‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast
At this year’s Mid-Season Invitational there will be only one LCK caster. This is an inherent problem as Korea — and by extension, SKT — is the most dominant region in the world. Azael made the argument on Twitter that it didn’t matter as much because it was SKT so everyone stays more up to date on the best team in the world.
There are a few things to address here. First, there is the obvious argument that not all casters will be up to date, as DoA points out here. Then there is the even more obvious answer that not all casters think alike. Every NA LCS caster could theoretically watch every LCK VOD, every LCK interview and read every article/interview that comes out of the region, and they still wouldn’t have, say, someone like LS’s knowledge of the ladder, player habits or experience talking with the players and teams firsthand.
Second, I don’t think there is any argument as to why no one from LMS wasn’t asked to join as LMS continues to always “surprise” at international events and recently beat G2 at IEM Katowice.
Finally, what do I mean by deep knowledge? Deep knowledge goes beyond just watching all of the VODs of SKT this season. It is watching all of their opponents’ VODs and seeing how their opponents changed their picks or strategy or play when they played against SKT. It is knowing every player and team interaction within a particular game in the grander context of the league. It is knowing the player history, styles and philosophies of every player on the roster. It is knowing how each player interacted differently from roster to roster, from team to team, from player to player back as far as you can take it.
How you go about this is completely different as every mind and thinking pattern is unique. It isn’t enough to watch VODs. I can get the five best analysts from League of Legends and have them all watch KT vs. SKT best-of-threes this season, and all five could give me very different answers of why and how and what happened in each game dependent on their own experiences and thinking. But an LCK caster from the region gets to watch the game unfold live, gets to watch the VOD, gets to talk to the players, gets to watch all of the other games and know the greater context of the games and how/why those interactions occurred, gets to know the careers/trajectories/stories/styles of each player on SKT and how they interacted differently in each part of their career and the context of those seasons/games/teams. Once you are entrenched into that environment for years you even get the cultural nuances to better understand certain philosophies and styles of a player.
These minute details are what elevate a cast from good to great. And isn’t that the point of all of this? To put on the best show possible?