GameNation SA – Thinking about being an esports caster? Here are tips

1 May 2018

Ever dreamt of being the voice that captivates the attention of a sold-out crowd of esports fans? That distinctive and revered personality that weaves an intricate and unforgettable narrative about your favourite esports title, bringing the highs and the lows of a classic matchup to masses of appreciative fans. The one helping makes those memorable moments all the more memorable with your iconic commentary. If you’ve ever thought about becoming an esports commentator in South Africa or more colloquially, a caster, I have some thoughts for you. This isn’t a how-to guide. I’ll write one of those in future. This is more of an opinion piece in which, using personal experience, I’ll try to mentally prepare aspiring casters for what to expect.

Casting all fear aside

Whatever your expectations are of its difficulty, you’re wrong. It’s much harder than you think. There’s more that goes into it than knowing enough about a game to talk about it without feeling stupid. That’s, of course, a part of the equation, but there’s far more to it. Should your expectations fool you into thinking that it will be a glamorous career path, working in big venues, you’re way off the mark. It’s many, many hours of grind week after week. More than likely from your bedroom, rather than a studio or stadium. Probably broadcasting to a small handful of people that are liable to be insulting of your fledgling abilities and totally unappreciative of your efforts.

Don’t be afraid. OK, maybe be a little afraid. If you want to get into casting, it almost goes without saying that you need to have a thick skin. The expectation of viewers is often of a flawless production and commentary that rivals the best international casters. The reality when you’re starting out is that you’re going to be nervous and inexperienced. For a large portion of the time, you’re probably going to have no idea what you’re doing or should be doing. It’s odds-on going to be terrible and some viewers will give you a hard time for it.

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