Getting into esports casting

Getting into esports casting

9 min read | 19 Aug 2021

The esports industry hosts a wide range of job opportunities for individuals to get involved in, including casting.

But how do you start? We outline some of the steps you can take to get into esports casting, and how you can develop your career within the industry.  

Different types of casting:
When thinking about getting into casting, you should have an idea on what the different types are, and which one you are most interested in doing.

There are two main different types of casting that are very important within esports.

They are:
Play-by-Play – Giving a running commentary on what is happening within the match/game.
Colour – Provide more detailed explanations and explain why specific plays happened – knowledge of the game is key for this style.

The main difference between the two is that colour casting gives you an opportunity to be analytical and break down the game for the audience, whilst play-by-play gives room for you to be creative in how you express what’s going on.

It is good to specialise in one of the two later on, but starting out, it is worth trialling out both styles to see what suits you best.

Find your game:
Whilst having a variety of games in your backpocket can open up a lot of doors for you, it is best to find your niche and focus on one title when starting out.

Choosing a title will then give you something to focus on, and allow you to develop your knowledge in that specific area.

Having in-depth knowledge about the game, characters and gameplay strategies can make all the difference as a caster – so show off what you know!

If you get to grips with the ins and outs of the title of your choice, casting will become a lot easier as you already have a strong idea on everything.

When you have narrowed down what title you are going to specialise in, make sure you do as much research around the game as possible.

Watch major and minor tournaments to get a feel for what the casters in those broadcasts do, and see if there is a pattern between them.

By identifying established casters in the game that you want to go into, you can analyse their work, and see how they present themselves on broadcasts.

Another thing to make sure you have researched is current metas.

Knowing what strategies work will allow you to know what the players are trying to achieve in their gameplay, and give you the opportunity to analyse this for your audience. This is incredibly important for colour casters, but it is very helpful for a play-by-play to understand these things too.

It’s a given, but just knowing general information about gameplay will make a huge difference in your casting.  For example, knowing the names of the characters, what their abilities are called and how they are used can make all the difference.

Once you get an idea on which title you would like to focus on the most, you can begin more formal practice to get used to casting live games.

Regular Practice:
As with any activity, practicing is key to ensuring that you can develop your skills over time.

Casting is no exception to this, as the more you get comfortable with it, the better you will become.

When starting out, it is best to watch streams or pre-recorded matches for the title you are looking to go into. This then means you can listen to how the casters are speaking, what vocabulary they use consistently and their tone of voice.

Once you have looked into what already established casters do, try to record yourself casting over a pre-recorded match, so you can get the swing of things and understand how you can control your own pace in relation to the gameplay.

Watching these recordings back will let you pinpoint areas of improvement, and give you things to achieve in your next go.

Keep going through this process with recorded games, or even casting games to yourself watching streams, and you will quickly see improvements!

Now that you’re more comfortable with your casting abilities, you can take steps to try and get some live experience.

Starting out as a volunteer caster can get your foot in the door, and provide you with invaluable experience to get you started.

Hitmarker is a good hub for various different esports opportunities, so keep an eye out for potential experiences!

Reaching out to organisations is a good way to get started as they may offer some voluntary roles for you to utilise to develop your abilities.

In this, you can seek out opportunities to cast on friendly matches, or at esports clubs or societies to get into the swing of things in a more casual environment. Finding a co-caster at this stage is also good, as then you can practice alongside them to both improve.

When you have gained some experience, you can look to become freelance. By freelancing, you will then be able to set your own rates, and can get experience in a variety of different places.

In freelancing, it is important to know your own worth, and how that affects rates and the opportunities you go for. Stacey Holbrook spoke about this in our latest Women in Esports panel, which can be viewed here.

However, freelancing is not the only option – jobs may become available for you to be a permanent caster for a tournament or event.

Freelancing is recommended as you start out your casting career, so you can get a taste of different events, as well as the people you would co-cast with.

Getting this experience can provide you with content to put into your showreel, as well as showing people that you are passionate about what you do.

This is only a brief introduction to how you can start out in esports casting, so now it’s down to you to get your casting career up and running!

You can also check out FastAnne’s top tips for casting over on our YouTube channel!

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