Caster Mitch “Uber” Leslie Discusses Importance of Branding and Sharing Compensation in VALORANT Caster Scene

EsportsHeaven 2022-03-26 02:19:40
  In a recent podcast which discusses general esports news and events, titled “The Four Horseman”, hosted by popular esports pundits Christopher “Montecristo” Mykles, Duncan “Thorin” Shields, and Richard Lewis. This episode, special guest and Overwatch League caster Mitch “Uber” Leslie discussed the problems associated with the Valorant caster scene and the recent departure of Daniel “ddk” Kapadia and Sean Gares. Throughout the podcast, the former and current casters talk about compensation and how ddk and Sean Gares might have been compensated unfairly and that the Riot ecosystem is over-controlling due to the developer dictating which tournaments can happen and largely acting as the tournament organizer in most of the Valorant circuit, which allows them to control the caster pay rates. Montecristo goes on, citing that during his boycott of Riot Games before the 2016 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational, after refusing to accept casting rates that were lower than industry standard, citing that he, as well as his fellow casters Christopher “PapaSmithy” Smith, and Erik “DoA” Lonnquist, he reported that across “Counter Strike: Global Offensive, DotA 2, Starcraft 2, Halo 5, and Hearthstone”, they found that “Riot’s offer to us was approximately 40% to 70% of the rate received by talent for major events in all of these titles”. Montecristo also brings up the argument that high quality casters are worth a higher day rate. When OGN had to share air time after Riot struck a broadcasting rights deal in 2016 with SPOTV. Montecristo says in the podcast, “SPOTV would get their own casters. Now, at that time, myself, DoA, Achilios, and PapaSmithy would literally sit in a fucking [soundproof closet] at the OGN studio, and we would have 95% of the viewership [...] so you can tell instantly how valuable those commentators are”. Lastly, Uber brings up the point that Valorant casters don’t talk to each other enough. “Valorant casters are really not good at [talking to each other]. You guys need to start doing it. Don’t come to me asking, ‘what is the industry standard rate’? Go and talk to your peers”! We at Esports Heaven recommend listening to the original content of The Four Horseman podcast.

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