Game designer Wil Evans has proved to be an online sensation – after policing up more than 260,000 TikTok followers.
The 35-year-old, of Widnes, has proved a hit on the social media platform courtesy of his comedy and gaming content.
And Wil’s account @swissevans86, has accumulated over 260,000 followers and over 6.5 million likes.
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His content regularly goes viral with thousands enjoying his daily skits and gaming education videos.
He told CheshireLive how he took to TikTok to channel his “hyperactive” energy into something creative during lockdown.
He said: “I was working from home and I was stuck in the house. And I had all this energy that I was directing towards my wife.
“In lockdown I started doing short comedy skits that I just posted on Facebook, and she said that TikTok would be a good place to put them.
“I built up a small following, and I think it grew from there to about 40,000 followers fairly quickly.”
An early video propelled him to fame when it received 1.6 million views and almost 300,000 likes.
He also uses his platform to educate users about his job and passion for video game design, with one TikTok revealing tricks that developers use on players. That video attracted 8.7 million views.
“That video blew up so much,” he said, “Literally in the space of two days, my follower count went from something like 60,000 to 120,000, and it’s just steadily grown from there.”
Wil regularly posts content about British life, and said Widnes has a huge impact on his content.
“I reference Widnes quite a lot,” he explained, “And in terms of what your influences are, it’s really who you grow up around.
“The Widnes kind of attitude we have has probably shaped my sense of humour, which has clearly attracted people.”
He says the neutral accent of Widnes has been key to helping him nail other regional accents for skits: “Widnes sits in a sort of odd place, it’s not quite Liverpool, not quite Manchester, not so far North that it’s Yorkshire or Lancashire.
“It’s an area that has quite a lot of influx of accents.
“But living by those accents has helped me do quite a lot of impressions and voices, which helps sell your videos because you can pretend to be different people.”
Wil is part of the TikTok Creator’s Fund, but admits he is not pursuing monetary rewards for his content: “It’s never bothered me because it’s just a bit of fun for me. I still have a day job, so it’s just a laugh, really!
“People have made jokes at work like, ‘Oh, we’re going to lose you soon. You’re going to become a full-time TikTokker’.
“That’s definitely not the case because I adore my job.
“If it can somehow become a side thing I can do to support my family, or pay for a holiday next year, then that’s the ideal situation.”
He continued: “It’s absolutely mad I’ve got that many followers. I still don’t believe it myself, it still doesn’t feel real in a way.”
His following has opened up opportunities collaborating with the video app. He said “TikTok have recently contacted me and they have a new thing they are bringing out on their platform. Because I cover a certain area of the people they are trying to reach, for example gaming and technology… they want me to roll out a new campaign with them.”
But Wil does not consider himself an influencer in any way: “When I think of an influencer, I think of girls on Instagram showing off clothes, not a 35-year-old dad who makes video games.”
Despite this, Wil has been recognised for his content by members of the public, from kids in his local park to the anaesthesiologist helping with his nose surgery.
He said: “I suffer really badly with imposter syndrome, so it’s really hard to wrap my mind around it.”
Although Wil has felt some pressure to create content, he is staying true to himself and posting what he likes.
He said: “I think it’s good because I think people realise I just do what I like. I just do what I think is funny and what I think is entertaining at the time.
“I’ve just been really lucky. And I’ve done a couple of funny videos that people have liked, and it’s led to this, which has been a really fun journey.”