Interview with EL Switchblade MRBC shoutcaster
MRBC Twitch - https://www.twitch.tv/mrbcleague
MRBC Twitch 2 - https://www.twitch.tv/mrbcleague2
Want to be a Shoutcaster?
Post up on the Website, Discord or log a job.
Want to see EL Switchblade in action check out the following links
AP Div A Spud Shed vs The Cheapskates - https://youtu.be/OHTIV0iVqSM
MRBC NA Div D AW vs 2323 - https://youtu.be/Fup0u0TkVAg
Hi, please introduce yourself for those who many not know who you are?
I am El Switchblade of the 54MR. I am one of the founders of the unit and one of our comp team drop callers. I've been a member of this community since 10 Apr 2012, but I've only got very active over the last year and a half or so. I was highly active in MW4 in the UTS/TFS league as the leader of the Circinus Federation, and a fan of Battletech since the mid 80s.
How did you get into casting? Did you do any casting prior to MRBC?
I got into casting by running a number of internal tournaments for our unit. I really like watching the game unfold and being able to entertain, give away prizes, and host a tournament. I cast two MRBC games last year, and this year I decided that I would make the time to cast a "few" more.
Do you have any secret advice for hopeful casters? (beyond just “cast more!”)
Absolutely! There are a few things that I've learned from watching others that I definitely try to improve upon each cast. 1. No dead air. It is crucial that you've got contiguous programming to keep the conversation flowing and the audience engaged. 2. Exciting vocal presence. If you want your audience to be excited about a 3v1 situation then you need to be excited about it as well. 3. Seamless production. When people see a mistake in a movie, it's all they can see, and you don't want to distract from their enjoyment by making a mistake. 4. Great partner. You've GOT to have a good co-caster, and I've been lucky enough to have Batman, Skochtape, and now Val be about the best co-casters I've seen. 5. Fair commentary. This last one is key. People aren't watching you to harshly criticize or mock the game that's unfolding. You've really got to be fair in balanced in your commentary and try to be constructive as opposed to critical..
What are your plans for the future in terms of casting? Any specific goals you have in mind?
I do. I'd love to continue to partner with the MRBC community to cast matches, but I'd also love to get involved with Star League, RHOD, and even Battle For Midway. While I absolutely LOVED the format of SL and RHOD, I found their casting to be lacking in comparison to what MRBC brings to the table. I think both of those leagues have fantastic futures, and I would love to help be a part of their success. I guess my goal this year would be to be able to cast some MWOWC games. I think Bandit and mdm are the best around, but I know it's a lot of work and think I can provide a consistent experience to the community.
You and Val make a great team, Why do you think you work so well?
Val and I had spent a sum total of 30 minutes chatting about the program before we started on our first cast. Honestly, there was magic in the air. Obviously, we've got a couple of technical production things to tune, but I felt our dialogue and flow was top notch flawless. He's got a GREAT command of the game and how to play it, and I think we just partnered really well. It's the same with my partner, Batman2213, on our first cast things just clicked and I can't really explain why. I guess it just comes down to them being awesome people.
There has been a lot of talk about quality of casters in the past, what do you think makes a good caster or casting duo?
As a viewer I want to feel as if the guys I am watching are on the same page. It needs to feel as if the two of them are working from a script written by the same writer, but we all know it is just happening live. It also helps to have good division of labor, as casting is actually a lot of behind the scenes work, and you need to have a partner who knows when to stretch and when to wrap.
Can you share a memorable moment while you were casting, or your most embarrassing moment caught live on stream?
My first MRBC cast this season I did have a 1:30 radio cast at the beginning of the match, but we were able to catch it right as the teams were moving into position to fight. That won't happen again.
What difficulties (If any) do you face being a shoutcaster?
If I'm being honest, it's the gap between my skill and my knowledge. I think some in the community are capable of making derisive comments if they don't respect the "l33t skillz" of the caster. I don't view it as my role to tell people how to "git gud", but to provide an entertaining show while highlighting events I'm seeing unfold on the screen. I hope folks that are better at the game than I am can still watch the stream and enjoy the match.
What drives you to cast the matches as you want, what is motivation to keep casting?
I love meeting new people. I love watching a variety of types of play. A lot of the matches from WC were very similar, and that had a lot to do with the maps/meta/etc. By casting a variety of divisions/teams/regions I get to see new and interesting plays each match. My motivation is that I get to help promote this game that I love, and that I get to engage in the game in a very unique and exciting way.
How do you prepare before casting?
I spend about 2-3 hours before each cast researching the teams, looking at pilot stats, sending questions to the captains and reviewing the responses, and tinkering with my overlays. I've already made some significant updates to the base overlay template that Bandit put together, and I will continue to add to it as the season progresses.
What are some important aspects to focus on while you are analyzing a match?
The action! During a match I think people are less interested in your opinions and way more interested on the facts, the details, and the mech on mech violence!
When you see that a team is struggling on a particular map, what do you think factors into this?
Lack of practice, lack of planning, or sometimes you chose a control deck and they chose an aggro deck. As a team that did maybe 3 scrims total across seasons 7 and 8, and that has done at least 2 a week for the last month it makes ALL the difference in the world.
What one feature would you like added into the game to improve your casting?
Easier/smoother cockpit transitions, or even isometric behind the head locks to particular mechs.
Is there anything else you wanted to say/want us to know?
Be sure to check out mrbcleague.com for all the upcoming casts! We are currently trending about 6 casts a week, and as other folks get up to speed I only see that number increasing! If you want to scrim a team for your MRBC matches, HIT ME UP on the MRBC discord. Crash and burn, Mechwarriors!