Last November, League of Legends content creator Mattheos and Haodong Zhang interviewed a handful of winners at the 2018 Esports Awards in London, including MonteCristo, Bwipo and more.
With the New Year now here and many people setting themselves new goals and looking to improve, here's a recap of the interviews including their advice for aspiring pro gamers and casters.
Note: Apologies, some of the interviews are slightly difficult to hear. If you're finding it tricky try using headphones and turning the volume up.
MonteCristo: 'Overwatch is the most challenging game I've ever cast'
Mattheos interviewed Christopher "MonteCristo" Mykles after he picked up the award for Live Event of the Year, on behalf of the Overwatch League Grand Finals, at the Esports Awards 2018.
"It’s hard for me because I started acting on age when I was 8 years old and have done about 15 different theatrical to the end of college, so I really don’t have any stage fright because I started at such a young age," MonteCristo said.
"But what I do to centre myself is theatre warm-up, focus on tongue twisters and diction, and get myself in the zone and ready to cast before a big show."
On casting Overwatch, he added: "Overwatch is the most challenging game I’ve ever cast. I really love the game and it’s great that Blizzard is continuing to support new features for spectating, from the home and away skins, figuring out a great system for observing and having new projects come along like in-client spectating which debuted in the Overwatch World Cup.
"Viewers can watch exactly how they want to. It’s all very exciting and it’ll only get better."
Bwipo: 'Recognise your strengths and keep training'
Fnatic League of Legends top-laner Gabriël "Bwipo" Rau, speaking after he won PC Rookie of the Year at the Esports Awards 2018, offered advice for aspiring UK League of Legends pros.
He said: "Recognise your strengths, see what you’re good at. Keep training, that’s what I did. Slow down, farm, take the game slow, keep fighting, trading, creating opportunities. The same goes for being aggressive and the same goes for being passive. Try and recognise what you’re doing right and stick to it, build something around it, something that nobody else will be able to do."
Bwipo also spoke about family support. He said: "My family and my mum specifically did something that nobody expected her to do, she allowed me to quit school and play League exclusively even though there wasn’t really an opportunity for me yet. It was just a hope, just a dream.
"Making me happy was enough for her to step out and give me that chance anyway. And I can understand any families that don’t feel comfortable doing that. There are qualifications that people will want to get first, be that finishing your high school degree or anything else, then looking for more opportunities in esports later."
Kenny: 'Get your name out there'
CoD pro Kenny Williams, who won Console Rookie of the Year at the Esports Awards, said the latest CoD is the best one yet.
"The newest one is my favourite Call of Duty. Modern Warfare 3 is up there but the new game is great. And if we’re all playing the game, the CoD scene grows. The new game is definitely one of the best CoDs ever made so I see it growing really big."
On advice to hopeful pro players, he said: "I came up through smaller online [MLG 2K] tournaments. Start running those and get your name out there, network and work your way up. Getting the chemistry down and teamwork is one of the hardest things [but is so important]."
Evolved Talent Agency: 'Players need to push themselves as the next big superstar'
Mattheos interviewed Sebastien Delvaux (left) and Chris “k1MBLE” Lloyd (right) from Evolved Talent Agency who won Supporting Agency of the Year at the Esports Awards 2018.
On advice for upcoming talent, Chris said: "There are guys that are star players. They have good streams. They have nice concurrent followings, but they need to push themselves as the next big superstar that's going to like bridge the gap between ordinary consumers and esports consumers. And I think 2018 was the first year that we had people like Ninja, we had several guys in our agency like SypherPK, different guys like that they can actually reach that edge lawn and bridge that gap.
"Most importantly what we're seeing with Rocket League and Fortnight and Overwatch to a certain extent is the ability for guys to come up from basically nothing. And make an impression with the numbers, the quantitative, and then to catch our eyes, where we can go in and look like how qualitative are they are. Are they making the right decisions? Are they picking the right heroes whether it's LCS, or whatever, are they dropping the right spot? Are they coordinating with their guys? How are they like sharing health packs in Fortnight?
"There's a lot of different qualitative elements that go into it, but ultimately like if you're a random player you come to us and you say hey, here's my stats. I'm 20 and 1 and solo play and we're like, wow, that's ridiculous. Because if you're over five in one, that's crazy, and we look at it and see if you’re making the right decisions. You have a decent stream. You're funny. You're good-looking - all the different criteria that could actually help someone become big in a traditional Twitch sense and also a traditional entertainment sense."
Sebastien Delvaux added: "I think the best way for talents to get out there is by broadcasting their screens. Maybe you're on Reddit posting clips, you know, make sure you pull your highlights together, make sure that they're publicly available and that you're actually using proper tags and mentioning the right people to get yourself out there."
Intel: 'Our investment in UK esports is helping it grow'
Not advice as such, but in this interview Intel UK gaming and esports lead Scott Gillingham talked about supporting the scene, after Intel won Commercial Partner of the Year at the Esports Awards 2018.
"I think our general investment in esports is helping it grow," he said. "I think if you look at the top, we have Intel Extreme Masters, you know, one of the longest-running most prestigious esports tournaments around the globe, and then we will look at other sponsorships. We were the main sponsor for the PUBG Invitational in Berlin; we're obviously now sponsoring the NBA 2K League. All of these kind of things we continue to invest in, and that's what we will continue to do to help esports grow.
"Our focus in the UK is working with ESL, with their Premiership and then helping those teams grow within the Premiership and hopefully we can get some of those teams into bigger tournaments. I think in 2018 if you look at smooya, he's a great example of a UK gamer that's come through the ranks of the UK CSGO Premiership and is now playing on the big stage, the final of ESL One Cologne for example.
"We also have influencers that we work with, so specifically here in the UK we work with Sacriel, we work with jackfrags, we work with with The Tech Chap, you know, those guys are focused on the UK market and we continue to help those kind of guys and work with those guys. There are new influencers coming along, you know, we're always looking for new talent and again helping to grow new talent in the UK and the esports industry in the UK."