Switching to streaming after a long career in esports has become one of the most popular career paths for professional gamers. Despite its popularity now, streaming didn’t seem like a feasible move compared to continuing in esports when Michael “Imaqtpie” Santana first made the switch. While streaming can be a comfortable and profitable path, players need to sacrifice chasing the glory of trophies.
Imaqtpie quit playing professional League of Legends for the first time in 2014. If you don’t count his brief returns with Delta Fox and Meme Stream Team, he’s been a full-time streamer ever since his initial departure. The combination of his entertaining persona and will to master every game he plays attracts thousands of viewers.
Imaqtpie may look like he’s playing games to have a good time, but he takes streaming quite seriously while looking for ways to increase his stream’s quality. If you’ve been enjoying Imaqtpie’s streams and would like to improve yours in a way that can rival his, then expanding your arsenal with his hardware of choice can help you do that.
Mouse: Razer Deathadder Chroma
A gaming mouse is one of the most important peripherals for competitive gamers. You’ll need a mouse that is both comfortable and advanced enough to transition all of your inputs into your game of choice almost instantly.
Imaqtipie uses a Razer Deathadder Chroma, an industry-standard when it comes to gaming mice. Though the original Chroma version of the mouse is off the market these days, new and enhanced versions are available. The latest versions of the mouse come with improved sensors and wireless compatibility, meaning there’s a Deathadder for every gamer these days. They’re all similarly sized at 5 by 2.43 by 1.68 inches (LxWxH), weighing around 80 to 85 grams.
Mouse pad: SteelSeries QcK series
Despite preferring Razer for most of his peripherals, Imaqtpie finds that sweet spot of comfort with a SteelSeries mouse pad. These two rival brands have been in the industry since the beginning, pushing each other to innovate and improve.
SteelSeries’ QcK series of mousepads have been around for more than 15 years. Its current generation features a micro-woven cloth to improve control. Since QcK mouse pads can be washed and are durable enough to withstand pressure, you can use them for quite a while before needing a replacement.
There are six different size options in the QcK series, ranging from small to 5XL. Though Imaqtipie hasn’t disclosed his size preference, most veteran players prefer larger mouse pads that allow them to control their mouse better.
Keyboard: Razer Blackwidow series
Imaqtipie keeps his setup simple by opting for classic peripherals. His mouse, mouse pad, and keyboard choices are some of the most popular entries in their respective fields.
Imaqtipie uses a Razer Blackwidow keyboard. Just like other product lines on the market, the Blackwidow series have also improved over the years. The series’ current generation comes with more durable switches, switch options, and a comfortable wrist rest.
Headset: Sennheiser HD 598
Being able to hear your teammates can be vital to succeed in online games. The constant information flow will help you keep your guard up. In addition to hearing your mates better, you’ll also be able to track in-game sound cues better than players with regular headsets, which’s always a plus.
Imaqtpie uses a Sennheiser HD 598, which doesn’t have that “gaming headset” label on it. Looking more like studio headphones, Sennheiser headphones are always an excellent choice for anyone who cares about sound quality. If you’ve been wondering whether these headphones are comfortable enough to wear for hours, note that Imaqtpie wears glasses and has long-hair. If he chooses to wear these headphones for hours while streaming, he may be onto something.
Monitors: BenQ XL2430T and BenQ XL2411Z
Streaming with a single monitor won’t cut it if you’re also looking to interact with your audience through the chat. Though choosing a budget monitor as your second monitor is always a decent option, Imaqtpie goes all-in when it comes to his monitors.
He uses a BenQ XL2430T as his primary monitor and BenQ XL2411Z as a secondary option. Both monitors are widely praised by competitive gamers due to their low response times and high refresh rates.
High refresh rate monitors let you receive more visual updates compared to opponents with lesser monitors and hardware. To take advantage of a 144Hz monitor, your system needs to achieve at least 144fps in your favorite game.
Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB SLI
Graphics cards are essential to achieving high frame rates in games. If you’re looking to get a high refresh rate monitor but can’t push your frames high enough to take advantage of them, consider upgrading your graphics card for some extra performance.
Imaqtpie uses two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards in an SLI setup, which further boosts his rig’s power. Taking the extra step with additional graphics cards allows Imaqtpie to stream and play on the same gaming rig without noticeable drawbacks.
Processor: Intel Core i7-7700K
A gaming rig isn’t completed without a worthy CPU to do the heavy lifting. Your CPU will also affect your frames, and it will be even more critical if you’re also streaming from the same rig.
Imaqtpie uses Intel’s i7-7700K processor. Despite being slightly old at this point, this CPU is still powerful enough to match a hardcore gamer’s needs. The eight-thread CPU has a base frequency of 4.20GHz, and it can get boosted up to 4.50GHz when needed.
Webcam: Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam
Even if you captivate your audience with your excellent gameplay, a webcam can still improve your stream’s quality. Putting your face on your stream makes your stream more intimate and allows your audience to engage with your reactions.
Imaqtpie uses a Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam, a 1080p cam that can record at 30 fps. If you’d like, you can also decrease the quality to 720p and start recording at 60 fps for a smoother experience.
Microphone: Electro-Voice RE-20 Microphone
Gaming headsets come with microphones that are sufficient enough for communicating with your teammates. If you’re looking to stream, though, you’ll benefit from something more professional.
Imaqtpie uses an Electro-Voice RE-20 Cardioid microphone, a unidirectional recording device. A studio-grade microphone like this allows Imaqtpie to engage with his audience while maintaining crystal clear sound quality.
Shockmount: Electro-Voice 309A Suspension Shockmount
When a game gets hectic, so can the reactions of a gamer. A shock mount is a worthy investment if you tend to land a few slaps on your table during a match. A shock mount ensures that your stream doesn’t go deaf by the sounds of your powerful smacks.
Imaqtpie uses an Electro-Voice 309A Suspension shock mount which was designed for his microphone, the Electro-Voice RE-20.
Microphone Stand: RODE PSA1 Swivel Mount Studio Microphone Boom Arm
Placing your microphone in the middle of your table can look ideal at first, but it may create some logistical problems in the future.
Imaqtpie uses a RODE PSA1 Swivel Mount Studio Microphone Boom Arm, which allows him to move his microphone around while keeping the portion of his desk in front of him clear.
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