From Home to the Studio - Interrobang

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We spoke to Parker "Interrobang" Mackay, the Pro League caster, to discuss his career so far.

Interrobang is a Canadian Siege caster, best known as one of the voices of Pro League, which he has been casting since September 2017. He currently lends his voice to the competition alongside KiXSTAr, mzo, and MiloshtheMedic.

Aside from the Pro League, Interro has also cast a number of smaller tournaments including DreamHack Austin, CCS, ESA and both the Canadian and US Nationals.

Interrobang at the 2018 Six Invitational holding the winner’s trophy

We spoke with Interro to discuss his career so far as well as to get his views on the upcoming Paris Major event:

Firstly, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name's Parker, commonly referred to as INTERRO online, and I'm a Canadian caster currently working for ESL as a Rainbow 6 Pro League caster.

The new Pro League rules introduced at the beginning of this season caused a number of changes concerning match schedules, lengths, as well as the new operator ban phase. How, as a caster, have you dealt with these changes, and what impact do you think they’ve had to the game overall?

I'm a pretty big fan of the new changes to the Pro League format. The site rotation, operator bans, and 5 ATK/5 DEF setup are all excellent ways to freshen up the game while making it more competitive than it was previously. In order to prepare for the new ruleset I reached out to a number of pros to host a mock Pro League pick-up match so that I could get the hang of the changes. Ultimately I think they're for the better and deeply enrich the pro scene.

So far at the halfway stage of Pro League Season 8 the current standings are very different to what most people would’ve predicted; which teams have you been the most surprised with so far?

SK Gaming, Noble, and Obey have my biggest surprises, but not all for the same reasons. SK Gaming are experiencing the best season they've had in over a year. The addition of Nyx cannot be understated as he fits the team's playstyle with ease, allowing the rest of the players to do their jobs well. They can very realistically contend for a LAN spot this season. For Noble, I was a bit curious to see how they'd do given how Yeti is the sole member of their roster with previous PL experience. They've exceeded my expectations so far, however, and while LAN may be out of reach right now they are definitely improving. Obey, sadly, has performed way poorer than I imagined. The roster that they have should be capable of so much more than last place -- at least on paper. I'm not sure what they need to do to kickstart their success but they're running out of time.

The standings in the NA Pro League so far in Season 8 with the relevant teams highlighted
You have missed the last two weeks of Pro League casting due to visa issues, what have you been getting up to in Canada during your break?

I didn't intend to have to go back home to Canada during the middle of the season but I'm glad I was able to get my visa as soon as I could. It's always nice to get to see family and friends, even if I'd have preferred to have stayed in Poland, casting with the rest of the team. I had a chance to stream a whole bunch and catch up with some friends who were back visiting so that was nice but it's great to be back in Europe. I want to get to work.

Previously you have also cast the Canadian Circuit and CCS Season 2; how did you get involved in these tournaments and how does the experience differ from covering Pro League?

I actually got my big "break" in Rainbow 6 thanks to CCS. My first venture into R6 casting was through the Siege Contender Series (now known as ESA) but I was picked up by CCS soon after to join Flufvy and Talon. My first cast in CCS was actually with Mzo back in July of 2017. I was happy to return to CCS Season 2 to cast some of the playoffs and the grand finals.

I think it's important to always remember where you came from and I can guarantee I wouldn't be in Pro League without CCS. As for Northern Arena's Canadian Nationals - I'm privileged to get an opportunity to lend a voice to my country's competitive scene. The people who work on it are tremendously kind and I'm very thankful to have helped them out thus far. It's excellent to get to see a wide array of skill levels and strategies from players across a variety of leagues.

Later this month we have one of the biggest tournaments in Siege history -- the Paris Major. What are your predictions for this event, and are there any teams which you think could surprise?

I'm not comfortable giving a full-throttled prediction of the event but the favourites have to be the usual suspects: PENTA, Liquid, EG, Millenium, Rogue, etc. The teams whose performance is consistently good enough to land them in the final 4. As far as surprises go, I think NORA-Rengo and Immortals have outside chances to make it out of groups depending on how they play. Their groups are tough but I would be shocked were we not to have an upset.

Your R6 casting career has now taken you to Poland, Canada, the US, Brazil and, in 2 weeks time, France; how have you found each of these countries?

Getting to meet fans of Rainbow 6 from all over the globe has been such a pleasure. I really enjoy getting to see different parts of the world, taking in cultures that I never thought I'd have a chance at doing before. Brazil has the most passionate esports fans I've ever seen. Seeing the lineup of attendees in Sao Paulo, hearing their roars as their hometown teams played... it was incredible. I got chills the first time that crowd unleashed their energy inside the stadium. It's a moment I'll never forget. I've heard a lot about the French fans so let's see if they live up to their reputation by bringing the house down.

What would you say is the highlight of your casting career so far?

The highlight of my career has undoubtedly been casting the Invitational Grand Finals with KiXSTAr. Being the only Canadian caster, casting a Canadian produced game, experiencing one of the best R6 matches we've ever seen before on Canadian soil? I don't know when something will top that.

The English language casting talent at the 2018 Six Invitational with Interrobang seen second from the right.
And, finally, what tips would you give anyone wanting to become a professional R6 player or caster?

There are a lot of talented casters working their way through the amateur scene right now so my advice to them would be: study yourself. Rewatch all of your VODs. Be your harshest critic and eliminate the things you don't like while actively working on improving what you do. Players spend upwards of 6 hours most nights practicing, dry-running, training; do the same for yourself. Solicit the opinions of your peers and ask for constructive feedback so that you can achieve the potential that you know you have.

Interro will be back casting next Monday as the six Major kicks off in Paris which you can watch on the official rainbow6 Twitch channels.