I was supposed to release a blog late 2016 to do a short recap of what happened in my life esport wise but I knew I was going to take a few months break in March so I thought it was better to release a longer blog.
My last blog ended with NationWars III and the will to stop whining on Twitter and do something instead. I think I succeeded this year to do stuff even though I’m not really satisfied with everything.
Once NationWars III has ended I was going back to school and I stayed at O’Gaming doing esport stuff such as talking with tournament organizers, dealing exclusive broadcasting rights and organizing Underdogs and helping other tournament organizers with scheduling events and helping them on TeamLiquid things such as the calendar. To be honest the period between January and April is kinda blurry for me, I was studying a lot and doing a lot of small tasks. I guess the most important project for me was Topdogs, we wanted to help French top progamers to get more money and exposure and we also needed some content that would satisfy our audience. I was also running the unofficial StarCraft esport account with the help of many people but especially Kuro.
One of the most important moment of the year was our viewing party in a French school with around 400 viewers. The viewing party was for the first season of the GSL and we also wanted the second season of Topdogs to be played offline. I was told that I would be the live producer of the event. The job is basically asking the tech crew to switch camera, to ask the sound engineer to launch special music. It was a very fun thing to do, directing a broadcast is really funny, you have to be perfect every time otherwise viewers are going to see that the production is missing something and they might not be satisfied. The show went decently well for me, we had a few issues with some points we wanted to be better but overall viewers from the venue and online viewers were satisfied from the show.
The next step for me was two weeks later with DreamHack Tours aka WCS Spring. It is obviously one of the biggest French LANs but it was one of the most important StarCraft II event of the year. More importantly the French cast was broadcasted in the venue and it was the biggest venue I have ever been as a production crew with 2200 seats. As that time I was doing an internship at a company that has no links whatsoever to esports and I had to prepare for the event. Which obviously means very few hours of sleep two weeks before the event which is obviously not good for health.
Once the event has started I was the one with two other guys, to work on the run of show and to decide which casters was supposed to cast which matches. It means that basically you wake up around 7.30 AM and you go to bed around 2 or 3 AM because you need to do prep work and analyze the run of show to make sure everything is going to go well and smoothly. I was also in charge of inviting progamers to the French desk if they wanted to talk a bit about them.
Other than that when I was taking some breaks during the event I was mostly watching pros warming up and then I saw Has. The guy was watching Taiwanese drama all day long, he played like 4 or 5 ladder games while Happy was grinding the ladder, he might have played 40 ladder games per day but he lost against the Taiwanese genius. I also want to thank Apollo for the help during the final day of the tournament.
Once the event finished I had to go back to Paris because my internship was still going on. From mid May to late June I was working full time at my internship and still organizing Underdogs and Topdogs while producing the French stream for some StarCraft II events. I also had the pleasure to meet lichter with imre and FunKa, we had a really good time hanging out despite him dodging us when we wanted to go to a nice bar.
Once July started I was in holidays so I started to work fulltime for two months at O’Gaming. I was promoted tournament director and esports manager which meant I could not be an active member of the StarCraft esport Twitter account. I asked Kuro if she was up to take over and she said yes. During the two months I did so many things, created projects that never lived, doing some prep work for NationWars IV, producing streams, preparing the 172 hours live marathon and so many other things.
July was crazy but August was way crazier to be honest. The first week was our 172 hours marathon which was divided between crazy streaming session, casting NSL, casting GSL and another crazy streaming session. I took part of the project as the guy who worked on it with imre to schedule the whole week with content and I also was laddering with other O’Gaming guys, TKL, YoGo and mostly imre. It was the roughest week of my life. It was maybe one of the funniest week too.
I streamed and interacted for 12 hours straight with Twitch chat which was amazingly kind and supportive during the marathon. What I really liked about imre laddering and myself answering to Twitch chat was that I think we were able to create a link and it is a great memory of mine. I like behind the scene stuff and I love being behind the scene and it was really nice to see that Twitch chat was surprisingly curious about behind the scene work and what I was doing daily for O’Gaming. During the marathon it was clear that the team building was a success, even stream producers, community manager and even other games casters were on stream, playing some games and having fun.
Once the marathon was over I kept working on some projects such as NationWars IV and other StarCraft II projects that never happened. In September I was going back to college but I was still working for O’Gaming and I did a lot of stuff such as doing Underdogs, Topdogs, producing events and creating ideas for the stream and also worked on some other games such as Overwatch, LoL, CS:GO.
In October I was busy preparing PGW, the biggest gaming convention in France as O’Gaming was doing everything on the Twitch booth. It was a really interesting experience as I would be the live producer for the whole week and it was my first time doing that. We had tournaments, streamers and other community activities during the whole week. I produced the offline final of Underdogs Overwatch, StarCraft II and LoL. It was very interesting to try new things and one of the things I’m most proud of is the StarCraft II final. The day before the event I spent the night watching OGN BW VoDs and taking notes of how the broadcast is created (how players are introduced, how they get on stage, when to show a player face) and I tried to do that. Even if everything did not go as I wanted them to go I rewatched the VoDs a few day after the event and it was very satisfying to see that we almost never missed a player reaction after losing 10 probes to mines/banelings. Unfortunately PGW happened during the week just before Blizzcon and I was not able to produce the French stream.
The end of November was really fun as I went with imre to HomeStoryCup and it is probably one of my favorite moment of the year. We met so many people it was crazy, we met almost all TL SC2 writers, all players and even Kenzi covered the event live! The event is amazing, I really hope I can go to the next edition. We had a lot of drinks except Olli, he kept dodging our invitation to come to our place to get some beers because he was supposed to go to London the day after. As usual a Lichter is noob sign was made. We also offered some wine to Dennis, champagne to Kenzi and a bottle of champagne to NarutO and he was afraid of it. Everything about the event was perfect, meeting and making new friends, seeing old faces such as Snute, TLO and uThermal.
The end of the year was batshit crazy. We had to work on NationWars and I had very important classes and exams for my degree. I told myself that sleeping was useless and I spent more than 3 weeks with barely 4 hours of sleep per day. One of the cutest moment of the year when I sent a Skype message to ZombieGrub asking her if she wanted to come to Paris to cover the tournament. She was not expecting it at all while the production team knew from start we needed her. The first broadcast was hell, exhausting but also really rewarding. I was the tournament director and also the live producer of the event. During 12 hours straight I had to give orders to casters while answering to teams on Skype. Everytime I answered on Skype I had 3 more Skype messages asking me something.
The broadcast did not always go well and I want to thank ToD for helping me on how to make my job easier for me. Even if not everything was perfect I’m really glad that people understood on how NationWars is different from other tournaments. Brownbear wrote something about the broadcast of the tournament and everything was spot on. You can read the article here: https://illiteracyhasdownsides.com/2017/01/10/starcraft-broadcasting-and-the-excellence-of-nation-wars/
At the end of January the offline final arrived and we went to shot videos with players to create some original content to reinforce NationWars key which is patriotism. I was helping FunKa on the Korean team and it was nice to see how productive our team was. In less than 3 hours we managed to shot a 1 hour interview and many shots of Zest, sOs and INnoVation. One funny thing happened during the shot, a policeman asked what was going on and then he recognized INnoVation and asked him to take a picture with him.
I won’t talk too much about the offline final, I’m not satisfied about things went and I wish I could do things differently.
Once NationWars IV has ended I was doing my internship at O’Gaming and it was a really good experience. I worked on so many things, creating new tournaments, dealing broadcasting rights, trying to create different type of content. I spent 6 weeks having a really good time and I can already see a few results, for exemple our broadcast of Rocket League Championship Series was well received by the French community and it is a good feeling to know that you succeeded at launching a new product. Obviously there is still a lot of work to do on RLCS but I’m pretty sure people working on it at O’Gaming won’t hany any issues with it.
I have decided to take a few months off from esports because I want to focus on my studies. I know I could finish my degree and go fulltime esports but I still want to learn more things and I have found another degree that looks very interesting. As much as I love being involved in esports I also need to take a few weeks off. I have been working every day for 3 and a half years and I need to focus on other things. I will probably be back in July if everything is going well.
I guess I have to do some shoutouts so here we go. Hey lichter please rate this blog 5/5, whole O’Gaming crew especially Kerri, FunKa, TKL, YoGo, imre and Timo. Thank you for everything. Shoutout to everyone I’ve worked with, there are too many people but thank you for listening to my rant. Kuro also deserves one shoutout, she is really involed with StarCraft esports and you all should help her. Thank you all TL staff and especially Olli, Ragna, Wax and Nazgul.
See you in July.