If you are an old-school esports fan, then you would know that the World Cyber Games has been a staple esports competition that has bonded various game communities for over 20 years. Legendary moments from a lot of different game titles were born at WCG, and esports as an industry would be in a very different place if the circuit did not exist.
In recent weeks, Inven Global had a chance to speak with two LCK Global commentators, Brendan Valdes and Wolf Schröder, and briefly hear their experiences with WCG and the importance of the event within the scene.
Both of you, at one point in your career, have worked with WCG before. Wolf, you are currently doing video content with them, and I remember seeing you, Valdes, on one of their videos as well. Outside of video content, can you tell us some of the work that you did with WCG?
Valdes: As far as the casting goes, one of the casts that I really remember is when Achilios and I casted Arena of Valor. It wasn’t a game that we were familiar with, and the whole game client was in Chinese, but we figured it out.
Wolf: I’ve worked with WCG a few times and commentated on a lot of different games like Street Fighter (which I’ve casted with Brendan), a little bit Warcraft 3, World of Tanks for a brief period of time, and the list goes on. Starcraft 2 was my main title at the time.
Do you have a memorable moment from the games that you casted?
Wolf: There’s a SC2 player that played against PartinG in the grand finals of WCG 2012. I think his name was CombatEX, and it was hilarious to see him play at WCG because he was just a famous streamer and wasn’t really a top player. To see him play against PartinG was really fun, and it’s one of my favorite memories of WCG because that’s when I actually also met Brendan for the first time and became friends.
CombatEX vs PartinG at WCG 2012
Valdes: There’s a really famous Dota 2 match that I casted with DoA that has millions of views on Youtube. It’s because DoA and I never played nor casted DOTA 2 ever, but due to some circumstances, WCG just had us cast the match. Basically, DoA made a lot of different memes about the different characters in the game, and the viewers couldn’t take it seriously because we had no idea what we were talking about. We just had fun with it, and the casual fans loved it, but the serious fans of the game didn’t.
Are there any special fan interactions at WCG?
Wolf: Every time I went to China, a lot of fans wanted to take pictures with me. I always thought that was kind of fun because I think most of them didn’t actually know who I was, but they just wanted to take pictures. I would always take pictures with them, and to have fans that are so friendly at the events is always fun.
What can you tell us about your experiences in making WCG video content? How do you think WCG hopes to continue engaging with their audience through their content?
Valdes: They’ve given us a lot of freedom when it comes to the topics that we want to talk about. One of the videos that we did was talking about LCK and LPL, because competitive League of Legends is something that Wolf and I are passionate about. It’s been a pretty unique opportunity because I don’t really have a platform to let my voice be heard on issues surrounding esports, and WCG provided that platform for me.
Wolf and Valdes on LCK vs LPL
Wolf: I also don’t really have a good platform to talk about these things either, because my Youtube channel is all about food [laughter]. I really like the esports discussions that we have on their platform. Some of them, I’ve put a lot of planning into, and some of them were less organized, in which I get to put my raw thoughts onto a video, essentially. WCG feels very tangent, and that’s what I really like about it because it’s not too overdone nor undercooked; it feels very real.
Where do you see WCG in five years?
Wolf: WCG is one of the longest-running esports tournaments in the world, and once esports grew outside of Korea, I didn't know if WCG was going to make it. However, it's become much bigger since then, and I think that WCG is going to go on for a long time. It's a pretty interesting tournament that a lot of people like playing in because it has its own history, especially for Western Starcraft fans. The stories that you hear about famous commentators like Tasteless, Day9, and Artosis playing in WCG are the type of stories that will be talked about and remembered a lot.
Their brand name is still powerful, and hopefully, in the next five years, WCG can return to hosting events with live audiences. That's my hope, and that's what I expect to happen.
Valdes: From the historical standpoint, I think that the brand name is quite valuable, so I'm very glad to see it going for over 20 years now, and hope to see it keep going for a long time.
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