A prodigy that has explored his passion from a young age, Sceptic has developed his career to the point where even full-fledged adults would be jealous. Starting from games like Roblox and really exploding with Fortnite, Sceptic shares what he hopes to achieve through the community he's developed with Esports Heaven.
Interview conducted by Kary and izento
Hey Griffin. Nice to meet you. How have you been holding up amidst the COVID pandemic?
I’ve been good. Just sticking to my routine of school and creating content. Keeping it low-key.
For a 16 year old, you’ve probably reached a point that one can only dream of. Before we dig deep, tell us how you got introduced to gaming considering the fact that you started streaming when you were 13 years old? Which was the first game that you got your hands on?
Oh, well I started when Mario Kart was introduced to me when I was 2 or 3 years old. But I knew I wanted to be a YouTuber around 10. It was a lot of Minecraft and Roblox. But once I discovered CoD, Halo, and other FPS games, it was all over. A friend of mine introduced me to Fortnite when it was released and when I realized I was pretty good at it I decided to stream and see what happened.
At 14 years of age, you were one of the youngest pro players signed to a professional organization, Misfits Gaming. That’s something out of the ordinary. How was your recruitment to Misfits put into motion?
When I started getting noticed I had a lot of “clans” and “teams” slide into my dms. Misfits really stood out as their first message to me was asking to speak with my parents. My parents, along with Misfits, really guided my career at that point. Misfits was always clear that family, school, and health were top priority. And that’s what really drew me and my parents to sign with them. They treated me as a person and always looked out for my best interests, and still do.
Fortnite is the game through which you’ve amassed the majority of your fan base across social media, most of whom are in their early or late teens. How does it feel to be able to represent a generation of gamers who are at the cusp of finding out what “gaming” or “esports” really is?
It’s pretty amazing, honestly. And very humbling. I try to put my best out there and try to engage everyone when I can. This generation will definitely push esports and gaming into the mainstream alongside all the other major sports.
Many streamers and content creators have had difficulties in the past developing a healthy relationship with their fanbase and creating a healthy environment for the community. Have you thought about how you want to shape your fanbase and their attitude about the game, but also how they interact with the broader community?
I really try to focus on the positive aspect of building a community. I wouldn’t be here without my community and I’m very thankful for that and try to give back whenever I can. The world can be kinda crazy and life’s too short for toxicity. We should all be propping each other up and supporting one another to grow a healthier community.
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You’re very well spoken, despite your youth. How have you used this ability to educate your fan base, in terms of dropping insightful knowledge about the game? How did you develop this ability?
I don’t know, I guess I’ve always been well spoken when in front of a crowd or camera. I try to educate not only myself but my community as well. I’ll take what I’ve learned about a game and talk about it in stream or create a strategy based YouTube video, which Whistle has helped provide another platform for that.
There have been some contentious times where pros have spoken out about Epic releasing big patches in the past just before a major tournament, and it’s quite a volatile topic to say the least. What are your thoughts on how Epic Games has handled the professional scene in terms of balancing the game?
Well, they definitely keep us on our feet. They’ve actually done a lot better recently with releasing patch notes and keeping all the pros and content creators informed about their changes.
Do you have anyone you consider a mentor that is in the professional scene? If so, how have they helped you in terms of acclimating to fame or stepping up your in-game skills?
I’ve mostly been relying on everyone at Misfits to help guide me through the scene. I’ve had talks with Nick Mercs before where he pulled me aside at a dinner at TwitchCon and talked to me for a bit. His advice, and that gesture, has always stood out to me and will always stick with me.
You’re working towards building a brand for yourself, which is a good thing in and of itself. Making appearances for the Miami Heat, Samsung, the PGA Tour or being featured on ABC News, Fox Business, or even collaborating with music producer, Marshmello, among others is nothing less than an extraordinary feat. What type of crowd are you looking to cater towards? What is the message that you want to deliver? Also, how was the experience of making appearances on known media channels or sports teams?
Every experience that I’ve been through has been amazing and I’ve met so many great people over the last 3 years. Some of the video shoots can be an all day thing, but they’re fun. And events like the ones with the Miami Heat and the PGA were just great environments to be in. I’m just trying to cater to kids my age and their families. I guess I’d like everyone to know that whether you’re a pro, content creator, or behind the scenes, esports and gaming are here to stay. There are so many opportunities for kids to make a career in this industry and a lot of schools are offering scholarships.
You’re also the Brand Ambassador for Whistle Sports where you stream and create unique content with sports legends, including hosting their “Exploring Esports” segment. Could you expand a bit on what exactly you are trying to achieve by making such content?
Working with Team Whistle has allowed us to help bridge the gap between traditional sports and esports. Introducing esports to their community has really taken off and allowed us to do some great challenge videos and crossovers with stars like Javale McGee, who’s actually a great CoD player. So joining our two brands and communities has definitely opened us both up to a lot of new opportunities to reach new audiences and to show people that gaming and esports are more than just sitting behind a computer all day. We have a lot of big things planned post-Covid that we’re really excited about.
How are you managing having a professional career while also finishing school? Do you do homeschooling, or are you still going to a public school?
I’m currently doing online schooling. I made it about 3 days in High School with kids following me around the halls and yelling my name in class. I told my parents that it really wasn’t going to be productive and they supported the switch to online school. It’s been great because the schedule is flexible and I can go at my own pace.
What do your friends think about your career?
My friends love it. I have a few friends from school that I’m really close with and I’ve made friends all over the country from before I blew up. I’m really close with all of them and we make it a point to meet up regularly and at every convention.
You have your own merch line. Many content creators don’t develop a merch line until much later in their career, but to have one so quickly is almost unheard of. What gave you the inspiration for this?
When Whistle approached me for my own merch line I jumped at the opportunity. I worked with some designers who I know and really like. I’m really into streetwear and went with that vibe. Hopefully I can continue to build off of what’s been created.
Any sneak peeks into what you plan to drop in the future?
There’s been a lot of amazing things happening with Misfits, Whistle, and my most recent signing with Ford Modeling. I’m really excited to keep building my brand alongside Ford and see what the fashion world has in store. Stay tuned.
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Credit to Izento for helping with some interview questions.