Sancho needs no introduction if you already play Uncharted 4 multiplayer, but just in case you haven’t ventured into the amazing world of UC4 MP that Naughty Dog so delicately created, then come with me while we delve into who Mr Sancho West is. Sancho is a Twitch streamer and creator who specialises in action-strategy based multiplayers like The Last of Us and Uncharted 4. He is known for his “Top 10 plays” videos as you enter into Uncharted 4 multiplayer.
He is one of the few genuine players in the small community of The Last of Us that creates tutorial videos as well as streaming this awesomely under-rated game with his subs where he can be seen to play with a lot of fun and enjoyment in a family-style environment. Sancho’s attitude to his gaming in general is ”If I am going to lose, I better make it good” and his constant positive attitude to where “You don’t have to be the best, you just have to have fun” makes it even more enjoyable and inspirational for other players to watch. I took the opportunity to equip my scuba gear (Nathan Drake style) to find out a little more about Sancho West and explore the undiscovered depths that were crying out to be unearthed.
Thank you so much Sancho for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to me today. First of all big congratulations on getting your signature orange sunglasses into Uncharted 4 Multiplayer! How did that happen and how did you feel having a piece of you in such an iconic game?
How did it happen? I’ve no idea! I was streaming with Naughty Dog and I kind of mentioned it off the cuff. I don’t remember what stream I was with but I was there and one of them, I believe it was Robert Cogburn but, I don’t know who was responsible per say but they said “Yeah, that’s a good idea!” and before I know it the update came out there was the orange glasses. My reaction says it all (in his emotional video below) I was floored! It’s an honour to be cemented like this. For lack of a better word immortalised.
It’s a dream to be in a video game in any form and I saw it as an acknowledgment as in “Hey, we appreciate all you’ve done”. I didn’t need any official statement from Naughty Dog, I knew those were my glasses from the work I’ve done and the community that we built together. It’s pretty awesome! It’s rare for a big studio to do something like that. I’ve never seen that done before on that kind of scope so it was really cool.
If you could have another piece of you in another Naughty Dog game, what would it be and what game?
(laughs) Honestly, when I read that question I was like I honestly don’t really need anything else. If I could have a pipe dream so to speak, I would love to be a character or a voice in The Last of us part 2. I have always loved the idea of performing for video games. I remember seeing the last of us live, they did their scenes on stage and I was like yeah! Naughty Dog transcends video games and it would be cool to see them do more stage stuff. It would be awesome to be on the motion-capture stage and learn some lines but beyond that, I’m set.
Rachael: I would love that myself and it would be so awesome if you could get that chance
Sancho: You know what’s crazy? When the glasses showed up people were congratulating me and saying I deserve it so it’s nice to see that there is a lot of people out there, like yourself, wanting me to succeed. It’s not strange but it’s a different feeling that what normally you go through in the day to day. Especially in video games.
You are especially known for your love of making Uncharted and The last of us videos. What drove you to take this path in life and what motivates you to keep going?
I really didn’t know I’d be making Uncharted and Naughty Dog videos so I didn’t know that would be my main thing. When I started creating videos for YouTube 4 years ago, I just wanted to share my passion for video games and I always felt like there was a certain missing thing. I think that’s what happened when I saw that no-one was making The Last of us tutorials and I was like “I’m going to make some last of us tutorials” because I like this game and I understand it. I wouldn’t make a tutorial if I don’t understand it completely myself, but I really felt I understood the last of us mechanics.
I’ve always been an Uncharted fan especially the multiplayer. I’ve just been a multiplayer person, I’ve always enjoyed playing against other people verses the A.I’s so when I was first creating the YouTube channel I always wanted to share those crazy moments, so that’s where it got started. In terms of making Naughty Dog videos? It was a rare, crazy thing that just happened to me. My friend from Texas was having a birthday party and my wife and I were invited. I didn’t want to go because I wasn’t feeling it but we ended up going. We were just sitting there surrounded by a bunch of people and I look over at someone sitting next to me, he wasn’t feeling it either. We started talking to each other and he happened to be Kurt Margenau who is one of the game designers for Naughty Dog. It was so weird he was there. I was at the time, in full swing making The last of us videos and I had about 8-10k subscribers so, I was like “Hey man, this is what I do” and Kurt was like “That’s funny because I work for that studio!”.
He ended up sharing my YouTube channel to the Naughty Dog multiplayer guys and before I know it, I get a message from Eric Monacelli, who was the former community manager and here I am still. All that kind of stuff is how it all came to be and how I formed a strong relationship with Naughty Dog. The universe works in weird ways.
Streamers and Video makers sometimes have assumptions made about who they are or what they stand for. What is the biggest misconception people have about you?
I think one of the biggest things is that, some people, can take my positivity as dishonest or disingenuous. I don’t understand that. If you don’t have anything overly negative or overly critical to say then it’s like, you aren’t a real person which is weird.
I really feel like video games are a form of entertainment so I’ve always believed in mixing comedy and video games so that’s why I’m always light natured and have a good time. I really want to show my passion and love for video games as that is what it’s always been for me when I was growing up. It was an escape.
I wasn’t worried about trying to be the best or being overly critical. It seems like the older we get everyone is pressured to be the best and I don’t think that’s what video games should be about. I grew up where I used to go to an arcade, hang out with people and play video games and if I get beat I’d say “Good games” so I really feel like just because I don’t rage then I don’t care about it. I don’t want people to see positivity as a sign of weakness or a sign of deception. I’m not here to deceive anybody.
A lot has happened in my life and video games are just that,video games. It’s not the be all or end all. I don’t rail on developers or I don’t overly criticise games because I understand the other side of it. That’s someone’s hard work and they have spent hours and hours making it. If I have something to say that’s critical or negative, then I have certain outlets to go to do that. I don’t need to make a YouTube video. I know that’s some people’s platforms, but that’s just not my thing. It’s in a word frustrating, but I try not to think about it. There are times you have to defend yourself and some people think they’ve got to you. The Internet is weird!
Rachael: It is weird! That’s a good approach you have and I think that’s why you are popular and one of the reasons I like to watch you
Sancho: Why is that?
Rachael: Because you are a very positive person. You don’t seem to let a lot of things get to you and even when you die ( in video games ) where other people would be so raging and would curse a lot, you just go “Relax its ok” it’s OK to be crap sometimes, It’s OK to be good, Its going to be OK either way. You don’t take it too seriously.
Sancho: Exactly. It’s not the end of the world and me not raging about it doesn’t mean I’m not passionate about it. I just really see the big picture. When people ask me about my day when I’m streaming I’m like I have a roof over my head, I’m playing video games, I can go to the fridge and grab a drink of water and eat whenever I want and I can sleep in a bed. Those are the things you can’t take for granted and I try not to take those things for granted. There are other places out there in the world that are dealing with a lot worse than dying in a video game so I put things into perspective. I think I get that a lot from my father as he would say “I didn’t make you upset, you made yourself upset” so a video game doesn’t make you upset, you make yourself upset.
How do you feel the online gaming world has changed since you were younger? (I said younger, not young!) and how have you adapted to that? What changes, if any, have you made to integrate?
When YouTube first came around the scene everyone was excited to teach people how to do things. People were saying “Hey this is how you do this and that and how you get a little bit better” especially during the Call of duty days and that’s what I grew up on. I was like that’s really cool! The worst player in your community, if they understand what they are doing wrong, is your strongest competitor immediately. Like I said before, growing up I went to arcades, put the quarter in, you meet people face to face and when you lose you tell them good game..you move on. You didn’t rage or misbehave so to speak. You acted like a person because you see the person and I really believe what’s happening is all these people are growing up these days and they see YouTubers/Streamers and think they have to be as good or they see a YouTube montage and think that’s the best but they don’t understand that not everyone is that way, not everyone is good.
There are bad players out there but that doesn’t mean you are a bad person nor does a good player mean you are a good person. I really felt like YouTube was becoming egocentric. That’s not what video games is all about. Sure, you can use it to a point to release some anger but
I really believe people are disconnecting themselves from the other player. They say it’s a random, they are using words like that..its a random person. No, there is actually a person behind that gamer tag. I had my raging days already when I was younger, but as I get older I see the light, there’s no point. It’s not worth raging anymore.
Life is hard enough and why do I need to add on top of that and be so stressed out about a video game. I think the growing nature of YouTube and Twitch is putting a lot of unnecessary pressure to these upcoming gamers and I hope that they understand that it’s OK not to do too well and it’s OK to lose with humility. That’s why I made my channel. My mantra all this time is “Good honest gaming and comedy”
What moment in your Streaming and Video making career are you most proud of? Those defining moments?
There are a lot of moments that I remember but it’s not really the moments, its more the people. Seeing people wanting to stream and create their own work that I’m most proud of. People would assume getting my sub button and it’s really important to have because it’s a sign that you can get to places being positive. The orange glasses would be a big thing as well. A lot of people are messaging me and are really happy for me to get those as it’s a sign that if you work hard and you continue to grind, stay positive and don’t let the bad things slow you down then you could get some recognition and you could get somewhere.
I try not to focus on moments because you got to keep going, keep climbing. It’s the little things like people wanting the shirt and some private messages saying that I’ve turned their day around. Those are the things I am proud of the most.
I want to say there is a big A-Ha! Moment because I’m still trying to figure this out but I think that the charities that we do is really cool. A cool moment was between XShot (another Uncharted streamer) and I where we got together and did a co-op and raised $2000 without any kind of crazy sponsorships. The only backing was our communities combined together so that was a pretty proud moment to see the power in what we can do. The only thing that bugs me out is seeing people come and go but I understand and it’s always fun when they come back. I’m trying to figure this all out, I don’t have the secret sauce but I think the relationships will be my proudest thing as there’s so many people I’ve met in person as well. That part is really cool.
E3 2017 was a blast this year and I loved your reaction videos to the games announced. If you had to pick only one to play, what would it be and why?
I’m split into two halves these days, a gamer and a content creator. People don’t always understand that when you’re a content creator your gaming goes downhill significantly; you end up being an editor/producer more than anything else. ( Is in deep thought about that one game to choose )
Rachael: I think A way out looked really good and it really surprised me
Sancho: I think A way out is pretty cool. It’s a constant co-op and I find that interesting. I think the story might be kind of simple. My concern would be that EA may push it out the door too fast but that’s neither here nor there. I’m a big multiplayer guy and I need multiplayer. I love single players, it’s fun and all but it’s hard for me to stream single player games. I feel bad as I haven’t completed Horizon even though I know it’s a great game so those are the things that haunt me the most. I think it would be a toss-up between Spiderman and Days Gone. If I could only play that one game from next year, I would probably have to pick Days Gone because it’s an open world game from what I understand and it’s the kind of genre I can get into. I like that post-apocalyptic genre. There wasn’t that many multiplayers that impressed me, battlefront was cool but I wasn’t like “OMG I could play that for the rest of the year” cool.
I was very surprised how much I’m looking forward to playing Spiderman now after seeing the E3 trailer. So the question is, if you could be a superhero who would you be and what special power would you like to possess?
Well, there’s always batman but who wants to go through the tragedy he went through. Batman never rests. I understand he is cool and has all the gadgets but I don’t think he takes a day off and I like my days off! I think spiderman is cool, he has quips and he’s fun. The thing I find interesting about superheroes is out of the bad comes the good so all of them always have a troubled past. Growing up I always wanted to be superman. I had the superman shirt, I had superman painted on my door so actually I would say superman.
The thing is though, when you’re a kid the less you know the better. It’s amazing being naive about your superhero because when you grow up you know superman is an alien and he’s an outcast from another planet.
I was in love with superman as a kid and you can’t lose that childhood charm and that’s basically how I approach video games, like how I did when I was a kid. I want people to look for the good in games before they become critical. I love movies as well and when I do a pod cast where I have to do a review or a recommendation, I become really critical of it and I don’t overly enjoy that part of it.
For all your young fans out there, what advice would you give “12 year old Sancho”?
Don’t try to grow up too fast, I really believe in that. There’s always going to be things in your life at that time you will think are the biggest things ever but it’s just a drop in the bucket. When I was going through high school the most important thing in my life was being in the school play and then in college the most important thing was to be in the senior play. I was a theater actor so I put everything into it. I thought that was the most important thing for me then and I worked really hard and tried to impress people/professors, but then I realised that you got to think of the big picture. I remember there was this actress when I was in college and she dropped out of all her acting classes and didn’t auction for her senior play. I was like “What are you doing? Don’t you want to be in the senior school play?” but it turned out that she was building for her future. She moved to L.A when she graduated and now does some television work here and there.
I was so short sighted; I didn’t understand at the time that being in the senior play wasn’t really a big thing. Your test is a drop in the bucket so don’t stress yourself out because of a test. Life keeps moving. You will keep moving on and get better and learn from your mistakes. Just keep going, keep learning and trying to get better. In the video game sense, you lose at a video game then that’s even a smaller drop in the bucket! Try not to be critical about things just because you can especially on things like Twitter and Facebook.
People say “Your opinion determines who you are” and I don’t agree with that. I believe it’s your morals and how you treat people. That is who you are, not your opinions. Don’t judge people on what they write on the internet if that makes sense?
Finally, Sancho what are your current life goals? Where would you like to see yourself in the next 5 years?
Ultimately my goal would be to be a host somewhere. Back in high school I fell in love with hosting. The dream was always to be on camera and as I streamed with Naughty dog and other companies, I realised I really do have a passion for it.
Interviewing people and engaging in the audience especially so I would love to be on E3 5 years from now doing some hosting or a correspondent. Even if it was just me being up on a stage, not the E3 stage as that would just be crazy, but at the event hosting on some kind of small stage.
Doing this full time too of course. Once I got a taste of that life like being flown to Canada to do shout casting for the Uncharted 4 tournament and talking to gamers, interviewing people and developers, that’s been the whole goal.
Using YouTube and Twitch as a vehicle for letting people know who I am and what I stand for that’s the vehicle to get me to that goal. I get really bummed out when I’m at my 9-5 job because it’s not what I want to do. I want to spend time building the community, stream more and make better content. I know I have it in me but there is just not enough time in the day currently to get everything that we want. I’m not a morning person so waking up at 6.30am to edit videos etc. and knowing that’s what it takes.
One of the quotes that I like is “When motivation is lacking, discipline will always keep you going forward”. I still have to support my wife and I and people say to take the plunge, but you have to take a calculated plunge so to speak. I know I will get there as I have a strong community behind me and if someone in my community becomes successful as well then I’d be very happy. That’s why I always will encourage people to start and build towards being perfect. Another quote for the kids is “Build towards being perfect, you’re not perfect out of the gate”.
Rachael: I think another great quote also is “You are Enough”. There are many other people trying to be someone else, but they can never be you and you just being you, is enough.
Sancho: Totally agree with that. That’s an awesome thing. I really believe in that. I believe that no one will have your opinion, your life story, your special view on life or your quirks. I think a lot of people want to be the next somebody but you are your own person and you can forge your own way. That’s the thing I realised about YouTube and Twitch, it’s the wild west. There’s a lot of people who like watching people and if you like watching people who rage then that’s what you enjoy and that’s cool with me as well, but when you are with me and my community I just want a place of positivity, growth and encouragement. Understanding that cursing and all that rage stuff, you don’t need it to play video games. Just be chill and still have a good time.
Rachael: I feel like your community is a little haven where it’s OK to be you, it’s OK to make mistakes and do whatever but be yourself. Be positive and everything will be alright. That’s what I like most and that’s why I came into your community
Sancho: I really appreciate it and it’s great to hear. I like that idea of it being an Oasis for people who are just tired of where video games have been for a long time. I know I’m not the only one or the only Oasis out there as there are a lot of positive gamers but we are just over shadowed by the people who think we are disingenuous or dishonest. Our message is still real but it’s just different to most.
Rachael: I’d like to thank you for taking the time out of your morning to talk to me Sancho, even though you aren’t a morning person I really appreciate it. I look forward to doing it again when you’re a host at E3 and just remember me ( laughs)
Sancho: ( laughs) Oh I always remember everybody, believe it or not. I’ve a strong memory. I appreciate you reaching out to me for this, its been really fun and whatever else you need from me just let me know. Another quick thing that’s strange to me is that this community is worldwide, there’s so many people all over the world that believe in what I believe and believe in me so that’s really great.
Rachael: Is there anything else you’d like to say before we round this up?
Sancho: I just hope that whoever reads this and we see each other in the lobby then just say Good games and I hope you have a good rest of your gaming session is all that I could ask for. Swing on by and say Hello to me and I’ll always say Hello back
Rachael: Thank you so much again and have a great morning
Sancho: And thank you so much. Bye Rachael
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