When you watch a professional sports match on TV, it will be odd not to have any casters and commentators busily interpreting the game. Not only odd, but it will be less entertaining to watch as these folks give us a great amount of background information regarding the match, the team, the athletes, the history, and whatsoever. It is not hard to find some former-pro athlete commentators who can talk about the mentality behind the athletes when they make certain decisions and movements that normally a caster would not know. (And they are all freakin opinionated for some reason.)
Now, exactly the same thing applies to the esports scene. I remember the day when I first saw OGN (back then it was called OnGameNet), a cable television channel dedicated to esports broadcasting, in 1999. Whoever thought about it, even the very first Starcraft league being broadcasted had the same caster-commentators configuration as a normal sports broadcasting would do. And come to think of it, the caster and commentators that day were doing a job that it didn’t exist before, on live. Now how cool is that?
Online streaming service like Twitch has the same configuration for tournament broadcasting. The Tekken World Final event held in Amsterdam that I happened to visit last year was sponsored by Twitch and I remember there were not three, but four Twitch caster and commentators busily speaking at a 1:1 Tekken match that usually last only for a few minutes. Check out this video below that I took last year.
I think the beauty of watching through the caster-commentator setup is the emotion that they build as the game progresses. Like for example, there are certain points during the game when the commentator suddenly burst shouting as if he cannot believe what is happening in front of his eyes. For Starcraft (apologize for my reference always being the same, but I’m trying to be consistent here guys), that could be a hidden photon canon rush or a hidden hatchery build right behind the opponent base in the blind spot or producing a group of carriers in the midst of a fierce and busy battle field that the observer even missed to spot. I can go on for on and on..
Of course, there were “star” casters and commentators too and these guys really paved the way of how esports should be perceived. I have a lot of respect for these guys and I will get back to introduce some of them later on.