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Casters' Couch: OG Garena Caster And Esports Blogger Amplifire

The journey wasn't easy but Amplifire is now a respected PH LoL shoutcaster

Izo Lopez

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 Amplifire's words but edited by the Mineski.net editorial team.)

Hello! I am Amplifire: an esports enthusiast, shoutcaster, and content creator. I've been casting League of Legends for 2 years, and have been doing a bit of Overwatch for the past few months. Outside of casting, I am a 3rd year student at UP Diliman studying Business Administration. I love art, music, photography, fashion, sociology, Philippine and Japanese culture, and passionate people. Outside of esports and gaming, I love music, and play the piano and guitar, trying to compose every now and then. I also love photography, and love spending time with my friends, family, and my dogs. I also love watching movies, since they sort of merge a lot of things im into (visual art+music, Studio Ghibli is a favorite and Joe Hisaishi is a wonderful composer).

I first witnessed esports back in League of Legends Season 3. I was watching the finals between Star Horn Royal Club and SK Telecom T1, and was immediately captured by the enthusiasm and passion of the casters. I started watching more esports, and after seeing an interview on the Riot casters, and then I knew this was something I wanted to do.

It just so happened that a few months later, Garena released a shoutcaster call for the very first time. It was very new in the Philippines, since technically Garena never had designated shoutcasters. I tried it out to test my luck, and I was very surprised to find out I got in! The pioneer group included myself, Riku, Asurai, Sh1n Boo, and Neep. We all got along well, and were very excited to start this new journey.

The journey itself had its ups and downs. Since shoutcasting wasn't well-recognized as a profession, pay was low, at times barely covering expenses just to be able to cast. We sacrificed time from school, family, friends, and our own leisure time. However, our passion fueled us, and we were willing to make sacrifices despite the obstacles.

Over time, though very slowly, things improved. Pay increased, work started to become more professional, with actual data and statistics coming in to help the casters. Us casters started to get to know ourselves better, and people started to appreciate our work. We got to do live events like Rampage, and started to get gigs outside of Garena. In the end, the sacrifices seemed worth it, and although there's still so much to work on, things are looking pretty good for the future of Philippine esports.

I saw Asurai said in his Casters' Couch that we make a good tandem and I definitely agree! In the beginning, we all had our own share of flaws. Asurai and I didn't have as much synergy back then as we do now. However, as I look back at records of our first casts, it's both funny and fulfilling to see that we've improved so much since then. When Asurai and I started casting and playing more games together, the synergy greatly improved. This was especially true once we found out what kind of casters we wanted to be - he was definitely a play-by-play caster, and I could switch between analyst and play-by-play, helping us to compliment each other's styles. We try our best to be something like the Monte+Doa or the Anders+Semmler duo in the Philippines hahaha.

To anyone out there who is aspiring to be a shoutcaster in the Philippines, it's going to be a tough journey. The esports audience is very critical, and often harsh. But if you know that esports and casting is something you are very passionate about, then just go for it! Take on the challenge, always be humble and willing to learn and grow, and be the best version of yourself.

I still plan to cast League this year, and it does seem like there will be many events. PGS and GPL look to be pretty interesting, so do watch out for those! Overwatch is also growing, and I love the game, so I'm hoping for events to come up this year. I've also recently been enjoying CS:GO, but I'll need a bit more practice and help from Asurai on that hahaha. I'll be trying to bring out content on my channels more often, so you guys can get some insider information on what it's like being a caster and how things are going in esports locally!

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