I no longer feel the need to discuss what esports is. I feel that topic has been covered fairly well by others, and with some esports being featured on ESPN and other major networks there is no need for me to defend esports as a concept.
But casting… what is that?
Casting is the act of speaking over the game to provide play by play recount of the important actions, and color commentary or analysis of the game. This is not unique to esports, it is a common feature of most sports.
From Soccer (sorry; I have been told that it is futball.)
Casting brings the audience into the game, and there are people who will listen to the radio broadcast of a game they are currently in person viewing to ensure they have seeing the action correctly. For esports it has been said that commentators have the largest impact on audience engagement and enjoyment of the game. Casters are the people who do the commentary. They bring in audience, retain audience, and some even come to the game to hear the caster more than the game itself. They weave a story out of the actions going on in front of them.
Sometimes they bring the ultimate hype:
Sometimes they talk as fast as Eminem:
Sometimes they let the silence talk for them:
As you can see it goes beyond simply what is happening in game, but also extends to the teams, players, and rivalries.
So we are now on the same page as to what casting is.
Why do I as a player want my games to get cast?
First off; isn’t that cool?
So I am the captain of the IU Dota 2 Team, Ballantine’s Scepter. We are playing in the Collegiate Star League’s Division II tournament. If I have the chance I want me games cast because I want people to see our game getting played. I would love it if I could send around a link to a good looking cast to show off my team playing. It would be a good way to show what we do, and maybe get a little school spirit going on. Also it makes a game feel more official. If it has a caster then we have made it. We are a legit team that gets casters!
Why do I want to cast games?
Let me get real here, I am not that good of a player. My ranking puts me solidly in the 50th percentile. I watch a lot of Dota 2, I read up on articles about what is good and bad in a given situation. I have a great deal of knowledge (Puck is a great early draft pick because he can go with offlane or midlane and that keeps your draft more open and makes you harder to counter. However I am a TERRIBLE Puck player.) but I do not have the mechanical skills to play at the highest levels. However casting uses a set of skills I have honed for years, public speaking, thinking quickly, improv acting, and my deep game knowledge. It is a way for someone like me to participate at a very high level. Not to mention it is such a blast to do, I have fallen out of my chair when I got too excited while casting.
It is also… just good fun.