The VCT Game Changers Caster Training program was a first for the women who wish to become professional esports casters. It was created in order to provide educational training for women of all backgrounds to continue to develop their talents.
Mimi "aEvilcat" Wermcrantz, who usually goes by Mimi, was one of the women selected for the training. She talked to Nerd Street to discuss what she experienced and what the program did for her and others who attended.
In the initial post about the program, Riot said that the aim of the program was to teach participants “fundamental principles of commentary in tactical FPS, how to cast with a partner, building your brand online, the relationship between casters and the broadcast team, and more.”
The application process and getting accepted
Although Mimi is very well known in the scene already, she said she applied to the program because she’s still new to the world of casting.
“I started casting just about exactly a year ago, and I started doing it like for pay, and like it's something I'm serious about, like eight months ago, so I'm really brand new, two things that I've just learned quickly in the grand scheme of things,” Mimi said.
Mimi said that a group of women were flown out to California to experience the training. Riot paid for everything including flights, hotels and food. She said that Riot wanted more women involved and didn’t want expenses to be a barrier to applying.
She also said that there was a case to be made that she had too much experience to be able to attend the training, but Mimi feels that although she has experience, she has a ways to go in her skills and knowledge of the field.
“I had been working already,” she said. “It was kind of an entry-level thing, but I feel like me being out there, I have a lot to grow. … And also being able to learn with my peers because there was, what, six of us out there, and it's about kind of creating that community and working together.”
What kinds of things did they teach at VCT Game Changers Caster Training?
The VCT Game Changers Caster Training was in-person, which gave the participants hands-on training and a great opportunity to network.
“There was this woman that they had in for like three of the five days we were there. And she just came in, helped us out, gave us kind of different vocal warm-up ideas, ways to keep yourself warm, which is awesome. And then on top of that we had actual casting,” Mimi said. “The other person for me was Sean Gares. Because Sean is like, I would say the best color commentator we have right now in VALORANT. He's a really smart guy, he has years of FPS experience and IGL that no one else really has right now.”
Photo credit: Nerd Street
As well as the basics of casting, Mimi learned how to pinpoint and fix issues in her own casting when she watched her VODs back. Before the program, she could tell something was off but didn’t know how to fix it. After the program and getting tips from people more experienced, she was able to identify and fix the mistakes in her casting.
“[I got] more information to pinpoint where my mistakes are coming from so I can continue to refine, because there's lots of people that are good casters,” Mimi said. “It's tough to be a great caster, and being able to have that kind of self improvement attitude and being able to actually have like, you have to analyze the game, [but] you also have to analyze yourself and look at yourself with a very critical eye and be able to tear that down and separate the issues from anything mental and just take something, run with it and improve it.”
What’s next for the VCT Game Changers Caster Training?
Mimi thought the program was helpful, and she compared the program to traditional education, with lectures and instruction, but did note it was difficult to get one-on-one training.
“Obviously, you can't get every single mentor to be able to cast with every single group,” Mimi said. “But just having those one-on-one, VOD review sessions, not as the thing that is just offered, but it's the thing that was structured and directly part of it, I think would be better. But to be honest, they did a damn good job for what it was. It was something that they put together pretty quickly. They found some amazing talent and had some great things.”
There are no details available for any of the VCT Game Changers programs for next year, but it’s expected that Riot will reveal more information about the VCT 2022 roadmap, including VCT Game Changers around the same time as VCT Champions, which takes place Dec. 1-12.
Lead photo credit: Nerd Street