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Team Devour Builds the Next Generation of Gaming Content Creators

Content is king, and the algorithm of success supports those who grind it out in hopes of tasting the fruits of their labor. Team Devour, an “esports, entertainment and apparel organization bringing top-tier gaming content to screens across the globe,” knows this theme by heart.

Founded in 2019, the family-friendly YouTube channel and gaming organization aims to help gamers grow as creators and get noticed by a larger audience. Collecting sponsors like Respawn, HyperX, and Glytch, Team Devour is changing the way esports and gaming organizations manage content creators and approach social media strategy. We talked to two of the founders, head of social Mitchell Rusitzky and head of business development Alejandro “Oasis” Tamayo, about the goals, members, and future of Team Devour.

Team Devour
Courtesy of Team Devour

Mitchell and Oasis are no strangers to the grind that content creators go through to improve their brand; both are working on Team Devour while studying up on their respective college campuses. In fact, both co-own World Class Media, social media management, and influencer marketing group, among other side projects, and Mitchell also manages socials for Overtime Gaming

“A lot of projects,” Oasis said. “We like to keep busy, Mitchell more than the average human being. He’s always on some sort of side project or managing a creator or working on something.”

Needless to say, with the combination of Mitchell, Oasis, founder Xansmind, and the rest of the team, Team Devour knows how to help creators grow a brand in today’s interconnected gaming world. And that’s exactly what they’ve strived to do every day since its creation by Xan a couple of years ago.

“[Xan] had been on a couple of little Xbox teams before [Team Devour],” Mitchell said. “And was treated badly by the owners so was like, ‘I want to start my own thing and do my own thing.’ At the time, he had one of the highest win rates in all of Fortnite… Devour was an Instagram team at first, just an Instagram page where they posted game highlights.”

From the beginning, Team Devour was created by creators with the best for creators in mind. As esports and gaming companies continue to climb in popularity and revenue, the relationship between management and creators will become increasingly important to both parties’ growth, something Team Devour has been doing quickly for two years. 

After Mitchell joined in the summer of 2019, Team Devour branched out into YouTube and, maybe most importantly, Twitter. That’s when things really took off. Team Devour has collected over 55,000 followers on Twitter and 84,000 subscribers on YouTube. This doesn’t even include the reach of nearly 200,000 followers the team has on Instagram and 100,000 on TikTok. The content, mainly in Fortnite, was impressive right from the start, but the management of its members was the cherry on top.

Since its start in Fortnite, Team Devour has been looking for ways to branch out, something it finally did in October of 2020. Now with streamers and creators in Minecraft, Valorant, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Apex Legends, Devour has really spread its wings into a full gaming powerhouse with representation all over the most popular games in the world.

“We’ve always been known as a team that’s helped creators build their brands,” Mitchell said. “There are a lot of teams of our size that get all these huge creators in and just have them sit there. But what we like to do differently is actually help them, and that causes them to stay. So we have a pretty loyal base inside the team as well as a loyal fan base outside the team.”

The way Team Devour is organized fully backs up its mission to growing smaller creators. Management has built the organization around its academy program called Devour Future. As best described on the team’s website:

“Devour Future is an Academy as well as a community for grinders to constantly be striving to improve. By working together with the other grinders, you’re able to progress toward the main team. Devour Future is not your average academy system. Members have the chance to work closely with staff, participate in community events, and interact with many other grinders to grow together.”

Growing together is a huge theme on the team’s website, and the community backs up that idea in a number of ways. Devour hosts “classroom sessions” in its discord where a team member, usually a previous academy grinder or recruitment challenge winner, would give tips about social media, how to climb the ranks within Team Devour, and a number of other topics to a chat full of aspiring content creators. 

“Devour Future is essentially our academy system,” Oasis said. “We launched it with a unique approach in about September, October of [2020]… It wasn’t a B team or junior team or anything like that. We had in place about six ranks that creators, fans, or better known as grinders, would be labeled and associated with to track their progress as they climb through the ranks and closer to the team.”

Since then, Team Devour has moved more toward a traditional, structured academy program, but that certainly hasn’t slowed down the team on any front. In fact, by altering their original ranking system, they’ve been able to focus more on what they do best, which is assisting in social media strategy, content creation, and detailed design. 

It’s all fun and games for an organization to say they help creators grow, but Team Devour has proved time and again that it can and will help a grinding creator get more exposure to the gaming community. Mitchell and Oasis explained a number of standout examples, most notably the success stories of saulsrevenge, Silent, and Soy.

Saul is a Valorant streamer who grew from around 1,000 followers on all major socials to over 20,000 loyal fans in his first month or so with the team. Although Oasis said much of the explosive blow-up was unrelated to Devour, the management team has been helping him take advantage of the newfound traction and keep those fans around for the long run.

Fortnite-focused creator Silent joined closer to the end of 2019 with about 19,000 subscribers on YouTube. Despite a low engagement rate at the time, Team Devour worked with Silent up the ladder to over 200,000 subscribers. 

Finally, Soy is yet another YouTuber who was able to find a large following, growing a Fortnite channel from 2,000 to over 100,000 subscribers using resources and advice provided by Team Devour.

Scrolling through the channels of these three creators, there is an obvious influence from the style Team Devour uses on its platforms. Immediately, you notice the hard work and detail put into YouTube thumbnails and titles, key creative areas that have been of huge benefit to thousands of growing creators.

“We have some expertise on guiding players on all the prevalent social media platforms,” Oasis said. “We have a lot of trial-and-error and analysis into studying the YouTube algorithm under our belt, and we’ve been able to leverage that to directly impact the performance of a lot of our player’s channels.”

There are a lot of focus areas that make a channel successful, including thumbnails, titles, tags, search engine optimization, description formatting and a storytelling style of videos. Team Devour has been hands-on as often and as in-depth as its creators need. From engagement-focused Tweets and TikTok strategy to content brainstorming and SEO-centric titles, they help team members through every step of the creation process.

“We are trying to nurture the next generation of creators and not just keep these tips to ourselves and really share it with our audience,” Oasis said. “Hopefully instill the next generation of loyal Devour members.”

As a whole, Team Devour creators hit 60 million views on YouTube in the month of March 2021, showing exponential growth from the year prior, and the squad isn’t done yet. On top of an ever-expanding content team, Devour has a couple of professional Fortnite players and plans to move further into esports in Fortnite and Valorant in the near future.

Big thanks to Mitchell and Oasis for taking the time to talk to me about their incredible work at the wheel of Team Devour. If you would like to get more information about Team Devour and get involved in the community, the best course of action is to join the Team Devour Discord, and be sure to follow them on all their social media.

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