• 2 Oct 2012, 10:45 • Articles
I decide to sit down with Niels "Rizc" Topp, a fantastic member within the CS:GO & CSS Community and hope you enjoy the outcome.
So Niels, tell the people of Crossfire.nu who you are and what you do?
Hi! My name is Niels, but in eSport i go by the name "rizc" and i commentate video games. I am currently living in Denmark and an 8 year CounterStrike player, now turned commentator. Currently i spend my time commentating matches and tournaments in Counter-Strike:Global Offensive when I am not reading loads of text for my study "Information Science" at Aarhus University.
In the past i've commentated loads of different tournaments, mostly in Counter-Strike:Source and GO, the most famous of them probably being the Copenhagen Games 2012 and DreamHack Valencia.
As we know who you are now, In line with a recent column I wrote on the old boys club and its possible existence, how have you personally found the transition between a "bedroom" caster and something bigger?
Well, I’ve been playing Counter-Strike:Source for a long time, I started way back in the day when the game was first released and huge tournaments picked it up only to drop it again, so i've been around for a while in the European scene, and especially the Danish scene. Even though I’ve spent much time playing and attending LAN events i never had the discipline or raw skill to turn pro, so i just focused on having fun and getting to know everyone.
That resulted in working for an organization called "Reason Gaming" back in 2011 (ran by Dallow at the time) and i did some coverage at that years edition of the Copenhagen Games where their team attended. At the final i was baffled how one of the biggest tournaments in CS:GO didn't have any live streaming and commentating of the final, and me and a long time irl friend and esport buddy of mine (Phoinx) set up a camera to stream a live video feed from the arena to the net.
When the event was over and we traveled home we wanted to do more with streaming because we thought it was too bad CS:GO didn't have the same attention and regular streams than 1.6 and StarCraft for an example.
Since i was the best at speaking English and he was the best at all the techie stuff about computers, i became the commentator and he became the producer of a channel we called "GameCast" since our goal was to cast games (what a creative name!).
From there on we just kept on streaming matches and local danish events, but after the Copenhagen Games 2012 which i casted with the former pro CS:GO player "warclown" and the shoutcasting legend "ReDeYe" everything changed.
People started contacting us, instead of the other way around and actually offering us money to cover their events.
But to sum it up, I’ve been doing most of the work myself, but of course i learned a lot from ReDeYe and other casters like Joe Miller and numerous SC2 casters.
Rizc, ReDeYe & Warclown
So we have seen CS:GO racking up some impressive views so far on Twitch.TV for the DHV but do you think it will ever progress to the level where it can compete with LoL and SC for a example and if so how?
Every beginning is tough, and even though CS:GO is "supposed" to unite the two CounterStrike scenes i think it will take a while before we will hit the stream and HLTV numbers of the past, and probably even longer before we hit LoL and SC2 level.
But with that being said, i do believe that the the gamers of the world need a new FPS game to follow, since MOBA and RTS action just doesn't cut it a 100% for many (me included) and i do think CS:GO is that game.
I cant agree more, another point for me personally is that the likes of HLTV & Source TV obviously in-game clients remove some of the viewership to your streams (if there was something similar in CSGO) do you feel this can hinder or help the community in the bigger picture?
That is a tough question, and im not really sure on how i should answer it.
On one side i would of course like everyone sitting the stream im hosting so we could have a huge stream number to show to potential sponsors and partners, but on the other hand i would love a GOTV so the community could watch every game they wanted to, even if it isn't streamed and casted.
A possible solution for this could be the "DOTA 2 Model" which many a person have been talking about, where everyone can connect to the match through their ingame spectator client and receive audio from the commentators while watching the game themselves, but to be honest, i haven researched this enough to say more about it, but so far it sounds decent to me.
That sounds like a great middle ground. Now back to CS:GO as a whole, obviously when you try and unite two very stubborn communities there will be friction. How have you personally seen the communities come together in the newer title
Well, i've actually seen both sides of it.There is of course, the positive side, the people who just want to see an FPS game from the CS franchise succeed as an esport, the people who embrace the new and want to share it and post positive feedback and constructive criticism, so far so very good!
The other side though, is a bit darker. Some people just tend to cling to their beloved game, which is not a bad thing, but when they start to spew hatred towards the positive side, it get's ugly.
All in all, i think CS:GO has a bright future, since it probably will attract many new players familiar with the CS franchise, but who dropped it due to bad graphics or other reasons (and then jumped onto the MW2/3 bandwagon) and those new players and viewers of professional esport are the ones we need, even though it would be most awesome if everyone just joined hands in celebration of one game, but again, this is not utopia, it's just gaming.
Too true lets hope we see more people giving it ago, So what does this mean for you personally. If lets say it all goes to plan and CS:GO becomes what it could be do you ever see it something you would do full time or is this purely a hobby
Well, of course i would love to do what i do in my free time, full time - who wouldn't?But seriously, it would take a lot i guess for CS:GO to reach a level where a person like me could live off the income generated doing commentating in the game, but, then again, it's not impossible.When StarCraft came out in Korea back in the day, no one would have believed it would grow a huge industry and a sea of pro-gamers and fans, but it did.
The the thing that is most important is that people love playing the game and love watching it, and if i can keep on loving what i do (in this case commentary) i see no limits, only obstacles which we can overcome.
Well lets hope it works out for CS:GO and yourself ! So what do you have coming up with the likes of Game-Cast i believe after DHV you did announce there are big things happening...
Well, we will be leaving the GAMECAST brand behind, but only to start a new project that will reach even further.
The new stuff is coming the 1st of October and will feature all kinds of content for GO and SC2 and we really hope the communities will help us on our way, since it's we really put alot of time into the project.
If you want more info about you can check out our "teaser" page, which can be found at www.esplanet.net
Fantastic stuff i hope people on crossfire.nu head over and check out what you have coming up. Any last words from yourself?
Thanks alot for the interview Lauren and hopefully players from the other games will head over and give CS:GO a try. Last but not least, remember to follow me on Twitter (@followrizc) where i type all sorts of crazy stuff (sometimes it's actually interesting).