Interview with Jack Igoe, Valorant Observer and Content Creator
Yoann: Hey everyone! Today I'm with Jack, observer and content creator!
When and how did you get into esports?
Jack: Hey! So esports started for me in a very unconventional way, because initially I had absolutely zero interest in esports. I played a bit of Rocket League and I used to think I was quite good at it and I tried practicing it and then it didn't really kick off for me, back when I was about 16 or 17.
I ended up turning to esports after joining my first org as an advisor of sorts because I was in the middle of my law degree. After seeing it at a grassroots level, I thought, Wow, this is, this is pretty cool. It's pretty sick!
Yoann: That’s cool! And today, what is your role on the Valorant broadcast?
Jack: On a Valorant broadcast, as of recently, I have been a cinematic observer. So my last two jobs I've been a cinematic observer and in-game director for the EMEA Game Changers series 1. And I was on the B stream for Ascension, which is currently ongoing.
Yoann: What can you tell us about your content creation journey?
Jack: Everything for me took off with short form content. And that took off pretty much on my birthday last year. So June 1st of 2022, I was streaming and I started singing while playing Valorant. I got a crazy clip, put it on TikTok. I woke up the 6th of June, I checked the stats, and it had 9 million views and I went, Oh, this is pretty damn good!
And then I kept pushing that stuff out and now here I am!
Yoann: That’s awesome! What was your first observing or casting job?
Jack: So I started commentating way before I started observing. first commentary job came with an org that I won't disclose because they were horrible in Fortnite. So I was commentating play by play over Fortnite gameplay, which is not the easiest because the observing play looked terrible, but they tried their best and it kickstarted everything for me.
Yoann: Great! How did you end up observing in EMEA?
Jack: So it actually starts with commentating, actually. So I was brought in to Project Striker in Dublin, which is the remote broadcast facility for Riot games. And I was there in March or February last year where I was made to commentate a show that they sent off to Los Angeles to show that Project Stryker could work.
So I was commentating there. The guys in there had my number, they had everything. And then fast forward about four months, I get a call and it's from the same guy that hired me for the commentary, and he goes, “We're looking for people to do replay observing in Dublin” So it was the APAC LCQ, where the matches were starting at like 2 a.m.. It was pretty crazy!
Then I got sent in and I was made to sit behind Synga, he's one of the global observers, he's very good at what he does! And I was made sit over his shoulder, see what he's doing, notice what he's doing, call out what's happening, and just try and take it in.
It was a series of events where they were trying to train me to understand what I was looking at. So the first event that I worked properly as an in-game director and as a cinematic observer was series one of the Game Changers.
Yoann: That’s nice! I recently interviewed Mel and Xilv, who are the EMEA observers.
Who is your co-observer?
Jack: So I have been working with Raven the Observer from Portugal. He's very good at what he does. He's also been very good for like learning and timing.
So one of the roles of a cinematic observer includes a switch. So any time that you see that swap between a P.O.V. and a cinematic shot, I control that.
Whenever he's got contact, as we call it, whenever he has someone in a crosshair or someone close, I have to be quick to get out of my camera and back to his very fast.
He's taught me a lot when it comes to observing.
Yoann: Yeah, that's great! Let's now get to the quick questions part! I’ll ask you ten quick questions and you’ll have to answer as fast as possible.
Are you ready?
Jack: Go for it!
Yoann: Phantom or Vandal?
Yoann: What's your favorite map?
Yoann: Who's your favorite agent?
Jack: Skye, Of course!
Yoann: Of course haha! What's your favorite skin collection?
Jack: Either of the champion sets.
Yoann: What’s your favorite Valorant team today?
Jack: It has to be Team Liquid!
Yoann: Nice! Can you name the seven teams that won an international event?
Jack: Sentinels, Acend, Gambit, Optic, Navi (FPX core), Istanbul was won by Loud. And Fnatic won twice this year!
Yoann: Great job! You're one of the only ones who got the seven right!
What's your music taste?
Jack: So I am very basic. I've been thrown into this realm of trying to understand and learn more K-Pop, which I'm enjoying. Aside from that just general pop music, and a bit of rock sometimes!
Yoann: Are you a professional singer?
Jack: Well, I sing and I make money from it. Does that make me a professional singer? Do I think so? Absolutely Not; no way haha!
Yoann: What's your favorite singing Skye moment?
Jack: Has to be the one that took off and made everything happen. I managed to flash the corner perfectly so everyone was blind. I got the full spray down, I was absolutely loving it!
Yoann: Can you quote a voice line from Skye?
Jack: “Seek them out! Found one!”
Yoann: Haha awesome!
Let's now get back to the standard questions.
What's your daily routine as a content creator?
Jack: On a typical day, I could end up waking up very late because I work into the late hours. I'll start gaming from around 3 p.m until anywhere between 11 and 12. I'm getting some sort of content around 12:10. That's when Sony Vegas opens and that's when the editing starts!
I could easily add it up until 4 a.m. depending on my motivation.
Yoann: Are you singing all the time on stream?
Jack: Often. I haven't been streaming on Twitch as much recently, but I was singing quite a lot and I could stream for maybe 3 hours maximum, but then my throat would suffer.
Yoann: Of course, yeah. What are your hobbies or passions aside from gaming?
Jack: I do quite enjoy football. I've been a big football fan for a while. I'm a history nerd. I do quite enjoy a lot of history.
It's actually only watching football or rugby or Formula One!
Yoann: That’s nice! If you were a Valorant developer, what would you change to the game right now?
Jack: I would add a third skye flash haha!
No, shotguns are one of my favorite things, but it needs a bit of balance. It's a little bit overpowered.
If I was to change the gun directly, I'd take away maybe three of the bullets and I'd probably rise the cost again to 2000 from 1850 because I think that's one of the big changes that would make the judge unfeasible for players that are saving.
Yoann: What advice would you give to someone trying to work full-time in esports?
Jack: Just start. For me, when I didn't get a lot of commentary work in Valorant, I started my own event doing events with friends. I started just joining ten mans…
It’s the same for observing, when you start observing, you can just jump into a random ten-man.
You won't get to start at a very high level, you have to start from the bottom and work your way up. Everyone does!
Yoann: Awesome, thank you! What are your short and long-term ambitions on Valorant?
Jack: Short term, I want to get better at the game to better understand it, analyze it for a better observing!
The worst thing I can do is not understand something that's going on and it all messes up, the whole idea of my job is to purvey to an audience what's happening and show them my understanding of it and why I think it's important.
That's why whenever I take the perspective to myself on cinematic, it's always to show something of importance.
And long term, I want to be able to have what would be greeted as a higher understanding of the game to help people better interpret the faster-paced gameplay.
I enjoy much more fast-paced approaches to site stuff for an execute.
I think as long as I can try and purvey my methods out, my madness, it’s perfect!
Yoann: That’s so cool, thank you for your time! I wish you the best!
Jack: Thanks for having me!