Caster calls out comparisons between CS & VALORANT
However, there are large differences between those two games, which shout caster Brennon "Bren" Hook argues are a game changer in how the game can be commentated.
In a Twitter thread, he called out fans for "unfair" comparisons between casting performances in each respective game given that the similarities only hold up at a surface level.
What caused the call-out?
During the English cast of the VCT Challengers Ascension Pacific event, shout casters Mitchell "Conky" Concanen and Dion "Komodo" Pirotta commentated on a great individual play by Fikri "famouz" Zaki.
Many fans took a liking to the way Conky framed the moment, roaring over the round-winning play. Among them was Team Secret's former coach, Hoc Wah "Fayde" Chong, who tweeted: How are these casters not invited to any bigger international event?
"The emotions and wordplay are on a totally different level when you compare them to some of the international casters we have right now in VALORANT. At least I don't fall asleep listening to [these] two casters"
The Tweet subsequently gained a lot of traction, with several members of the casting talent taking issue with the framing of the praise of the moment and criticism of the international casting talent. Caster and broadcast analyst Alex "Vansilli" Nguyen stated:
"Let's once again take advantage of elevating some incredible casting talent while tearing down and sh*tting on the hard work and dedication of others. Just learn to appreciate what you have, folks. Try not to be happy just for others, but be happy for everyone."
Bren struck a similar tone but took a different angle, zooming the conversation out to what it takes to cast VALORANT at the professional level. In a Twitter thread, Bren argued that VALORANT broadcasting talent has to deal with very different demands that casters of Counter-Strike rarely do.
He raised the point that the ever-changing nature of VALORANT, with the young game introducing Agents and new maps several times a year, a new meta is one that game scholars would have to continuously study up on.
He tweeted: "CS has had multiple decades to settle into the flow of the match there are no abilities, agents and the maps change semioften. The utility adds depth to each game of CS but the variables involved don't change much. This makes it much easier to have a predictable flow to each match."
Moreover, he made the point that VALORANT also tends to have fewer downtimes at the beginning of rounds and more time to tell a story, given that CS was played in first to 16 and not first to 13 like VALORANT.
"I'm jealous of CS casters because they have so much more breathing room to really set up a match compared to VALORANT where depending on compositions and the map we may get no time at all to talk about the inbetween and really let a game breathe without it sounding like a constant barrage of words.
"The balancing act of making a cast feel conversational, hype and informative is made much harder." Bren's points resonated with the competitive VALORANT community with Redditor corbynVAL sharing:
"Honestly it just blows my mind the standard that val casters are held to - my main game is Rocket League and listening to them after listening to VALORANT is an eye-opening experience."