Interview with Kaelaris
Sun 3rd Dec 2017 - 11:36am
We sat down with James “Kaelaris” Carrol at Blizzcon 2017 to have a short talk about his past with esports and his hopes for 2018. Kaelaris is a prominent host and caster in the Heroes of the Storm community.
What was your first esports job?
Kaelaris: So I got started in esports about 7 years ago. I’d moved to Finland because I met a girl in World of Warcraft, but I couldn’t speak Finnish so finding a job was very difficult. That was around the time that StarCraft 2 Beta kicked off and I had watched a load of people on YouTube and I thought to myself, “I can do better commentaries than they do.” So I started doing them.
I started putting them on YouTube and got a few followers and then was eventually recognized by some tournament organizers. My first ever proper tournament was the Intel Extreme Masters World Championship which [laughs] I got paid $600 for 6 days. So I was like, “Yes! Esports earnings!” I was very pleased with that at the time. Things have progressed on from there.
What have been some major turn points in your career in esports?
Kaelaris: When I went from bedroom caster to actually doing this full-time, there was a lot of opportunities for me to develop my personal skills, completely dedicate full-time to it, and then to be able to step on from there. I think that during the entirety of StarCraft 2, there was a lot of moments where I thought there were steps up, like when we started doing league format from just the normal tournament.
But one of the big turning points was branching out a little bit and not just doing StarCraft 2, but doing things like Heroes of the Storm. Being able to do more games meant that I could expand my repertoire, expand how I talked about games, how I felt about games, and it really helped a lot just to be able to then step back into the StarCraft shoes and I brought a lot of those lessons back with me.
Do you like shoutcasting or desk hosting more?
Kaelaris: Do I like hosting better or casting better? I get this question a lot, and they are two very different things. Personally, I like casting better. I’m not gonna make no bones about it, I like casting better. But I also know that a show needs to have a strong host and somebody who is able to drive the show and drive the conversation.
If it was an ideal world, I’d like to just be constantly commentating and casting, but because we’re in the situation where there are not many people that are well-versed at hosting, there’s not that many people that want to do it, and I like to think I’ll take one for the team and do it so that we can push the tournament and the flow of the tournament to where it needs to be.
Will we see more of you in HGC 2018?
Kaelaris: Are we going to see more of me in 2018? It’s debatable. We’re trying to go through the motions of it. I would love to be involved full-time or at least in a higher capacity than 2017, but it all comes down to business. I do love Heroes of the Storm, it is the game above all right now that I do love and that’s why I’m here. If we can’t come to a business agreement, then that will be very unfortunate. I’ve got a lot of other things I could potentially be doing if we don’t come to that mutual agreement. So, we’ll see, we’ll see. I would love it to happen.
Thanks to Kaelaris for taking the time to talk with us at BlizzCon 2017. With luck, we'll see him casting some Heroes of the Storm action in 2018. Otherwise, be sure to check him out casting and hosting a variety of other games. You can follow Kaelaris on Twitter for the latest news about what he's up to.