On criticizing casters

Roughly 9 months ago, I drafted a piece on casting in Dota 2 and what’s wrong with it. I never published it. A large reason for that is because nobody gives a flying fuck about what I think, but also because I never went into details.

What good is any criticism I put out, when I don’t press where it hurts. I can call all casters bullshit and say how little game knowledge they have, how they don’t do any prep work and how they don’t care for storylines (tl;dr of my initial draft btw), but who is really going to feel addressed by this?

Whenever people criticize writers in Esports, or Dota in particular, I never feel addressed. I look at myself and think to myself “Do I do that?” — I can’t say that I always feel that way. So it’s easier to brush it off as “surely they just have bad experience with a select few and generalize”.

It’s somewhat ironic that Febby pointed out issues with casters and their inability to correctly point out mistakes from players (and as a result provide wrong alternatives), when his criticism is pretty much the same.

His words mean little to nothing. Good on him to focus on the SEA coverage, but that could include up to 10 different casters. Will they all look at the precise criticism provided and see it in themselves to fix these mistakes? Probably not.

There was a thread a couple days ago, directed towards Draskyl, LD and Nahaz. (Mostly Draskyl actually). It was about how he pointed out a mistake that wasn’t there/him not realizing Black/Void’s Timewalk was on CD and thus using Chrono was his best bet to survive.

I can’t say I know Draskyl well enough to speak for him, or even interpret how he will reflect on this, if at all. But providing an exact example will already invoke a better reaction. There’s no denying Draskyl was wrong, so maybe he’ll in future question himself and his perception more. He has to feel addressed.

I’m not saying Febby should have written down every situation or sentence that bugged him, by no means. It’s completely valid for him to raise concerns, and I hope he and others, be it casters, players or simply fans, will continue to do so.

BUT there is little value in providing generalized feedback that likely doesn’t even apply to all casters. Or could technically be applied to every caster.

Casters work just as much as pro players sometimes, sometimes even more for not even 10% of the pay (if we include tournament winnings, then again even 10% would be generous). So if a caster, in the 10th hour of casting, will talk out of his ass, maybe cut him some slack.

But I’m not here to defend casters, they deserve to be criticized as much as they criticize players in-game. Though if they are held to a standard when it comes to criticizing players, then we should be as well when it comes to criticizing casters.

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