Chatting with ImPERium

Today I’ve done something a little different. Instead of working hard and researching ideas to create my own content, I’ve enlisted the help of shoutcaster, Vainglory/Armajet champion, and all round awesome guy ImPERium for an interview.

Join us after the jump!

You’re best known in the community for being an up and coming shoutcaster (already with a lot of success) and for your “championing” of Vainglory and Armajet. What was it that got you into shoutcasting? Was there a moment thay you kind of just sat up and said “this is what I want to do”?

Well being Irish, I love to talk, so it’s definitely natural. Back in February 2017, the guild I was in at the time was doing a decently sized EU Tournament and when they talked about casters I put my hat out there. As far as what got me into it, well, the big inspiration was just wanting to help make the game better, make it more entertaining to watch and to be a bigger part of the community.

As time has gone on, I think I’ve succeeded in that aspect. Now it’s shifted more towards wanting to be the absolute best caster I can be, and to cast other games while still having fun. Unless I get a full paid or solid paid opportunity I don’t know if I can say “this is what I want to do”. As well as I have done, I’m a small fish in a big sea of eSports casters and games, but I’m open to opportunities and I am definitely striving to achieve more, just with caution of my own life.

Caution? You mean in regards to jumping into it as a job and leaving full-paid stable work, right?

Yes, exactly. Right now, I have a stable full time job and working towards that future. Casting is uncertain in a lot of ways as a job right now.

I can imagine. eSports is still on the rise and I guess investment into it can be risky, but we’ll come back to that. You mentioned Vainglory – how long have you been playing now?

I’ve been playing Vainglory for nearly 3 years now! Wow, 3 years, man. It’s crazy to think that, because I’m still meeting new people, discovering new things and learning! But also I’ve been able to use my time to give back, hopefully teach and show what I was taught and shown! And every year has also been full of highlights while also mixing in with my personal life. So here is to another 3 years!

How has Vainglory changed in those past three years? How do you hope to see it change in the next three?

It’s changed in a lot of ways, I see some as good and some bad. The obvious change is the release of 5v5 to a bigger audience and essentially to create a bigger growth of users, as well as more depth to the game! Which was amazing.
Some of the unfortunate downsides is that as the company has progressed, it’s focus has shifted. So in terms of finances, money was being pumped into eSports in 2016/2017, which was amazing (especially as 5v5 was showcased at the World’s on the back of a huge year in eSports). This was brought back down to earth and completely changed in 2018, with focus going on developing the game, features, ease of use etc.

That took heavily away from eSports investment, which in turn has left a sour taste in a certain demographic of players, which I get and understand. For me though, as a game, it has heavily gotten better in most areas.

I still believe the skill tier system (Just Beginning to Vainglorious) is outdated and too vague in separating skill level. But for me, I love the game. I don’t have any direct control in the evolution of the game as it’s a business and therefore essentially driven by money.

So in the next 3 years I can see it staying the same as the current core game but focussed and evolved to suit a wider audience – whether it’s cross platform (already in open beta for PC) or just more casual friendly.

You mention the skill system being vague, how do you believe it could be improved?

So right now we have 10 skill tiers, from Just Beginning right up to Vainglorious. Each skill tier is divided into 3 stages, bronze, silver and gold. That system worked in the past when there were less users, players and new players joining. Like, even I know of a time when reaching Vainglorious actually meant something overall and damn you had to sweat and grind hard to get there (and not really because of trolls either, just better playing standard).
But now, with more players and the fact there’s 5v5, the skill tiers are watered down and there’s too much of an actual skill gap between players in POA [Tier 9] Bronze and POA Gold. This is because a lot of POA players don’t actually understand rotations, strategies and positioning. They might be great mechanically (which is where 3v3 exceeded for those players) which gets them to a certain level but in 5v5 it’s all about rotations, positioning and essentially sticking together.
So if they had more skill tiers and/or more sections to each skill tier then it would give a better indication to each person’s skill tier, playing level and overall create a better level of wanting to actually try and win!

That makes a lot of sense, and your awareness of it actually brings me nicely to my next question. You recently started coaching a VG team, how has that been going for you?

It’s been very challenging but fun. Obviously, it’s a new learning experience for me as coaching has a certain mindset needed within reason. Trying to work with the players as best possible is harder than just direct data, as everyone is different and personalities are there. However, when the end goal is to just help improve how a team plays, how much they enjoy the game, and increasing overall knowledge, then for sure it makes it easier. I’m still in the early stages of coaching but, so far, no real complaints!

I was fortunate enough to have a short coaching session with you a few weeks ago. Just to stroke my ego, how did I do?

*no comment*…..Haha, I joke!

You did really well. Your mechanical ability and awareness of the game as well as even general understanding is very good. You are definitely above the skill tier that you are visually in at the moment, oh and your Phinn hooks were pretty epic!

You remind me of a player like I was 2 years ago in the sense of decent but a long way to go to go & with the right mentality to get there.

Haha, thank you! That’s a real compliment! So we’ve discussed VG a bit, what about Armajet? How did you discover the game, and what got you interested?

I discovered Armajet when I found out MGL (Mobile Gaming League) were going to be doing a Tournament on it. In the hopes of getting a casting opportunity (which, fortunately I did) I downloaded the game and played it.

It’s a really fun game and has a simple premise but with a lot of depth to it. It’s still in it’s early stages as a game but it fantastic as it is already!!

I’ve been playing the beta quite a bit but only started recently, so I’ve only had the team deathmatch mode with none of the Armoury side of things. How much variety is there to the game?

Well, each gun has different specifications between range, damage, rate of fire etc. Then with that, it’s the same with your secondary weapon. It has been a bit since I’ve played it but there is also the variety of different maps which calls for different playstyles as each map has strengths and weaknesses.

With the cross-play with PC, where do you hope Armajet is heading?

I hope Armajet is heading towards tournaments, growth in casual players, representation by passionate teams, players and organisations. I only wish success for the game and the developers. From my communication with them, they are friendly and passionate.

That’s fantastic and about all I had to ask! Thank you for your time and best of luck with casting! We look forward to hearing your voice more often over matches, and we look forward to seeing how With Doctor get on under your guidance!

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