Very few individuals in the world – aside from Abe Wea and other streamers involved – can claim that they went viral by streaming a true-to-life Malay-themed wedding, all enacted in Grand Theft Auto V. What’s more, the groom of the said wedding was none other than his friend Hafiz Syahrin, the first-ever Southeast Asian MotoGP racer who also streams on Facebook Gaming.
A wedding like no other
“It was my idea to prank Hafiz with a wedding,” said Noor Azwan “Abe Wea” bin Mohd Noor with a chuckle, who roleplayed as the father of the bride. The virtual knot-tying event took place during Malaysia’s then-stricter movement control order (MCO), with the likes of Jaasuzuran and Charlie as part of the camaraderie. Not only did the former choreographed the ceremony dance, but he virtually planned the whole occasion as well. “Jaa truly is a great artist. I’m glad to be best friends with such a humble person.”
The whole affair may seem scripted, but in reality, most of it was acted out spontaneously. “For roleplaying streams, we usually discuss beforehand to know each other’s role and the general flow of the story,” said the host of Facebook Gaming page, AvengedTV. “Unlike movies which have scripts, there’s none for roleplaying so everything else is improvised.” During the wedding, everyone coordinated with one another via walkie-talkies and smartphones. “It’s just like Ready Player One,” he exclaimed.
Doing it the Malaysian Wae
Abe Wea didn’t expect this mischievous act to go viral, resulting in an upward slope for his viewership numbers. His usual content is much like the wedding, in which he mainly roleplays as a village chief named Pak Samad in GTA V. “My main character used to be a police officer when I first started streaming GTA. But, the act ultimately got old so I decided to drop it and switch things up.” On top of changing his role, Abe Wea even went above and beyond to adopt a Kelantanese accent for his current character, taking inspiration from his birthplace of Kelantan. Even his nickname is of Kelantanese dialect.
“I like producing relatable content that’s centred around the Malaysian culture,” revealed Abe Wea, which is why his gameplay always takes place in the Malaysian server of MYRP – basically, it’s a GTA V server that has been modded to resemble parts of Malaysia. Thanks to its pair of developers, Isma Danial and Arief Solehin, Abe Wea can create the kind of content he wants in a GTA V world that has the likes of Petronas Twin Towers and Proton cars.
Before realising his dream job of video game streaming (he loves gaming), Abe Wea was leaping from one prospect to another before embarking on his current career early last year. He started his adult life as a freelance graphic designer (“I was never the studious type.”) before trying his hand at various unrelated professions: a detergent salesman, a kitchen helper in a cafe, and even appeared on the cooking segments of TV3’s Malaysia Hari Ini.
Abe Wea was introduced to the world of streaming by watching Era of the Geeks’ streams, inspiring him to attempt broadcasting his gameplay of PUBG PC and Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), albeit to little fanfare. However, as fate had it, he later stumbled upon a handful of streamers like Pak Cik Shin, who live stream themselves roleplaying on GTA V. “That was the first time I found out that roleplay exists in streaming.” Intrigued by the concept, the professional gamer took it upon himself to start “acting in a cyber world”. As an aspiring actor, marrying his love for gaming and acting was nothing short of unbelievable, especially when it popularised his streaming endeavour.
“With this, I can act without going for any casting calls or auditions,” not to mention that Abe Wea feels the TV industry can be quite selective. Nevertheless, it’s a form of performance arts, and on the plus side, “I don’t need to take much time to prepare for it. It’s so simple and senang (easy) that I can just do this from the comfort of my own home.” What the Malaysian streamer didn’t predict though, was that his profession would land him his first acting gig.
After Abe Wea’s wedding stream went viral, he caught the attention of YouTuber Zukie Mohamad, who produced several popular comedy videos and web series under his belt. Impressed by the Kelantanese’ acting skills on-stream, Zukie invited him to act in his latest production of a YouTube web series titled Naik KL 2. Funnily enough, the streamer acted as his main roleplay character of Pak Samad in the series, bringing the digital character to life.
More where that came from
Fortunately for Abe Wea, that wasn’t the only unexpected virtue that came with streaming. To name a few, he’s been hosting an online talk show, Lantak Ke Melantak, alongside Era FM radio presenter, Ray Dapdap; met and befriended MotoGP racer Hafiz Syahrin; and basically expanded his knowledge by meeting many people from different walks of life, including his fans. “I gained a lot more experience than I expected, and I’m extremely grateful for that. Thank you, Facebook Gaming and eGG Network, for giving me this opportunity to show my bakat (talent).”
To those who aspire to be a streamer, Abe Wea advised that it’s not a pursuit to be taken lightly. “You need to believe in yourself and not give up easily. Whatever you do in life, give it your hardest effort; if it doesn’t work out, don’t be afraid to try out other things.” He added to not worry about viewership – what’s most important is the quality of your content. “Focus on doing good content and your viewers will come.” And, on a more personal note, “don’t forget to help those in hardship, and put your family first before everyone else.”