Photograph credit: Viraj Asher/DubaiLAD

Interview: Youtube Star Syndicate On Middle East, Gaming And Live Streaming

Call of Duty Youtuber Syndicate was in Abu Dhabi for the annual Games Con last weekend. We caught up with the gaming sensation, talking about his UAE fanbase, his YouTube journey and his venture in live-streaming.

Tell us about your UAE debut!

I’m stooped to be here! I’m not sure how much of a viewership I have here but I’ve met people who are from UAE. To be over here and meeting people; it’s awesome. [A] really cool opportunity. It’s very respectful.

What’s your take on the Middle East’s gaming scene?

Apparently, they love killing zombies, primarily Call of Duty (laughs).

Tell us about your global fanbase, the YouTube generation

As a worldwide audience, it used to be 60% Americans, Canadians and the rest scattered around rest of the world. Back then, I started doing vlogging and as I grew up, I started becoming more myself. I started attracting viewers from all parts of the world. I’ve got such a worldwide audience now. I’ve met fans in New Zealand, Americas, Scotland. So, it’s kinda’ crazy how the worldwide fanbase is.

Being a star has its perks too, have you had any insane moments with fans?

I went to the Acropolis in Greece, I met a crew from Abu Dhabi at the top and I was blown away. I randomly bumped into him; he said he was here part of a school field trip and it was crazy to think that through playing video games, I would meet them.

How do you see your channel, compared to other YouTube stars?

I did YouTube for ages and I had 250,000 subscribers, which nowadays you could say is still quite a lot of subscribers, but in the scale of someone like PewDiePie, with 67 million subscribers, that’s still small in comparison.

Were gaming giants aware of the Youtube creator scene?

I remember the first time I went to a game development meeting and met people from the industry and they had no idea about YouTube. They didn’t know it was valuable. They didn’t really care about it. I was like “I make videos playing your games and 200-250,000 people watch it.” They were like “It’s insane!” It was interesting to see how, back then, it was so small and people didn’t really care about it, compared to now, where we’re being flown out to events like Games Con. It’s just mental!

How do you feel when you look back to your Youtuber career?

It’s nice to have such a moment in my life, to see when nothing was there, and now everything is there. Also, my other biggest moment was when I hit one million subscribers on YouTube for the first time. Back in the day, you’d get this huge golden award. I feel when, you win an award, that’s when people know what you’re doing is real.

What’s next in line for The Syndicate Project?

I’ve done three years of vlogging and five years of gaming. Now, I’m ready for full time streaming, till January. I’m so used to making the most of it. I’m gonna’ try what it’s like to go into the world of gaming 24/7, like eat-sleep-game-repeat! I’ll see how it goes. If I really miss doing all the travel and doing what I want to do, I’m gonna go back to that in January, if I like it. Life is too short. I don’t know if I want to sit all day and play video games, but at the same time I have so much fun doing it and I’m a massive nerd!