I've been watching professional Korean BW for the past 7 years or so, and it has never gotten dull. The commentary is definitely the thing that keeps me coming back. I can understand Korean, but I always wondered if non-Koreans feel the same way about the casts, and sure enough-- many people I've talked to loved watching the OGN/MBC casts even if they couldn't understand what they were saying.
So, I've set out to try to better understand one thing: what makes the Korean BW casts so exciting?
This post is: - some observations I had while watching Korean BW casts - my opinion on why I find it fun to watch
This post is not: - comprehensive by any means - any sort of guide to casting
A translated video As a starter, I took one of the more well-known games (of "ee han timing" fame) and translated the commentary. A lot of this may be wrong or incomplete, but I've done the best I could.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGm2mWgQY1k If you don't see the English captions, please make sure to turn on annotations.
The annotations are placed on the screen according to who said what. Going from left-to-right, this game's casting team consists of:
(Left) Kim Tae Hyung: also known as Kim Carrier, there's a long backstory (Middle) Jun Yong Joon: also known as MC Yong Joon (Right) Um Jae Kyung: also known as 식신 or "god of food" (probably cuz he's fat)
This team is one of my favorites, and this trio is usually the one that casts the high-profile OGN games (such as OSL playoffs or Proleague finals on OGN).
What I'm about to write here really only scratches the surface of why I think I'm so drawn to Korean commentating. I'd love to go into more detail in later posts, but for now, this is an overview of some of my first thoughts. Some of these points will be more obvious than others, and are listed in no particular order.
They can talk really loud and really fast. Everyone knows this. They don't talk fast all the time (such as at the start of the game), but they have the ability to really crank up the speed when there's a lot going on so they don't step on each others toes when commentating on the action. But the fact that they do get pretty excited easily makes the game, well, a lot more fun to watch. Just look at this (it's a joke, but I would totally watch a chess game like this):
It's probably good that they don't scream the entire time -- it just makes the exciting moments that much more exciting. This is one of those things where knowledge of Korean isn't really required.
Korean is just more verbose. There isn't always a lot to say, but one of the reasons I think the Korean commentators speak so quickly is simply because they have to. Take, for example, this quote from the game referenced above, and my best-effort translation of it:
Archon 나올때까지 송병구선수는 제2멀티 안 가지가거든요 (24 syllables) Stork will not take his 2nd expansion until he gets Archons. (16 syllables)
Of course, this is really only 1 data point and is not always valid, but I find this to generally be the case. There are all kinds of extra syllables due to the particles (bound morphemes) attached to most nouns indicating whether it's the subject or object, and conjugating a verb always involves adding a few more syllables. (Caution: I am not a linguist)
If any linguists are reading this, could you chime in? One other idea I have is that sentences, when screamed, sound more "natural" (whatever that means) when the verb is at the end, like all Korean sentences. Reading the 2 sentences above, I don't know where I could place an emphasis on the English sentence to make it sound exciting when I scream it. On the other hand, the emphasis in the Korean sentence can clearly go on the last 7 syllables. This could all be BS though.
Screaming nouns and incomplete sentences is "normal". I don't know why, but in English you can't really do stuff like scream "SCV!!!!!" with no verb or no article ("the SCV" maybe?). I simply haven't seen it, and frankly I think it would just be awkward (and so I'm glad no English commentator tries to do that). I'm sure you've all seen this before:
In this video, Kim Chul-Min and Lee Seung-Won (from MBC, part of my other favorite casting team) take turns saying "plague". The last utterance, by Kim Chul-Min, even includes "plague ga" (the "ga" indicates that it's the subject of a sentence), but he has no intention of completing this sentence.
I think it also helps that many many words in Korean end with vowels, so you can hang onto them (e.g., "playguuuuuu" sounds easier to hang onto than "plaaaaaaaaague" because at least the listener will know what word you're saying).
Yaaaaaaaa. It's the generic sound to express astonishment. I don't really know of an equivalent in English. It's kinda like saying "whoa", but it's weird to hang on to "whoaaaaaaaaaaa" for long periods of time (one too many vowels maybe).
Everything in moderation, of course. If you remember the old CJ Superfights, you might remember GARIMTO's response to Nada slipping some M&M past Savior's sunkens (he was probably not too experienced at commentating then). It starts at 5:29, and over the next 70 seconds he says "YAAAA" 14 times. I did find this to be weird. But still exciting.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6gE6Encirs "Yaaaaa" starts at 5:29 until 6:37
Interlude: The Summer Olympics.
Unfortunately there are no YouTube videos of this since NBC is pretty aggressive with their takedowns. But during the last Olympics, I had the chance to watch the Koreans compete in archery (one of the world's most boring sports). There was English coverage on some NBC-owned channel, and Korean coverage at the same time on one of the Korean channels. I was flipping between the two.
Firstly, the matchup was Korea vs China so obviously there was some bias amongst the Korean commentators. Still, it was amazingly fun to listen to them. Here's how the English commentary generally goes:
Okay, and the next athlete is up. She readies the shot... ... it's a 10! Now for the next shot... ... it's a 9! It is drizzling a bit, and that may be affecting everyone's aim today.
Booooring. The Korean cast, on the other hand, was ridiculous, and the match hadn't even started yet:
TODAY WE HAVE AN EPIC REMATCH OF KOREA VS CHINA! ALL UNDER THE COVER OF BAD WEATHER, THIS WILL TEST HOW WELL THEY CAN ADAPT TO THESE SITUATIONS! OHHHH AND LOOK AT THE KOREAN ATHLETES AS THEY ENTER THE FIELD, THEY CAME PREPARED WITH THEIR RAIN JACKETS!! THIS TEAM IS SO EXPERIENCED AND CONFIDENT, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE UNDER-PREPARED OPPONENTS!
(Note: this is all paraphrased from what I remember. It could be a grossly inaccurate, but that's how I remembered it.)
Of course, it's an important match for Korea (it was the gold medal match, and they lost unfortunately) so the commentators really brought their A-game.
A live audience helps a lot. This one is pretty obvious, and you can tell from the translated video that a big crowd that watches the finals is great because you can hear them all cheering. It makes the commentators more excited and in turn makes the whole viewing experience more fun.
At the start of the game when not much is going on, the cameras also turn to the audience and show signs that people hold up, often giving commentators some new material to talk about if there's nothing to say. You all probably remember this guy (skip to 2:54):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5kYZUGLN3k&t=2m54s Our friend Daniel is shown at 2:54
Translation: God of Food: Ahhh. It says that he is Stork's #1 western fan. Could that be true? MC Yong Joon: He's saying Song Byung Goo. Song Byung Goo. (laughter) MC Yong Joon: Song Byung Goo. Song Byung Goo. (audience cheers) MC Yong Joon: Song Byung Goo. God of Food: Yeah, but including Eastern fans, he can't be the #1. Because there's a guy that blows a vuvuzela at Stork's games.
The commentators know EVERYTHING (except for the middle guy). Knowing the mechanics of BW is important, of course, but they also have notes on map statistics, win/loss rates per player, broken down by race and map, career stats, stats over just the regular season, all sorts of stuff. So there's always something to talk about. The season takes a few months, with a lot of games being played.
It's not even just statistics. They talk to the players and their teammates, they talk to the coaches, they talk to the players' parents. They know what's going through the player's head before the game starts.
I think the latter is particularly interesting because the casters often tell us what the players are thinking at any moment during the game, even though obviously no one knows what the players are actually thinking except the players themselves. Still, it gives the audience a chance to feel like they're playing the game vicariously through that player. I think this is the reason I find FPVODs interesting to watch, even though I'm not actually playing and can't control anything.
Accessible to everyone. I'm a noob. I have pretty bad game sense. But even I know by the time the Finals come around that Katrina is a heavily Protoss-favored map, that the natural expo is behind the main, and a Gateway-first build instead of Forge/Nexus means early aggression for the toss. The commentators do say this "obvious" stuff, and I do not find that to be weird. Maybe because it's only limited to the beginning of the game, or maybe it spares me the effort of having to think for myself. I don't know. But certainly they have all their bases covered, as people who are just watching for the first time still get great explanations.
Ridiculous predictions. I don't just mean Kim Carrier's always-wrong predictions about who will win OSL. Often in games, for example, I'll hear Lee Seung Won say stuff like "Yeah, this is the sort of game where Flash might go for a 2-fac timing push. We'll see if Stork's dragoon micro fares well when he FEs" -- all before anyone builds a supply depot. When he's right, Lee Seung Won is a genius. When he's wrong... well, who cares? No one remembers that he said that -- I'm too busy listening to him analyzing what actually did happen.
This also sets them up for a great situation where the player does something completely off-the-wall, and it gives the commentators and audience something to really get excited about!
Flow. It's no secret that these guys work really well together, and I never hear any of them stopping mid-sentence to say "sorry, you were saying?" or "go ahead". They just scream it. Often when someone wants to say something they start with 예 or 네 (sorta like saying "yeah"), and whoever's talking at that moment might take that as some cue to finish what they're saying so the next guy can talk. I don't know if that's actually a system, or if it just works out that way.
When things get really crazy though, all 3 commentators might babble at the same time. But when something crazy is going on, that's acceptable. You don't need to know what anyone's saying. Just take in the sheer ridiculousness of the situation.
No meta-commentary (at least in high profile games). There's usually too much to talk about to even waste time with meta-commentary (dwelling over occasional speech mistakes, correcting other commentators, stuff like that). The commentators' voices crack all the time, they occasionally make errors, they stumble over words sometimes, but nobody cares and no one dwells over it. Here's a video of Kim Carrier messing up pretty seriously, trying to correct himself, but then accidentally saying "vagina" on live TV while trying to stuttering to recover from his previous mistake:
It draws a suppressed chuckle, and then they compose themselves and move on.
There definitely are exceptions to this, especially in the lower-profile games, and especially if one of the commentators is new at commentating. Notably, during Nal_rA's stint as an MBC commentator, the other 2 guys often gave him a lot of crap because he messed up so much, and even Nal_rA himself would meta-commentate and talk about how he spent all of last night preparing for today's cast. I found this acceptable... if only because it was hilarious.
The observers are really good. I think this is the most common complaint amongst the recent SC2 casts. In Korean BW, I almost never see the commentators trying to tell the observer to do something. The observer hears the cast and knows what's relevant, and they also never miss anything. Casting and observing at the same time is very hard to do, and the Korean commentating teams don't attempt to do that. The early GSL English casts had a lot of these problems, mostly because Tasteless and Artosis really had no control over the observing, so it was impossible to get good flow between what they were saying and what was on the camera (nowadays I think they've addressed that issue).
This part is really just my opinion: This also leads me to some level of trust in the observer. Yeah, I noticed there's a blip on the minimap, and the observer isn't bothering to show it. Maybe I missed something... or maybe it just really isn't important because the commentators aren't talking about it either. Eventually I realize it's a spider mine and it really didn't matter. I've let the observer decide for me what's important and what's not, and it lets me just release my paranoia that I'll miss something crucial and instead just turn off my brain and enjoy the entertainment.
In closing, I'll leave you with 2 casts of the same goal in the USA's epic World Cup game vs. Algeria where Landon Donovan scored the goal they needed to avoid elimination during the last few seconds of the game.
Ian Darke (the English commentator) did an amazing job. The incident was already so emotionally charged (at least for the Americans) that you didn't actually really need to say much. To compare, I've also included Andres Cantor's Spanish commentary of the same incident.
I don't really have a point to make here. These are 2 pieces of great commentating. But I still wonder: the words "goal" in English and "gol" in Spanish are pronounced the same way. But why do I find it weird to hear English commentators to hang onto "gooooooooooal" and not for the Spanish ones? (Linguists?)
Regardless, you clearly don't need stuff like that (or "yaaaaaaaaaa") for great commentating, and a lot of it just might be language-dependent or cultural.
-Exalt- United States. March 07 2012 14:48. Posts 966
I really liked translations on the Jaedong game, I can honestly say I haven't gotten "nerd chills" like that for a very long time in SC2. The commentators go crazy and being able to understand them makes you realize why it works, as the crowd was also going insane which creates those epic moments. I didn't watch BW, but that was sweet O_o
I do agree the cultures are very different. Tastosis could never pull of yelling like that.. ah well, I'm learning korean and hopefully one day I can watch the Korean stream as well ;p
On March 07 2012 14:48 AegiS_ wrote: I do agree the cultures are very different. Tastosis could never pull of yelling like that.. ah well, I'm learning korean and hopefully one day I can watch the Korean stream as well ;p
On the contrary, I think Tasteless and Artosis are doing a great job, and I don't think culture is what makes or breaks it. I think they do pull of the yelling at the right times. Everyone remembers Artosis yelling "SO MANY BANELINGS!!".
Of course though, there's no direct equivalent to a lot of things that the Koreans say (that I can think of) of "YAAAAAAAAA" or "PLAGUUUUUUUU" or "REEBUH REEBUH REEBUH REEBUH REEBUH REEBUH", but it can be made up for in other ways.
Primadog United States. March 07 2012 14:56. Posts 4395
English and spanish 'goal' are not pronounced the same way, especially with the British. It's the /o/ sound that makes it more exciting for whatever reason. Compare /ɡəʊl/ (UK) to /gol/ (Spanish). The "ʊ" is the "w" sound that British people like to hang onto when there's an L, and you can hear it clearly in Ian Darke's commentary (guwwwwwwwl). It's different than the pure "gooooooooool".
Great post, the observing never bothered me as much as other people, dunno why. But now that I think about it, I do see all of the flaws a lot, like the interrupting and 'meta-casting'. SC2 commentators have a long way to go, but Tasteless and Artosis seem to be a great lead example with the amazing job they've been doing.
Kimaker United States. March 07 2012 15:05. Posts 2068
On March 07 2012 15:04 Steak_ wrote: But now that I think about it, I do see all of the flaws a lot, like the interrupting and 'meta-casting'. SC2 commentators have a long way to go, but Tasteless and Artosis seem to be a great lead example with the amazing job they've been doing.
Agreed that Tasteless/Artosis had a really tough job, especially as pioneers in the field, and I think they nailed it.
Just to be clear: I don't intend to call out anyone's flaws or tell anyone what the "right" way to cast is. I don't think there's a "right" way. I'm just writing down what I notice the Koreans do (and don't do), and maybe some of it is applicable -- but definitely there's no formula to great casting. For example, I don't think interrupting is bad because it's not "professional" somehow -- mistakes happen, and it's acceptable -- it's just that when it happens a lot, there's less time to commentate on the game! (And the Koreans do have a LOT to say.)
Oh my, I actually enjoyed the Korean cast for the Jaedong/Stork game despite not know any Korean at all. The energy that the Korean casters are able to put forth is just so -exciting-. Been a while since I've seen anything like this from SC2 - maybe it's time to find some Korean SC2 casts haha.
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JGodbout Australia. March 07 2012 16:34. Posts 198
Wow, thanks so much for translating that game! (although it hurt a little to rewatch it ;;; storkuu T_T) And amazing post. Definitely agree with everything.
The OGN trio is and always will be my favorite as well. I'd give anything for the OSL to start, just so I can listen to Kim Carrier scream about the glorious fleet of Aiur again. Fortunately we still get a lot of Jung Yoon Jong in PL. He really is such an incredible caster. For the last WCG finals, I watched as he casted for 9 hours straight, for six different games, and even though his voice was completely hoarse by the end, his energy was on maximum level until the very end.
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red4ce United States. March 07 2012 17:26. Posts 7301
Great post. In my opinion it has more to do with culture than with language though. If you were around to listen to old school sports casters like Chick Hearn
You can hear he has the same rapid fire, alway excited style of Korean BW commentators. Unfortunately you'll be hard pressed to find this kind of style anymore because Gen X'ers consider showing emotion to be weak and uncool. :/
With different expansions on the horizon where do you see yourself in 1-2 years? Flash: I'll be the best in every possible aspect in the game ^^ - Oct 26, 2012
What a fantastic post, especially great for a beginning linguist like me! :D I found your whole post highly intriguing, and like you, I can understand Korean as well, but get pleasantly surprised to hear that even some people who can't understand Korean prefer hearing Korean commentary over non-Korean commentary. I find that what seems like the most prevalent reason they provide is "Because the Korean commentators sound much more excited and hyped about the game than non-Korean commentators", but I definitely agree with all of your other points you mentioned.
You definitely bring up some interesting points that I wonder about as well. For the example you provided ("Archon 나올때까지 송병구선수는 제2멀티 안 가지가거든요" (24 syllables) vs. "Stork will not take his 2nd expansion until he gets Archons." (16 syllables), I guess that it's just more natural and more exciting sounding for people to place more emphasis on/drag out vowels more than consonants. The reason why the Korean sentence sounds more "natural" to you is because since most verbs in Korean can have "yo" attached to them for extra emphasis, it sounds more exciting/pleasant to hear a nice, sharp, high-pitched "yo!" at the end of a sentence compared to just "Archons", which ends in a low, flat pitch that you can't really do anything with. Even if you use a verb in English as another example, most verbs in English end in consonants, such as "talk", "talks", "talked", "talking", "run", "ran", "write", "wrote", etc., and can't really be attached with a syllable that adds extra emphasis such as "yo". (Well, arguably you could, but then you'd most likely be accused as a wannabe gangsta)
I mean, even if a commentator says the English sentence example you provided about the Archons in a really excited way, the vowel the "yo" at the end of the Korean sentence adds a little extra "oomph" to it, which is why it seems to sound more exciting, or "natural" to you. I guess adding a vowel that can be dragged out such as "Ooooh, Stork will not take his 2nd expansion until he gets Archons!" would make it sound a bit more exciting, but I don't think that there are as many English equivalents to those syllables/words that add extra emphasis that other languages have, in this case adding a "yo" at the end in Korean and Japanese, or adding a "la" at the end in Chinese, with the narrow scope of examples I can provide. You definitely are on to something here, it's definitely not BS!
Also, you are correct about extra syllables being added due to the particles (bound morphemes) attached to most nouns indicating whether it's the subject or object, and that conjugating a verb always involves adding a few more syllables. The Korean commentators always sound like they have a mouthful to say because well, they actually do have a more mouthful of syllables to say than in English, lol.
As you mentioned in your previous point ("They can talk really loud and really fast"), pretty much anyone who can pull this off can make any cast sound exciting, e.g. Klazart's BW casts and Yipes', UltraDavid's, Tasty Steve's, etc. casts from the fighting game community. Talking really really fast is also really fascinating for some reason to people, because somehow, it's just plain fun to hear people speaking so fast to the point that they're almost out of breath, or listening to Busta Rhymes rapping and going, "How the hell DOES he do that?!??"
I also really liked all the video examples you provided, especially the Geico commercial and NaDa vs. sAviOr videos (the Geico commercial is a really great example of the charm/draw of Korean BW commentary). I have another video example that relates to your point about flow where you mention the times when the commentators get all crazy and babble over each other when something unorthodox/amazing happens.
Yup, it's times like this where you sit back and enjoy the magic happening. MBC commentators = Best commentators.
For your last example with the World Cup commentary videos, Steak_ hit it spot on with his comment; for some reason people like that pure [o] sound in [gol] a lot. I mean, don't you feel good too when you hear an "OHHHHHH", "Yoooooo", or "HEYOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-"? Well, I for one certainly feel hyped when I hear them, lol. But back on topic, you feel weird when you hear English commentators say "Gooooal" compared to the Spanish commentators' "Gooooooool" because like Steak_ said, the Spanish [gol]'s [o] sound sounds more pure than the English pronunciation of "goal", and in the first video you provided, Ian Darke sounds like he's pronouncing "goal" like "gull". So compare "gulllllll" to "goooool"... Which sounds more pleasant to you?
Finally, for your thought about great commentating having to do with cultural factors, I feel the same way as well. I feel that in modern society in America, sounding way too excited in professional sport commentary is looked down upon and seen as unprofessional and a bit immature, so more calm, dull sounding, "professional" sounding commentators are hired today compared to the past. Whereas in Asia and Latin America, they tend to try to hire commentators that have both in-depth knowledge of whatever they are commentating AND can sound excited to the point that they'll stand on their table/desk/chair/whatever and scream their heads off. Too bad this can't be helped with professional golf, go, and chess commentary; no matter what language they're being commentated in, they'll remain sounding completely monotone for eternity... (I mean no offense to the fans of these games, and feel free to provide examples that are the complete opposite of what I said, excluding the Geico commercial that the OP posted)
Sorry for the bigass post, but as a linguist, this is all just too interesting for me! I'll try asking both my professor and TA why ending sentences with vowels/pure vowels sound more pleasant than consonants, and why people like to hear other people talking really fast. I'm really looking forward to part 2, huge kudos to you for typing up your entry!
How to pronounce the name: "SPY-ka" | Proud to share the same birthday with Shin (神) Dong Won and the almighty BoxeR | 리쌍도 나무에서 떨어진다. | To YellOw: "2位じゃダメなんですか?" ㅋㅋㅋ | Rest in peace, Violet. 08/23/12
1) Overlord and CommandCenter/Nexus have same vision range. However, the vision starts from the center of the building/unit. This means, when zerg scouts a base with an overlord, it's possible for Zerg's overlord to see you, but your big CC/Nex will NOT see the overlord.
2) Most minerals are 1500. Progamers time their attack based on how many minerals are left. When an Expansion have 1400, this means exp's been running for 1:30 minutes. You can then decide whether to forfeit the timing and play catch up, or time.
3) Lurkers shoot faster when you give target even before they are fully burrowed. Don't ask why, they just do. (100% sure, GoRush said it in B.net Attack)
4) With 11 Mutalisks stacked together, you only need to hit the turret twice. Even though, it will not completely kill off the turret, in next 2 seconds it will blow up. So have a new target.
5) Starcraft second and real life second is little bit different. All progamers know the exact time period of each spell. For instance, statis field is 1 min long in Sc time (if i remember correctly) however, in real life time, its only 45 seconds!! So if you ever get your tanks frozen, START COUNTING! get ready to Scan and bring in more troops in 45 secs!
6) Another common talk Commentator mentions between the "GAP"
Workers for each race mine the minerals at different speed/pace: Probes are the fastest, Scvs are next, and Drones are the slowest. THIS HAS A BIGGER IMPACT IN A GAME THAN YOU THINK. This means Protoss always need to look into the future for more income while Terran and Zerg can feed of few bases for a longer period of time. (Also if you saw the subtitle for Iris vs Jaedong, you notice that they do talk about different aspect of the mining. They inform you that Terran is a race that cannot spend as fast as they get, so they will have more "duration" to keep a big army, whereas, the zerg can spend them immediately due to many hatcheries at once.)
7) Because SC commentary/Audience is so advanced, most comments made in game is based on the map. Which part does what, which part favors who, which part should be taken at such time, which part is the deciding point... etc.
On March 07 2012 17:26 red4ce wrote: Great post. In my opinion it has more to do with culture than with language though. If you were around to listen to old school sports casters like Chick Hearn
You can hear he has the same rapid fire, alway excited style of Korean BW commentators. Unfortunately you'll be hard pressed to find this kind of style anymore because Gen X'ers consider showing emotion to be weak and uncool. :/
I'd think no commentator would dare speak his mind to this extent now in that situation either...
Last edit: 2012-03-07 19:14:08
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Skeggaba Korea (South). March 07 2012 19:51. Posts 1515
Grade A post, super interresting! I do love korean commentating. I do feel however with the discovery of sayle, previously artosis/tasteless and such that i get more out of the games. Why? Because i can understand what they are saying ! So my regular routine is to watch the "everyday" games with an english caster, if available. The finals however should absolutely be with koreans, since the level of emotion is that much higher. An epic move or win or whatever in a final of a major tournament should only be witnessed with korean kommentators.
Also: huge thanks for the translation. You learn SO much by listening to korean commentators. love em!
Bisu[about JD]=I was scared (laughs). The force emanating from his facial expression was so manly that I was even a little jealous.
OpticalShot Canada. March 08 2012 00:01. Posts 5946
As one the privileged few here that can use both languages fluently, I wholeheartedly agree with this post.
I wouldn't have watched SCBW for as long as I did if it weren't for the exciting commentators/casters of OGN/MBC. It doesn't even matter if you understand the fine details of the game or not, you just get a full blast of entertainment every game. They do a wonderful job keeping the viewers hyped during the early minutes of the game when there's like nothing happening, by talking about stuff beyond map/player stats. Sometimes they get really off-topic (something about LSW's birthday, then how sad it is that he cooked himself a bowl of ramen in the birthday morning because he lives alone) then snap right back on topic with a seemingly impossible connection ("It's not important that I had a ramen this morning, it's important that [Player A] is eating his natural expansion right now!") [앞마당을 먹다 // eating / taking used interchangeably in this context]. It's just a small example of how awesome it is to listen. Sometimes I have a list of 15-20 recent games on my Youtube playlist then I leave it on loop all night, most of the time not paying attention to the video but just listening to the cast.
During the busy phases of the game, commentators provide so much insight (coupled with the observer who seems to spot everything, spot-on).
It's not "oh he has 3 templars so he should be able to defend the hydra bust", it's "he should have about 4 storms right now, 5 storms if the Z player hesitates a bit" because apparently they kept track of when the templars were made and know roughly how much mana they would have in a few seconds.
It's not "oh he sacrificed some lings and mutalisks to cut down that bioball", it's "he sacrificed some lings and mutalisks to cut down that bioball so that by the time T player reinforces the ball and rolls to his 3rd base he can have lurkers on top of the ramp to defend it so the trade was probably worth it especially since the Terran is teching slightly late and can't make another significant timing push until the Z has hive and possibly defilers".
And then the trio system (2 commentators + caster) work together with incredible synergy. While a commentator is explaining the situation-at-hand, the other one either chips in about the key points or takes his time thinking about the 'other side of the story' then as soon as the first one is done, second on jumps in and transitions into yet another insightful analysis, then the caster takes those two arguments to sum it down to a short, powerful statement, then the commentators agree then something else happens in the game and they get on it right away. The teamwork is amazing.