If you’re dialed into the online gaming culture, you know the appeal goes beyond the games. There’s juicy gossip and bitter rivalries that are impossible to ignore.
None of that is new. However, over the past few months, one podcast has emerged as a go-to source for all the must-see esports stories: Full Squad Gaming.
Hosted by esports commentator Jake Lucky, Full Squad Gaming is a daily podcast that keeps fans caught up on the latest stories about their favorite teams and personalities.
As the esports industry continues to flourish, so do the media channels that let fans connect with the creators they love. Exhibit A: video game podcasts.
We caught up with Jake to learn how he got into podcasting, what makes a great video game podcast, and his tips for connecting with the esports community.
Meet Jake Lucky
Jake Lucky has been called the “golden boy” and “undisputed GOAT” of gaming news—nicknames that are well-earned. Since he started broadcasting and streaming in 2014, Jake has steadily established himself as an authority on all things esports.
Within a few years, Jake became a host at Esports Talk, a popular esports news platform. But in 2022, Jake became a “free agent,” so to speak. Then on March 9, Jake announced his decision to join the rapidly growing digital media brand Full Squad Gaming as a co-owner and content creator.
Full Squad Gaming has millions of followers across social media platforms, including TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitch. But adding a skilled broadcaster like Jake to their team has put them in a great position to tap into another medium: podcasts.
The rise of gaming podcasts
Podcasts give people a way to connect with topics they love, whether it’s a recap of a popular TV show or an interview with their favorite creator. Gaming culture has seen rapid growth in recent years, and that’s why Jake suspects more people are creating—and tuning into—gaming podcasts.
“So many people are gamers nowadays and the stigma against it continues to shrink day by day,” he says. “It’s no longer a ‘nerdy’ thing people do.”
Just like folks tune into traditional sports media to catch up on the latest happenings, esports fans tune into podcasts like Full Squad Gaming for news, highlights, and inside scoops. There’s no shortage of subject matter; in fact, finding the right angle for Full Squad Gaming wasn’t easy leading up to the launch.
“There are so many things to cover...and everyone is still trying to figure exactly how to do it,” Jake told the Sports Business Journal. “I think we've all realized in the esports industry that covering just direct esports news is not really feasible as a business model.”
Instead of simply recapping or analyzing players’ performances, Jake positioned his show as the go-to source for gaming gossip—and fans are into it.
“People love drama, which is a double-edged sword,” Jake told us. “It’s some of the most fun stuff to talk about, if you can keep it reasonable.”
Full Squad Gaming releases daily episodes on their YouTube channel, which has more than 30,000 subscribers. Most of the episodes are short (around five minutes), just enough time for Jake to unpack the hot button issue of the day.Jake’s personality and expertise certainly carry the show, but the video production quality makes it even more engaging.
Inside the Full Squad Gaming studio
Podcasting began as an audio-only medium, but creators like Jake are embracing video podcasts to build even deeper connections with fans.
“Allowing people to see who is actually speaking enables another way for a creator to engage with their audience,” says Jake. “It’s important to give people a chance to hear you and see you.”
Full Squad Gaming built a studio specifically for their new show. In addition to functional equipment like microphones, lights, and sound foam, the set is full of assets to complement the Full Squad Gaming brand: custom neon signs, esports memorabilia, Full Squad merch, and more.They even dedicated one of their early episodes to a studio tour—check it out:
What makes a great gaming podcast?
If you’re thinking about creating your own esports podcast, you might be wondering how you can gain some early traction. When we asked Jake what makes a great gaming podcast, he mentioned the importance of having a deep understanding of your subject matter.“
The ability to break down a topic and see multiple sides and new perspectives separates an average podcast from one that actually resonates with people,” he says.
Keep in mind that skill doesn’t develop overnight. Jake started streaming in 2014, eight years before he joined Full Squad Gaming as their broadcaster. Of course, you don’t need that much experience to start a podcast, but there’s no getting around the need to have a solid grip on your subject matter.
Jake also points out that tapping into other people’s momentum—whether they’re a gamer or a creator—is an effective way to grow your audience.
“Having great guests is a huge differentiator,” he says.
Above all, genuine passion for the esports culture is the foundation of entertaining content. It fuels ideas and keeps you inspired to stick to your production schedule.The day to day of podcasting may not always be a breeze. But when you’re truly fascinated by the world of gaming, it shines through in the content you create.
There’s an audience for (almost) anything
As Jake noted, there’s so much to cover in the esports world that it can be tough to settle on a topic when you’re launching a podcast. You can certainly keep your subject matter generalized, but you might find it simpler to narrow down your podcast to a niche. There are all sorts of sub-topics under the umbrella of esports, so don’t be afraid to go down a rabbit hole.
For instance, you could devote your podcast to news about a specific game. Or you could create an interview show where you ask gamers about their origin stories and how they turned pro.You’ll know you’re heading in the right direction when you get excited about planning, scripting, and producing your episodes. “If you’re having fun, you’re doing something right,” says Jake.