Semmler on the current casting landscape

By Mark Register
Nov 02, 2017

The path that you took to get here, does that still exist for casters?

There are different opportunities for casters than when we started out. When we started out... I mean to be fair it was at the very beginning when tournament organizers didn't care about their streams. CSGO wasn't bringing in enough viewership for them to care and start investing money in it. And so they didn't just leave the GOTVs open and if you had a stream and you had the time you could just cast a game and then if people watched, they watched; great! If they didn't, you know maybe you do something else. But that path now really, I mean there are like more paths for example boq over North America, I did a show with them about the Mountain Dew League not too long ago right? And he's a guy who was trying to make, you know, make his break come up through it. What happened now for him you know he's not doing tier 1 events but he is doing Mountain Dew League full time and that's paying him a full time salary. We would have never had that when we were starting. That was like an impossibility. You know you just unless you went to work for ESL or something along those lines you really didn't have that option to make a salary casting a tier 2 events, a tier 2 league, right? So on the one side there are more opportunities out there for commentators to do small paid gigs that we would have never had that we would've done for free or right.

But now it's like ‘hey I'm going to go and do this sponsored league that's sponsored by X’. ‘Oh yeah here's like 200 bucks for casting for that day.’ It's like... We used to make that for Lan's you know what I mean? Like you'd be at a LAN day, 16 hours day of work you know, and like you get 200 bucks in cash you know? Now there are... so it's different right. It's like it's I think it's harder. It's very much about timing in commentary. It's about being the first in on the ground floor and if you're on the ground floor then you can maintain that momentum. And the momentum generates more attention and more viewership. More, you know, popularity because you managed to push that and if you stay active, which is exactly what you have to do if you're a commentator at the very beginning, and if you're if you're starting out now or if you're starting out then it's the same thing. It's all about a grind. And Sado was very frank recently with his with his interviews with he did an interview recently I remember which source he was talking about Anders and I and I gave it a read just to see but he was absolutely right. You know he wasn't better than us but he could outwork us and that's exactly it. He could outwork us because I had responsibilities back in Stockholm. Anders had a kid. He had a wife. We couldn't go off and do all of the leagues and be gone six months at a time anymore because it just wasn't possible things that changed for us.

There was a time when I was possible at the very beginning and we outworked everybody else and we just said yes to every event that we were on the road perpetually. But then the priorities start to change a little bit. You get a little bit more comfortable because hey you're actually making money now you don't need to do every event. It's not like you're struggling to pay your bills. And so priorities change. Sado and Henry, though, what they could do is, because they had nothing holding them down, they could be on the road for six months and do every event. And so that was how they managed to make it work. I think that's still a possibility for anybody out there. But. It's it's going to be very tough to shake the tier one. I don't think that it is possible to dethrone any of the Tier 1 commentators right now just because of politics, security. Face It, for example, DDK and Bardolph are going nowhere. They have job security there. ESL, if you partner up with ESL then you have all of ESLs events. Anderson I used to have that position. We gave it up to a favor Turner because we couldn't do Turner and ESL at the same time. So Sado and Henry took over ESL and then, lo and behold, they get all the ESL events. So it's all about political jockeying and figuring out what your timing is and how to get in there with the tournament organizer because once you have a tournament organizer backing you then you're in a pretty sweet spot because you have security and you have guaranteed exposure in events. And then perhaps, I mean barring the politics between the TOs screwing you out of jobs, then perhaps you know that exposure gets you or other gigs right. But there is always layers on layers for commentators you know? Like you talk about strats in game in CSGO you know... Talk about strats as a commentator there's a whole different game there. So I mean I don't want to say this to try to discourage any new commentators because I definitely think that there is a space. There's more space than there ever has been because there is more opportunity for paid work. But if you want to... if you feel like you know your goal is to cast the major you're going to have a long road ahead of you. But maybe that's what you want maybe you want to grind maybe you want to be honest with yourself and say this is my dream and this is what I want to do with my time and I don't see it as wasted time. Well then that's the mentality that you need to have because it's not going to be overnight that you're just going to you know get start getting invited to ESLs.

Mark Register profile
Mark Register
Mark is the Editor-in-Chief @ Blitz Esports. He was the creator of Esports in a Nutshell, led production @ the Young Turks for 5 years, and in his other lifetimes won an Oscar, recorded albums (on Spotify), and most importantly spent a summer as a SeaWorld performer.
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