Yea…it’s going to be pretty hard to improve on that.
Even though the era of video in gaming streams has been upon us for around 7 years or so now, with the DIY free video stream section of that now entering its third year, commentary styles have not kept up. Even those that entered the mix after the dawn of the video stream are largely employing styles of commentary established ten years prior, when it was a Nullsoft Shoutcast stream or nothing.
But even that particular style is an abhorrent one: breathless, rambling, exhibiting a sharp fear of silences, one that would rather fill space where nothing is really happening with complete bullshit than nothing, one where words-per-minute is a valuable metric, one where it’s not customary but obligatory to choke yourself with excitement when anything remotely interesting happens, to throw diction out the window; the more incomprehensible you are, the better. This style really had no value back then, other than to simply act as a starting point; it certainly has no value now.
I only had time this weekend to catch the grand finals match from MLG Raleigh. The match itself was quite entertaining. Day was well-timed and restrained. Husky was simply distracting on every fight; when he had the mic, he was the show. And it’s utterly backwards.
This is my best shot at taking the tweet quoted at top and…maybe refining it a bit: commentary is just as much about what you don’t say as what you do say. At any given moment, there’s a handful of things you could potentially say about the current situation. Amateurs try to say them all in the same breath; if that means five words a second, so be it. Great analysts are able to filter out the most important salient point of that set, and can clearly articulate it before the moment passes, without hesitation and without ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’. That’s the difference.