Hi guys, before anyone reads this blog and says, "Who?" I am someone who is trying to become a caster, was never a pro gamer, and never made it to grandmasters league on any server. I guess what has prompted me to make this blog is a recent google search of my in-game alias "BreAKer" and IEM Taipei. I mean there is a fraction of the community who knows what I do here compared to the vast ocean of SC2 fans out there. I guess this is something that is going to answer this little question that might be in the back of their heads. I was 99% certain I wouldn't be going from the Start. My English school here in Taipei would be reluctant to give me the time off and ESL already had people on this side of the planet to begin with. I've been casting since August 2012, however, and most of what I casted is Taiwan and China's SC2 stuff.
Let's stop and examine the SC2 environment in a nutshell, and I hope no one misunderstands what I am saying. In 2013 Korean players were allowed to compete wherever on the planet they chose to for the WCS system of that year. That means that the native pro gamers of NA and EU had to find different ways of using their pro gaming skillset to find work. The best way of doing that was to do casting. 2014 wasn't too much different, but even though 2015 has region locking I feel like this won't change the environment too terribly much.
And thus, people began to want more and more pro gamers to do casting: Mana, ToD, IdrA, QxC, Rotterdam, CatZ, Destiny, InControL, Artosis, Tasteless (at least Brood War era pros), Moonglade... The list goes on and on. Nowadays, I tend to think that the group of people who started out purely as casters and never fell out of the community is quite small. Wolf, Brendan, Khaldor, Kaelaris, Apollo... who else? Did I forget someone?
Bottom line: I am not the product that people want and i accept that.
big surprise? Maybe not.
The same day that I found out IEM Shenzhen was going to happen in July, I applied. I told them my casting fees and that every single detail was negotiable. Less than 24 hours after I applied, without even so much as a Skype conference, I was turned down. QxC was invited at what seemed like was almost the last possible minute for IEM Shenzhen back in July. I will tell everyone right now that I don't hate QxC, because without him I wouldn't have had a great casting experience at Taiwan Open 2014, and if he had not gone to
Hey, you talkin' to me?
To address another concern, if I am casting an online event a qualifier or something of that nature, there are essentially no bounds to what I could do. If someone gives me a set of guidelines to follow, then I can accept that. The one offline event that I did get to go to as the soul SC2 caster I screwed up because I was coughing up my lungs, the equipment I had came with no way to receive in game audio -IE Headphones, and I had to hold a single condenser microphone in front of my face while simultaneously operating a keyboard and mouse to deliver lack-luster observing. There was also no set of guidelines for me to follow with casting. One third of all the problems could've been taken care of if I had just brought my own headset from home. I remember a Nydus went off without me seeing in it production (drugs clogging my senses, making me drowsy) or even hearing it (again, no headphones). The reason why I was invited to WEC 2014 was because the budget was not high enough to invite Tasteless, Artosis, Khaldor, Wolf, Brendan, or Moonglade.
I haven't played Starcraft 2 now since the first Season of 2015 began. I don't hate the game, but the fact of the matter is that one weekend of me broadcasting a League of Legends tournament in Hong Kong made me out-do two and a half years of effort with SC2. I am finally going viral in Taiwan like I wanted to. I am in talks with two different companies that want to sponsor me and one other organization that might be able to give me what I have always wanted in a very short time frame.
That being said, I will continue to cast TeSL's SC2 content or anyone else's SC2 tournament if they want me to cast it. But I am not going to threaten my own survival by switching back to the game full time unless I see some kind of viable option on the table. I mean, in the past 2 weeks I have gotten more subscribers from just playing League of Legends than casting SC2 in the past year.
So, I have to ask myself, "If I were casting for them, would life be better?" Efficiency is of the essence... Even though I wasn't on the list, they kept a few cheap plane tickets in mind for LilsusieKim, LegendZ, and also Maynarde - who I would like to congratulate for getting this offline event. He's been around longer than me and if it's any caster from this side of the planet I would have liked to see at IEM Taipei before myself, it would be him. I am genuinely happy that he was selected to come here based on the fact that he has been around longer than me.
TL;DR - I don't care that I didn't get IEM Taipei, I'm busy with other things and I have other deals that may be more reliable coming up in the near future, and streaming myself just having fun is starting to pay off just a bit.
EDIT: I failed to mention that if ESL / Turtle Entertainment would like to consult me for methods of cooperation in the future, despite the bad water between us, then I am willing to work with them again.