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PiraTechnics on being the EU LCS hype man, how he casts clown fiestas, and taking care of his voice

By Mark Register
Apr 25, 2017

Q: What do you uniquely add to the EU broadcast?

I think most people kind of put me in the corner of the hype-man. I'm the guy that is always excited for the game of League of Legends whether it's the top two teams battling it out or the EU clown fiesta, bottom tier table stuff. I'm always excited to watch it because I really just love League of Legends and my motivation is to kind of share that with everybody that's watching. I want to convey that I'm excited about it and that they should be too all the time.

Q: What's the best part about working with the EU broadcast team?

Definitely being the dumbest person in the room. I get to rely on having everybody else tell me their opinions and explain to me all of the logic behind it. And I just kind of like "I'm learning something. I'm learning a lot of things." If I don't learn something on the day, it's wasted. So it's pretty cool to be able to work with all these smart people.

What's the last thing that you learned?

The last thing I learned is yesterday LeBlanc is definitely not that bad anymore. Even though people still think so.

Who taught it to you?

I believe that was Caps.

Q: Part of your job is to point out players' missteps. How do you do that constructively?

That one's tricky too, because it's really easy to come across as just dismissing a decision when you have full knowledge of a situation in the whole map and the players don't necessarily. So even though I'm not you know built to analyze the game, what I like to do is point out something that I think was odd or was a misstep in the game and just say to my color caster "What was the decision making there? What do you think?" I like to ask how it was and maybe get information out of them or at least speculate. Maybe they could have been doing this because they thought this was happening. So I try to approach it from an angle of what was the situation that led them to make that choice.

Q: What changed for you after your vocal surgery?

I had to learn how to take care of my voice a little better. It was a big wakeup call. There were a few rough weeks where I couldn't really talk at all. I had to test everything out before I even wanted to just go out for a normal day. And I had to face reality that I wasn't going to be able to recklessly carry on and not worry about things. So now I have a very rigorous vocal warm up that I try to adhere to as best I can. Not perfectly but I usually have a lot of time and a lot of water to drink before I get anywhere near the stage.

Are you the best charades person out of your friends?

I have a lot of experience. I don't know if I'd be the best. I certainly have good emotes and I've been complimented on that so I'll go with... If I'm not the best, definitely top 5.

Q. When are the best moments to use silence during broadcast?

On broadcast, it's really important to find a moment to build the tension. And if you try to lower the volume of something because you're expecting something to happen or you want to get a reaction out of maybe the live crowd if you're in a stadium, and you want to hear what people have to say like you let them kind of carry you. Those are the moments when it's important, but it's really hard to judge exactly when those are going to be. And it's agonizing when you hear dead air as somebody who talks for a living because you want to fill it. You want to naturally add to it but you can't always do it. You have to know when the right moment is to let things rest for just a second and then to bring it back up.

Q: What was it like working with Froskurinn and Kelsey Moser, and how have they grown since?

It has definitely been a while. A few years. Frosk and Kelsey I met originally through ESL's online casting forum. It was a lot of like Go4LoL, things like that, small tournaments, and Frosk was always this like very fiery, passionate caster that wanted to tell stories which I love because I knew nothing about the Chinese scene and between her and Kelsey was this encyclopedia of it. So I was always able to count on them to deliver me like all this cool information that I could talk about on the broadcast. And professionally they were always really great. I mean we're kind of a rag tag team but we made that stream work for... God it must've been a good six months before we ended up moving on. These days... I'm in less contact with them. But Kelsey is writing a lot. She's doing a lot of cool video features, and it's cool to see her develop her on air presence compared to just being a brilliant writer. Frosk is focusing a lot more on like digging deeper into the Chinese scene, and you know, being the face of the Chinese broadcast, and I'm excited to see where that goes. So I just hope I get to work with her again soon in the future.

So what has that ride been like since then, for you?

It's been crazy. In all honesty, thinking back to like 2014 when I was just this guy in his bedroom like trying to be a caster to now when you know I'm over two years of experience in the EU LCS, and it doesn't even feel like it's been that long. Some days I wake up and I still expect to see like my old bedroom around me, but it just hits me like "Wow I'm still here. Doing this."

At 3am? You were casting at 3am?

Sometimes. Yeah we had to... We had to get going at about like 1am to set up the stream. We had to piggyback off the Chinese broadcast and then re-stream it. So we had to sync up over commercials like "Oh it's now like this, now it's like this." And then we would be ready to go within like a seconds variance of each other but we wouldn't actually be getting the same thing because different states, different Internet providers we never knew like how the stream was going to be quality wise. It was going to lag out, and we wouldn't be able to cast over it. So it was pretty ghetto.

Q: Do you have anything else to add?

So normally I am the one who's doing all the interviews and being on the other side of it is actually always a little strange for me, because I'm not the one that's always asked to do interviews and being the guy that's actually being asked questions for a change is kind of odd but I think I can get used to it.

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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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