As the 2021 Season in League of Legends is about to begin, it's time for the crew of Inven Global to take one last, reminiscent look at the whirlpool of a year that was 2020. And what better way to do it than to give out some end-of-year (though technically start of the year now...) awards?
We're happy to announce the inaugural edition of the Inven Global Awards (IGA). Voted by the crew of Inven Global, the IGA's are awarded to the best teams, players, talent, and stories in competitive League of Legends for 2020, split into 13 categories.
Today, we present you the ninth of those categories: the "Best broadcast talents of 2020" award, presented to the casters, analysts, and hosts that really made the broadcast shine throughout a global pandemic.
Previously on Inven Global Awards
The off-season winners of 2020
The most improved teams of 2020
The most memorable moments of 2020
The best top laners of 2020
The best junglers of 2020
The best mid laners of 2020
The best bot laners of 2020
The best supports of 2020
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Best LCS broadcast talent: Phreak
The LCS had a tough year with the pandemic. From getting hit last, but hit hardest, the LCS had to reorganize the entire way they ran the show, much like the rest of the world (the whole global pandemic thing is a bit of a theme for 2020). But in a region known less for smart, enthralling play and more for the veteranship of the broadcast talent and the more broadly scoped out show, 2020 was a tough year for the region.
David "Phreak" Turley, however, took the opportunity to hone in on some of his casting style and mold it to be more unique, spicy, and personable. He was fast-paced, quick-witted, snappy, and always found a way to build hype despite the world being stuck indoors for months and months with no end in sight. He was honest, fresh, and relentless, and he added a ton of flavor to what was an otherwise frustrating year for LCS fans. Phreak had one of the best years of his entire career.
Best LCK broadcast talent: LS
In a panel with LCK Global Broadcast Producer, Yae-won Jin, she exclaimed that the LCK's goal was to be unique from the other English broadcasts. They wanted to be an entertaining show that also highlighted Korean culture, making their league scene more digestible for their global, English-speaking audience. The LCK's broadcast, when compared to the LCS, features more caster personality, flavor, and tangential adventures thanks to their different goals and operations. Furthermore, there was no separate analyst desk in 2020, giving the casters more time to carve out space for jokes and banter while still being able to provide analysis on the plays going on.
Nick "LS" De Cesare was the best at managing all of that. LS was a master of silly banter, crazy analogies, and in-depth analytics. And though he sometimes needed his co-caster to hone him in, his influence on the scene was unmatched, with every other English broadcast quoting his theories and responding to his analysis. On top of all his casting, LS also streamed full time, keeping up to date on other regions, and providing analysis there, while also playing solo queue, and coaching. He built up a crew of other players and personalities in the scene to help build his brand, and thanks to that, he is now a full-time streamer for T1.
Best LEC broadcast talent: Drakos
Daniel "Drakos" Drakos had a strong performance in 2020, despite the constant struggle of the pandemic in Berlin. While most of the world stopped, Drakos and the whole LEC crew kept doing more and more. Not only did they do all their regular work for the broadcast, including the actual show, practice, story meetings, etc., but they also did multiple rap battles, music videos, dance numbers, commercials, and more.
And in charge of much of that was Drakos himself. Drakos has a very fun mix of hype, rap god-esque play by play accompanied by a calm, soft analytical voice in the downtime. His duo with Indiana "Froskurinn" Black was one of the best duos around the globe through 2020, and his work throughout the year really showed.
Best LPL broadcast talent: Hysterics
The single best English caster not on one of the three major English broadcasts (the LCS, LEC, and LCK) is Jake "Hysterics" Osypenko. There are plenty of other strong English casters who aren't in a major region, sure, and plenty of them will likely find their way there someday soon. But Hysterics is at the tip-top of that list. In every game, no matter how strong the teams are or how interesting the narratives may or may not be, Hysterics brings the hype.
When a teamfight goes truly wild, and when one of the many generational talents in the LPL does something incredible, you bet you'll feel it in your bones if Hysterics is on the mic. He combines his fire with a soft, approachable tone, never one to back down with some "cheeky" banter with his co-casters. He is always able to help his teammates shine and the players shine even brighter. If you don't watch the LPL for its players' incredible mechanics, watch it for Hysterics' premier casting.
Disclaimer: This article was updated after its original posting to provide more context around a couple of casters' strengths and contributions to the scene in 2020.