Not so long ago, we talked with “m4niac” (Luka) and his beginnings in the casting waters. But there is another guy behind our mic and it’s time to introduce him too.
Today we bring you an extensive interview with our very own Critical Ops color caster – Cezar.
In the interview, we talk about his passion for casting, his general opinion of teams that participated in the last two seasons of Valiance tournaments and more. Enjoy!
This is your second season of casting Critical Ops for Valiance. Can you tell us how did you get there in the first place?
I met Luka at a CS:GO tournament in 2015, where we casted together. We also casted the 2016 edition of the tournament, but after that we kind of went separate ways.
Since I just finished high school, I had to move to Zagreb to go to college and wanted to find myself a job.
I got lucky and saw that Luka shared a post that Valiance was looking for a caster, I contacted him and the rest is history.
When did you discover your passion for casting?
I first got into casting while playing Starcraft 2. We had a local Croatian community with weekly online tournaments where I used to compete, although I usually did not get very far, it was still a lot of fun.
One day, the guy that usually casted the matches was very busy so I jumped in and had a lot of fun, much more than I expected.
After that, I always joined in on the casting when I got knocked out of the tournament.
At one point I just gave up entering the tournament at all and just casted from the start of the tournament.
It was a natural transition since I was always really into watching games and I even get excited when I watch something alone, transitioning that energy into casting was not a problem.
How do you prepare for the each week of casting?
It depends heavily on how much free time I have that week. I will always do some research on the teams and the players that are playing.
Also, I will watch some of the games that were played the week before, looking at how this teams fared against each other in their previous matches.
Since I am usually the color caster, I try to see if I can spot any patterns or habits that a certain team has (like preferred maps, positions and playstyles).
That allows me to try and predict what a team might do in different situations, but I can also point out if they changed something.
But if my college workload allows me more (and it usually does), I will focus on improving myself as a caster, not just focusing on the following matches.
Doing stuff like vocal exercises, casting by myself and watching my old casts helps me to improve.
In your opinion, what is the most important trait for someone looking to become a caster and why?
I do not think there is one single trait. I am a firm believer that to become a good or great caster, you should focus on your strengths.
There are no two casters in the world with the same exact style and the same exact strengths.
Some have excellent vocal capabilities, some can keep their flow going at unimaginable speeds, some are really articulate and know their way with words, while others may excel at analysing the game and giving us an another angle to look at the game in front of us.
So if I had to pick one, I would pick dedication, because no matter the amount of talent you might have, you still need to work constantly to improve and progress.
What advice do you have for people that want to start commentating the matches?
You need an okay microphone and find a way for you to record yourself. It would be best if you could stream.
After that, you have to start casting as much as possible.
Since you probably won’t be able to cast a live tournament if you just started, cast old VoDs from tournaments, record yourself and review the footage.
Get used to listening to your voice, since the best way to improve is to listen to yourself and look for your mistakes
After that, just try to get your work out there, get a Youtube channel and just start posting games you casted.
Try to share it around and look for constructive criticism and listen to it. That is the audience you are trying to entertain, their opinion matters the most.
Then start volunteering at any tournament you can. Find the tournament organizers and ask them on twitter or discord if they need a caster and show them your work.
If you get rejected, ask them if they can tell you why you got rejected or what do you need to do to improve and go from there.
Elevate won the Summer season, and now Gankstars claimed the title of the Autumn Season Champions. Do you think there is a big skill gap between the regions, and are the European and North American regions clear leaders at the moment?
I think that Elevate disbanding leaves Gankstars firmly on top. And the skill gap between them and the next best team is currently pretty big.
But if you only consider the rest, I think the skill gap is getting smaller and smaller.
If the rosters from Autumn season don’t change much, then each team has a team that has a bunch of talent and is gaining experience.
South America has 3 teams competing for the top spot. New Era Team, Nerds in Arms and 4K are all strong contenders and with more practice, I can see them competing with Europe and North America.
Asia’s LeFP is jumping ahead and I can see them maybe even progressing to the finals in the winter season.
Europe has Kings and Nova with completely new lineups, but both are new teams and will be missing practice, so I think they might actually lose in the semifinals to Asia if there isn’t a huge roster shuffle there.
All in all, all the regions are rapidly improving, and in a few seasons, I can see them being all equal. But for the winter season, I would guess North America will remain on top, with Europe falling behind.
What is the most memorable match you casted during the Valiance Autumn Season?
The most memorable match this season (if we do not count the finals of course) has to be the first time 4K and Nerds in Arms played in the group on Grounded.
The comeback was unreal, there were so many amazing plays and most importantly, that match showed us just what 4K was capable of.
Any words for the fans?
Well, I would love to give a huge shout-out to my one and only fan, my mother. All joking aside, I would like to thank everyone who participates in the community.
From the players, managers, coaches, tournament organizers and even the viewers, without all of you none of this could be possible, so thank you for supporting us and the game.
Also, if you have any questions or need feedback, you can contact me on Discord (I am usually idle in the Valiance.gg channel, but will respond to you eventually) or on twitter - @Valiance_Cae5ar
We’d like to thank Cezar for this great interview! Now you know what to do if you want to start casting.
You’ll be able to hear Cezar’s colourful voice again during C-Ops Winter Season. In the meantime stay tuned for more articles. ;)