy gamers and girl gamers. Merong mga companies that want to manage all-female gaming tournaments because they see that that’s the way they can attract more support.
But even if you’re against the distinction, you can’t deny that one of the main reasons for your stream’s popularity is because you are female.
I’m honored that people are starting to notice me as a streamer and I do realize that I take advantage of the scarcity of female gamers in the Philippines. I think I’m in a very fortunate position where I can influence people so I try my best to produce quality entertainment.
Would you want your fans to treat you the same as they would a guy?
No rin. I’m still a girl even if ako talaga yung tipong tamad mag-ayos, I still wouldn’t go live [on stream] without taking a bath first. Kasi maraming mga guy streamers, especially in other countries, na parang walang pakialam sa itsura nila and neither do their fans, but in my experience yung mismong viewers ko pa yung pumapansin kapag di ako nag-ayos, ha ha! Bigla silang mag-co-comment ng “Uy, no kilay day ba ngayon?” partida mga lalaki pa yung nakakapansin ng kilay, ha ha!
What made you want to get into this line of work?
When Mineski invited me to become one of their brand ambassadors, I felt like this was the universe telling me that maybe this is where I belonged. I’m always excited to interact with the community because we have the same interests.
How can you tell if someone’s a geek?
I guess you can tell if someone’s a geek by talking to them and seeing how into the culture they really are. Parang if they claim that they’re otaku or anime lovers sana they know more than just two anime shows. Ayoko kasi na ikahon yung mga geeks into one look or something. I mean, tingnan niyo nga si Pia Wurtzbach, ibang klase yung ganda niya pero naglalaro pala siya ng games tulad ng Final Fantasy—i think anyone can be a geek.
How do you feel about “filthy casuals?’’
There are some people who get into a hobby just because they want to bandwagon on its current popularity but don’t want to invest in knowing more about the culture. I like talking to people who are just getting into geeky hobbies because we’ve all been there. I just started playing DOTA last year and I still have a low MMR (match making rating) because I haven’t mastered the game but I’m willing to learn from veteran players.
How do you feel about the geek culture breaking into the mainstream?
I like how people who aren’t geeks are slowly getting educated about the culture. Hindi na nila iisipin na for kids yung mga gusto namin. If people who don’t know much about the culture gain some understanding of our love for these things, I’m all for it.
WORDS Kat Zablan PHOTOGRAPHY Ejay leung of Midnight bonkers STYLIST sancho bernardo HAIR jonas lucas, revlon Professional MAKEUP ria aquino