Becoming a professional gaming commentator

How easy is it to commentate on games as a job? The secrets of "casting".
31 May 2019

Interview with 

Lorinda, Hearthstone Commentator/Caster


A handheld tablet with Hearthstone on the screen


With thousands of viewers on platforms like Twitch watching players go head to head you need a commentator to explain what's going on and in gaming they're known as casters. Lorinda is a professional Hearthstone commentator, an online card game which is based on the characters from World of Warcraft. Chris Berrow found out where it started off for Lorinda...

Lorinda - So as a kid I used to be pretty good at computer games and obviously at my age I'm an old guy in late 40s. There was an amusement arcade with people gathering around so you sort of try and get like 12 people to watch you not be really exciting. I had a bit of an exodus from gaming for quite a few years while I was doing other things my life and about six or seven years ago just got back into it watching various sports on on Twitch which is the major platforms still yeah. And I just decided I want to do this always like like wrestling and stuff like that. I felt that the atmosphere was very similar with all the entertainment being provided and obviously I'm not gonna be wrestling at my age for the well that's getting to games again and I just decided to give it a stream one day to see how that went and I had one viewer. Then six months later I had ten viewers and I was treated as if I had a million viewers just as practice. Yeah and yeah then I saw Michael Callum Lesley - UK journalist, who set up casting Chinese HearthStone it was no money and it was good practice got to cast some good casters and then eventually got a call up saying hey do you fancy casting are slightly bigger event a few dollars and it just built from there.

Chris - When you kind of made that leap from just a few people watching when did it start to feel kind of real like hang on a second. There's quite a lot of people watching here. When was that kind of first moment we thought. There is actually like a million people

Lorinda -I think there was a day that I got I mean my first international view was a big deal. It wasn't just a friend who was watching to help me out or something. I still remember him dropping by my oh my goodness somebody from America is watching my stream is ridiculous. I got a host from one of the best of the industry must call ShadyBunny - host three or four hundred viewers and I was just about to go to bed. Well no sleep for me tonight. And the rush was sensational. Oh my goodness 300 viewers thinking to myself I'm getting 30 or 40 regulars that I recognized who are coming back for more. And that's when you start thinking okay this is just going somewhere.

Chris - And I suppose you're most kind of well known nowadays as a caster of HearthStone I mean actually that's that's where I came across you in the first instance anyway so I'm just a big fan of the game myself. What is it about HearthStone that you think has that kind of quite a general appeal because I know that lots of kids play it but also you know people who should know better like me and adults will love watching it so.

Lorinada -So what is it about that as a game that you think is so popular in terms of being the most watchable card game is just very watchable you can see what sort of health total each player is on when that goes to zero that player loses and even if you don't know what's going on you can see the numbers on the screen pretty big clear font and the health totals going down in and pretty animations good sound effects. So even if you don't understand it you still get a feeling of hearing that thing because eight damage that goes on eight health you're gonna die you got to do something. Yeah. And I think compared to other card games where on to the text on the cards it's like six lines. So those games are very good games. I definitely want to knock other games in my genre because everyone should help each other by half and just has a tall cartoony appeal with a very deep game behind it.

Chris - And in terms of eSports in general it's something that I think the mainstream is now becoming aware of I know it's been growing for years and years. But how do you see the scene now because you see as we kind of peaked or do you think there's still a lot more eSports action to be had.

Lorinda - I'm not just saying this because it's my job because by the time this matters it probably won't be my job anymore but I do feel that eSports is the future of competitive stuff. Yeah. And I think eventually it will open wide and you never lose the feeling of wanting to kick a ball into a net or it's a ball with a stick as far as you can. But I do feel that this will slowly but surely overtake regular sport in the next sort of 30 or 40 years. Is just so popular with people under 25 and you can live in your own home if it's cold and blustery outside you can still load up whatever game you love and beat people at it.


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