ESLTV's Joe Miller interviewed
Joe Miller's first taste of competitive gaming was with Battlefield 1942 where he first got into eSports playing for one of the top Swedish teams. It was then he also started on his path to be a top commentator joining TsN to commentate BF1942 before moving onto Painkiller which led to him casting the legendary CPL World Tour.
Fellow ESLTV colleague as well as the man who cracks the ESLTV whip Ulrich "FlyingDJ" Schulze believed that was probably his most definitive moment. "Joe is one of the most experienced commentators and I think he is most famous for his commentary at the CPL 2005 WT finals."
After the CPL he joined British QuadV, the online video game broadcaster and commentary team, along with Paul "RedeYe" Chaloner and Oliver "Jester" Aldridge at the very beginning of the project. After a year helping to build QuadV Joe also moved onto working with Fnatic, a now big name of eSports CS 1.6, which grew exponentially in just a couple of years.
Finally in October of this year he joined ESLTV along with James "2GD" Harding and Matt "zalmah" Rider to provide regular English commentary from ESLTV's base camp in Cologne as well as from international events such as the Extreme Masters in Dubai.
Malystryx:So who co-ordinated the move to ESLTV as there are three of you now working there (you, zalmah and 2gd)? Were you trying to find a real full-time esports job or did you stumble upon it?
ESLTV.Joe: I actually started working full time in E-Sports at the age of 18 when I was back in TsN. I did lots of events back then and I had a SMALL job on the side which gave me a little extra cash in between the events that I was doing.
Obviously the money in E-Sports is fairly limited and with the start of QuadV we wanted to get to the position to live in comfort with more events etc. QuadV is a great company and without the help of Paul, Oliver and Stuart i would not
have come as far as I have.
Fnatic did give me a full time wage but it was not enough for me to really continue as I was so when 2GD first came to me about ESLTV I almost snatched his hands off to work at an amazing company and earn a real wage!
Malystryx: Outside of the casting are there any other tasks you do at ESLTV? Is some time spent keeping up with the scene?
ESLTV.Joe: Actually most of my time is spent browsing the many amazing E-Sports sites out there! Aside from that I spend a lot of time preparing and making sure our shows go ahead on time and at a good standard.
Malystryx: So let us talk about the EPS UK, have the streams gone as planned for it? You missed one because of EM:Dubai and another because of Dreamhack (missing a big Cod4 match).
It is always good to speak to players before their games. We have some great guys and awesome personalities so its always fun to talk to people like Farley and KritikaL before we get into games. You can expect to see more and more features being added to EPS UK shows in the future.
Malystryx: So what do you think of the season so far for the two games?
ESLTV.Joe: I think the season has been relatively predictable so far. The COD4 table is really hotting up as we move into the final playdays with the top 4 being so close. CSS also has some excitement to come too I think with the ability of the 4/5/6 placed teams to fight for the top 4 of the finals.
Malystryx: You travelled to EM:Dubai, how was that different to other tournaments? Did the location play a role in any way?
ESLTV.Joe: Actually I found Dubai to be fairly unique. The crowds there seemed very interested in what was going on and sat through a lot of the games but their was no real passion except from the local 1.6 teams that were there watching after the local qualifier.
I think the Intel Extreme Masters tournament was actually amazing there. I certainly think that the scene in the UAE could benefit from more events. This was the first International E-Sports tournament in the UAE and I think the next one (If/when it happens) will be greeted with a lot more excitement from the local fans.
Malystryx: Do you think eSports events become a little stale if held in the same locations all the time (Paris, Cologne, Seoul, Beijing etc..) or is it better knowing that there is a solid fanbase there who want to see the games?
I think the places that hold E-Sports events like you have mentioned above are great places and there arent many places that run a bad tournament. I think the ESWC finals this year may have suffered "fan wise" as a result of being moved from Paris. The crowd in Bercy always make the dullest games seem exciting!
Malystryx: Would you consider Call of Duty and Counter-Strike: Source "e-Sports games"? What is your definiiton of an "esports game"?
I think if you add a TV client to COD it will increase its chances of becoming a "top tier" E-Sports title. I think CSS lacks a little behind 1.6 in the fact that it obviously has all the "functionality" of CS 1.6 but in my honest opinion the biggest FPS stars are in 1.6, and that is what everyone wants to see. Basically yes, I would consider them E-Sports games, but they have even more potential to grow.
My definition of an esports game is a game that has a big community behind it with even more fans. It has to have all the tools to make it easily accessible to the masses and be packed full of stars that the fans love to watch. I also think that a "skill level" is needed in these games. If there are not spectacular headshots and 1v5 clutch situations, a game becomes dull to watch very quickly.
Malystryx: Do you think eSports is not that accessible to the average joe because we concentrate on games that are relatively "ancient"? (CS 1.6/Wc3/Quake3/SC)
ESLTV.Joe: I would definately agree that we limit our audience somewhat. It is pretty hard to find a copy of Starcraft in a retail shop these days! It means that not so many new people are coming into the scene that way. I would say most "new fans" of a game come from other titles and happen to stumble on esports through various sites and then become fans. I'd love to see the developers give us a big place online to buy every game ever and simply download it and be sent a cd key. Maybe that would help pull in some more new people to the scene.
Malystryx:Okay last question, Call of Duty 4 or Call of Duty 5, what is going to happen in your opinion?
ESLTV.Joe:Well I think that COD4 with the new ruleset will be able to pull through. I'm sure there will be a split in the community for a while but until the big money tournaments start coming through for COD5 the top teams will stay with COD4.
In the next month we have Gameland in Italy as well as Crossfire Challenge 5 which will give the COD4 scene an "end of year boost". I really enjoy watching COD4 so I really hope it gets the opportunity to become the first COD game to outlast its sequel! Of course COD6 is already announced which complicates things even more... <3 Activision
ESLTV.Joe in action at Dreamhack
Malystryx, Saturday, 06/12/08 10:28
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