Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), the Indian version of PUBG Mobile, is one of the most popular battle royale mobile games in the country. The game also has a robust Esports scene, which encourages many aspiring professional gamers to take it up.
Many YouTubers also create content revolving around the battle royale game. One such creator, Icieee, streams BGMI on her channel and is part of Esports XO’s content creator roster.
In conversation with Sportskeeda Esports’s Debolina Banerjee, Icieee talks about women in gaming, her journey so far, and her dreams of making her channel grow.
Icieee's journey as a BGMI streamer
Q. Tell us more about your decision to take up gaming professionally. What made you choose such an unconventional career path and who inspired you to do so?
Icieee: I started playing PUBG Mobile back in 2020 after I got home from college due to the pandemic. It was so addictive, I started spending hours playing it. I started making new friends online and it was so fun! We would all spend hours playing and talking.
One day, I randomly came across MortaL’s stream and I enjoyed it very much. Slowly, there were more streamers in my recommendations, and I would watch all of them, but there were not many girls.
I used to play for fun, but one day I played with one of my friends who was very good at it and I was so embarrassed that I decided that I have to become better at it myself. So, for the rest of the year, I grinded.
After seeing so many creators hitting a million subscribers and making a successful career, I thought maybe I should give it a try. So, a year later, I started streaming on YouTube and that was when I realized that there was nothing else that I loved more than playing BGMI and streaming it.
Q. Indian parents are still reluctant to support their kids when they choose gaming as their career. Were your parents supportive or did you get to face criticism during your initial days as a gamer?
Icieee: Once I started streaming games, there was this constant fear of getting caught by my parents. As a college student, I was sure that they were not going to support me. Hence, I streamed for months locking my room and telling them that I had gone to sleep. But one day, I thought it was time I should tell my parents about it as I needed a PC.
I mustered up the courage and sat down with my parents to calmly tell them everything that was going on. I was so surprised to see my father’s reaction to it. He calmly told me that it is great that I finally know what to do with my life. Both my mother and father were super supportive and they are still by my side.
My parents never pressurized me about college or anything. Honestly, I was very surprised as I did not see this coming! I was so scared that my father was going to take my phone away and everything, but he was so supportive and I am so grateful to have such parents.
Q. Female gamers often come across rude/sexist comments. Have you faced any haters that made fun of your gaming due to your gender?
Icieee: Being female gamers, we have to face things like hate comments and sexist comments. But with time, we finally understand how to handle it, but it is hurtful sometimes. People also make fun of our gaming skills and think that we just sit there and do nothing.
However, they do not know that we do not just sit there with our Facecam on, we try to entertain our audience and practice to showcase our skills as well.
Sometimes a single comment hurts like hell and we still have to keep going, knowing there are more people who support and just a few who hate. Haters just need to be a little more respectful, that’s it.
Q. It has been quite some time since the release of Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI). Do you think it lived up to its expectations? Is there any aspect that you want to change in the battle royale game?
Icieee: BGMI is the best game I have ever played and it has always lived up to my expectations. I just love everything about BGMI, there is nothing I could think of that I wish to change.
Q. Indian mobile gamers have been demanding the release of BGMI Lite for a long time now. Do you feel that the release of a lighter version of the battle royale title is necessary?
Icieee: Yes, I do feel that BGMI Lite should be released because there are many people who cannot play the battle royale game on their device, but they ardently want to.
So yes, for people who do not have the required device, it should be released so that they can enjoy BGMI just like we do.
Q. You started your YouTube channel a year ago and it was completely centered around BGMI from the very beginning.
What other games did you play before you started playing BGMI? Since when did you start playing video games?
Icieee: When I started my YouTube channel, I did not have a laptop or a PC to play other games on stream. I just had my phone and an iPad. I used to play Need for Speed and Resident Evil. I loved both the games.
I have two brothers and I have been playing video games since I was a little kid. My brothers had PS2 or PS3, and all three of us would sit together and play video games.
Q. You are one of the creators at Esports XO, a popular esports organization in India. What are the best aspects of being part of their content creator roster? What key points have you learned from your time with them?
Icieee: I never thought that I would get the chance to be part of the XO family. Ever since I started my YouTube journey, I used to think that the only organization I would be joining in the future would be Esports XO.
Being part of the content creator roster is a huge accomplishment for me. I have got to learn from the best, and knowing everyone here has got my back is the best feeling.
Q. Your channel has a subscriber count of 27.6K. How do you plan on making your channel grow? Do you think diversification of content will help you in the process?
Icieee: I am planning to start playing new games and just not BGMI, as I believe it will help a lot and attract a bigger audience. Sticking to just one game is not part of the plan right now.
Q. What is your message to BGMI enthusiasts who aspire to establish themselves as professionals in the gaming world?
Icieee: Be consistent and believe in yourself, you are almost there! ❤️