The commentator Jason ”Moses” O’Toole has been praised by the community for his contribution at ESL One Cologne.
On the contrary the college Lauren ”Pansy” Scott has experienced the opposite, receiving masses of hate for seemingly no reason.
– The community has no knowledge of what its like to cast a professional Counter-strike match, Moses tells Aftonbladet Esport.
For the major tournament ESL One in Cologne ESL recruited some of the most known experts and commentators to guide the viewers through the matches. Amongst them were Jason ”Moses” O’Toole. In his past lies a life of professional Counter-strike, but never could he have imagined getting to cast in front of 10 000 people.
– Absolutely not. I mean, that was a dream come true just being a part of that event. It’s funny because when I started playing CS:GO I wanted to play for a year in a professional NA team and the plan was always to transition into casting, but I never thought that I would get to this level, Moses tells Aftonbladet Esport.
So your plan was always to eventually become a caster?
– Yeah, because there was a lot of space in the NA casting scene, there weren’t a lot of casters going to big events and there weren’t a lot of casters that I felt was super impressive.
Do you feel the competition for casters have increased?
– Yeah, well, I’m pretty fortunate that I’m a color commentator, doing the analysis, that is still pretty wide open in terms of people looking to fill a lot of those spots. I think as a play-by-play caster there’s a lot more competition and a lot harder to break into.
”I’m really fortunate”
Among the many casters and experts that ESL brought us, few received as much positive feedback as Moses. Although he first and foremost looks for criticism from his fellow casting colleges, the love from the community still means a lot.
– It’s awesome. I can’t appreciate or even really put it into words how much I appreciate that.
– I’m really fortunate, because when I’ve gone to these international events that have been my biggest exposure in terms of european audience, I’m casting with guys like Anders Blume, Joe Miller, Auguste ”Semmler” Mossonnat and Leigh ”Deman” Smith, all these guys with so much experience.
Does it get overwhelming with all the fans during the event?
– I wouldn’t say it’s overwhelming because it’s awesome.
– For Anders and Semmler I think it could be overwhelming at times, especially with Anders who had his injured leg at this event. There were times it was so difficult that it took him like an hour to work his way through the crowd. I still love it, because it’s not quite as suffocating for me me.
You seem to have a bit more of a quiet casting style?
– Before this tournament the most people I’d ever casted in front was like 100. Even then I wasn’t even in front of the people, I was in a separate room. Knowing that there’s 10 000 in the stands and 700 000 watching online can be a little bit nerve wracking. And on top of that there’s nothing worse that I could’ve done than to cut off Anders or Semmler during a cast, that’s just silly for me to do that.
”The hate is not warranted”
While the community can bring in lots of love to certain individuals, there is also a whole other side of the coin where people such as Robin ”Fifflaren” Johansson and Ricardo ”Fox” Pacheco will receive hate for seemingly no reason. At ESL One Cologne, Lauren ”Pansy” Scott was targeted.
– I don’t think it’s warranted, I’ve been a big fan of Pansy’s actually for a while ever since the first Katowice major.
– It’s one of those things that’s a weird issue with the CS:GO community where it feels like people criticize her for not having in-game knowledge, but that’s not her job. She knows a lot about the game as a pretense to her job. She knows what to talk about, she knows what to cast and she knows what situations to cast.
– Beyond that, if it’s just an issue with her voice or her casting, those aren’t things she can change and that’s just kinda silly to complain about. In terms of in-game knowledge, she has it. I know because I’ve prepared two events with her. She does the research, she watches the demos and she knows what she’s talking about. But during a cast it’s not her job to display that knowledge.
The masses of hate that single individuals are exposed to can sometimes ruin entire careers. And according to Moses, a lot of the hate probably originates from ignorance.
– It’s insane and thats one of the big issues. We have a pretty unforgiving community when it comes to things like that, especially when you look at people like Fifflaren and Fox when 99 percent of the community has no clue what it takes and what it’s like competing at the level they’re competing at, they have no knowledge of it. Similarly in Pansy’s case, the community has no knowledge of what it’s like to cast a professional Counter-Strike match. It’s not just walking in and talking, it’s difficult.
A call for bodyguards
After getting home from the major in Cologne, Mikail ”Maikelele” Bill wrote a Facebook post calling for more security to protect the players. Before that, his teammate Adil ”ScreaM” Benrlitom had told Aftonbladet Esport that that at the major it was the first time he felt famous.
– I can’t even walk for 10 seconds without someone asking for a picture, he said.
Moses, do you think we need bodyguards?
– You know, if someone wants to walk and get food somewhere, they can’t. That’s the biggest issue for us is if we want to walk around in public. My worry too was the entrances that were going on, where the teams came from the back of the arena and walked through the crowd. That’s awesome, but there’s a lot of opportunities for bad thing to occur if they so want. So I understand where Maikelele is coming from, but I don’t think it’s gotten to that point where’s it’s a serious issue. But I mean, it’s a dangerous game because you wanna to take care of that before it becomes a serious issue.
” Cloud9 are probably feeling embarrassed”
When the smoke had settled, we saw the Fnatic players in orange and black take home their third major title. In the final they faced off against the new strong Team EnvyUs. While Moses was happy to see the strength of EnvyUs, there’s still something that left a bitter aftertaste.
– For me being an North American I go back down to Cloud9, that disappointment of them not even making the bracket stage. I know they’re probably feeling embarrassed about that, to go out the way they did. And CLG not making it out, but putting out good fights against Ninjas in Pyjamas and Na’vi, Moses says and continues:
— My big two take aways is how good EnvyUs was so soon, and where they are gonna go from there. And then how good Fnatic have remained for so long, because you don’t see that very often.
What are your thoughts on the new EnvyUs?
– They are one of those few teams that have skill from the top to bottom of their lineup and they’re a funny team to watch, Moses says and continues:
– The one interesting thing about them that kind of frightens me is that they have the badass AWP:er Kenny ”kennyS” Schrub, but they also like to force buy a lot. So what happens when they get stuck into the force buy route and they cant afford an AWP for Kenny, that’s the one big question mark I have on them is how they’re gonna handle a situation like that.
There was a highlight. Aleksi ”Allu” Jalli clutched a round against Virtus.Pro, and the reactions from you, Anders and Semmler went viral. How did you guys react when you saw the clip?
– We were all dying, we were cracking up. We just saw the different memes and captions that came with that picture. Even going in to the next day we were just showing each other new pictures that we found on Twitter and Reddit. That was actually a really cool video.
For most people the clip was just a clip. However, other fans took the video as proof that casters are biased towards Ninjas in Pyjamas. Not true, according to Moses.
– That’s how excited we all get during matches, they do that no matter what team it is. When they’re reacting like that to Allus clutch it’s not because NiP won a round, it’s because that was a beautiful god damn play. That was awesome. We want that. We want good plays, we want close matches, we want exciting stuff. And that is more what we’re cheering for than any individual player or team.