The People Behind The Voices Of The Overwatch League
As the 2020 Season of the Overwatch League draws to a close, everyone (who hadn’t already) has gotten to know and love the voices and faces that have brought the action screens of all sizes this year. Some of the new faces that joined more recently have been grinding it out for years in T2, and everyone else has some sort of cool esports backstory, too. Here’s a little peek at who the people are behind the voices you hear on broadcast.
Mitch “Uber” Leslie
One half of the much-loved UberX casting duo, this Aussie started out casting games like CS:GO, World of Tanks, and League of Legends. He’s probably the most famous for being a rap god on cast - with many a highlight video to go with the moniker.
However, he has stated on his stream that while he appreciates the compliment - going for sheer speed isn’t always what you want in a good cast. Uber puts an immense amount of work on his technique, as Sideshow and Bren have said on their streams - out of everyone on the OWL broadcast, he grinds the actual craft of the work the absolute hardest, and it shows. One of the best examples of this is in his wordplay. He’s extremely quick on his feet, but also has pre-loaded one-liners that he waits for the right moment to use.
Here’s one from 2018, as Chipshajen dies, Uber exclaims, “those chips get spilt all over the floor,” and as he then gets rezzed by Mercy Uber quips, off the cuff, “ten-second rule”. A pun for Chips and a play on the ten-second respawn timer? Genius.
Matt “MrX” Morello
MrX is the other half of UberX, the colour caster with a laid-back tone, and more west-coast vibes from a native New Yorker than ever before found on Planet Earth. MrX famously got his start in Call of Duty as a pro player, before transitioning to coaching and then a casting role at MLG, alongside Puckett and Goldenboy, who were with the OWL as well in 2018, and 2019.
MrX does get ribbed for his COD roots, but his analysis is still on point, and he regularly features on auxiliary OWL content on the YouTube channel Plat Chat, along with Bren, Sideshow, and Reinforce. Matt is rather vulnerable to short jokes - there were more than one apple box gags in the first two years of OWL for him to fall victim to as he interviewed much taller people. He also streams Overwatch semi-regularly on Twitch and tends to show up to his friends’ Twitch chat blaring every message in all-caps. Enter the command !matt in Bren’s stream or !matt2 in Sideshow’s stream for the incriminating proof.
Joshua “Sideshow” Wilkinson
Sideshow is one half of the most banterous, beautiful trainwreck of a casting duo along with Bren. The egg-shaped mastermind of analysis wasn’t always egg-shaped, however. A quick trip down memory lane shows us what we could’ve had, had he more courage and a greater hairline.
Sideshow is famous for his incredibly foolish gameplay, which he streams regularly on Twitch. He also streams a ton of Overwatch League VOD review and educational content, and the contrast between his genuinely impressive deep mind for the game and his actual practical skill is hilarious. He got his start as a professional competitive Team Fortress 2 player, then caster.
The joke is that he was the worst player on the second-best team in the world, and it's true. So many Overwatch pros of today came from TF2, and yet Sideshow is still in plat. Sideshow is interesting in that almost every significant moment of his life since 2015 has been documented on his YouTube channel, including much analytical content for historical Overwatch and TF2 matches and storylines. This is, therefore, a great place to learn about the histories of both of those games, as well as take a considerably profound glimpse into the total goofball that is Sideshow, how he got kicked out of med school, how he got started in esports, and how he almost killed his friend in a car.
Bren is the other half of the lovable chaotic duo with Sideshow, and easily the more chaotic one. On every piece of content he has shown up in, he has always brought some element of uniquely Bren insanity, and that is part of the reason why he is so widely loved. He has been meme'd fairly heavily in the various content pieces he has appeared in for his modest upbringing in the simple working-class area of Gloucester, and a humble beginning working at Tesco. His start was relatively alongside Sideshow, casting TF2, as well as following DOTA extremely closely.
Bren is famous for his Brenji and Bridowmaker personas, with which he exudes confidence and misplaced bravado, challenging and losing to pro players in 1v1 duels with reckless abandon. At the same time, he is a very talented play by play caster, and whose move from the analysts' desk with Sideshow at the end of the last year was a welcome one.
Like Uber, Bren is constantly working on the craft of his casting, and often comments on it while reviewing VODs on stream. He also streams regularly on Twitch, and since his streams are often characterised by him changing games every couple of hours, most regulars in his chat are there for the personality, more than the game.
Seth “Achilios” King
Achilios is casting partners with Wolf and broke into notoriety casting League of Legends, then Apex Overwatch tournaments, and then Contenders in Korea. He recently married his wife there, and after three whole quarantines from going back and forth for visa and marriage reasons, has finally gotten to settle down with her in the place he has called home for many many years. Achilios is a highly engaging play by play caster, and was a lot of people’s favourite during his time in Contenders, for his deep knowledge and ability to craft the narrative of every teamfight so perfectly for the audience.
He does not stream much or appear in auxiliary content that often, but his eager and charming personality always shines through in his casts. He does occasionally stop by Avast’s watch party streams, and many a good memory of several loud voices screaming about GOATS on that stream has been made with his voice soaring above them, delivering hot takes and truths.
Wolf is Achilios’ partner, and also broke into notoriety in Korea, casting Starcraft II and Heroes of the Storm, and both Blizzard titles, before moving to Overwatch. Wolf is known affectionately as Professor Wolf the Apex Historian, for his proclivity for always bringing up the most relevant early pro-Korean Overwatch scene reference or anecdote, whether in the middle of a cast or on a stream somewhere. His colour casting is also very informed by storylines, and along with Achilios always brings the absolute most gravity to every scenario on broadcast.
Wolf and Achilios together were much loved in Korean Contenders also because having lived in Korea for so long, they both could translate directly to the English broadcast any interviews/analysis and other content from the Korean broadcast, and therefore react to it along with the English audience simultaneously.
Jack "Jaws" Wright
Jaws casts play-by-play alongside Hexagrams for the OWL and is notably the pretty boy of the broadcast talent. Jaws leans into the jokes on his wholesome stream, where he engages directly with his viewers in pugs and other activities fairly frequently.
Jaws came from Contenders Europe, where he was part of a much-loved duo along with Legday. When Jaws got hired to the OWL, they had a huge fanbase that hued and cried for the pair to remain together. Unfortunately, OWL only had space for a play-by-play, since Hex's old partner Semmler had left, and only Jaws was invited on. His casting style is very energetic and deeply well-informed, as Jaws is himself a Grandmaster player, after all.
Robert "Hexagrams" Kirkbride
Hex is the colour caster alongside Jaws, famous for his dry wit and sarcasm, MrX-like stature, and rage moments from ranked games. Sometimes made fun of for his Gold rank in Overwatch, his colour casting is still well rounded and insightful. Hex started by casting Alienware Monthly Melees along with ZP and a few others back in the pre-OWL North American scene, and references to this "dark time" are now a little in-joke amongst hardcore fans. He also doesn't stream too often, but currently has his own interview content on the OWL YouTube channel, and sometimes appears on Avast's OWL companion stream.
Andrew "ZP" Rush
ZP is casting partners with Jake and comes from a very storied history in Overwatch. He started casting back in the closed beta of Overwatch, with GosuGamers weekly tournaments and then Alienware Monthly Melees. He is known for bringing the hottest, spiciest takes, starting conversations that can get heated fairly quickly almost anywhere he goes, mostly Avast's stream. He and Avast were the Jaws and Legday of the NA Contenders broadcast for a while, with their hilarious banter and thinly veiled friendly jabs at each other and almost every player.
People don't always agree with ZP, but he for sure gets everyone talking about interesting things that the player base and audience of Overwatch and the League don't often think to consider themselves. ZP is in some ways to the western scene what Wolf is to the Korean scene - always ready to drop a reference to some small tournament from four years ago that only he and a few others remember.
Jake Lyon is ZP's partner, and brings an extra layer of insight to his colour casting, as he is a former pro player from the Houston Outlaws. He got his first shot at casting on a relatively high-profile stage, which is an avenue available to ex-pros, unlike everyone else. After a genuinely incredible first-ever performance at the Korean group stage of the World Cup, Jake was hired to cast in the Overwatch League.
Jake has had some iconic moments, most notably the time ZP disconnected for 12 whole minutes in the middle of a League game (one of the first online games during COVID-19) and he rap god-ed his way through all 12 minutes. A gargantuan solo casting effort that seemed to not faze him in the slightest, even though he took nary a breath. He is also streaming regularly, and as someone who is still absolutely at the top of his game, has one of the most entertaining streams to watch.
So there you have it, that's all the info you need on who the Overwatch League casters are - now get out there and watch some broadcasts!
Images via OWL | Twitter