League of Legends / 3 comments

Casters' Couch: Newcomer Caster And Streamer Iconiq

Iconiq talks about his start as a shoutcaster and his iconic pink bowtie

Izo Lopez

Image credit: Garena Philippines

Casters' Couch is an article series produced by Mineski.net. In it, local esports shoutcasters share a little about themselves and their own stories.

(The following is in Iconiq's words but edited by the Mineski.net editorial team.)

Hi everyone my name is Ico aka Iconiq. I'm a freelance shoutcaster for League of Legends. I also play competitive League of Legends in the Collegiate scene here in the Philippines for University of the Philippines Diliman, and I'm also a partnered streamer under Twitch.

When it comes to competitive play, I admit I'm pretty under the radar. I've been joining LANs and online tourney's ever since Season 3, but with many different teams and filling different roles. I actually tried out many times for Oblation eSports, then got in only during my second attempt. Then I was a substitute for 1 and a half splits because the roles were already filled. I'm pretty happy with Oblation eSports because we got the chance to compete in Korea a few months ago.

Shoutcasting though, I never thought about it until January 2016. I decided I wanted to share my knowledge about League, and so I started streaming. I then realized that shoutcasting would also be a great way to teach people about the game. I ended up practicing shoutcasting with my speech mentor to help me become the shoutcaster I am today.

Shoutcasting is super fun for me, since I get to experience the "magic" that goes on behind the camera. It adds a whole new dimension to how I perceive tournament productions. I enjoy shoutcasting with the Garena shoutcasters, but a lot of people ask me who my favorite co-caster is, and I always say Manjean!

  • Name: Ico Natividad
  • IGN: Iconiq
  • Stream: twitch.tv/xiconiq
  • Fave Champion: Jhin
  • Fave Food: Steak
  • Propensity to Tilt: 5/10

I also train under a speech mentor.

I wanted a speech mentor to help me with my image, and help learn about live audience interaction. I used to do a lot of public speaking and debating back then, but this is a whole new ball game. I actually have many mentors that I learn under, with regards to many aspects of streaming and shoutcasting. My speech mentor isn't actually familiar with eSports, but we parallelized it towards sportscasting. With that in mind, it became easier for me to develop and hone my skills as a shoutcaster.

My mentor has an interesting saying that I live by. "The hardest part about speaking ( shoutcasting) is the practice behind the scenes. When you're in front of the camera, that's when you'll have fun and enjoy yourself".

The first game I ever casted was a lot less daunting because of that advice. I just went with the flow and let my practice carry over into my first ever live shoutcast. Since this was my first shoutcast, I'll always remember it. I didn't want to see what was happening in the chat because I didn't wanna know how I was doing while I was still in the moment. My friend then texted me, asking me if I'd seen the comments, and most, if not all were positive. That made it a little easier for me to feel more comfortable.

And then of course, there's the bowtie.

The story of my bowtie's almost a year old actually. I spent the latter half of February 2016 thinking of a name for my stream. My old IGN was shaGuar / shGr of Diamonds. It was a reference to a shaGuar, a Counter Strike pro player, and Austin Power's car. Since I couldn't use that IGN anymore, I had to come up with a new name. I didn't wanna complicate things too much, and I wanted it to be a play on my nickname "Ico".

We came up with "Iconic" after a few days. My mentor and I then changed it to "Iconiq", but we both knew I needed a more recognizeable trademark. You can't have a name like "Iconiq" and not be a little, well, iconic. I wanted to do suspenders for my trademark but they're a bit hard to see on-stream. We went for the bowtie instead.

Ever since I was a child, I liked the color pink. I always believed that men can rock the color pink, no matter what other people say. It's also a pretty distinct color, and would differentiate me from other streamers.

I actually gave a pink bowtie to Alpha last year, because he's one of my closest shoutcaster friends. I think he rocked it pretty well in Rampage 2016 but then people started thinking that he was the one who pioneered the pink bowtie look. I appreciate that he always tells them about me when he's asked about the bowtie!