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Dessyy Talks About Cosplay, Overwatch, And TikTok - Exclusive Interview

Interconnected social media platforms allow content creators to reach audiences that might never interact using different types of engagement, from sharing cosplays to streaming on Twitch. While plenty of personalities on Twitter and YouTube have found common ground between scenes, few have managed to connect those communities and build an online presence as successfully as Dessyy has. 


The longtime streamer worked for years to establish a consistent content schedule and build a following, finally finding the perfect platform on TikTok. As her presence on the fast-paced social media platform grew during 2019 and 2020, her audience expanded on all platforms she was active on, such as Instagram and Twitter. Eventually, she came full circle when she became partnered on Twitch, giving her another space to share her passion for cosplay and play her favorite video games with fans.

SVG sat down with Dessyy in an exclusive interview to talk about her meteoric rise on social media, learn what inspired her impressive cosplay collection, and hear her thoughts on some of the games she is best known for playing on stream. Here is what Dessyy had to say about TikTok, coming up with new cosplays, as well as some of her thoughts on "Overwatch" and "Valorant."


Dessyy describes her rapid rise on TikTok

You've seen some amazing growth on TikTok over the last couple of years. What do you find different about that platform versus some of the others you're on?

The thing about TikTok is everything's super-fast. Everything is in your hand. I know some people use the editing outside of the app, but I always edit in the app. So, everything is just done so quickly. I don't have to go on my computer, and upload anything, and edit it for such a long time. And everything is based on music or audio too. So like the ideas, like when you scroll through the For You page, the ideas just pop into my mind. And I'm like, "Save this sound!"


So to me, that's what made the difference, because I started on YouTube, but there's so much to go into YouTube because you have to edit for hours, and record, and then if something messes up, you have to go all the way back and redo it. But this is just like everything's just quick and fast. And I love that.

How long were you using TikTok before you found it worked better for your style?

It was actually quick. I started TikTok, I think, in 2019 around October. And when I first started, I was just viewing things. I was like, "Okay, this is like an app for teenagers or something." But then, I started realizing the more that my For You page started to sync with what I liked, I was like, "There's a lot of Cosplayers and gamers on here." I was like, "This is really cool!"


At that time, I just made videos as [a joke]. It was actually, I guess, when COVID first started happening. That's kind of when I jumped on the app. I was bored, and I was like, "You know what? I'm just going to make some funny videos." And then, one day I was like, "I see a lot of cosplay. I'm going to put on my D.Va costume and see how it does."

That video got like 10,000 views. And I was like, "Oh my gosh." You know? And then, people were like, "We want more." And I'm like, "Okay." So, I just put on my D.Va again and again and again. I finally got another cosplay, and I was like, "I'll try this one." And my next one, of course, was Mercy because I like "Overwatch" a lot. So I was Mercy, and then it just started piling on from there. And now, I have a whole closet of cosplays over here that I use. So yeah, 2019 was the start. And then, just from there, I hit my first [100,000 viewers] in 2020, and now I'm at 3.5 [million].

TikTok helped Dessyy reach new viewers and fans

Do you find that you're reaching a new audience through TikTok? 

I guess the way our brains work is we want fast content, right? So, instead of watching a whole 10-minute video, it's quick, so I feel like that caters a lot to the younger audience. So, I do feel like I'm also hitting a different audience. TikTok was like the first platform I actually kind of blew up on. So, everything was kind of new for me, honestly. The audience I got there is the audience that has grown with me.


I was on Twitch for a bit as well, but I started with only like 15 average viewers. But because of TikTok and my cross-platforming, now I'm partnered on Twitch, and I get hundreds of viewers. So, it's like, it just helps my audience grow because it started with a younger crowd. But throughout, I found, when I first started, it was super young teenagers. But now that I've grown more, it's more broad, and there are many different ages and groups of people who follow me and have grown into my community, which is awesome.

One of your TikToks has over 20 million views. What is it like when something explodes like that?

It's really shocking because some of the videos that do the best for me are the ones that I thought would do the worst. So, it's kind of a huge shock. Sometimes, I go to bed, and the video's at like 20 K. And I wake up, and it's like at 3.2 mil. And I'm like, "How did this happen?" You know? And sometimes, with a lot of the fame and stuff comes a lot of hate.


I've noticed the huge TikToks that blow up are also the most controversial, usually, and the ones that get people talking the most. And sometimes, I kind of play that in my favor. And I'll make jokes that I know people will want to comment on and say something about just to get the action, and get people commenting, and get it kind of rowdy in the comments.

Dessyy remembers how she got started with cosplay

How long have you been doing cosplay, and how did you get involved with the scene?

I've always been into makeup and making silly videos. When I was younger, I used to make videos on YouTube of me and my friend dressing up in silly ways and with makeup and stuff. I've always liked gaming. Becoming the character was just something so nice and beautiful to me. So, I've always been kind of into that very like girly dressing up as these princesses. I did Daenerys Targaryen. That one is when I had, like, no cosplays. I literally grabbed a bed sheet, and ripped it into a dress, and threw on some Halloween wig, and tried to do that.


But it's always just so much fun for me to become these characters. I started in 2014 or '15. And I attended one convention. And I had the time of my life. But then, I was in school, so I stopped for a little bit. And then, just in 2019, is when I got reintroduced to the thing that I loved the most again. So, I was really happy that TikTok brought that back out for me.

Dessyy recalls her first con experience

What was your first convention? Do you remember what you wore to it?

It was Fan Expo in Toronto. I wore D.Va. I only went to that one, and I think I went to... I don't remember. I think it was Fan Expo again the next year, and I wore Mercy. And then, those were the only two conventions I've ever been to, even now, because of COVID.


I haven't been to any convention since, so I'm dying to go to one now that I have all these cosplays, and I have all these fans that want to meet me too at a convention or something. That'd be really awesome. I'm hoping I'll be able to go to some very soon.

Are there any that you're looking forward to, or is it all up in the air right now?

It's up in the air right now. Yeah. I'm not too sure yet, but anything that kind of catches my eye and that I am able to travel to, then I definitely will. I really want to. And I have friends online too that I really want to meet, that I've met through TikTok and through Twitch and everything who are going to conventions. So I think it'd be a cool way to network and just meet people too.


Dessyy explains different reactions that different cosplays receive

You've cosplayed some well-known characters, like Velma and Spiderman, but you've also have done some that aren't as well-known. How is the reaction to popular characters different from the response to more niche cosplays?


There are definitely popular ones, like you said, Velma. And Zero Two and D.Va are my go-to popular ones I know people will absolutely love. I always take requests from people too. So, if I notice people have a favorite character, I'll ask in the comments and be like, "What do you guys want to see me as?" And then sometimes, I'll do a little bit of research because I don't want to dress up as a character that I totally don't know, because I find that really weird.

I'll either watch the anime or play the game a little bit just to get familiar with them and how they act because I want to play the full part of that character. Even if it's small, I still want to do the character because I want to bring every character to life, even if it's totally not my style, because I'm very cutesy and girly.


But sometimes, I'll jump into the evil and dark and mysterious kind of characters just to see how far I can go and how much I can make myself into that character, or just be silly. Like Froppy, I didn't think would be like a famous one. And then everyone loves Froppy from "My Hero Academia." Sometimes you just got to try it because it might also like introduce other people to new things as well. That's why I also do it, just to see what other people are interested in and maybe introduce them to something new too.

What draws Dessyy to certain characters

What draws you to a new cosplay? Are you more likely to cosplay something that you found a connection to, or are you drawn towards the aesthetics of certain characters?

Usually, it is the aesthetics. I'm not going to lie. I think if a character looks cute, I'm like, "Ooh, I want to be her." You know what I mean?


But sometimes, I just try it to try it. Or if I see a character, I think they're funny, I'll like try because I have a very funny kind of personality. I like to really joke around. So — I'm going back to Froppy — I think it's hilarious. So, I really play my weirdness and quirkiness into that character, and it amplifies it. I started D.Va because I thought she was cute. And I played her a lot.

If it's a character that I really love myself, I'll be more likely to cosplay as that one first before other ones I don't know. But I'm always open to try different things and different looks, even if it's like the protagonists or like some creepy little gremlin. I'm always down. I've cosplayed Shrek before.


Dessyy talks about her creating new cosplays and her biggest challenges

What is your process for creating a new cosplay?

I would love to get more into creating my own cosplays. Right now, I buy most of them because I don't have enough time to create them. I've created things like my Mercy wings and staffs and guns and other props, usually armor and stuff, but I'm not good at sewing. I wish I could sew, but not my forte.


Usually, I either buy the pieces separately and I'll put them together, or I get some costumes either from Micocostumes, just different companies, Amazon and stuff. And I'll put them together that way, and then do my makeup, and style the wig, and all that.

What is the most challenging cosplay you've done so far?

Ooh, I'm looking at my rack right now just to see. In different ways, I feel like my Mercy was really challenging because I did make the wings and I made the staff and the halo and everything. And that took a lot of time. And I realized how much time goes into creating these cosplays if I really want to go full out. So, if I'm going to conventions, I usually put in the effort to create things, so it's not just a bought cosplay off the rack.


When you have to create your own things, that's the hardest thing, but it's the most rewarding too, when people see that, especially when you go to conventions. So Mercy definitely one of my hardest. And then Froppy's also one of my hardest, because I have to really be weird for that character. So, I have to really amplify my emotions, do some big-eyed makeup. The makeup's really amplified in that one too. And her wig is so long and tangly, so just getting that together has been rough. Those two, I think, are my most difficult cosplays.

Dessyy got an early start as a streamer on Justin.tv

When did you get started with streaming? Was there something in particular that got you interested in it?

I've been streaming for a very long time, like six years on and off, but I never really was really consistent with it. And that was my biggest issue as well because I was in school and everything. It was on and off for about six years. I actually had a Twitch account since 2008 or something, when it was Justin.tv. So, I've been in that scene for a very long time. I grew up with two brothers who loved to game, so I got into gaming too.


I didn't really have any friends who game, so that's when I kind of just started to stream — because I wanted to meet people who also game, so I wouldn't be alone. It kind of trickled from there. I was on and off, on and off. And then, because of TikTok, that's when I kind of blew up. And that's when I hit partner [on Twitch]. And that's when I kind of got more consistent and took it more seriously.

Where do you see streaming and TikTok taking you in the future?

I'd like to continue this as long as I can. The cool thing about streaming and being a social media content creator is you can always change it as you get older. Say like I don't start cosplaying anymore, I can do cooking, or I can even help others who are getting into it with cosplaying. 


Right now, I'm still fully into it. I love cosplay. I love gaming. I'm always going to be a gamer, I'm pretty sure, my whole life. I'm going to be one of those parents that are gaming with their kids. But I'd like to help people in the future. That's what I'm kind of doing with my community right now is helping them grow. So, I want to continue doing that. I want to see people progress. And I want to give them tips on how they can also succeed, and what's worked for me, and what can work for them. I think I may be more of a coach in the future.

Developing consistency on social media was a challenge for Dessyy

What's been the biggest challenge getting to where you are now as a streamer?

I think the biggest challenge has been consistency. I find that it's very important to be consistent. I post every single day. I post every day on TikTok. I post every day on Instagram, on Twitter. On YouTube, I post once a week. I'm everywhere, you know what I mean? So that is the hardest. It's always thinking of ideas and always being relevant. If you miss it, it's gone. That's how social media is. If you forget and you don't make anything for a month, people might forget about you.


[There's] pressure to be consistent, but it's also something I love doing. Consistency is okay with me right now, because I'm always on the app, and I'm always scrolling, and I'm always getting ideas from other people. And it's like a lot of fun to create these videos. I've been doing it for almost two years now, and I haven't run out of ideas yet. It's hard, but it's fun. So yeah, consistency is the most difficult.

Are there any habits that you've developed to make your channels more consistent?

Basically, try not to pressure yourself to make content when you don't feel like it. Be consistent, but time-manage yourself well. You know what I mean? Don't get on there and make videos all day, every day. But instead, think of ideas throughout the week. And then, record all or half of them in one day, and then the next day.


That's helped me a lot. That's a big tip is to make drafts, or gather ideas. Write them down so you have these ideas for when you have the days of content creation. Because you have to give yourself time to do other things, because people might not think it's hard work, but it's really draining if you're always doing that 24/7, all day every day.

Dessyy talks about the games she is looking forward to most

Are there any games coming up that you're excited about?

"Ashes of Creation." Before I got into hitscan games, I was a big MMORPG fan. I used to play "World of Warcraft" and "Lineage" and stuff. And I heard "Ashes of Creation" is going to be a really good MMO that's coming out. So, I'm really excited to try that out. Nowadays, with MMOs, though, sometimes they just die off within the first month. I'm hoping they won't because I miss that type of stuff.


I've always loved "Overwatch," but now I've been also really into "Valorant" as well. So, I'm excited to continue with "Valorant," too. And always spooky games. I like spooky games like "Outlast" and all those, especially for Halloween time.

"Overwatch" vs. "Valorant" – do you have a preference?

Ooh, that's a hard one. "Overwatch" always has a space in my heart, but with... I don't know. Right now, I've played it so much that I'm enjoying the new stuff in "Valorant." You know what I mean? Because it's a new game, I've been really enjoying that. So, I don't know if I could decide. I cant. I can't!

Is there anything else coming up on your schedule that you want people to know about?

Every day I'm posting something. Just check it out, every day. I will be hopefully going to some conventions soon. So, if anyone ever wants to see and take some pictures, hopefully, I'll be there!