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How Fuslie Went From Science Major To GTA Icon

Leslie "Fuslie" Fu has had an absolute whirlwind of a streaming career. After gaining an interest in "League of Legends," Fuslie dove headfirt into streaming on Twitch in 2015. Since then, she's amassed over a million followers there and on YouTube


Fuslie may have begun by playing "League" and hosting singing streams, but she's never been afraid to branch out and try all new kinds of content. More recently, Fuslie's become well-known for streaming high-energy rounds of "Among Us" and hilarious roleplaying sessions in "Grand Theft Auto 5." She's also become an integral member of 100 Thieves and earned herself a nomination for Content Creator of the Year at the Game Awards. 

Fuslie is the kind of streamer who provides countless hours of entertaining gameplay while also getting personal enough that fans feel they can truly connect with her. Through ups and downs, Fuslie has always shared her successes and struggles with her fans, and they've been happy to see more of the former filling up her life. If you haven't caught a Fuslie stream, you're missing out. For now, here are some fun facts about Fuslie that will help newcomers get to know her the way her fans do. 


An unconventional path

For plenty of people, a traditional career path starts with years of studying in college before going on to a job that lasts them a good portion of their lives. A number of major streamers have bucked that trend, leaving school behind to build their own career online. Fuslie managed to break the mold in both worlds.


Fuslie never imagined that she'd become a streamer. As she told Refinery29, she expected to follow a more traditional path, and she went to college intending to follow her interest in science into some kind of medical career. After four years of studying at UC Irvine, she had her degree and decided to take a gap year before diving into grad school. That's the year everything changed.

Fuslie's roommates were big fans of "League of Legends," and it didn't take long for their love of the game to rub off on her. She started investing her time into the competitive scene, then began streaming some of her matches by February 2015. As Fuslie's Twitch channel gained viewers and picked up steam, she was suddenly able to pay rent with her income from the channel. Because of this, Fuslie decided to take a leap and leave grad school behind.


A musical beginning

Streamers typically need to start with a niche and grow an audience from there. When Fuslie started streaming, she played a handful of different games, but the content that really helped her capture a following was her music. Fuslie has talked about how her interest in singing started before she graduated high school. Upon joining her school's choir, Fuslie found that she loved singing and the way that it helped her connect with new friends and discover new opportunities.


It didn't take long for her to incorporate her musical background into her livestreams. Early on, between games of "League of Legends," Fuslie would often sing and play music for her viewers, and they loved it. Eventually Fuslie became known for her singing streams, which helped her massively grow her channel. When Twitch produced its karaoke-style game "Twitch Sings," the company hired Fuslie to star in an ad for the project.

Singing has also helped Fuslie make more connections with other streamers. When she started singing with other "Grand Theft Auto 5" players, Fuslie was able to network with people who worked as full-time musicians and producers. Fuslie's stream attracts a wide variety of fans these days, but without her singing, she might not have become the streaming star she is today.


Not the easiest transition

In retrospect, Fuslie's streaming success seems like it was almost predestined. It's easy to imagine that she fell in love with gaming, then found a real passion for streaming, and ventured off to pursue her new dreams. In reality, though, Fuslie's decision to really give streaming her all was anything but easy.


In a video retrospective of career, Fuslie recalled what she used to say when her earliest viewers asked her if she wanted to become a full-time streamer: "No, absolutely not." Streaming was a fun hobby for Fuslie at the start, but she still felt like her future belonged to a career in science. She'd finished four years of college study, earning her bachelor's degree, and she initially had no interest in leaving all that work behind to follow a new path.

Even after Fuslie realized that she could make a real career out of streaming, there were still complications for her to overcome. In an FAQ video, Fuslie talked to her fans about the difficulty she'd faced when telling her family that she was going to become a full-time streamer instead of continuing with grad school. "They weren't, like, mad about it, but they were – it kind of felt like – a little, like, judge-y," she said. 


Over time, her loved ones came to understand more about what Fuslie was doing, and now she has their support on top of the support of her many fans.

Professional gaming

When Fuslie first started streaming, her focus was much more on the competitive gaming scene. Competitive "League of Legends" really pulled Fuslie into gaming and ultimately convinced her to start her own Twitch channel (per Refinery29). In those early days, Fuslie almost exclusively played competitive titles like "League," "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive," and "PUBG." When it came to "League" in particular, Fuslie didn't just play, she dominated.


In February 2016, just a year after getting serious about streaming, Fuslie joined an official "League" team, playing for Immortals alongside fellow streamers xChocoBars and angelskimi. She had a good run with the team and even attended that year's TwitchCon as a member. By June 2017, Fuslie had moved to a new team and continued her passion for competitive "League" play. 

She played for Phoenix1 – now known as Sentinels. Fuslie's past few years may have been primarily focused on "GTA" roleplaying and other kinds of streams, but don't rule out a return to big competitions in the future.

Streamer Camp

Between 2015 and 2018, Fuslie transformed from Twitch newcomer to streaming icon, growing a sizable audience through streaming and competitive "League," not to mention making important connections with other big-time streamers like LilyPichu and Valkyrae.


By 2018, Fuslie's career and interests were expanding more rapidly than ever, and she decided to pursue a new project that would allow her to give back to her fans and the entire streaming community. She agreed to work as a host for Streamer Camp, a hybrid reality competition show and all-around boot camp for a group of eight up-and-coming streamers. Along with Valyrae, BoxBox, and SleightlyMusical, Fuslie helped shape up the contestants and give them the knowledge they might need to make a fruitful go at a streaming career.

Streamer Camp kicked off on December 17, 2018, with the hosts and contestants gathering at a content house where the entire event would take place over the course of several days. The camp didn't just teach new streamers the ins and outs of the business; it also provided viewers with some lighthearted content and helped form new bonds between the streamers themselves and the people watching the event. 


Fuslie also gained some experience in event hosting, which she's since taken to places like HyperX's "Queued Up" and the 2022 Game Awards.

Meet April Fooze

Some fans actually might be less familiar with Fuslie than they are with her alter-ego, April Fooze. In the world of "Grand Theft Auto 5" roleplaying, Fuslie inhabits a character named April, and she's got a dedicated fan base of her very own. She's so popular, in fact, that fans will even edit together compilation videos of her most hilarious and awesome moments and show up by the thousands to watch her livestreams.


According to Fuslie, "One hundred percent, April is the more confident, cool version of myself." The two of them definitely have distinct personalities, but there's a core of wit and humor that they both share. They also both have an affinity for making music, but April's steady stream of releases has managed to outpace her real-life counterpart. The single "April's Fool" serves as an excellent introduction to the character for anyone who hasn't caught one of Fuslie's "GTA 5" streams, while a song like "If You're Broke, I'm Busy" really cements April's attitude and sense of humor.

The character has also brought Fuslie a new kind of mainstream success. Though Fuslie's received some hurtful messages related to her "GTA" streams, the right people have noticed how much effort she puts into making her roleplaying streams so much fun.  In light of all the work she'd accomplished as April in the previous year, Fuslie earned a nomination for Best "GTA" RP Streamer at the 2022 Streamer Awards.


Making a music video

Despite being busy creating music as April Fooze, Fuslie has still found the time to work on musical projects as herself. By collaborating with other musically-minded streamers, Fuslie's racked up an impressive number of features on tracks like "What If" by StreamBeats, "With You in the Clouds" by KevJumba and zooty, and "Sabotage" by Drew.0. 


Fuslie's own music has a style that's less flashy and more heartfelt than the tracks that April Fooze works on, further distinguishing her personality and artistic style from that of her character.

Fuslie's musical projects have also gone beyond feature tracks and recording sessions. In 2021, Fuslie filmed her first music video, joining the cast for Bella Poarch's single "Inferno," vlogging about her experience. Considering the fact that April Fooze has the virtual music video scene pretty much on lock, fans might be able to expect to see more of Fuslie in person in future projects.

A public relationship (and breakup)

One of the biggest challenges that streamers face is the pressure of living so much of their lives in the public arena. Not only do they spend hours in front of the camera every day, but their relationships can end up inadvertently transforming into content. Fuslie learned firsthand the difficulties of blending her personal and professional life when her lengthy relationship with Edison Park became a recognizable part of her brand. 


Major moments in their relationship happened on camera — even their engagement was livestreamed. Eventually having all those eyes on their relationship caused a lot of strain. As Fuslie put it, "A big issue became, like, 'Oh, he brought me flowers. For content or for me?' Where is that line?" Over time, Fuslie and Edison grew apart and broke off their engagement, but of course that breakup became something that Fuslie felt she needed to explain to her fans on stream.

Happily, Fuslie and Edison still have a good relationship with each other, and even though they aren't together anymore, they still sometimes unexpectedly create moments that entertain their fans. In October 2022, the two of them were at a costume birthday party hosted by fellow streamer Softi, and Fuslie said she didn't recognize Edison at first. A moment after asking him who he was, she realized her mistake, and that awkward moment became something she and her viewers were able to laugh about together.


From Twitch to YouTube

Like a majority of streamers, Fuslie got her start on Twitch. She started streaming there in 2015, and the platform helped launch her into internet fame. Fuslie still loved working with Twitch five years later, when she announced on Twitter that she'd signed on to stream there exclusively. For most of her career, it seemed like nothing could get Fuslie to leave Twitch behind.


That's why Fuslie's fans were then shocked in September 2022, when she revealed that she'd decided to officially move all her streaming over to YouTube. Fuslie is far from the only streamer who's transitioned from Twitch to YouTube in recent history, but there's a particularly frustrating reason why she decided to leave Twitch after all this time. Twitch has a unique — and occasionally confusing — approach to handling DMCA strikes, which would sometimes lead to Fuslie suddenly getting strikes for clips that had been posted years earlier. Because Twitch wasn't very responsive to her questions and concerns about the policy, Fuslie started eyeing YouTube, which she felt had a much clearer warning system for creators.


In a video explaining her decision, Fuslie also said that she also felt Twitch's ad requirements were becoming too strenuous, while YouTube's were more relaxed. Hopefully this new era of Fuslie's career will give her the freedom to run her streams how she wants, free of the constant pressure to advertise and the looming threat of DMCA strikes.

More than just gaming

Fuslie's career started with gaming on Twitch, but it's grown to encompass so much more. Outside of content creation, Fuslie also finds unique ways to promote things that are important to her. She's worked with the North America Scholastic Esports Federation to host panels explaining her career in gaming and encouraging other young people to explore careers in esports and streaming. She's also spoken candidly about the challenges that women face in the industry and the importance of broadening opportunities for women in the streaming world.


Like many other big streamers, Fuslie has also frequently used her platform to help raise money for various charities. In 2018, she and Edison Park hosted a charity stream for No Hungry Kids and managed to raise over $25,000. She's been able to raise even larger sums of money in recent years. Over the course of four days in December 2022, Fuslie helped raise more than $200,000 for The Hunger Project. 

Her work won't stop there. Fuslie's been using her platform to try and help others as far back as Streamer Camp, and as her platform grows, so does the amount of good she's able to accomplish.