KBCSensei is a Malaysian e-sports and gaming personality who is experienced in shoutcasting and emceeing for various e-sports and gaming events, with a particular penchant for casting Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) tournaments. Aside from being a caster and emcee, he also produces gaming livestreams and video content on his social media platforms.
If you’re interested in learning more about KBCSensei, then you’re in the right place. We asked him some questions in regards to his journey and experience as a shoutcaster. Let’s get right into it!
Disclaimer: Answers may be edited for clarity of reading and comprehension.
How did you start becoming a caster for MLBB?
It started back in June-July 2017 where MLBB had its very first major tournament called MSC (Mobile Legends South East Asia Cup) 2017. eGG Network and Astro Sports were holding auditions for the very first few English-speaking shoutcasters for the tournament’s Malaysian and Singaporean qualifiers. It was my first time entering into a shoutcasting role, after working and volunteering as an e-sports tournament marshal since 2011, and I managed to muster up my courage and willingness to try out for the audition.
The first stage was through a video audition, where I needed to record a MLBB game and shoutcast it. After a week, I was selected alongside 4 other candidates for an offline audition. Thankfully I was able to be one of the 3 shoutcasters selected for the tournament and the rest is history, which kickstarted my current career to this day!
- Out of the 5 shortlisted shoutcasters, 2 of them were veteran casters from other games, and 3 others (including me) were amateurs. 2 of the veteran casters were selected alongside me, which made me the only newbie talent at the tournament.
- I found out that I was selected out of 250+ applicants from a friend via the audition, 2 years after my first MLBB event.
Did anything in your approach change from casting amateur to higher level MLBB?
Definitely! I think I became more confident in being on camera, as well as being more show-friendly and interactive after every shoutcasting gig I attended. Also, my skills in the many arts of shoutcasting i.e. articulation, narration, tone of voice and many more, were sharpened and crafted through tons of practice and events, which makes me thankful for the many opportunities that were given to me.
How did you overcome the pressure from such a major change?
To overcome pressure, you must first accept your flaws and be willing to change and improve them. I always tell myself that I will definitely learn something from every shoutcasting gig, and will continue to learn till the end of days.
How do you recover after saying something that isn’t accurate or inappropriate on live broadcast?
This is a tricky one for newbies, but you will know how to counter it once you are a regular or veteran. My usual method of recovery is to make a joke out of it. For example, if I flubbed a line I would just go on with it. However, you may also just apologize and correct yourself if you do get information wrong. Honesty is the best policy in shoutcasting.
How do you make a slow and uninteresting game more exciting?
Haha, really good question. It depends on the shoutcaster’s nature. From my own general rule of thumb, every game must be made entertaining and exciting, even if the game’s pacing is slow or uninteresting. This separates professional shoutcasters from amateurs, as it is our job to keep the shoutcasting tempo up and the audience on the edge of their seat. However I do understand that some games will require a slower and more steady pace of shoutcasting, so it is essential to know the right time and moment to hype up the games.
In your opinion, does a caster need to be good at a game in order to commentate on it, or is it enough to understand the mechanics without being a pro player yourself?
As long a shoutcaster has played the game before (while also studying the game of course) then one can be a shoutcaster for that game. Also, the shoutcaster’s passion and love for the game is an additional factor in making games interesting for people to spectate and enjoy.
Who are some of your personal favourite MLBB teams or players, and what makes them stand out to you?
I mostly root for the local teams in Malaysia. My all-time favourite team is definitely the Air Asia Saiyans back in MPL 1 & 2, who were the very best Malaysia had to offer. My current favourite teams would be the MPL MY/SG S3 champions Geek Fam Malaysia, and the recent MPL MY/SG S5 champions Resurgence Singapore.
What would you like to see more of in the MLBB competitive scene?
Innovation and a new creative approach is needed in the MLBB e-sports scene. We need new tournament match formats, i.e. banning used heroes; or creative tournament formats like amateur aka challenger tournaments, which will help develop and create interest in the MLBB e-sports scene.
What do you think MLBB needs to do to stay relevant in a world with new and improved mobile MOBAs coming out yearly?
Again, the e-sports committee will need to be innovative and creative with fresh ideas to stay relevant in the mobile MOBAs industry. Improved gameplay and mechanics are definitely helpful, but it must start with the e-sports side of things to keep both players and fans on their feet.
Who are some of your inspirations in this field?
It might sound ironic, but my main inspiration for shoutcasting and commentary is an American Youtuber named Chris Smoove. His funny, catchy and rhyming commentary within his gaming videos inspires me to adapt more of his style of commentating a game.
What advice would you give to aspiring casters looking to get into the scene?
I would say keep on trying and work on your craft. The e-sports scene is way more easily accessible now compared to when I first joined as a shoutcaster. However, although I believe anybody can shoutcast, not everyone can be a professional shoutcaster. Do it for the passion first before the benefits and one day you will get to become the shoutcaster you desire!