The very first DGC I attended was 2 years ago, in 2015, as fanboy to my favourite Dota player: TKC (my brother 😀 ). Who was then part of team TKC (LOL!!). Same names, but different meanings, for those of you wondering. 😛
I was immediately enthralled by the scene, the atmosphere and the abundance of keyboards with flashy lights!! It was so cool to meet and speak to legends of SA Dota; like Habibi, get eye rolling sarcastic answers about a game result from Doni and to get to chat about dotz with TKC’s first non-family/friend fan: Modase, then a player for IFG, but probably better known for his stint as the captain of Carbon during the Dota finals LAN at rAge last year. Despite team TKC’s early group stage elimination, I was ecstatic to be there. So much so that I made my brother promise to take me there again the next year! (Because obviously, I was too garbage to get there myself)
I also vaguely remember seeing fairly well-dressed people, to whom I didn’t give much thought to at the time, but today, are the people who I find myself relating to the most in the world of SA Dota – The Casters.
Fast forward 2 years later to October/2017 …drumroll… I am one of them (a caster)! Although, in this day and age, the event is a little different. Masters teams (a category which didn’t in fact exist 2 years ago) were not allowed to compete. This was an event for the teams that are NOT “the cream of crop”, but rather, for the teams working and striving to get there. And that is something I could definitely relate to, for a number of reasons. Because although I’ve casted a helluva lot of Dota games this year, this would be my first gig casting at a LAN and also the first time casting in the role of analytical caster.
I think the “first LAN” nerves was something apparent to me in the beginning of the tournament, but those jitters faded as quickly as they came. By the end of the 2nd cast of the first day, I felt like I was back home, slouched in my squeaky bedroom chair, casting just another game of Dota 2 (good thing).
But I think the nerves came from more than just the change in structural environment. My role as analytical caster had a big part to play as well.
The role of the analytical caster is requires more than a few tools in your arsenal, but the two most apparent (to the audience at least) are Game Knowledge – A deep understanding of the complex and confusing game that is Dota 2 and the ability to translate that game knowledge into easy and understandable explanations for viewers.
So how do I rate myself in terms of game knowledge
Let’s see. I’ve committed about 5000 hours to Dota 2. Those 5000 hours include playing the game, watching others play the game (pro games or just stalking my friends to see if they are lying about their MMRs!) and watching way more arteezy babyrage videos than any human should xD. But even with committing over 5000 hours to Dota 2 and countless others committing even more, I can confidently say that very few people in SA can claim to have a “deep understanding” of Dota and even fewer can share that understanding in a presentable way to rest of us. So am I part of the elite group of guru knowledge Dota people? Fuck no! And neither are you, person reading this blog. That’s right, I’m talking to you Bob!
I do have some things going for me though! I’m lucky enough to be able to live with a masters player who’s always there for me to bounce ideas off and to straight up tell me to get my shit together (in a Dota sense of course). And I’m also very fortunate to have the amount of “free” time I currently do, to spend on Dota or anything else I’m interested in or trying to learn about. And that’s exactly what I did/already do. I watch pro Dota; I watch a bunch of informative Dota Videos (shoutout to D2Bowie!!); I’m constantly speaking to players better than myself asking, them questions about the game and the scene as whole. For this tournament in particular, where I was not 100% familiar with all the players and all the teams, I made a list of every player, in every team in their respective roles with whatever other juicy information I could get my casting claws on. So now am I Dota guru? Answer is still no. but I will carry (no pun intended) on trying my best to get there 🙂
Did I explain myself and my Dota theories in a understandable manner?
Did I succeed or not? That is for you to decide. YOU person reading this blog have to be the judge of that (assuming you watched some of the casts). Did you think I did a good job? What were some of the things you liked? What were the things you didn’t like? And most importantly did you enjoy the stream? Feel free to give me your feedback @KChicktay on Twitter or the Kaameel Chicktay DOTA FB page.
All in all though, I had a good time. Whether it was meeting all the peepz I play pubs and chat with online or meeting some new cool people (shoutout to Alpha Star owners) or just getting to watch some live-behind-the-monitor Dota.
Shoutout out to my co-caster, Cpt von Blacke, for being an absolute PogChamp.
And to Ross-The-Boss, our production man, for keeping an eye on us and taking all the flame from the stream 😀
I’d also like to thank Wilson and Succubus for really keeping an eye out on Cpt von Blacke and myself during the tournament.
And how could I forget? Huge thanks to all the lovely people who bestowed upon me SICK wear this weekend! Rick for the Furion T-Shirt, Goliath Gaming for the cap and AlphStar Gaming for the shirt.
Till next time!