How to be a shoutcaster, according to Vainglory League's Bluberryz

Practice, practice, practice

How to be a shoutcaster, according to Vainglory League's Bluberryz
| Vainglory

While an eSport is nothing without its players, it would be even less without the brave men and women talking viewers though the action - the shoutcasters.

It takes enthusiasm and knowledge in equal measures, and it's not a task that many are cut out for.

But for those who want to take the plunge into the world of shoutcasting for themselves, there doesn't seem to be any clear route to take.

So we had a chat with Tomek Borowka, a.k.a bluberryz, Project Co-ordinator at Super Evil Megacorp and founder of Vainglory League, the original and biggest Vainglory tournament organiser.

Choosing your style

First of all, you'll want to decide what kind of casting you want to do: play-by-play, or colour casting.

"A colour caster means that you are the caster who feeds the information to the viewer during the game," explains Borowka.

"The play-by-play caster takes over the action during a teamfight, calling the shots."

The two types of caster have become a standard mix in shoutcasting, with the colour caster filling the quieter moments with stats, facts, and jokes.

Then they'll throw to the play-by-play caster just before a big moment of action so they can explain exactly what the viewer is watching.

That said, Borowka thinks that "a caster could be a colour caster and a play-by-play caster", so it's more about playing to your own strengths.

Getting started

With no set way to get into shoutcasting, it can be tricky to know where to begin.

So to start out, Borowka suggests that you record yourself talking over past matches that are available on-demand in order to practice your casting skills.

"Send that video file with your audio over it to your friends and say, 'hey, what do you think about that? Would you be interested in me?" recommends Borowka.

As for what you should be saying, it is of course essential to be knowledgeable about the game - but that isn't the most important aspect.

"Even if you have the deepest knowledge of the game, it doesn't make you a good caster," says Borowka.

"If you're not able to transmit this information in an attractive way to the viewership, no one will want to listen to you."

Things to avoid are talking in a monotone voice, and lacking any balance or chemistry with your fellow caster.

Getting out there

So you've practiced hard, you're fun to listen to, and you can play off your partner like a vaudeville double act – but how do you get yourself on an actual cast?

You could take Borowka's route, set up your own tournament and just start casting it yourself – but that's probably a bit extreme.

One route you can take is to look at eSports Career, a website where casting roles are occasionally posted, and potential casters can send off their resumes and showreels in hopes of landing a casting role.

Alternatively, Borowka suggests "looking out for tournaments for the game", finding out who's organising it, and contacting them directly to offer your services.

It's especially good if you keep an eye on the newer competitive games that have tournament scenes growing out of them, as you can more easily jump in and gain some real-world experience.

Practice makes perfect

So that's all there is to it. Work out what kind of caster you want to be, find a game you know a lot about, be energetic, find a partner, and practice, practice, practice.

And who knows, maybe one day you could be casting over your favourite game to an audience of potentially millions.

One day. If you practice enough.