During the Rainbow 6 Siege Paris Major, Esports News UK's Craig Robinson sat down with Harry "Demo" Dempster to talk about his journey as a caster, who inspires him and all things Siege.
Craig Robinson, ENUK: You have only been casting since January, what is that got you into casting?
Harry "Demo" Dempster: I played a lot on Xbox in year 1 (from Siege's release) and mid-way through year 2, then in June last year I just left my team. I decided to try something different. I applied for the community caster list and started out casting the major league on Xbox.
I started to work my way up and got involved with ESL. I met the guys over at ESL UK and did EGX for them back in September 2017. And then they did their Premiership season, and that was when I started my first studio cast in January this year.
How did you find these studio casts?
It was different; it was new. I was always a solo caster, just the way I did it at home, just from my own computer. And then I was being introduced to a lot of guys who have been around, such as Dezachu, Excoundrel, League of Legends casters by nature. But they really showed me the ropes. They helped me through it. Just as I helped them through it because essentially, they didn’t know anything about the game. And that’s why I was necessarily there - to help those guys.
So, yeah, a big part of that is from Excoundrel and Dez. They sheltered me, showed me the ropes, they showed me what they did whenever they started off. And yeah, that really played a part in my confidence I would say, more so than anything else.
"When I received the Paris offer… I was shaking. I was actually mid-way through a Hearthstone cast when I got the message. My adrenaline just went through the roof. It was insane when I got that message."
Would you say Siege is your go-to game now because of your experience casting the Premiership, and being taught by Dez and Excoundrel?
Oh yeah. It's naturally the game I spend most of my time on. I started with other esport titles as well. I want to be another caster in another game as well. It’s always good to get yourself out there and do more events and really experience it.
I would like to keep doing Siege for the majority of my casting. But I would like to try other games, expand myself, meet new people, and get a different aspect and a change as to what Siege brings which is very, very unique.
You’ve grown a lot since January, you had your first big event at Dreamhack Valencia and now here. What’s it like climbing that hard so quickly?
Well, essentially, whenever I started casting I wasn’t expecting my first big international LAN event until 2 or 3 years down the line. I never thought it was going to be as close as it was.
When I got hit with the Valencia offer I felt I had surpassed myself, I couldn’t believe it. Oh my God, I was actually going to an international LAN to cast professional teams at a professional level!
When I received the Paris offer… I was shaking. I was actually mid-way through a Hearthstone cast when I got the message. And Hearthstone has a very unique pace, completely different to FPSs. My adrenaline just went through the roof. It was insane when I got that message.
It’s definitely surreal being here. I'd never have believed I would've been here within such little time. But yeah, I’m certainly not finished yet and have a long way to go. And we’ll see where the next couple of years take me.
"Excoundrel and Dezachu sheltered me and showed me the ropes. That really played a part in my confidence I would say, more so than anything else."
How would you rate your cast so far? As you said, you’ve been a solo caster from the start. You’ve come here and done duo casts with people you’re not familiar with. What was it like?
It was difficult. Because you have to completely change the way you cast to suit whoever you’re working with. I did a cast with every other person on the broadcast team. That’s 5 different people I had to go ahead and cast with.
It can be a big step, it can be a big change compared to the 4 that we have whenever we think of the chemistry mzo and Milosh bring, and KiXSTAr and Interro bring.
I don’t have that mojo just yet. I have looked at my cast and I see big flaws I’m not happy with and I certainly need to change the majority of my casting. I wasn’t at all happy with how I performed. I don’t know if anyone else thinks otherwise. But I know I can do better and I’m nowhere near my full potential yet.
When it comes to casting roles, who would you prefer to be involved with in a duo cast? Would you prefer to flex about, get more involved with UK talents like Dez and Excoundrel, or would you like to branch out and try and form chemistry with totally new people?
Of course, I would like to have my own certified duo whenever you think of me, you think of the other guy as well. I enjoyed casting with Excoundrel. I thought me and him worked really well. I hope we get to cast again in the future.
But yeah, people here like Interro. We did a cast together. It was a lot more relaxed; I feel I could have a lot more flexibility. He gave me a lot more talking time as well, even though I gave him talking time. He was great to cast with. KiXSTAr and I did a cast together too. We had a good, explosive, raw energy as we are still quite young in this industry.
So yeah these are definitely duos I’d like to cast with. But, for the most part, it is whoever I know, I just click with them. That’s what I want. We’ll see what happens and see who I meet. We never know what the future holds.
"Redeye is a big influence and role model to me - the way he essentially started out from nothing. He's someone who I have watched and seen the way he does it. I admire anyone who does this work because I know how hard it can be."
There are a lot of people trying to get into casting at the moment. You’re young yourself and getting into it. If there is anyone out there in a similar position to you, that wants to get into casting, what tips could you give them?
Keep grinding, keep looking back at what you do in your casting. If you’re streaming at home, casting Go4’s or doing community casting, look back at what you do, take notes and pick out your little flaws.
Really go in on yourself, tear at everything you’ve done, break it down to see how it should have been done better. Eventually, with more practice, you’ll just keep getting better and better. The more you grind the better it will be because that’s what I had to do. I was doing it many, many other nights just sitting down and talking into a camera.
Do you have any particular role models within the casting community? Any big casters you aspire to be like, or a particular style you like that someone has?
I have to say Redeye has been a big influence. He's someone who I have watched and seen the way he does it. And he’s the biggest host in the world for that reason.
So Redeye is a big role model to me - the way he essentially started out from nothing. He built himself in the UK scene primarily and you know he’s from the UK as well. So, if I can get to his level then I’ll certainly be doing well for myself. But yeah, for the most part, I just admire anyone who does this work because I know how hard it can be.
Image provided by Demo/ESL