With the LAN finals of the Samsung Galaxy CS:GO Championship set to be played this weekend, we caught up with Mettlestate’s fresh and dynamic casting duo George ‘GeeMax’ Smith and Matthew ‘Tiny’ Lotter (GLHF: We should surely be calling them GnT?) to find out a little bit more about them, how they got the gig and who they think will be taking home the MettleState trophy. Crown? Plate? We have no idea what they’ll actually be taking home.
It may have come as somewhat of a surprise to many local esports fans to see the pair listed as casters for the R1million event, alongside the likes of el hefe Anthrax, considering they only have about six months of casting experience behind them. But what’s even more surprising is the medium through which they were given their chance.
“Through the love of vaping. Barry mentioned MettleState and I told him I’d love to be involved. Going forward many months, Barry called me up and asked me to head to the MettleState studios. He asked if I wanted to try shoutcasting, and was given an on the spot co-cast alongside Vudulew.
As many of you know, he is a word wizard – and quite frankly, I sucked – I was doing analytics, but talking over his play by plays. However, Barry saw promise. He asked if I had a partner in mind, and that’s where I got Matty to come over to my place and we recorded a little demo cast.”
“I’ve known Barry for years from my earlier gaming days. We became closer friends through our doucheflutes (vaping).
When George mentioned MettleState and what it was going to be about I was beyond excited.Obviously, having been involved in esports for the better part of 17 years, this is exactly what I’ve always wanted to see come to South Africa.
George and myself had a little chat over TeamSpeak late one night, and thought, ‘We’re both funny (at least we thought so), we’ve played the game for years and have good knowledge of it, why don’t we try our hand at shoutcasting?’
That’s when we sent our TERRIBLE demo tape into Barry and were lucky enough to make it in for an audition. I say terrible, because we really were going through a generic format of what shoutcasters do and say. We hadn’t found our own rhythm and synergy yet.
I was also too nervous to speak, so it was mostly a demo tape of George casting a game. It’s all history from there really. Under the guidance of Barry and the team at MettleState we’ve been working tirelessly at tweaking our product and we think it’s close to what the viewers want to see and what they respond to.”
We’re currently working on getting hold of that hopefully super embarrassing demo tape, but Barry ‘Anthrax’ Louzada is proving tough to crack.
So for those of you that haven’t started vaping yet, it can potentially help your esports career, but also keep in mind you’ll have to have a ‘doucheflute’ in your mouth a lot of the time. Pros and cons and all that. (GLHF: This article is not endorsed by VapeNation).
With the introductions out of the way, let’s move on to the tournament itself. Y’all already know how much MettleState and the Samsung Galaxy CS:GO Championship has impressed us, but why do those on the inside think it’s been such a success?
“MettleState delivers the same type of content, but it’s more appealing to a wider audience. MettleState focuses on the superstars, the players, and as casters I feel we ‘paint’ the landscape for their aspiring careers. I love esports, that’s why I do what I do – I want to see growth and success coming to the people that deserve it most – our local players really are the famous playmakers.”
“As a first timer arriving at the studio on a broadcast night, or even a night where we’re drumming up additional content or just hanging out, the vibe is incredible. The studio truly feels like a second family, everyone is always upbeat and joking around, such a great atmosphere. However, when the forging light goes on, it’s all game faces and the incredible amount of knowledge shared amongst the MettleState family comes across.
What helps make the MettleState production as good as it is is that everyone is heard. At the end of every production we have a team meeting with everyone involved (social-media, casters, analysts, production) and we run over every aspect of the evening: what went right, what went wrong, and how can we improve that.”
Sam Wright from Tech Girl said much the same things when we chatted to her a couple of weeks ago. The aura surrounding MettleState is vibrant and enthusiastic and the fact that everyone has a voice that is listened to allows their collective knowledge to shine through. It’s definitely showing in the quality of their broadcasts.
But we’ve probably blown enough vape smoke up their arses – for now at least, no promises for the future if they keep doing a good job – it’s time to take a look at the main event.
Energy eSports, eXdee Gaming, Damage Control, Flipsid3 Tactics South Africa, Pulse Gaming, Ventus Gaming, xTc Gaming and Bravado Gaming are the eight teams set to do battle for their share of R1million.
It’s no secret that BvD have had a stranglehold on South African CS for quite some time now, but the MettleState lads have some last-minute tips for the sides looking to knock them off their perch.
“I feel that when it comes to these top tier players, aim for aim there is marginal difference between most teams. Studying some BvD VODs, can help – however teams adapt and change quickly – but it will help get an understanding of where players will play on specific maps, and can help you understand the rotations better. The quicker you know what is happening, and where it is coming from, the better your chances of taking that aim duel will become.”
“They’ve really played an aggressive style, going for a pick or two then playing off of that to get onto a site. Towards the end we saw very few actual ‘executions’; from them. So it’s going to be tough for any team coming up against BvD. In my opinion, we haven’t seen many of their strats yet.
Play your own game, make sure you’re warmed up, make sure the team is settled and comms are flowing, remain calm, and adapt. If it isn’t working, CHANGE it up. Every round is going to be critical in this final, don’t throw away rounds trying to force your way onto a site because your emotions get the better of you.”
Since the global conversation around esports broadcasting at the moment seems to be focused on the debate around whether we should be copying the model used by traditional sports or forging off into a unique direction, we thought we’d end the piece with a good old-fashioned staple of our outdoor cousins. Predictions. Who do GeeMax and Tiny think will place first, second and third at the MettleState finals?
“1. BvD. 2. eN. 3. Ventus.”
“1. BvD. 2. DC. 3. eN/Ventus.”
You can catch all the action live on the Mettlestate Twitch channel from 09:00 on 5 May and we’re expecting it to be a doozy. A cracker. A real humdinger. Just some more outdoor sports, or should we say outdated sports (GLHF: Just kidding, we love sports.) cliches to help any esports newbies ease into things.