ParallaxStella is back on the ALGS! But, how does she prepare for a show?
The ALGS Pro League continues this weekend, with a range of broadcast talent set to take fans through the season's action in EMEA and North America. ALGS Year 4 will mark a return to the ALGS for ParallaxStella. The experienced caster and host was last involved with the circuit back in 2021. She appeared during some of the first ALGS Championship event and first ALGS Pro League split.
esports.gg spoke to ParallaxStella about her return, advice for casters and how she prepares for a show.
ParallaxStella incredibly excited to be back involved with ALGS
While ParallaxStella hasn't been involved in the ALGS for a couple of years, she will still be a familiar face for Apex Legends fans. She has commentated on several TwitchRivals events, as well as covered Apex updates for IGN.
But, involvement in the top level ALGS is the dream for any caster, just as it is for players and coaches. How does it feel to be involved with ALGS once more?
"It's a bit hard to say right now, but definitely very exciting. I got the email before winter break. The producer said, "hey would you like to work with us again?" I said yeah, absolutely. I was very excited.
"It's so funny because I wasn't even sure who all the broadcast talent was going to be until we finally joined the Discord server and we saw it. It feels really good, I have missed being on ALGS.
"The 2021 show was really special. I think, particularly because it happened during COVID. We were all at home watching on our screens and everyone was playing games. So we all felt kind of united under the Apex Esports show. It feels really good to be back."
Love for Titanfall translated into a love for Apex
Like many Apex fans, ParallaxStella's affinity with the game came from Titanfall 2.
"Well, I think [my love for Apex] definitely has to stem from my love for Titanfall. I really liked the original's multiplayer better than Titanfall 2.
"I think it really comes from the competitiveness that I felt in all of those games leading up to Apex. And there's really no Battle Royale like Apex, right? It's just this really competitive game, but also you can play it casually if you want. It's fun with friends, but it's also fun if you want to actually try your hand and see just how skilled you are.
"Just I love the idea of these characters having abilities as well as having these incredible guns. And the gunplay just doesn't feel as good in any other game aside from Apex and the movement, of course."
ALGS coming back in person was great for the scene
Despite not working on the broadcast, ParallaxStella still followed along with ALGS as it progressed when she wasn't working other events. Year 3 was the first time in the games history that a full set of in person LAN events was able to happen.
"I loved that they were able to bring it back in person. A lot of the fans were really happy. I did tune in from time to time, but I was busy with other shows, so I couldn't keep up with it as much as I wanted to, unfortunately.
"But I did love the return to in person without too many worries about players getting too sick. Yeah, I think it was just a really good time for fans to be enjoying Apex. Especially for international fans who might not have to travel too far to go see Apex in person, which is nice."
ParallaxStella enjoys seeing Fuse played in ALGS
ParallaxStella is a big Fuse fan. She was pleased to see the Aussie sneak into a few off meta team picks in Year 3.
"It makes me happy [to see Fuse used]. Every time I see a legend that doesn't really get used, but I think they're very fun, it made me really happy. I loved watching Catalyst's plays too. I mean, I know that she was used so much, but it was really cool to see her. Cause as soon as I got to preview Catalyst, I knew she was gonna be a big game changer, so I was very happy to see those plays."
What about another if ParallaxStella could pick another legend thats currently unused, and add them to the meta?
"When I first started playing, I was always a support player. So I will always be voicing my support for Lifeline.
"I want her old shield to come back because that was actually very good in competitive play. I totally understand that her new kit, being able to rest someone and also with her drone and then being able to rest someone else is also very useful. But you know, I think she needs a little bit of love, but I would love to see her being used a little bit more."
Conduit could shake up ALGS fights
One legend that will be a new fixture in ALGS Year 4 is Conduit. She has changed the dynamic of fights, and is set to be a popular pick across the season. The support legend was a common feature across teams in the first weekend of matches.
"I think Conduit is a really strong legend. And I think she's going to be important for teammates to have on their team. She's just able to provide immediate shield health. It could make the difference in being able to back out of a fight and being able to survive for maybe a few more circles or another fight. It also gives their teammates an opportunity to kind of get a refresh, come back, reset. And I think that's going to be really huge.
"One thing that I always say with competitive play is that it's important to know when to pick your fights and Conduit just lets you maybe make one mistake and then be able to back out.
"Apex is a game of your enemies capitalizing off of your mistakes, you being able to capitalize on your enemies mistakes because it is such a high level of competitive play, you really can't afford to slip up and I think Conduit gives you a little bit more of that getaway ability.
"I think she'll give you a little bit more of escape and breathing room. So I think she's going to be really important to have on a team."
All practice is good practice for aspiring casters
It's a tough time to break into casting in esports. Third party and smaller tournaments are fewer and further between. The RLCS cut several casters ahead of Rocket League's pro circuit returning this year. So what does ParallaxStella think budding on screen talent should do, to try and break through?
"Don't be afraid to take on smaller tournaments and even scrims or practices, because that is still something that you can apply and put on your resume.
"That is still experience you have. If you wanna even do community games, right? I think that's something that is very valuable, because again, that is you getting practice in. It's not an official tournament, but it's still you getting practice, understanding the cadence, understanding game knowledge, and being able to deliver that precisely without stuttering.
"If you want to cast for a game, definitely know the game in and out. It's pretty obvious when you're not familiar with a game and you've just done Google research. Which is why I think that it's valuable that casters should have a certain amount of time in the game, at least understand the basics and then also be able to put on mini tournaments with their community."
However, it's not just about taking every single opportunity if they aren't valuing your skills.
"Any experience is good, but also know your worth. If you feel like there is a tournament that is getting enough eyes, you should definitely be getting paid for that as well. So know your worth, but also know that every experience is useful and can be put on a resume."
Singing favourite songs is part of ParallaxStella's show day routine
While ALGS fans see casters and hosts for the few hours that the ALGS show is live, there is endless hours of work that go on behind the scenes to get ready. From research, to rehersals. How does ParallaxStella prepare for a show?
"So this is really silly... but the way that I warm up my voice is I put on my favorite music and I sing along to it and that loosens my voice up pretty quickly."
Current pre game singalongs have moved from Taylor Swift, to Vampire by Olivia Rodrigo.
"It's actually really funny, Raynday and I have almost the same ritual. We always have three drinks at our desk, one for hydration, one for caffeine, and one for fun. So sometimes I have water, coffee, and maybe a juice or a kombucha, which is really nice just to keep your mind engaged while you're sitting at your desk for so long."
When it comes to the show itself, ParallaxStella likes to be as prepared as possible.
"Generally what I've done before, I'm not quite sure what's going to happen here because we have not had rehearsal yet, but previously I've written up little in between scripts for ad reads or intros, outros for interviews. I just have that run of show kind of written up for myself so I know when I'm supposed to toss to break just in case we don't have producers in my ears.
"Once the show goes live, what I like to do, even when I'm just hosting, is I love to take notes and write down every major play that happens in the games. So, when we do come back, I can comment on them."
Never be afraid to point out mistakes
"One of my favorite things to do is comment on where I see teams making mistakes. And it's really interesting because I've had people ask me, well, what makes you feel like you're qualified? You know, you've never been pred before.
"I say, but do you think every coach that has coached someone in sports has also won like awards for everything? No, but they understand the game. They have such a great base knowledge that they're able to point out, hey, this is where you messed up or here, this is where you're a little bit weaker."
The intense strategy and planning that goes into top level Apex Legends makes this analysis really important. Such small details or missteps can have major impacts on a teams ability to perform well.
"I love being able to analyze these moments. Apex is a game where if you make a mistake, that is going to be a huge, huge issue for you and could potentially result in you getting kicked out of the game. So I love writing down big turning points in the matches and coming back on screen and being able to read those out.
"I actually, in 2021, posted a video of me scrolling on, scrolling down on all the notes that I had taken. A few people were interested in seeing what I had written so maybe this year I'll release them."