Being a new content creator & WESG (2nd half)

I've wanted to make a post like this for a while now and figured I should do so while addressing some recent topics (WESG).

Those of you that don't know me my name is Silas aka "LaughNgamez" and I'm a big Starcraft fan not an English major.
Organizing tournaments in Starcraft 2 is something frequently done but rarely talked about. Starcraft 2 has a plethora of tournaments and many of them are fantastic to scratch that Starcraft itch.

My backstory is I casted a handful of games for Youtube, one day I thought "why not give it a go" and I did that for a short time. I had minuscule experience and fell off due to other IRL stuff but one day I saw an opportunity.
AfreecaTV had been asking for content creators to promote their global platform. I, someone with literally 0 experience organizing tournaments thought sure "I'll give that a go as a huge Starcraft 2 fan".

I thought about what I'd do for a tournament and the modest Afreeca World was born after a few players fortunately agreed to play an event by an unknown organizer. I tried to keep my ears open for feedback and fortunately with few major issues we're now on event #27 and are happy to keep them going forward. Falcon Paladin has also recently joined casting the events which has made them a lot more enjoyable and will be relevant later in this post.

I'm a pretty huge fan of following pro players, what they're up to & if they're active. While being a Youtube caster and event organizer for AfreecaTV I decided to do my own impromptu event and suddenly had the awesome TaeJa vs PartinG showmatch which really showed people at least enjoyed the games, if not the content I produce. Basically ever since I've been trying to do SC2 content on Youtube, AfreecaTV, and most recently on TwitchTV in a feasible manner for a single man team with nothing but my love for the game.

I could go on a long tirade about the nature of players and how some personalities in the scene have made life hard, but in general for Afreeca World events (even failed ones) people have been generally good if not amazing. Being a new content creator with 0 idea of what to do or how to do it I've had a great time. As of now I'm just keeping on as a casual content creator who likes the game, content I produce will wax and wane as my ability to make it changes. I figured I'd give some context of where I'm at in the scene before talking about recent developments.

Being a new content creator I don't really have much of an opinion on where people like me fit in the scene and how interacting with other community members is. Overall though it has brought me closer into the scene.

~~~ Now for WESG ~~~

Never did I plan on making a post about WESG, in my eyes I am not experienced enough nor informed enough to really "rate" how an event is run other than a fans POV. Despite that recent mention on the Pylon show by IncontroL, Artosis & Rifkin I figured I'd make a post instead of a snap reaction.

Let me preface this once more by writing I'm a new content creator, I'm actively looking for opportunities and honestly WESG had the potential to be an exposure goldmine for someone new to the scene. In 2017 WESG had Regional Finals & National qualifiers and most of the Nationals were not cast so I thought maybe I could get in there. I'm a huge bracket/nerd about the overall scene and that includes keeping tabs on upcoming events so WESG has been in the back of my mind for ages. In the upcoming to WESG 2018 from the first announcement I had been actively trying to get information on the qualifiers & structure of the tournament. I messaged multiple people & the few contacts I had who may have been related to WESG. In the end the main event had been announced, multiple emails had been sent from contact pages, no information was around for someone like me just hoping to cast a qualifier. I had written off WESG as a possibility for someone like me.

Then in a short period of time WESG Canada & USA were announced by the company WorldGaming. I managed to get in via player channels and cast the closed qualifiers for free on my Twitch. The viewership wasn't great with it being early qualifiers for NA Starcraft but I didn't mind I'm virtually brand new to twitch so 100 viewers was and still is pretty good for me. These qualifiers wouldn't have been cast regardless over those two days as WorldGaming didn't intend to contract anyone and I was the only streamer to my knowledge who tried to cast them.

Following that the remaining WESG information was still impossible to get until one day Falcon Paladin sent me a message on Discord casually asking me if I wanted to cast! WESG the 2nd biggest tournament of the year? Of course I said yes. Honestly though I was a little dumbfounded as why it was Falcon reaching out to me about casting WESG when it had been radio silence for ages despite me shouting into the void. Apparently to quote him the company UCC reached out to him on twitter after mentioning they looked up Starcraft 2 personalities. It later became apparent this company had literally 0 experience with Starcraft 2 yet was in charge of something like 90% of the globes qualifiers.

It's important to note I solely speak for me not Falcon Paladin. That being said he's a busy guy with a family and a regular 9-5 yet somehow this company quickly passed organizing all broadcasts onto him. He did not organize the qualifier dates, did not set broadcasting restrictions, budgets, or anything else really besides managing the casters which is a big enough job as is. Everything he was doing was incredibly difficult without a direct line and having to communicate through middlemen while trying to organize broadcasts with very little time (less than a week, sometimes hours) before a broadcast. He worked incredibly hard while being pulled in multiple directions and did a great job all things considered. Most matches got broadcast at the drop of a hat.

Lots of people are clearly interested in WESG, myself included and many other community talent members signed up to cast various qualifiers. It had been my goal from the beginning to broadcast WESG qualifiers on my channel and that kind of happened. Only the semi/finals of the qualifiers were set to be broadcast and paid which made for weird situations with casters waiting around for an indeterminate amount of time for their paid broadcast or to earlier stages for free. For a few qualifiers I broadcast the earlier stages on my channel for the exposure before doing the final broadcasts which had to be on the main channel whether the pay was worth it or not.

The qualifiers from a player POV couldn't have been great I imagine. Chat channels had to be pushed by the casters in order to find the games to broadcast as they weren't mentioned anywhere. Admins were not always in the channel and players had to be informed by the casters with our little information basically to go to a discord channel and contact someone? It didn't go horrible but it without a doubt could have gone better if the organizers had more SC2 experience.

I do hope the main event for the WESG 2018 finals is great and really delivers. WESG invests so much into SC2 and there is room for improvement. I'm still grateful I got a chance to cast it even if others "noped" out of it. My real goal for the event was to cast the KR qualifiers and I got up at 1 AM and did just that which was great. If things didn't move so fast it would have been better for the event and I really do hope there's some improvement for 2019.

For someone like me making a post like this is scary, I'm new in the scene and didn't plan on it but I figured I should post it. Casting WESG was great for me and I'd have done it probably regardless of the scenario but then publicly speaking about it could be bad for me? It's not like I have bridges to really burn as I'm a fetus on the SC2 timeline. I don't want to island myself in the scene but figured I'd clear some things up.

Thanks for reading,
- LaughNgamez

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