Interview With ImPERium: "The audiences in India for the South Asian finals were just incredible."
- AFK Gaming caught up with one of the most respected PUBG Mobile casters out there, Cormack "ImPERium" Wyatt.
- In this interview, ImPERium talks about how he got into casting, visiting India and his team GODSENT.
- He also talks future of PUBG Mobile and the India ban.
Cormack "ImPERium" Wyatt is an Irish esports caster, streamer, and analyst. He is currently the Mobile Director for GODSENT. Having started his casting grind in early 2017, it was in April 2019 where he got his first big opportunity in the PUBG Mobile Club Open. Since then, he has lent his talents to multiple major & minor events across PUBG PC and Mobile and staying an active part of the community as a streamer and content creator.
AFK Gaming had the opportunity to interview ImPERium as he talked about exposure to gaming and PUBG, his visit to India, and the growing PUBG esports landscape worldwide.
Getting started with casting
A lifelong gamer, ImPERium’s first foray into casting came with Vainglory, a popular Mobile MOBA. “That was really the start of what has ended up as something much bigger in my life and has become my career and passion,” said the former Vainglory caster.
While Imperium enjoyed the Mobile MOBA, he was always more drawn towards the community. He eventually joined guilds (similar to clans in PUBG Mobile) and got involved with the community esports scene. It was here that his casting career really began. “I started casting in February 2017 when the clan that I was involved in were holding a community tournament, and they needed a second caster”, he said. His drive to become a bigger part of the community let him take a leap of faith into a career as a caster. Imperium went on to cast several more community tournaments, and by the latter half of 2017, he realized that this was something he really enjoyed.
He made his big jump to PUBG Mobile around 1st August 2018 and began grinding by casting scrims and NA tournaments. Eventually, this grind paid off as Imperium got his big break when he was invited to cast the PMCO Spring Split in April 2019. He also served as a caster in the Spring Split Global Finals in June. He went on to lend his talents to various other major and minor tournaments, including PUBG Europe League Contenders 2019 and Gamers Without Borders 2020.
While he may have made it as an English caster in the PUBG Mobile World League 2020 - Season 0: East, Imperium doesn’t shy away from smaller tournaments like Collegiate Battlegrounds Association Season 7.
Exposure to PUBGM East and India
When asked about his exposure To PUBG Mobile East and the cultural disconnect that can bring, Wyatt says, “There is a cultural disconnect within reason, but at the end of the day I made it my aim to learn as much about other cultures from talking to people.” The caster had an opportunity to visit India in 2019 to cast the regional finals of the PMCO South Asia Fall Split. The event was definitely an eye-opener for Wyatt and allowed him to connect with more people. “For me, the disconnect goes away just by interacting with people, right, talking to people, getting to know them a little bit more,” says Wyatt. The caster found an excellent way to break the ice with conversations about PUBG Mobile and casting before turning to more casual topics, allowing him to gain a deeper understanding of the culture, festivities, “It’s just about breaking that barrier down and becoming part of something bigger, I know that I don’t live on the eastern side of the world, but it holds a big place in my heart,” he says. “There is a magic to it that I can’t wait to experience again. The audience in India for the South Asian finals were just incredible. I remember walking into the venue on Sunday morning and seeing hundreds of people packed into the venue on the stands. It still blows my mind how amazing it was”, says Wyatt as he talks fondly of the Indian fanbase and their passionate support for local esports players.
Becoming GODSENT’s Mobile Director and its plans for India
Talking about the caster’s path to becoming the Mobile Director for GODSENT, the caster says that it wasn’t something he aimed to take on, “GODSENT were in a situation where they needed a new director of mobile gaming.” Wyatt was acquainted with a couple of people like Irish player Reeves. “He, along with another guy, recommended me to the CEO of GODSENT, who reached out to me,” he says. After a conversation, the caster was offered the role and the early grind, which made him a respectable caster, came in handy while taking in the role. The number one skill that helped the caster through this transition was communication. Understanding how to go about certain things and how you look to seek opportunities is the way to go, says Wyatt. “I’m big on transparency and communication, so as a caster, I always want to know in a friendly way if I’ve messed up,” says the 32-year-old as he applies these skills to his role as director of mobile for GODSENT.
His vision for GODSENT is to put the team on the mobile map. That includes not just PUBG Mobile but in multiple titles and areas. “I want to create fair opportunities for players and content creators. I really want to create a sustainable and be part of a positive ecosystem overall.” As the mobile esports industry shows signs of significant growth, the caster notes that while there is a lot of money coming in, but it can be very one-sided, focusing on organizations, with investments directed to recruiting players and teams. “I’m okay with that, but you also have to make sure the organization is sustainable because, at the end of the day, it’s a business.” While there are several passionate individuals and organizations, it's the return on investment that matters greatly at the end of the day. “I want to make sure the mobile division of GODSENT is sustainable and thriving. I want to make the mobile division better than any other division.”
Wyatt can see why this could cause a certain conflict of interest regarding his casting duties and directorial duties. “I understand why some people might feel that way, but I disagree. When it comes to me casting, I’ve always been impartial. When people ask me who is my favorite team on an event that I’m casting, I always turn around and go; I don’t have a favorite team or player.” Imperium displays a certain level of professionalism when it comes to casting. When asked in a Twitch chat about GODSENT, the caster said he would not talk about the team while he’s casting because they are separate things. “I’m definitely aware that some people might look at it as a conflict of interest, and I respect their opinion,” notes Wyatt. He cites James Bank as one of his inspirations, “He took on a team manager role at Alliance, and I am very confident that he would not have taken on the role if he felt it would have been any conflict of interest.”
Talking about GODSENT’s plans for India and Asia, “It’s definitely something I would like to explore over time for a number of reasons. One because I understand that it’s a thriving community and culture of gaming. I would say that it would take time, that I don’t want to run before I walk”, says Wyatt enthusiastically. “Time frame? I can’t say, but I would love to, and there are some plans in the back of my head to offer some opportunities in due time.”
Future of PUBG Mobile
Wyatt seems confident about PUBG Mobile’s return to India, saying that the ban hasn’t affected PUBG Mobile as much globally, which isn’t to say that the ban doesn’t mean anything. “You’re talking about a loss of opportunity, income, and structure.” Displaying his penchant for motor racing again, Wyatt says, “You can apply it to something like Formula 1. No F1 team is the be-all and end-all, and I would say the same thing with regards to PUBG Mobile. No one region or country is the be-all and end-all”. However, he comments on the adaptability of esports teams, which is quite apparent, given how several Indian organizations are now looking at Free Fire, Call of Duty: Mobile, and even Wild Rift. At the same time, they wait for PUBG Mobile to get unbanned. “When PUBG Mobile returns to India, I have absolutely no doubt that it will be included in the PUBG Mobile esports ecosystem,” he says on an optimistic note.
Talking about the Future of PUBG Mobile and 2021, Wyatt says he thinks it’s solid, “You can see based on what they have applied to the esports ecosystem by introducing a lot more separate PMCOs and PMPLs. They recognize that if you have to create the strongest level of high tier competition at the top, you have to look at the foundations to look after the bottom stage. By introducing separate competitions, you are creating more of a structure for teams to learn, grow, and get better.” With PUBG Mobile investing so heavily into its esports ecosystem, having invested over $40 million last year, Wyatt thinks PUBG Mobile has set the standard in his eyes. “Where do I see myself? As part of the community”, he says.
Despite several years in an industry infamous for burnouts and scandals, Imperium still radiates a pure passion for the game and a sense of earnest humility. His emotional & passionate style of casting allows him to deliver a broadcast that resonates with viewers & competitors while also analyzing the game's finer points professionally.