We spoke with David "Phreak" Turley about casting in the quarantine, caster bias, how the LCS needs to improve, and his recent addition of harsh criticism towards some plays and decisions LCS teams are making. Phreak has received abundant praise over the summer for his level of energy and excitement in his casts, despite casting from home. But perhaps even more so, the community has latched onto his savagery when calling certain games.
It all started when Dignitas pushed a minion wave against Team Liquid, who had two splitpushing forces with TP available and an open base just waiting to be destroyed. He tore into the team, and namely Henrik "Froggen" Hansen, for their poor decision making in that instant. He's followed up with that in later casts when teams made similarly bad calls.
"I really, really want to make sure I'm not overdoing it. I don't want 'The Guy that Craps on NA' to be my thing. I really don't want that to be my brand, and right now it's not, which is good. I'm doing one or two a week... But the last couple of years, the driving force I put into casting is to be as honest as possible, and sometimes, as brutally honest as possible." Phreak says of his casting this summer. "And what's nice is I just legitimately love the LCS, so I'm honest about loving the LCS. Nobody can say that's fake hype."
He goes further, detailing the complexity of being critical on the cast. "As far as criticizing, that's something I feel like we could've done more of as a team overall, even worldwide... But you want to be careful, you do not want the overriding sentiment of you as a caster or of the region that 'our teams suck.' That's not good, people will tune out because of that. It would be a bad broadcast to say every team sucks. That's not exciting, that's not fun. We are entertainment, and only so many people want to watch a horror movie where everything is bad the whole time and everyone is dying."
As far as how he decides when to be harshly critical, he explains his process. "The game can be exciting whether or not the level of play is super-duper high, but when something is bad enough that I personally could've shotcalled it better, that's when I'll bring it up. Like, 'Dog, I'm currently Plat in solo queue - if I know better, you've absolutely screwed up.'"
Phreak has worked to find a balance between energy, pacing, criticism, and praise. And he's taken on the summer like nobody else. Watch our full interview here:
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