Dream SMP's BoomerNA on living with a ticking time bomb: "You just got to keep looking forward to the next day."


Life looks perfect for Boomer. The Minecraft player BoomerNA, who has only shared his first name “Dylan”, is one of the fastest-growing content creators in the world. A lovable goofball known for his energetic sense of humor, he’s built a Twitch channel with more than 600,000 followers, a Twitter account with over 500,000, and a YouTube channel that generates millions of views. In recent months, he's played on the Dream SMP, an exclusive Minecraft server featuring some of the biggest stars in the game. Accomplishing this all after just turning 20, he’s in an enviable position.


Getting there wasn’t all laughs and fun times, though. 


Since his youth, Boomer has faced many tribulations. He’s dealt with depression, the death of his father, as well as his own health issues. With every adversity, though, he’s not only kept smiling, but tries his hardest to bring joy to others. His rise as a creator is not a run-of-the-mill success story. It’s a lesson showing the value of laughing.


In Boomer’s words, it’s simple. “You just got to keep looking forward to the next day.”

Source: BoomerNA | Twitter


Though very young, Boomer remembers learning of the death of his biological father. In an interview with Inside the Streamers Studio, Boomer stated his dad passed away when he was only five months old. It was from a sudden heart condition at the age of 24. Boomer learned of this a few years later, with only a small grasp of the idea. “I don’t know if I understood the concept of death, but I knew that I would never meet him.”


Boomer later had a father figure in his stepdad, someone he's expressed love and admiration for. Still, as I talked to him, he noted the large impact his father’s death has had on his life.


“...I think about it all the time — if my dad was still here or whatnot, it affects me still pretty often. Even at the age that I am. I just don't think it's something that you ever really kind of get over. Even if it's someone that you've never met, because it's something that is always kind of attached to you, in a sense. Because people will know, or your family members will know, or something of that nature. And so they always talk about that person or something like that. So it's always being reminded to you." 


Throughout school, Boomer had the same energetic personality he has on stream. The main complaint presented at parent-teacher conferences was how outgoing he was. He was friendly with everyone, talkative with everyone, and eager to make everyone around him laugh. 


Boomer’s family, however, moved several times in his youth, which clashed with his hyper-extroversion, and that brought on challenges — loneliness out of Boomer’s control. As he developed bonds, they many times ended either because of his family moving away, or his friends moving away themselves. This led him to shut people out after a while, for fear of building strong friendships only to step away again. 


He found solace in another place. Boomer discovered video games in preschool, sometimes playing his father’s original PlayStation 2. Making friends online was easier — even if he was moving 365 times a year, he could still meet with people and play games from wherever with them. Awesome folks with similar interests were waiting for him in Skype groups and Minecraft servers. 


“...It always felt like I was going to do something with games. No matter what, even if I tried to pursue it as a career or not, I just always kind of knew and always had a feeling that I was going to end up doing something with games and things of that nature.”


In more ways than one, gaming changed BoomerNA’s life.

Old friends never die

In 2012-2013, a teenage Boomer made friends with several people on MCPvP — a defunct Minecraft survival server. It was there, with the help of communities of big Minecraft streamers at the time, or Skype groups set up for PvP communication, that Boomer would become acquainted with people such as DropsByPonk, Sapnap, and Dream and friendships with many members of what became the Dream Team. 


“We all just randomly met each other and our friend groups just formed together over time,” Boomer recalls. This went on for several years. 


But age drew Boomer away from the original Minecraft brotherhood and his focus shifted to other games — Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends. He excelled at the latter, at one time ranked in the top 500 of North America, aspiring to compete on a pro-team. While studying in college, he threaded on the path of the professional streamer — a career he never intended to take — and showed a strong drive and work ethic for the business, oftentimes sleeping early to wake up at 2 a.m. to have a larger audience. 


As Boomer took his steps into content creation, many of his old friends took an Olympic World Record, Bob Beamon-esque leaps into content. This was when Dream’s YouTube channel began to pick up steam, becoming one of the fastest-growing in the world. With him, personalities such as GeorgeNotFound, Sapnap, and BadBoyHalo began building enormous platforms of their own. As the Dream Team dominated the internet in a way never seen before, Boomer kept streaming League none the wiser. 


“...I was completely in the dark about Dream blowing up”, Boomer stated. “...I found out through the YouTube algorithm when I got recommended one of his videos, and I watched and I was like, ‘What the hell? That's the same guy that I know.’”


During one stream session — to a single-digit audience — a familiar face in Sapnap, one of the Dream Team founding members, showed up in Boomer’s chat and a rekindling relationship between the old friends began. 


The next time his old friends visited, it changed Boomer’s life.



One evening, BadBoyHalo and Punz paid Boomer a visit, just like Sapnap once did. Almost. On that particular occasion, they brought all their fans as well — raiding his channel with more viewers than he had ever had before. In a single night, he gained about as many followers than all his previous years on the website. 


Perfect timing. Boomer had lost his desire to play League of Legends and had decided to return to his Minecraft origins and the friendships he made years ago.


“...I started hanging out with them again. And it wasn't like we were buddy-buddy at first, I had to get to know the homies again, and had to let them know that I wasn't trying to clout-chase or be in it for the wrong reasons. Because I just thought that it was cool that all my friends were still talking and being together after all these years.”


All the while, he was grinding.


Boomer started making leaps like his Frog Hat. With a natural desire to entertain and taking inspiration from popular League of Legends streamers like Tyler “Tyler1” Steinkamp, he became known for his boisterous personality and positive attitude. He was one of those to make the best use of new forms of media to expand his reach, with a single silly TikTok video of him screaming skyrocketing his viewership by a factor of more than seven. 


BoomerNA's Twitch channel skyrocketing. Source: TwitchTracker


What’s notable, though, is how with each viral moment, Boomer maintained people’s interest. 


“Sometimes you can have a video go viral and people will show up for your first stream. But then they tend to go away over time. And the thing with me is the viewers have never gone away. And I think it's because my community… as soon as you step up to it, and as soon as you see it, you see on that TikTok what you get on stream. And along with the chat — who's also super good and super entertaining — I think it really creates an environment where it makes people stick around.” 


Boomer’s fans truly never left because they were more than a group attached to skyrocketing fame. They were a community, a true following. The community keeps his Discord active and busy. It’s the community that supports him at events and generates enough artwork to fill a large filing cabinet. The community pushed campaigns like #BOOMERFORDREAMSMP to trend on Twitter.

It was his community that got him an invitational to the Dream SMP: a move that catapulted him higher still.


A ticking time bomb

The rapid ascent as a Minecraft streamer didn’t mellow any of his life trepidations. While still in high school, Boomer began experiencing heart palpitations, some of them lasting an hour or more. Tests confirmed it was the same genetic heart condition that took his father way too young.


“It kind of mentally affects me in a sense that I'm like, ‘Aw crap, if I have the same thing, and he went at twenty-four, am I gonna go at twenty-four as well? Am I on a ticking time bomb?’ That affects me mentally sometimes. It always has. And makes me think that my time here could be limited, and what am I gonna do with the time that I have left.”


On top of the palpitations, Boomer often experienced irregularities with his heart chambers, sometimes having only the bottom two functioning. Although his doctors have assured him his heart is healthy, he's had multiple implants installed as a precaution because of his family history. The threat of death at a young age always looms over Boomer.



“It really varies with me on how I feel. There's some days where I'm ready to tackle the day and stuff like that. And I just look forward to being here on the Earth every single day and taking advantage of it, living every day like it was my last. 


But there are some days where I’m really, really down in the dumps. And the health condition doesn't make it any better. It can be scary,  and it can also be something where I'm like, ‘I kind of have this thing. And I can't really talk to anybody about it, because it's so depressing.’ It's a life and death situation that I can't really talk about with people, because people don't want to hear about it. ‘Don't talk like that’, or something like that, right? But, it's something that I have to deal with and I have to consciously think about all the time. And so it can be a lot sometimes…” 


With his difficult upbringing and the health condition weighing on his mind, one could be forgiven for wondering how he’s able to remain so positive and full of humor. Boomer was quick to explain, “Oh, dude, the thing that keeps me positive is hearing people laugh, man. That sh*t's like medicine [...] every time I laugh, I always feel good. And every time that I hear other people laughing it always makes me feel good. Especially if I'm the guy that made them laugh, too. And so being able to do that — especially if you do that for a living — definitely makes it much easier to cope with a lot of things.” 


But his job, his calling, is more than a chorus of laughs for Boomer. When speaking with his friend and fellow streamer, she stated, “I think the biggest impact Boomer has had on me is that he's taught me to let loose a bit and not take life too seriously. To step back and live life in the moment,” fellow streamer Hannahxxrose said about Boomer.



Apart from being instrumental in strengthening his headspace, Boomer’s career as a professional streamer also put him in touch with the ideals set out by his biological father. 


"I definitely take influence from my dad, even though I've never met him, basically. My family talks about him a lot, and always tells me stories and stuff like that. I've seen a lot of home videos, and I've seen a lot of stuff about him as well. And he was just one of the nicest people that you've ever met. Always talking to people, always making sure that everyone felt comfortable and always felt good. And overall was just a good guy. And so, I always hear about all that kind of stuff. And that's always something that I aspire to be, because I always wanted people around me to feel better about themselves or feel better about life. And I think with streaming and things of that nature, I think it allows me to boost people's days on a way bigger scale than I ever could have done before.” 

Keep looking forward

Some might not appreciate Boomer’s rambunctious sense of humor — screaming at the top of his lungs to a friend in Minecraft dancing. It’s hard to challenge, though, that what he’s accomplished while facing physical and emotional turmoil is inspiring.


As we concluded our interview with Boomer, we asked what advice he would give to a younger version of himself. He could’ve talked about it for hours. 


“You just got to keep looking forward to the next day. You just got to keep looking forward to what you could possibly do tomorrow. That's why at the end of my streams, I always say kick the shit out of tomorrow. No matter what you could have dealt with today...today could have been the worst day ever — but always look forward to tomorrow. Even if tomorrow is not a guarantee, always look forward to it and always act like you're going to absolutely tackle that day. Because it could be a much better day, and it can make you feel 10 times better than anything in the world has for a long time. And so you always got to keep looking for those good days are gonna come back, because a lot of people are lost in the clouds right now. And you got to keep looking for those sunny days that are few and far between. But when you have them...they're some of the best days that are out there.”


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