Slice of LIfe

Senior pays for college as YouTube video game tutorial star

Lucy Naland | Design Editor

It’s 7:45 p.m. and senior Matt Cobuzio has decided it’s time to get to work. He heads over to his PlayStation 4, plugs in his microphone and turns on his computer and webcam.

“What’s going on guys, my name is Matt and I’m mcsportzhawk! Today I’m going to show you the Margwa head Easter egg in ‘Shadows of Evil.’” He’s clocked in.

The television, radio and film and information management dual major’s job is not that of a typical college student. He makes YouTube videos giving video game advice and tutorials to viewers about how to play games like “Call of Duty” successfully. His main channel mcsportzhawk has 429,360 subscribers on YouTube as of Monday night at 7 p.m.

When Cobuzio got his first paycheck, he could hardly believe his eyes. “Zero dollars and ninety cents,” it read. It may not seem like much, but to Cobuzio, it meant the world. His family mocked his excitement over the small payment, but the next month his paycheck was for $900. Now, he makes enough to pay for college.

Cobuzio started making videos in December of 2009, while he was a sophomore in high school. Despite the enormous success that he enjoys today, getting started was no easy task.


I started with nothing; I had no subscribers, I would share the video on Facebook and send it to my friends that played the game and have my parents and friends family check it out once in a while if it was relevant, and it was a slow start for sure.
Matt Cobuzio

Cobuzio said he started making videos for fun and was very excited once his channel started to gain popularity. He was elated when he hit 100 subscribers, which pales in comparison to the nearly half a million that he has today.

It was four years before Cobuzio’s channel picked up and started to grow at a substantial rate. There were periods of time when his view count would “spike” after he made a video about a new game, but his channel would eventually fall back to lower viewership levels. However, Cobuzio stayed committed and has now reached levels of success he never would have imagined.

Along with making consistent income from his YouTube videos, Cobuzio has been sponsored and endorsed by many well-known gaming companies, such as EA Games and Activision. The companies will pay Cobuzio to play their games before their release dates.

Cobuzio also said that gaming companies have flown him to conventions such as SUPER! BitCon and E3 to be one of the first to play new games or consoles.

Despite the great reward that his job offers, Cobuzio’s success has not come without a great deal of hard work.

The ability to schedule his own hours is a huge advantage, but Cobuzio knows that if he strays from his hours and doesn’t consistently produce content, his business will decline quickly. His most common hours for making videos are 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. so that he isn’t missing out on too many social opportunities.

He also has two other YouTube channels — one is a sketch comedy and prank channel and the other is a joint channel with his girlfriend where they do boyfriend vs. girlfriend challenges and vlogs. He’s also starting a business outside of his YouTube star endeavors, in which he’s making an online course that teaches people how to maximize views on their YouTube channels.

Nick Matarazzo, a junior television, radio and film major, works with Cobuzio on their YouTube channel JerseyToSyracuse. The duo produces sketch comedy on the channel, and Matarazzo said he is lucky to have had the opportunity to work so closely with Cobuzio.

“Matt Cobuzio’s work ethic is unprecedented,” Matarazzo said in a text message. “When he is motivated to take on something new, nothing can stop him. He inspires the people around him to strive to be their best because he won’t accept anything less for himself and for his close friends.”

This work ethic is necessary for Cobuzio, as making the videos themselves can prove exhausting. He improvises and records each video, edits it, creates a video thumbnail and then posts and titles the video in a way that will result in maximum views based on his analytics.

Throughout his career of uploading videos to YouTube, Cobuzio has been faced with plenty of negativity that would discourage many, but he continues to pursue his passion and business despite whatever obstacles come his way.

Said Cobuzio: “The best thing about YouTube is that I’ve become so much more confident about what I’m able to do and who I am since starting posting videos and making it successful that it’s not even once fazed me; I can read the worst hate comments you could imagine and I don’t have a problem with it.”

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