Diggity on eSports: StarCraft 2, League of Legends, NASL Finals (Interview)
What are your predictions for the NASL finals?
Currently, MorroW looks fantastic. Unfortunately, he’s going up against JulyZerg first, and his ZvZ isn’t spectacular — but the same is true for JulyZerg. I feel whoever comes out of that bracket will be very dangerous and could make it all the way to the final.
Sheth vs. Squirtle: Sheth was playing fantastically early and mid, but he’s tapered off recently, so I think Squirtle can easily win. I think Squirtle will end up beating whoever comes out of the Ret grouping, although Ret is playing fantastically. He’ll probably end up in the final 4 division there.
Although HasuObs has definitely impressed me in his finals run, Moon’s playing very well, and I expect him to beat HasuObs.
Sen, I think, will surprise Zenio and win in that matchup.
DarKFoRcE, I believe, will beat Strelok. Strelok has been really strong, but DarKFoRcE really impressed me, and if he continues to play the way he has in the final playoffs, I think he’ll make it through there. Sen vs DarKFoRcE would be a really fun match, but I think Sen will still most likely win that.
SeleCT vs. White-Ra — that’s a really hard one to predict. I’ll follow White-Ra, though, just because I know he has a ton of experience.
MC vs. BoxeR will be a good match. BoxeR does extremely well when he was time to prepare, so I think he will knock MC out, but he’ll have trouble the following bracket down. So if he does squeak out a win against MC, he’ll probably get eliminated by SeleCT or White-Ra. But if Boxer does not defeat MC, I think MC is going all the way to the finals.
I would not be surprised to see Sen vs. MC or Sen vs. White-Ra. I think either MC or White-Ra will take that matchup.
My vote for the finals is either going to be MC vs. White-Ra on the bottom bracket, and then Squirtle vs. MorroW or July on the top bracket.
Do you believe the sheer amount of amateur and professional casts available for people to watch is diluting the audience and detracting overall from having a centralized, popular league?
I think NASL, MLG, IPL, and GSL still get the main focus. There’s definitely dilution and spread, but it still seems the casual viewing audience gravitates toward TotalBiscuit for his voice, and HD and Husky because of their energy.
What I’m worried about is the tendency for people to follow casters and players rather than the game. I think it’s okay to be a fan, but it seems many people will exclusively follow one player. For example, for a while there was a sprint around KiWiKaKi, then TLO, and most recently Spanishiwa. I think just following a single player or caster and not viewing the large tournaments is detrimental. It’s great that these players/casters draw new people into the community, but my concern is that fans will stop there rather than follow the scene itself. As a result, there are isolated bubbles of a community rather than one unified community.
What advice would you have for aspiring casters?
I almost want to say “choose something else,” because it’s a pretty abusive field. I think people believe casting is glamorous, but it’s really a lot of encoding work, having your computer occupied, and having a lot of people give you a hard time. I guess my advice is find a void in the community where there’s a need, and fill that void.
Have you had difficulty adapting to the League of Legends casting style?
I have. LoL has a lot more specialized information as far as what needs to be told to the viewer, and the viewing audience is even more widespread as far as knowledge-base than SC. The game has a ton of characters, and each has his own quirks and interacts with the other characters completely differently. This is part of the entertainment of the game, but it makes it a little more difficult to cast.
On top of that, catching the action where it’s happening can be troublesome. Sometimes, you’ll be watching one lane, and a kill will happen in another lane. I don’t know how to solve that — I’m working through how to communicate the necessary information, catch all the action, and still make it entertaining.
Are you surprised that your Fallout 3 videos are garnering a solid viewership, given how old the game is?
I’m a little surprised. I grabbed the idea from a fellow YouTuber, David Angel, who has a very popular New Vegas YouTube series. I wanted to try something that was interactive, which is the Choose Your Own Adventure aspect. I actually have no clue why those are popular at all — at times, I worry that it feels boring or drags on, but people still enjoy it and demand, it so I keep doing it.
I’d like to give a shout out to reddit StarCraft and all the communities that have kept me going all the way through, all the way back to Joe.to.
Keep in mind that eSports and SC2 is really just a conduit to people. It’s hanging out and meeting new people and having something to connect over. Remember that casters and players are just people, too.