Out of Nowhere

I’m still upset about losing in the semi-final of the High School Starleague.

Who knows where my career would have been if our AD Carry didn’t just have to go on vacation to South Korea, and we didn’t have to sub in a platinum player instead?

Alright, I love the guy to death, and he did try his best, but it was pretty disappointing that that was my big claim to fame back then.

I started playing League in Season 3 when I was a 14-year-old freshman. It took me a couple of years to get to Diamond and start competing though.

I initially planned to go into game design, but I took a computer science course in high school, and I learned that while it was interesting, I never saw myself putting my whole life into that.

When I graduated, the idea of going to college didn’t really jump out at me. I knew that I still wanted to be involved in gaming, and esports specifically.

I had three options to explore: be a pro player, an analyst, or a caster.

Even though I hit Master tier, I wasn’t good enough to be a pro player. Given time, the chance was there, but I needed years to get there – and that’s if I hadn’t hit my peak already.

Casting, coaching, and analysis were all things that I was considering, but in the end, it was casting that really clicked for me. I was a lot more proactive about casting so that’s probably why.

Playing in amateur tournaments left me with a lot of contacts in that scene, so I just messaged all of them to see if they, or someone they knew, were looking for a commentator for their games or leagues.

Most of them were just happy to have a high-elo player casting their games, so I got in easy enough, but the feedback from my first casts was good as well.

From there, I decided that I was not going to college; I declined the offer, and I ended up moving full-time into casting.

At the same time, I made a promise to my parents: if this isn’t going anywhere, I would go back to school within a year.

Even though I was only an amateur, I really thought that I could be a professional. I doubt I was good enough back then, but I really thought I was.

Here is something you probably didn’t know: my first taste of casting European League of Legends was not the EU LCS in 2018.

One of the first events I covered was in Malta, and I covered it remotely. I found out about it on a Reddit thread, because they were looking for English casters.

Not just casting but actually streaming the whole thing too. The organizers sent me all the assets and I had to work out how to get them all onto OBS. The games were actually pretty fun – the only downside was that the games happened at a dreadful time for me because of the time difference!

And I just kept doing that. Looking around for various amateur events to cast and hope that eventually someone higher up notices me and thinks I’m worth the chance. Not very different from most people who try to do this.

At the moment, it’s pretty difficult for new casters to get a big break in the scene. Not only are all the roles pretty filled at the moment, but there are also so many big personalities and former pro players who are looking to get into casting too.

My career path certainly wasn’t normal for this role either. My one-year “esports trial” was coming to an end, but then I was hired as an LCS referee.

Shortly after that, I transitioned into play-testing, and it became a steady job.

I hadn’t forgotten about casting, but I didn’t have a lot of time to practice on my own. Instead of working with leagues that had schedules I’d have to adhere to, I just started practising over LCS VoDs.

Eventually, I got the job I was looking for. The method of getting that job was kind of funny.

Quickshot posted a tweet about EU looking for new color casters, and that anyone interested should reply with a link to a VoD. I threw a link down and didn’t really expect anything, but one day I see the notification: Check your DM’s

I’m not gonna show you those DMs, but we just had a very quick back-and-forth before he asked for my info and we had a conversation over the phone.

The best line of that conversation was Trevor saying: “We want to bring you over”

Boom. Completely out of nowhere. There I was, in Berlin, starting the summer split.

Because of my background, I understand how the game works at a fundamental level, down to the very small micro-interactions between champions.

I still try to incorporate that into my casting, but I have recently tried to take a more humorous approach.

Between two Iverns, a parody of Between two Ferns, sprung out of nowhere; because my visa got delayed, Quickshot asked me to pitch some ideas for the show, and if there was something I could do something remotely on Week 1.

So, I pitched that and a lot of other things. But if I hadn’t had delays, it probably wouldn’t have happened.

To be honest, there has been a lot of “out of nowhere” moments. I tend to trust my direction a lot. I don’t have a set plan to follow; it’s really hard to have that in esports.

If there are things that I find interesting, or if there are things I know I can do deep down, I’m gonna go for them. Hopefully, they’re going to work out!

Image Credit: Riot Games and Christy Frierson

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