INTERVIEW: From Gamer to Shout Caster – It Could Happen to You!

At this year’s QuakeCon, Bethesda decided to give back to their lively streaming community by offering up some interesting opportunities. A number of community streamers and influencers were approached by Bethesda to participate in shout casting some of the many high-stakes matches going on at the convention. BPSkibbenheims was one of these lucky streamers. BPSkibbenheims has been streaming Quake Champions, the newest eSports title from id and Bethesda, since the streaming embargo on the beta was dropped over a year ago. Before Quake Champions, he’d been streaming a variety of games for two years. When his turn to shout cast came up, he was covering the match between Team Liquid and Myztro Gaming EU alongside PND Ketchup and another community streamer named Roxy.

He shared his thoughts with me in a recent interview.

E: How did you end up doing this?

B: They selected a lot of people that I guess over the past year have been very, very heavy into quake streaming, like fortylionsand spudhunter and maggy and so on, and recruited all of us. Everybody had a spot where they did some shout casting. Some of us were also promoting being Bethesda streamers and streaming on Twitch in general. It was pretty much all through being involved with twitch and the crowd that plays quake.


Screen capture from twitch.tv/bethesda

E: How did Bethesda approach you about this event?

B: At a certain point, some weeks back, one of the community managers got in touch with me to tell me that they had some things lined up for us to do, but they didn’t go into any details. I didn’t know I was going to be shout casting a match, on the official Quake channel, until like Wednesday morning when I got here. There weren’t a lot of expectations. The biggest message that they told us was to just be yourself, you know, we picked y’all because we’re confident that y’all can do alright, you’re used to being on stream, and just don’t worry about trying to be some kind of shout cast professional. Just be yourself.

E: Have you ever shout casted before?

B: No, never, and it was nerve wracking.


Screen capture from twitch.tv/bethesda

E: What was the most nerve wracking part for you?

B: At the very beginning until I was there long enough to start to get comfortable. I was nervous and I sitting there thinking to myself, OK, I need to come up with something to say, I need to add something. Ketchup and Roxy were riffing off of each other pretty well, and I was having a hard time finding room to say anything, much less think of something relevant to say. It was a little awkward at the very beginning as well because we had a little downtime at the beginning of the match due to technical issues, so we had a lot of empty space to fill before the match started to run and give us stuff to talk about. Having ketchup there definitely helped a lot.

E: Did you feel intimidated at all having to go up around established shout casters like PND Ketchup?

B: No I wasn’t intimidated by it at all. I welcomed it because we had someone experienced there to be able to fill dead space, kind of bring up topics on the fly that would prompt me to have things to say… It wasn’t intimidating, it was more supportive. It gave me more confidence, because I knew somebody was there that could kinda cover for me in a moment of silence.


Screen capture from twitch.tv/bethesda

E: Have you had the opportunity to meet any of the other well-known shout casters? What feeling did you get about this whole experience?

B: Yeah, in doing this, before, afterwards, and all of that, I was able to hang out with all the other people who were doing the shout casting, as well as established shout casters. Zoot, Jehar, people like that. And yeah, they were all real supportive. It was 100% a positive experience.

E: Do you feel like you have to be a good player or a consistent player to be a good shout caster?

B: No, but you do need to understand the game, and play enough to understand the game. In a lot of cases, that’s enough, along with watching matches to pick up on strategies teams run to give you stuff to talk about. You don’t have to be an amazing player yourself. Because understanding the strategy doesn’t mean you have to have the mechanics or have great aim or whatnot. It’s not that complicated to understand.

E: Do you feel like this is something you’d want to do again?

B: Potentially. I still really question whether it’s something… I guess to be blunt, something anybody else would want me to do again. Not that I said anything crazy or whatever, but I mean, even if you watch my stream, I’m generally a lot quieter than a lot of people are, and that’s just my personality. I definitely had fun, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Is it something I’m going to pursue doing? No, just because I don’t think it’s a good fit for me.


Screen capture from twitch.tv/bethesda

E: If you had any advice for someone who is trying to get into shout casting, get into playing a lot, or get into streaming, any one of those topics, what would it be?

B: With streaming in general, the message that they gave us was to just be yourself. Don’t saddle yourself with a lot of expectations, like thinking you have to be pulling some kind of viewership at this point. If you’re worried about your numbers, you’re focused on the wrong thing. That can take away from your mood, your tone, and the quality of the content you produce to begin with, especially with streaming because it’s live, and you can’t go back and edit anything. just being yourself and being comfortable is super important. If you’re not comfortable, you come off as stiff and awkward, it seems weird, and people pick up on that. So just be yourself.

Skibbenheim’s stream can be found at http://www.twitch.tv/bpskibbenheims. Catch him live weekday evenings!

– Erica “d3dscr33n” Hernandez