Forenote: I'm not angry about this (now long-gone) stage of my life. There is an element of trust required with this blog. You have to trust that the redacted information that I present to you all here is reliable - you also have to trust that the things said off the record, without screenshots, and without records, are accurate. If your name pops up in this blog, I've been more than generous with the amount of time I've been silent - anywhere from 6 to 9 years depending on how you see it.
Forenote Edit: There's way too much to write here that was going on when I was in Korea. There were other things that took place at the time that I didn't mention like getting in touch with the other bigger casters at the time and asking how to get in touch with the relevant people in Korea, the fact that I was working for ESL at the time, and a few other things (like I actually worked at Thermaltake less than a year after they stopped sponsoring PRIME team).
TL;DR - You could say the agent of Tastetosis, Brendan Valdez, Tastetosis, and Tumba, conspired to steal my job while I was too chicken shit to let them. But it's more complicated than that and it turned into a free-for-all in a manner of speaking. Now I work as a contractor/freelancer in big data. I'm not angry about it any more, this thread is meant to serve as a warning to anyone trying to do similar work that might be naive or gullible enough to fall for this kind of stuff.
Where do we begin? This is going to be a long long long story, but I'll do my best to condense it.
Part One: getting screwed my attempt at becoming a caster in Korea
If you guys remember some dude who was casting SC2 from his family's garage in America, that was me. I ran the twitch channels Enders116, ESLTaiwan, and later my own partnered channel "BreakerSC2" (now renamed to "BingeHD")
In 2012 I studied abroad in Taiwan and became starry-eyed with everything starcraft and Taiwan at the time. Beforehand I knew there had to be an esports scene because I saw their best starcraft player kicking NA, EU, and KR asses at NASL season 1 and NASL season 2 over a decade ago. Being a foreigner, and studying Chinese language like it was a religion for 2 years, I sold myself the idea of going to Taiwan.
I studied abroad and got hooked on the prospect of becoming a gaming / streaming personality and shout caster since I couldn't go the pro gamer route. To that extent, I've seen some success. I became a twitch partnered streamer in 2014, but haven't streamed since 2020 now.
I built a following in 2012, but it was nothing compared to whoever was casting GSL, NASL, IEM, Dreamhack, etc. back in those days. I remember I sent an email to a "reputable" agency that saw a spike in my twitch channel viewership from 2012.
There was a lot of anger pent up in me as I developed - if it's one thing I should have learned to do better, it was definitely youtube. However, streaming on two different twitch channels also screwed up the ability for people to remember my name / who I was or at least a face people could identify in SC2.
Timeline of Events
2012 - networking, streaming, trying to build my name.
2013 - See above with much more moving around. I applied to study abroad in Daegu Korea for my final semester of university. Got screwed once.
2014 - Taiwan Open 2014 - Got screwed a second time. I ended up casting World of Tanks and Starcraft II at Taiwan Esports League's final season though. See the photo dump I have attached below.
2015 - Wrapping up casting Starcraft II and World of Tanks leagues that began in 2014. Sadly coming to the realization that there was no casting work left, which was difficult to accept.
2016 until present - developing the skills I needed to get the jobs I have now.
rebuffing on 2013 - the buildup to the biggest let-down anyone trying to make a living in Starcraft II could have:
- I was told to cast only Chinese-speaking players. I did this.
- Artosis knew I would be in Korea.
- In 2014 at my first offline event, he could have helped me. He did nothing.
Screenshots / Convos to corroborate everything that happened before, during, and after I got screwed in Korea.
+ Show Spoiler +
I also saw Wolf and Khaldor face to face in Korea. I only had time to go to one GSTL event because I studied in the south end of the country. In one of the calls that I had with Tumba, he mentioned that Khaldor wouldn't be at the following GSTL or GSL season. Since Khaldor was probably my favorite caster, I had to tell him this after the show, and he didn't believe what I had to say.
I also asked Wolf if he could put me in touch with the people who hire the casters. He basically coughed up a bull shit excuse about not being able to because this is not how people do things in Korean culture, and gave the job to Brendan Valdez.
Photos of that day:
+ Show Spoiler +
So I left Korea and went back to America, and ended up casting starcraft in my family's garage. I got my own Twitch-partnered channel back then, so that was something new I could look forward to pushing later and I had some success.
Part 2 will be continued in the first comment I put here.
EDIT Reason: see the