Norcal 9 commentators

Since the fighting game community is always trying to grow, I feel it is unfortunate, but necessary that I bring some attention to the commentating of Norcal 9. Throughout the entire even the commentating was not just sub-par, but annoying. In particular the announcing for the Marvel top 8 was so bad it could not be listened to, I had to mute it.

If James Chen, UltraDavid, and Gootecks are not always available to do these events, then there should be an active search for others of the same quality. Good announcers go a very very long way towards making a stream more enjoyable to watch, and they can have a HUGE impact on the number of viewers a stream can attract.

Quality commentary comes from experience commentating. If UltraChenTecks-level commentators were at NCR I’m sure they would have been on the Mic. I didn’t watch much NCR, but you had Seth on the mic on Sunday … you can’t ask for much more than that. Marvel commentary was adequate, at least. I’ve heard worse.

Besides, if you have a moderate understanding of the game you’re not all that dependent on commentary to see what’s happening… and regardless of all that, there were 20k viewers for AE finals.

I thought the commentary was fine, generally speaking. I can’t speak for MvC3 commentary, as I stopped watching whenever MvC3 came on stream.

^^^ exactly…if you need folks telling you what you’re looking at and what’s going on in front of you, then the commentating is the least of your worries.

seriously though, those guys work their hardest and they sound like they’re just being them. i know the scene is growing, but honestly, did you watch the dreamhack stream? please god, don’t let it turn into that. the commentators were always shouting out sponsors and asking the crowd questions like, “who likes so and so” or “who wants player x to win?”. shit was so bland.

just like other streams, it’s a group of friends who got together and contribute to the community. in the beginning, when we weren’t spoiled by streams, it was all good…but all of a sudden, just because sponsors an money are in the mix, you’re saying their efforts aren’t good enough? those guys, along with other streamers are the reason the scene is this big in the first place. exposure blew it up, and now everyone wants to act like they know what’s good for the scene they just found 2 years ago.

i challenge anyone out there to commentate a match and mix in humor, insight and info that only those in the scene are privy to. you have to be in the scene and know about it to sound relevant. otherwise, you just come off sounding like this dude…

The commentary is always god awful on these things, no matter what. I personally wish they’d stop trying to pretend they are commentating a sport. That’s why I find it best to either mute the sound, or put on the Benny Hill theme overtop the actual audio.

Good times.

I knew what that was before I even clicked on it haha

NorCal commentary was fine, not great, but fine. I don’t understand why people can’t just tune shit out or ignore it.

I really don’t think I’ve listened to many commentators who pretend they’re commentating a sport. Who are you talking about specifically?

shrug Frankly, I’m not a cult worshipper of the personalities that belong to the fighting game community, so that may also explain my hatred of commentary. I don’t really get off on two guys shouting about how ‘hype’ things are over and over.

My reference to sports is mostly that urge they have to talk people up and say generic “insert cliched sports saying here” statements over and over.

And let’s face it, we’ve all heard that.

As someone that works in the media, I can say that I’m not the only one that gets annoyed by the hyperbole and generic statements used over and over by sports commentators. At least on television. Radio commentators tend to be older, and for lack of a better term, less brain dead.

Oh, right, fighting games.

The commentary sucks, but it’s still better than when G4 tried to make major league gaming a thing. shudder

The commentary was awesome from what I caught on MvC3.


Sounds like you were never going to give commentary a chance to begin with, because a lot more goes on than the bullshit you’re making up. Never mind the fact that you can learn a lot from commentary, be it tips in match-ups, current events, character information etc…

i don’t think the folks that are defending the IPW crew are worshipping them…but we can appreciate all the time, effort and money they are putting into streaming events for everyone. those guys are the first ones on the scene setting everything up. if they’re not there on time, folks catch a bitch-fit cuz the stream started late. those guys are there all day, working in some capacity for the viewers. if they slack, folks catch another bitch-fit. those folks travel to the venues and pay their own way. if there’s no stream, yet another bitch-fit happens.

as for their commenting style…if you can name me one broadcasting team that has never said, “player x may be the best player in the country”, or “OMG! that was an amazing play!”, then i’ll concede that they are generic. before anything else, these guys are players and fans. they stream BECAUSE they are that hype about the scene…and it shows in their commentary. if you can sit there stone face and commentate a match by going, “oh, a parry by daigo. and another. and another. and another. you see folks, he’s pressing forward at the precise moment each hit of the super is hitting, which is why something like this is happening. oh, and look, he jump-parried and landed with a hado combo cancelled into his own super…how nice” instead of going apeshit, then i’d honestly question whether or not you knew what you were looking at.

i’m not saying that people aren’t allowed to have their own opinion about it, but damn, these guys are regular folks, just like the rest of us…except they put in 1000000% more selfless work towards improving their community. for all the shit they provide everyone with, they sure take a hell of a lot of verbal abuse.

whoever can’t appreciate the raw level of dedication and commitment that’s being GIVEN to you for FREE, then you’re either a spoiled kid, or someone who has no sense of history.

So they should comment about it like…what? How do you do commentary about a competitive activity that is not like doing commentary on a competitive activity?


Clearly, you’re far more biased that I (though on the opposite side of the pendulum), so clearly you don’t pay as close attention as I.

I refer you to a personal favorite, the"Big Ass List of Useless Sports Cliches"

I’ll pull the ones I have heard more than multiple times in my two years of paying attention to craptacular fighting game commentary.

Here are some I remember hearing on streams, and this is just from memory.

[]“They dropped the ball.”
]“It’s gut-check time.”
[]“They don’t pull any punches.”
]“They always step up to the plate.”
[]“They talk a good game.”
]“They’re in a league of their own.”
[][SIZE=13px]“That was a hole in one.”[/SIZE]
][SIZE=13px]“That was a hole in one.”[/SIZE]
[]“It doesn’t get any better than this.”
]“He’s a warrior.”
[]There’s no question about it
]They’re feeling each other out.
[*]It’s a nail biter.
I could go on and on, but at this point you are probably thinking “OMGTHIS GUY ISSTUPIDLULZ”. And good for you. My point is that very rarely do fighting game commentators say anything useful, and when they do it’s often marred by shoddy audio quality (which I understand because their only other option is to record commentary in post, and that may sound disingenuous). These phrases mean absolutely nothing, and are used because said commentator has nothing better to add.

So constructive fix? Make the commentary closer to what baseball analysts do on the radio (but…Uh…not the color commentator that is usually a big league drop out that sounds like they are reading from a cue card). This, of course, isn’t a luxury of these tournaments because good commentary takes research time, so maybe it’s a pipe dream. My personal hero, UltraDavid, is really the only one I would say is a true commentator, but I expect him to be well spoken: He’s a lawyer.

At the least, before they put anyone behind a mic they should make sure they don’t sound like an idiot and repeat themselves. There are only so many times one can hear the word “hype” before you want to drive a stake through their neck.

Summary? Commentary sucks, but the fighting game community won’t notice because they have extremely low standards and are just happy to be able to do something as cool as watching streaming footage of events that even ten years ago couldn’t be possible unless you traveled.

Excuse my bitching about the cliches. I’m a George Carlin fan and one of his books has an entire section on rhetoric and how television has ruined grammar and popular phrases.

Okay, I’m done. Continue talking about how hype something is, please.

They were missing out on a few key things, not knowing that Weskers Butterfly shot can only be cancelled by team super or level 3. Overall I think they did fine I mean, its not like Ultradavid/James Chen can be at every event, you make do with what you have and its not something they should be roasted over an open fire about.

Seth Killian was amazing, as usual. Wish he could have spent more time on the mic. but he’s a busy man.

Frankly? Golf. No talking during the action, and statistics and playing information on the competitors before and after.

Good point, frankly I always forget about Killian. In a perfect word UltraDavid and Killian would commentate daily life for everyone and it would be magical. >_>

Pretty sure there’s already a commentary thread, take it there.

bingo. you’re talking about people who passed copies of copies of copies of VHS tapes around just to learn combos and strategies. you’re talking about people who STSFN. you’re talking about a small group of devoted individuals who have been living and breathing the scene (and playing at shakey’s pizza does NOT make you OG) for years…and now you want to come in and say you know better? you, who is in media but have done nothing for the scene? you, who think that because you read a sarcastic wikipedia linkabout sports cliches, that you you can thumb your nose and act like you’re intellectual? the truth is, at the end of the day, you’re just passing through and no one will remember you and the way you lived your life by the beliefs of george carlin. enjoy all the free shit while you’re here, but don’t expect anyone to hold their breath while you spout opinions that aren’t grounded in the scene.

Nowhere in my post did I say I had a problem understanding the match because of the commentary, bur rather that it was so annoying it had to be put on mute. Work on your reading comprehension. However you do bring another issue to attention. If somebody actually is new to the scene they are going to be watching these streams primarily to enjoy watching good matches, but also to learn something and maybe level up their game. Not everyone out there has been playing long enough to understand all the nuances of things like footsies, option selects, bug exploitations, or the specifics of particular character match ups.
Being able to listen to useful and insightful information always goes a long way to making the whole experience much more enjoyable whether your new or a veteran. Having to deal with a constant barrage of horrible jokes and annoying senseless screaming does nothing but detract from the event.

The very fact you claim commentators almost never say anything useful only proves that you were never going to give them a chance to begin with. Even in the most basic commentating, many commentators will tell the viewers things they may not know about the characters playing. Maybe you don’t need to because you’re super elite, but putting people off because they don’t know some ‘simple’ detail you do is wrong. Thinking they shouldn’t talk at all during the match is a terrible idea as well. People should want to make it more accessible. Being silent and not telling the viewers what’s going on does not do that. Yes, they will say things that aren’t 100% relevant to the game. Guess what: that’s smart. You need to expand the viewer base and tossing in humor with talk of other things helps that. If something gets pretty hype, guess what? Commentators are probably hype too, so they’ll be talking about it. It’s unreasonable to expect them not to get swept up in the moment at this point.