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Sep 28, 2014



I'm an avid Dota 2 player and watcher (thousands of games played, hundreds of games spectated, was at TI4 this year).

Except for some matches with far eastern players with names that casters don't know how to read, much less pronounce, the tendency is to use player handles.

As a viewer, I find this endlessly frustrating. Sure, each hero has the player handle floating above their head, but the heroes are much easier to quickly identify and follow.

My assumption is that they do this because of some desire to acknowledge the player "behind" the hero, as if using the player's handle recognized that different players have different play styles and such. But it's the practical repercussions that are more important.


Mr Pizza,
I originally assumed that hero name was the default as the first casts I listened to mainly used hero name. As a n00b to the area this worked for me because as you say they were talking about what I could see rather than the small name above the character.

The general trend seems to be that the higher the level the cast in respect of the expertise of the casters, rank of players and level tournament - the greater the emphasis on the individual player. This assumes that the audience has a lot more knowledge about who is playing what, which also assumes a lot more attention to the cast.

All of which, I feel are probably sound assumptions for much of the audience.

Yes, it is a recognition of the player behind the character (though later I'll talk about how they are negated), but I think it's more an acknowledgement of where the motivation of the audience lie, I think that people follow people. Another point I'll get onto is the construction of narrative around events and a requirement for there to be people as part of the eSports soap opera.

It would be interesting to hear some casters talk about why they do what they do.

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