What’s life like for a Dota 2 caster? Some SEA DPC talents share their opinion on life, the community, and the product on-screen.

Being a Dota 2 caster may appear like an ideal job, involving gaming and constant interaction with the community. However, while getting to travel and watch games for a living sounds dreamy, the reality is not necessarily as glamorous. Esports.gg spoke with a number of known and beloved Dota 2 personalities about the demands of the job.

What makes up being a caster? As with most things, the answer is a mix of persona, expectations, and a lot of real life.

The job of a Dota 2 caster

<em>Dota 2 caster Sophia "Sophy" Mapua. Credit: Sophia Mapua</em>
Dota 2 caster Sophia "Sophy" Mapua. Credit: Sophia Mapua

Life is messy, and that includes the life of being a Dota 2 caster. According to Sophia "Sophy" Mapua, nobody's perfect and everyone will make mistakes, especially when they first start off. Sophy said in an interview with esports.gg that she will always try her best and do a good job, learning from any mistakes she makes along the way.

<em>Dota 2 caster Sophia "Sophy" Mapua. Credit: Sophia Mapua</em>
Dota 2 caster Sophia "Sophy" Mapua. Credit: Sophia Mapua

Sometimes, after a BO3, where each game can be up to 70 minutes long, talents can get really tired and the brain gets fuzzy. This means we can slip on a few words or make brain-dead statements.

Sophy, SEA DPC Host

She believes that you have to give everyone a chance before making snap-judgments. Even when criticising, you need to be positive, as negative vibes can affect how someone takes said feedback.

<em>Austin "Capitalist" Walsh</em>
Austin "Capitalist" Walsh

According to Austin "Capitalist" Walsh, Dota 2 talent are real people and not actors. The assumption can sometimes go that they're simply playing a character. But more like traditional sports commentators, their real personality goes into what you see on-screen. They aren't perfect, nor do everything that is demanded by the community.

You've got to be able to hit the hardcore crowd and you need to be able to make newcomers not be totally lost.

Capitalist, Dota 2 Caster

However, not everyone in the community accepts that at face-value.

The community and expectations

Snaregrodamus, Tsunami, Sheepsticked and Avo+
Snaregrodamus, Tsunami, Sheepsticked and Avo+

According to Cap, games like Dota 2 pose a considerable challenge for aspiring talents and players. A delicate balance between entertainment and insightful analysis is required, which may not always please all viewers, resulting in a divisive show. Given the vast array of preferences in the community, such shows may not cater to everyone's personal taste.

Some prefer a more relaxed and conversational broadcast, such as having a summit-style couch with your friends. This would be akin to Dota 2 talent sitting around on the couch with friends, chatting about the games going on. Still, others demand a hardcore analysis of the action. The goal is to provide a balance of this harsh dichotomy, but it won't always be enough to satisfy either crowd.

What it takes to be a caster

According to Alvaro "Avo+" Sanchez Velasco, you are defined by the worst people in the community. He says that bad faith actors tend to not be far off in the things they ask for. And yet, Avo+ thinks that people need to calm down on their reactions to whatever they dislike in the Dota 2 product.

<em>Alvaro "Avo+" Sanchez Velasco</em>
Alvaro "Avo+" Sanchez Velasco

He enjoys the constant demand from the community and the recognition he receives from shoutout threads, even if they sometimes irrational. He believes that Reddit is not always a platform for rational and well-reasoned discussions, as negative comments tend to overshadow the positive ones. However, he still finds valuable insights amidst the vitriol and praise.

Avery "SVG" Silverman stated that casters get criticism for bias towards certain teams during a series. While it's acceptable to root for a team, it's important for casters to also create an engaging narrative for the audience. However, their attempts in crafting a compelling storyline while favoring a particular team come off as biased. Essentially, the caster is simply offering their perspective on the series.

When things go off the rails

Sometimes things don't go as planned. According to Chan "WinteR" Litt Binn Dota 2 talents have no control of the show and how it runs. The flow of the production is more than what the talents say on screen. And sometimes the producers are speaking in the talent's ears and attempting to guide the boat on the fly.

Sometimes the flow can be a bit weird and it's not because we want it to be that way. The production sometimes tells us to do certain things, which we have to follow.

WinteR, SEA DPC / Lima Major caster

WinteR says that, due to them having to listen to what the production members say and follow it, it can be hard to talk and listen at the same time. It can be hard to pay attention to what's being said in-ear and in-person, or to continue the conversation with nose in their ears.

According to SVG, the Dota community does not have all the info on what happens behind the scenes. At the end of the day, the Dota 2 casters are another part of a wider machine. Even though they are part of the on-air product, they don't have much control when the show must go on.

SVG says that no one person sees every piece of information within a system, and that people are quick to make assumptions on why something on-air has taken a turn for the worse.

I've never seen a decision made for a tournament or team that didn't have a logical reason behind it. Even if you disagree with the reasons, there's still reasons behind it that make sense.

SVG, Dota 2 talent

There are individual pieces of the ecosystem that goes into the tournaments or broadcasts, and nobody is privy to everything. The community needs to give some benefit of the doubt when it comes to the words and life of the Dota 2 casters. After all, we're all human and prone to mistakes. This is especially true when the bright lights are on and you're speaking for a game loved and viewed by millions around the world.

Check out the esports.gg article with Avo+ as he shared his experience as a DPC talent, and stay tuned for more news and updates on Dota 2.

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