Epi: Criticism has been very constructive

posted by Roegnvaldr, 3 years ago
While still very young in the scene, de Christian 'Epi' Czech has been growing both in presence and as a commentator. With high quality streams and guest appearances such as eu mTw's Sébastien '7ckingMad' Debs, Epi is an aspiring caster with much potential. Always on the lookout for promising new faces on the scene, joinDOTA has conducted an interview with him - and we find out that he has much to say about himself and the community.

Christian 'Epi' Czech

First I'd like to thank you for taking the time for this interview, Epi. First off, as many may know, to become a commentator is not only hard work, it is very hard to grow in numbers. What attracted you to casting in the first place?

Hello everyone, my pleasure! It was The International 1 that got the spark going. I've been playing Dota for 6 years and always loved it. It sounds strange but I think many Dota players can relate when I word it as: I've developed a strong relationship with the game and it's a solid part of my life. And commentating has always been on my mind. Back in the day I was lurking around dotacommentaries for humongous amounts of time watching Lumi, Nebu1a, IanJamesBarnett and co watching the pro players do their thing. The competitive scene just *really* interested and still interests me. With the advent of Dota 2 and all the excitement it brought with it, coupled with an amazing experience such as The International 1 and witnessing Toby and Slesh doing their thing, I knew that I wanted to be a part of - and contribute to - the Dota(2) community. I need to add though that many people have ideas, aspirations and dreams in their head and very few of them do what it takes to realize them. I was lucky enough to meet an amazing lady that made a genuine effort in helping me realize my dreams. (That sounds so gay.)

So you could say that your girlfriend is your manager? Does she play Dota 2 as well?

Yes, you could say that. Among many other things. She plays Dota 2 and shares a big portion of my excitement about it.

Even though you live in Germany, your english is quite fluent and doesn't have the typical "german accent" in it. Do you practice a lot outside of the casts?

I lived in Alberta, Canada for 3 years of my life so much of my fluency comes from that time. My job also requires me to speak english a lot of the time so you could say I live a billingual life.

How about your experiences so far? It's been months of casting for you - has your resolve changed? Did you learn new things? Do you think it is much different than you previously thought it would be?

It's been very educational, humbling and very, very fun! It's been 82 days ever since I started casting. I've learnt a lot up to this point, mostly, that there is a crapload left to learn. Although I think I've reached a decent niveau of casting, I know that there is a lot left in me that will take time and experience to come out. The thing that shocked me the most is the amount of time and especially energy that goes into casting. It's first hand experiences like that that really teach you to respect the top casters out there. We all know that one crazy dude that will not eat or sleep but still go apeshit-crazy when a spectacular teamfight breaks loose. All in all casting is what I expected it to be. Fun, fun, fun and tiring. Perhaps a little more time consuming than I had hoped, but that is how it is if you work full-time in real life.

How were the first reactions to your casting and were you disencouraged at any time so far?

The criticism that has come out of the very first casts has been very constructive. Mainly because at that stage, only people came to watch my videos with the sole intention of providing constructive criticism. So that was good. The so-called "haters" never discouraged me, because I am one of those people that believes that flames and hurtfully phrased comments are just poorly worded suggestions for improvement. That way a comment such as - and I quote directly from a GGnet comment on my stream - "this epi guy is so crap rofl he cant even speak proper english lord" becomes "You know, I personally did not enjoy this guy. The quality of this guys' casts is far below what I am used to up to now. He needs to work hard if he wants to keep doing this. And it wouldn't hurt for him to work on his articulative skills." - Life is all about perspective and communicating properly is a problem all of us have. I didn't let comments like that stop me and eventually I was contacted by a friend who showed Toby my casts and Toby said "You know, this guy could become a really good host." - and he provided me with access to some amazing professional Dota games and I have been learning ever since. Personalities such as Purge have also been very supportive and nice.

With so much support, it is indeed likely that we will be seeing more of you! Will you be participating as a caster in any major upcoming tournaments?

I will be at Gamescom later on in August to cover the german World Cyber Games Qualifier as well as the Samsung European Encounter. There will be a bunch of very good teams participating and - although it is not as prestigious as The International 2 coming up - I am still very much looking forward to the event and meeting everybody there!

What are your opinions about North American, European and Asian Dota? Are there any teams or any region that you particularly enjoy casting for?

I personally really enjoy watching Natus Vincere and Darer. It was Artstyle back in the Dota 1 days that really switched the predominant pace of the game with his highly aggressive drafts and strategies. Talking about this topic, I feel the urge to clarify that I am not trying to say that Artstyle is above all the rest, but I am also not blindly ignoring the tremendous impact that his mind has had on the game. Puppey has done an amazing job with Na'Vi ever since Artstyle's departure as well. Another team that has been incredibly impressive as of late is POTM Bottom. A few of you may remember the interview I did with Aui_2000 - that, by the way was my first ever interview and a big shoutout to Blue_Knight for being such an amazing person - and even back then I knew this guy would have an impact on the scene. And about a month or two later he and his boys win the Pro Dota 2 World League Pro Division! I do not have enough experience with the chinese teams from their Dota 1 days to comfortably share my opinion about them. "What I can say is that they have been improving at a terrifyingly fast pace ever since they switched their focus onto Dota 2.
It is safe to say that The International 2 will be the event of a lifetime for Dota(2) lovers.

A happy fanboy

Even though you are new in the scene as a commentator, you have already spent quite some time within the scene as an observer. What are your thoughts about the Dota 2 scene as a whole and the professionalism issues?

You know, if you've been playing Dota for a long time, you realize that this game *can* be a very emotional ordeal. Everybody has their opinions on how certain situations in a game could've gone or should've gone and that leads to so much ingame hate, it really isn't funny anymore. Dota 2 is all about team work and proper team work is all about communication. Some people say that the anonymity of the internet makes people feel untouchable and that that leads to much of the hateful behaviour and others say that the anonymity of the internet gives people the freedom to be the assholes they have always been. With all things in life it's not all black and white. Whatever the exact reasons for the current state of the Dota 2 scene may be, it is fairly obvious that less hate and ignorance would be beneficial to everyone involved. Players, casters and sponsors alike. So try to work on wording problems more constructively, Dota 2 world, and if the noobs in your game piss you off, heed to Puppey's words and "Make a team - Then play like one."

Thanks for your time, Epi. I hope that you achieve more viewers and some players heed to your words! Any last shoutouts and messages you'd like to send to your fans?

Thank you Rögnvaldr for the interview!

Shoutout to all the regular viewers that have stuck with me through my early phase, you know who you are and you played a big role in making this endeavor as fun as it has been so far. To everyone reading this interview: Thank you for your time and I hope you will check out my stream! Tomorrow I will cast Evil Geniuses vs. Quantic Gaming at 20:00 CEST for JoinDOTA's "The Defense". If you want to know where to find my stream or where to support me, please visit www.epiCommentary.com for all the big social media sites!

Shoutout to HEIZER, FRIEMELFAK, LASTENBÖRRG, Casta-Blasta, petitdragon, windu, crolu, Toby, Slesh, Purge, durkadurka, HolyMaster, Blue_Knight, 7ckngMad, FINOL, the Dotasource community, everyone I forgot (I am sorry!) and especially you, the reader.

And at last but certainly not least a heartfelt "Thank You" to my fiance Maria for all her support over the course of our relationship and all the things I've left unsaid. She did the homepage and artwork for epiCommentary and so much more. She has truly been a blessing for me.

And my mom!

To anybody who wants to check on Epi's work, please visit his website.

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orangenod18 wrote at 06.08.2012, 22:42 CEST:
BlindEyeHalo wrote at 06.08.2012, 22:49 CEST:
cool guy i think he is on the way to become a great caster. A thing which he definitely has to improve is his excitement in Team Fights, but at least he is not as boring as purge (no hate, just don't like his style)^^

I hope he gets more recognition, but i think it is really hard to get viewers if you are casting the same game as toby, would be nice to see him casting "exclusively"
Abziz wrote at 06.08.2012, 23:12 CEST:
seriously speaking, this guy can make a shoutcast fun allmost as much as tobi!
the more known casters have more viewer just because they cast the games that people wanna see,
but this guy, like tobi, I wanna see him casting because of him and not the game.
gnoOu wrote at 06.08.2012, 23:12 CEST:
i like that he is not nonstop talking.
Tpimp wrote at 06.08.2012, 23:12 CEST:
who cares
Italienboy wrote at 06.08.2012, 23:16 CEST:
and on the picture, puppey has signed his t-shirt :D
forreading wrote at 06.08.2012, 23:30 CEST:
Has he ever had more than 500 viewers?
Skim wrote at 06.08.2012, 23:31 CEST:
By no means is this hate, but he looks like he is 14 on the first picture :o
Anyway, I have enjoyed his casts so far, they have been solid and are definitely better than some other casts from..... a certain monotone guy and girl
While he can work on his "articulative skills" I think it's more important to improve his overall awareness of the map/game, but that's practice related stuff.
Beelze wrote at 06.08.2012, 23:35 CEST:
Seems like a nice guy, I only saw his casting once Fnatic against SGC or something in TD. I totally agree with the posters above me saying that he is really entertaining and fun.
lucon wrote at 06.08.2012, 23:39 CEST:
Did he named the giraffes yet haha
T4NG0 wrote at 06.08.2012, 23:54 CEST:
Watching him for +- 10 weeks and he is doing great :) My favorite caster so far! Great interview, hope to see him getting more acknowledged by the dota scene.
SadClown wrote at 06.08.2012, 23:58 CEST:
I somehow ended on his stream the other day, and I was pleasantly surprised : he's already pretty good for someone so new to casting. I hope to see more of him in the future.
Trock wrote at 07.08.2012, 00:07 CEST:
needs way more game knowledge!
Homicida wrote at 07.08.2012, 00:11 CEST:
I like epi's casting, good to watch when tobi not around :D
Keep up good work and hope u get more viewers.
Legolas wrote at 07.08.2012, 00:25 CEST:
I will pick him over LD (esp LD) and Godz ANYDAY. Epi just try to get in the scene more and start casting big matches. You will have a watcher
Zagdil wrote at 07.08.2012, 00:27 CEST:
Thanks from Dotasource. We'll keep supporting you. <3
xMxgxZx wrote at 07.08.2012, 00:48 CEST:
So why didn't he join DotaCommentaries back then? Im sure Lumi would give him a chance to be a part of the crew before.
josipinho93 wrote at 07.08.2012, 00:52 CEST:
great caster, seems like a great and fun guy aswell, best of luck to you man :)
GeaR-_- wrote at 07.08.2012, 01:19 CEST:
Never watched his stream, saw him on LAN. seems to be a nice guy.
demarubem wrote at 07.08.2012, 01:31 CEST:
Legolas wrote:
I will pick him over LD (esp LD) and Godz ANYDAY. Epi just try to get in the scene more and start casting big matches. You will have a watcher

LD is great dont see your point really
obliqq wrote at 07.08.2012, 02:13 CEST:
1000 times better then lumi, purge, sheever, LD to a point. only ones i find more entertaining is AC & tobi, but they've casted ( not only dota ) for a very long time. With more training/practice and casting OTHER games then godz-LD / AC-draskyll / tobi - often matches are supposed to be played on the same time, but delays, pauses etc make u able to jump between the tabs/streams.
No i dont enjoy in-depth guys like lumi, i watch to get entertained (ppl that have played since before icefrog took over knows/understands 99% of the choices they do anyways)

keep it going, ur great! - true fan
RoG623 wrote at 07.08.2012, 02:16 CEST:
T4NG0 wrote:
Watching him for +- 10 weeks and he is doing great :) My favorite caster so far! Great interview, hope to see him getting more acknowledged by the dota scene.

The chocolate bar challenge will be epic.
mdn_ wrote at 07.08.2012, 02:18 CEST:
I really enjoy Epi's casting a lot and hope that he gets more recognition over the next weeks and months and with a little more enthusiasm that surely will happen.
Crit.Happens. wrote at 07.08.2012, 04:03 CEST:
Yo Sheever, this is DA REAL DEAL
elkurgan wrote at 07.08.2012, 04:16 CEST:
Maybe future second caster for joindota when dota 2 goes out of beta? ;)

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