What Casting LoR Worlds 2022 Means to Me: A Reflection

What Casting LoR Worlds 2022 Means to Me: A Reflection

What Casting Legends of Runeterra Worlds Means to Me

It’s no secret that I had a tough year. After two surgeries addressing my disease of Costochondritis and still recovering from my surgery in February, I haven’t been able to be the full force I have wanted to be in content creation or casting this year. The first half of the year was rough, but the second half has been much better! I’ve still had to take things day by day, but I’m finally starting to feel like me again!

A big highlight of my year was going to TwitchCon after dreaming of it for nearly ten years. Unfortunately, I got COVID from it and that slowed me down for nearly a month.

However, the biggest event of the year for me was by far casting Legends of Runeterra’s second World Championship Dec 8-10, and I had the honor of being part of the in-studio talent that brought every game live to the LoR Community! Worlds means a lot to me as it’s the one time of year where everyone in the community gets together and celebrates the game we love!

There were several watch parties throughout the world, and seeing pictures from those helps me clearly see the impact this game has on people. Like traditional sports, gaming has a unique way of bringing people together and forming new friendships and events like world championships are the highlight of that!

World tournaments give players something to play for and look forward to the entire year! This year’s tournament being the second World Championship for LoR and having a stunning production brought so much joy to players and creators of the game.

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Day 3 by the World Championship Trophy!

Although Legends of Runeterra isn’t the game that made me fall in love with content creation or even card games – it gave me something much more important. It gave me the confidence that I could succeed in this space. That I could make things that people enjoy and make them happy. That I could push myself out of my comfort zone and grow as a person. It’s given me a number of friends who have made the last couple years manageable after dealing with so many health issues. Legends of Runeterra has given me a lot, so being able to be part of its biggest stage is an honor I won’t forget.

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On the analyst desk with Nekkra, Alanzq, and Scarzig.

With my health being a menace, I had been having a tough time with finding myself in my content. I love what I do, but constant hurdles were making me wonder if I was going to be able to get back to where I was and what I enjoyed. Being part of this broadcast re-established that I could get back to where I was and reaffirmed that I have a path in esports which I so dearly love. Gaming has long shown me that I’m capable of more than I realize and that I can continue to improve myself, and casting Legends of Runeterra Worlds reminded me that I still have a long way to go, but that I have come such a long way.

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End of Day 2’s Broadcast of Worlds

What Broadcast Days Looked Like

There is no surprise that a lot of background work goes into these broadcasts. From researching players and decks to arriving in the studio 3-4 hours before a broadcast to get hair and make up done plus rehearsing the pre-show. Recording started around 7:45 AM which meant call times were between 4 AM and 5 AM. I was fortunate to have a 5 AM call time, but that was still very early!

The broadcast itself lasted from 6 hours up to 9.5 hours a day. Although you didn’t see everyone on camera at all times, that didn’t mean they weren’t focused on the game or preparing for the next round to discuss players and decks.

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Nekkra, Alanzq, and Boulevard intently watching the World Final Game and taking notes for the Analyst Desk segment.

The days were long but incredibly rewarding. I wasn’t expecting to be so exhausted after each day. Energy drinks and caffeine allowed us to stay focused and keep the energy up. I’ve never been so thankful for caffeine in my life. On the first day, we were all so tired that we walked across the street from the hotel to Panda Express then ate in the lobby and went straight to bed afterwards. As soon as my head hit the pillow, I was knocked out at around 8:30 PM. I can’t remember falling asleep so fast. Day 2 was not all that different as we ate at the hotel restaurant rather than exploring the fine restaurants in the Los Angeles area.

While I’m writing this, I’m still beyond worn out despite being home for 2 days and sleeping until noon, and I know I’m not the only one feeling this way. Everyone worked so hard to put on the best show possible. Whether it be preparing talking points, being critical of themselves to be a better commentator, or absorbing information from others, as well as the fantastic crew who diligently worked to make sure everything ran smoothly. Everyone put their heart and soul into this production.

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Most of the production team and talent after Day 3’s Broadcast celebrating a successful week!

The People

Like every aspect of life, the people are the most important part and can make or break an experience. From the start, the talent gelled together nicely.

Everyone was so happy to be part of this production as well as see Runeterra’s first in studio production in the Americas. It is a big step for the game, and playing a role in it made it all so much better. Most of us had casted together at some point whether it was Seasonal tournaments or grassroots tournaments in the LoR Community.

We decided we wanted the opportunity to cast with each person since it isn’t often you get the opportunity to cast with someone in person who you’ve known for years!

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End of Day 3’s Broadcast celebrating the end of a successful show!

I learned so much about every person. Being able to see each other in person was surreal. I could write pages about each person, but I am going to keep it short.

Casanova is hilarious with an inspiring story of making a dream come true. With his background of being a producer he had unique insight about the whole process. I also appreciated his encouragement throughout the week. His energy and openness was infectious, and I’m so glad I got to know him better.

There is so much more I could write about Casanova, but they are not my stories to tell! I’m glad that I was able to hear them as well as learn from his experience in esports as well as hear about his future aspirations. I love how he has goals he is ready to work for, and I love his determination to achieve them. I can’t wait to see what he does in esports!

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Casanova and I Day 1 before we kicked off World’s first cast

Scarzig is one of the best storytellers I know, especially when he has a bit of alcohol in him. His passion and positivity couldn’t stop me from smiling.

I will never forget his story of how he couldn’t avoid saying Baalkux on the stream. On top of that, giving us a double thumbs up and the largest smile known to man after he said “Ball-Cooux” on the broadcast after we were telling him to send it! I’m glad I got to know Scarzig better as well as knowing his journey to get to where he is now! It’s another inspiring one!

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Scarzig and I on Day 1 at the Analyst Desk

Boulevard and I had casted together a tad bit in the past, and we didn’t have the chemistry going. However, this weekend changed that – after we made a couple of adjustments we got into a rhythm, and I’m extremely proud of our cast on Day 3 together!

I love his unique sense of humor as well as not shying away from being the villain in any conversation, because he always has a way to back up his points. He’s an excellent caster and analyst! I think he is just getting started, and I’m excited to see where he goes!

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Boulevard and I on Day 3 ready for the first cast of that day

Alan is the person I knew best before meeting in person. Back when Among Us was a game we played for over 12 hours straight. Deceptive games are an easy way to learn a lot about a person fast. Despite knowing him a bit more than the others, being with someone in person gave it a whole other feeling. Despite being known for saying things such as “Idiots, misplay” on his own stream, he’s a giant sweetheart. He’s kind and thoughtful along with dropping some solid insight – typically about games.

I had a blast showing and telling him different things about the United States as well as answering his questions about things such as street signs or the cost of vehicles. I will never forget when he tried Mac n’ Cheese for the first time and had his mind blown. He is convinced that if he starts a Mac n’ Cheese restaurant in Poland that he’d become a millionaire. Another thing was his love for American Bacon!

He was incredibly insightful about Legends of Runeterra and allowed our analysis of the game to be at a world class level along with Boulevard. He was a trooper when it came to him coming down with an illness and pushing through it while simultaneously, patiently answering any questions we had regarding games.

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Alan and I Day 2 at the Caster’s Desk

Nekkra – I can’t even begin to say how thankful I am for you. Her experience was invaluable and she is the only reason I was able to find good clothes before this cast! She is someone I can look up to and feel inspired by.

Seeing how hard she worked to prepare for each show, and knowing the high expectations she had for herself gave me great insight to know what to expect from myself as well. It was easy to see that this mattered to her, and I can only imagine that is what every show for her looks like. It felt unmatched, and I will always admire it.

Not only that, but she is incredibly sweet and kind. She looks out for others and is a reminder that this industry doesn’t have to be cold when at times it feels it is. I have learned so much working with her and that experience is something I will take with me wherever I go. Thank you.

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Nekkra and I on Day 3 after the Worlds Broadcast had ended.

Not only was the cast great, but talking to several Rioters and seeing their passion for this game and how much this week meant to them was so heartwarming. Although it is known the passion is there, seeing it in person is completely different. It’s like seeing a photograph of a rainbow versus seeing a rainbow in real life. They don’t compare.

What I Learned

Being around hardworking people is always a blessing – it’s energizing. It’s a way to see people who inspire you and get you to step a bit out of your comfort zone. I loved seeing people do what they needed to do and going out and getting things done. While at the same time being caring and respectful of the people around them.

A big takeaway for myself is I could have been more confident in myself and put myself out there more. This is something I have been working on for years as a streamer, but I’m still growing.

I’m still figuring it out, but I feel that I’m one step closer to being the person and caster I want to be. I have several other things I learned from being a better storyteller to adding entertainment into an analyst desk, and many more things that I will carry with me!

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This experience was priceless, and I’m still having a hard time believing that it was less than a week ago. I’m so thankful for this game, the community and Riot, as well as the amazing people I had the pleasure of working with this weekend. I won’t forget what this meant to me.

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