The Very Basics Of Commentary

Your goal

You as a caster have the sole purpose of making everyone understand why they should love this game. There are many ways to do this.

Enlighten, educate, and entertain.

Sure these are broad concepts, but the way you should approach anything is to see the big picture then understand the smaller pieces that make the concept work to begin with.

I’m going to talk about a few things that every caster should be doing. Commentary is really intricate and full of things that you can do, but these are the rules that you should never stray away from. These core competencies must be found in every single person that wants to approach the microphone.

Use hand signals - Avoid running over each other

As a caster you will be working with tons of new faces. Will your chemistry be perfect with all of them? Absolutely not.

Hand signals are the most important tool for working with new faces. Simply holding a finger up to ask for your turn avoids a ton of problems. Yes things may get problematic in the heat of the moment. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it’s got to be close.

A general rule of thumb is the five second rule. Form a thought that would add to the conversation, wait your turn, then deliver within your block of time. Your co-caster does the same and the loop continues. This also has a side effect of removing all the dead air from the conversation.

This is a team sport. Teamwork makes the dream work

There are amazing solo casters out there. Guys who can talk to you for hours about the game and why they love it. That is not the case in eSports. You almost always are paired up — usually it’s a play-by-play and an analyst caster.

Think of it logically. Why wouldn’t you want multiple minds that look at this complex game in different ways? It adds color. It adds depth. It adds perspective.

Take advantage of the situation. Make sure you actively listen to your co-casters to see what they are bringing to the table. Try to think about how you can further their thought or branch it off into one of your own. The idea is to create a seamlessly flowing dialogue with your partner for the world to enjoy.

Do your homework.

The best way to find things to talk about is to immerse yourself in the game. Play it, watch it, breathe it. It’s so important to understand whats going on in the game in a macro and micro level because it gives you more content to speak to the audience about.

Misinformation is one of the worst, if not the worst thing you can do while casting. You damage not only your reputation, but the community and how they play the game.

If you don’t know, don’t fake like you do.

If you have a guess, then preface it as a guess.

Avoid these situations at all costs.

As a caster you are the bridge between the game and rest of the world. Create a relationship based on trust and understanding and you will go far. Never stop learning from the game and you will never stop building credibility.

Negativity will not go far. Learn to steer the conversation

Whether it’s a mistake or a difference of opinion, under no circumstances should you cut down your co-caster. The currency that casters work on is credibility. If you are constantly shooting down your co-caster or not entertaining their ideas you might as well grab some matches and burn their wallet. So follow the golden rule and treat others how you would like to be treated.

Now that being said, there are ways to guide the dialogue into a new direction and voice a difference of opinion.

Highlight the players and the game above all else.

Remember your goal :

You as a caster have the sole purpose of making everyone understand why they should love this game

The first loyalty of a caster is to the game. Frame the matches before hand and speak about the players and their history. Make the audience understand their significance. Explain why should they care about the player and the rivalry.

Remove yourself from that painting you are trying to create. That means any form of the word “I”. Your opinion is less important than than what’s happening on screen.

State the facts. You should highlight the important key points through out the match and analyzing the decision-making and results.

You are there to make the world feel like they are sitting right there next to you and living history in the making.

What draws people to casters is how they highlight the game with flavor. The word selection, the tone, and the energy. This is what makes casters different from one another.

I’m known for my unrelenting energy, my humor, and my synergy with other casters.

What will you be known for?

Nabil "Nebtune" Pervez is head of social media marketing at Tourney Locator and provides over a decade of fighting game experience to the mic as a commentator. Follow him @NebtuneFGC