Having spent the final two months casting the latest Hearthstone Grandmasters (which resulted in a controversial participant ‘ragequit’), Alexander ‘Raven’ Baguley is an skilled UK Hearthstone caster.
Raven has a storied historical past, having performed within the previous ESL UK & Ireland Hearthstone Premiership and at varied Insomnias, earlier than transitioning into casting. Not solely that, however he’s run his personal occasions, was topped the ‘UK’s Best Gamer’, witnessed UK esports’ first streaker and first met ENUK editor Dom Sacco whereas enjoying vanilla World of Warcraft some 15 years in the past. The previous guildmates catch up on this in-depth video interview.
On xBlyzes’ ‘ragequit’ versus Frenetic whilst you have been casting the finals of Grandmasters – was it irritating for you?
Personally, it’s irritating, and particularly for a grand closing, the place the winner – Frenetic – will get a spot on the World Championships later this yr.
It’s irritating as a result of it’s an enormous second, you construct as much as it as a story-teller, after which you have got your payoff. The sport ends, there’s the victory, incredible, full-screen cam of the participant – nice. However that was mainly faraway from that final recreation [because of how xBlyzes quit].
In xBlyzes protection, at any time when xBlyzes ends a match – and he’s finished this all season since he’s been a Grandmaster (GM), he successfully Alt+F4s, and after they go to his digital camera, it’s frozen, as a result of he’s finished. Win or loss – he doesn’t simply do that when he loses, so I don’t suppose it was his intention to upset Frenetic.
So it was unlucky, it was a silly factor for xBlyzes to do and it did suck a bit for Frenetic, however he nonetheless gained after all and obtained his spot at Worlds. xBlyzes did make a tweet after he lost saying he ‘wanted to die’ and the group gave him numerous crap for that.
It’s additionally irritating as a result of nobody was speaking about Frenetic. And he didn’t get the payoff second. In a Hearthstone match, if a participant leaves, the sport pauses and won’t proceed till the particular person is again. So the sport hadn’t ended. So till an admin tells Frenetic he’s gained and is allowed to go away, he’s simply sat there. However we do have an interview with Frenetic popping out.
Why does the group react so strongly to your pronunciation of the phrase ‘Shaman’?
(Laughs) It’s humorous cos I nonetheless get folks going at me as we speak for these items! It’s so bizarre.
I’ve had folks getting actually offended and threatening to report me to Blizzard over this!
There are two other ways to say the phrase – ‘shayman’ (the British approach of claiming it) and ‘shahman’ (usually spoken by the remainder of the world).
The entire folks I’ve forged with – even the UK guys – all say ‘shahman’. I feel it’s the concept of language the place utilization decides all the pieces, so if nearly all of folks say one thing a technique, then that’s now right. However I simply say ‘shayman’ as a result of that’s what I’ve all the time mentioned and I really feel bizarre saying one thing that’s not technically incorrect.
The best way I see it now’s it’s humorous, it makes me chuckle greater than something. If it bothers people who a lot with how I say Shaman, and that ruins their expertise, then I fear for them actually!
Raven’s early days in esports, his ‘horrible’ first forged (his phrases!) and transitioning from participant to caster
StarCraft 2 was an enormous deal for me – that was my first foray into the world of esports. I attempted to compete however I wasn’t ok, I obtained Masters.
Then Hearthstone got here out, and as I cherished card video games and World of Warcraft, all of it moulded collectively. I took half in on-line cups and that snowballed into UK LANs like Insomnias. I positioned fairly nicely in my second one, solely shedding to then professional gamers like GreenSheep at Dignitas.
I ran Barcraft match occasions in Manchester, and in the future, I obtained knocked out of Insomnia and was requested if I wished to ‘participant forged’ – and that was numerous enjoyable. Two large occasions actually pushed it – Gfinity occasions in London and DreamHack.
I used to be horrible in my first forged for Gfinity, it was so dangerous and cringey! The digital camera got here on and it was simply… the stress [got to me]. I used to be simply sat there like a noob. But it surely went okay, we didn’t mess up.
Then not lengthy after that, I was playing for a team called Manalight and DreamHack requested if I wished to forged as nicely – and receives a commission for it. I used to be like, ‘sure, after all’! I forged with Gnimsh, Frodan and others, among the greatest Hearthstone casters, and I had a good time.
Once I’m casting I attempt to have time and simply have enjoyable speaking concerning the recreation.
Being topped ‘the UK’s best gamer’ and that ESL Prem streaker incident…
You realize what’s finest about that ‘UK’s finest gamer’ win? They by no means did one other one, so I nonetheless maintain that title!
It was a cool match, ran by Virgin Media and it was a Hexathlon, so there was six completely different video games: Smash, FIFA, Hearthstone, SMITE, Future and Heroes of the Storm.
There was drama at that occasion too. When enjoying SMITE, one among my opponents requested me if the champion I used to be hovering over was good. I mentioned sure, however then he locked him in! It was a mid-lane mage, so I picked an ADC as an alternative, and I obtained very fed! Then I obtained accused of dishonest. However they obtained kicked out, as a result of it seems they have been dishonest!
On the streaker incident, I used to be backstage and never on the audience-facing angle, and it wasn’t captured on digital camera, thank god! It was unusual, as a result of the occasion was good, as have been the viewers, it was simply so random. This man simply jumped onto the stage bare. For a Hearthstone match to have a streaker too, it was all simply so odd.
We’ve some good UK expertise in Hearthstone, there’s your self and your co-caster Sottle, BoarControl, Paradox and extra…
Completely. There’s additionally participant referred to as DeadDraw who’s mainly the following BoarControl, he’s finished very well in Masters Excursions, he’s the most effective gamers that isn’t a Grandmaster but.
Expertise-wise, there’s Lorinda, a UK expertise who casts among the Americas and Masters Excursions and he additionally does the entire stats for us, he does a fantastic job. Then there’s Darroch Brown who casts the Asia Pacific Grandmasters. He joined the casting life a bit after us however we knew he was excellent.
It’s attending to the purpose the place Sottle and I have gotten the old-timers, shifting into our mid-30s now!
Take a look at the complete interview with Raven on YouTube right here. It’s also possible to follow Raven on Twitter and Raven on Twitch right here.
Dom is an award-winning author who graduated from Bournemouth College with a 2:1 diploma in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A eager League of Legends and World of Warcraft participant, he has written for a spread of publications together with GamesTM, Nintendo Official Journal, business publication MCV in addition to Riot Video games and others. He labored as head of content material for the British Esports Affiliation up till February 2021, when he stepped again to work full-time on Esports Information UK and as an esports advisor serving to manufacturers and companies higher perceive the business.