by Dubsnatch Team January 29, 2022
Do you like commentating on every highlighted in-game sequence?
With so many game replays available online and on social media, it's a standard for enthusiasts right now to watch others playing video games at a high level.
Some even enjoy more watching these games than playing themselves!
And you know what?
Your own voice could be on many of them!
Then maybe it should be the right decision to become an esports commentator.
This article will cover what a PbP caster is and how to become a professional play-by-play caster.
A play by play shoutcaster, also called PbP, is someone who describes what happens in the game sessions, adding suspense and excitement to video games played at an esports level.
The PbP caster works closely with the colour caster to give enough information on every game's turn.
His primary role is to bring the hype.
He will mostly be in a frenzy zone as soon as a big fight or an epic action happens!
You don't need any specific education or previous experience to become an esports play-by-play caster.
However, knowledge will help you tremendously when involved in the esports scene, as for all other pro gamer careers.
If your dream is to be a colour caster instead of a play by play, then knowing more about pro players would definitely help since analyzing play requires more in-depth knowledge than PbP does.
Here are 12 tips to help you becoming a top-notch expert commentator.
Before starting, choose a game you like.
Sure, PbP casters can shoutcast various games, but if your dream is to comment on one specific game, it's better to pick that one.
It will be easier for you if you love what you are doing!
So go ahead and play your game of choice.
However, a game without eSports' opportunities could not be the most logical choice.
So be sure that the game you choose is a popular game on the eSports scene.
You can always pick others games you like later on in your career!
A play-by-play shoutcaster needs to know all important details of the gameplay, like knowing the specific hero abilities in Dota 2 or League of Legends and what they can do.
To get this knowledge, this specialized commentator can also play video games.
In fact, even if this role is about watching and commentating on competitive games scenes, a PbP caster is still a pro gamer who could benefit a lot from learning this way.
Sparing some time before a broadcast to go through some gameplay videos can be a good preparation too.
Different casters will have different voice types.
For example, some might use a more strict or enthusiastic tone.
In contrast, others might use a plain tone to describe the game without any emotion.
If you plan to comment on high-level games on the eSports scene, you should find your own pace and stick with it!
You can play around with different voices and see which one feels the best.
The play-by-play caster needs to be fast with their words because there is no time for prolonged pauses in esports matches.
You must be clear enough so that viewers can understand what's happening at all times.
Unfortunately, if you can't speak clearly, this role is probably not suitable for you.
Other pro-gamer careers like the pro streamer or the esports player are more accessible in this case.
It's essential to have powerful speakers to be heard over the gameplay and background noise in the studio where they are casting.
Plus, a quality microphone with noise cancellation is also very much required.
In fact, in big fight scenes or epic moments, there are a lot of chances to have many sound effects, all playing simultaneously.
You need to be able to speak high enough to be heard, but also not too much and risk being intrusive.
You need to build your reputation before becoming "established" in the esports caster scene.
To do this, consider starting a gaming channel where you play games yourself and commentate on them like a pro streamer.
Twitch, Youtube, or Facebook gaming are all nice opportunities for you.
Alternatively, you could also record some game rounds or ask amateur players to comment on their replays.
It is an excellent way for people to get their names out there!
Then when your play by play skills are good enough, you can apply for opportunities in bigger esports casts.
Being present on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube is a must if you aspire to become a PbP caster.
It will be necessary for people watching your streams or anything else you might produce in the future to follow you there.
However, being active isn't enough all by itself!
You're going to need a creative mind as well.
Be active on social media and show your followers that you have a creative mind too.
Don't hesitate to comment from your own point of view over the games being broadcasted!
Finally, post your highlights on online communities.
There are many chances that your video buzz is enough to increase your fanbase and be confident in your skill abilities to continue.
It's always better to play with a PbP helper, or better, an aspiring eSports colour caster who will understand how you work and your habits.
You'll learn to comment with someone else at your side like it's the case in the actual competitive scene where you'll be in a duo with the eSports colour caster.
Furthermore, you will develop good teamwork and that way it will be easier to comment on games and learn from each other.
Even if being helped by other professionals is an excellent way to learn fast, joining an amateur eSports team is the best way to progress.
You'll practice your skills and learn how to behave for a real team, which makes a huge difference.
As a play-by-play caster, knowing when to trigger your shouts is essential.
You need to know when up to your voice tone for critical moments and speak faster when needed while still describing live actions.
But you also need to slow your voice pace when it has to be.
You wouldn't be out of breath when it's your highlight time, right?
If you trigger your descriptive comments too early, you will only get the time of important events like a fight's end or an epic drop.
But if you wait until the action is truly heated, it will be much easier to bring the hype.
Here's a video with an impressive game fight in League Of legends commented by Captain Flower, a professional P2P caster, that shows exactly how you should trigger your comments. (©Schove)
Your dream can come true if you keep going to esports events, even if you're not a professional commentator yet.
Some started out as esports passionate and enthusiastic fans who traveled to events and got the chance to shoutcast.
It's a good way for play-by-play casters to grow into it.
By following other PbP commentaries having experience, you can improve your talent really fast!
Then go ahead and see what's happening at the professional scene.
Even if you're not a pro caster yet, try to find out how a play-by-play casting is done and observe other casters.
You will learn a lot that way!
It would be best to be online with a good internet speed to comment on each potential big action or highlight in games.
The connection should be fast enough to see the action in real-time and without any latencies.
Wouldn't you miss the best in-game moments due to a poor connection, right?
They are your times, after all!
Becoming an eSports play by play caster is one of the most exciting and the most trendy pro gaming career, and for good reasons.
Present on all eSports highlights and replays shared on social media or online communities, the PbP caster mainly focuses on big-time commentaries.
This is not an easy career, as to become one, you need to be able to adapt your voice, speech, and shouts as soon as a live-action happens.
However, it seems to be less challenging than the other shoutcaster specialization, the colour caster, mainly due to not analyzing game sequences in-dept.
Are you aspiring to this career?
If you have any questions, let us know on Twitter!
We are a really small team of passionate people loving and supporting the independent video game industry. We are also addicts to most new technologies, animes, shows, pop culture, and movies!
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