Interview with Valorant Host Keltoum "Giniro" Baddaje
Yoann: Hello, everyone! Today I'm with Giniro, Valorant host and caster!
Giniro: Hey, I’m Giniro, but my real name is Keltoum, it's a Moroccan name. I live in the UK, I'm half Dutch half Moroccan, and I’m a Valorant host!
Yoann: When and how did you get into esports?
Giniro: I got into esports a little bit over a year ago. At first, I was just a streamer on Twitch. I kind of accidentally fell into esports hosting. I got asked if I wanted to host something and I was like, Yeah, that seems really cool!
So it just started from there.
Yoann: That’s awesome! What is your role on the Valorant broadcast?
Giniro: So I'm a host, specifically a desk host. I also have done some stage hosting, desk hosting is something that I prefer a little bit more. I ask people questions about the game and I make sure that everything stays on track of time because the show that you guys see is basically planned down to the minute, basically the middle man between production and analysts. I'm the one saying “Let's move on to the next topic” so that we can cover the different topics and graphics, whilst everybody loads into the game.
Yoann: That’s interesting! How did you end up hosting the Game Changers broadcast?
Giniro: So last year, they did the caster streams, I was part of that. I think that mainly came down to the fact that I was part of Polaris as well last year for the first and second split. It puts your name out there, and I did a couple of different hosting things for Valorant, and for a lot of different games.
So it's just kind of getting reached out to and said, okay, we've seen you on the broadcast last year, we've seen you on different other broadcasts. Do you want to do the Game Changers? And I was like, Yes, of course!
Yoann: Of course! You were also commentating the Tier two Polaris split, what can you tell us about that?
Giniro: That was my first-ever Valorant gig. When the Tier 2 scene really came into play, that's also when I had literally just started esports, so it was like a very happy coincidence! I had hosted one broadcast prior to that during Christmas 2021, which was in the university scene, and I took little parts of the broadcast, put it into like a minute and a half showreel, and I was like, I have experience, please hire me. And it worked!
Yoann: Great! What's your preparation routine one hour before a broadcast?
Giniro: One hour before the broadcast, you're usually sitting in the makeup chair, getting your makeup done, or you're going over the Run of Show for the last time. So I think the preparation really for a broadcast happens before you're even into the building. Looking at the teams, looking at their stories of players, sitting with the analysts and discussing what they're feeling comfortable discussing who they think is the most standout player or the most standout map or what we can be expecting, and kind of working alongside the analysts and the production to form the show.
Yoann: All right! How's the atmosphere behind the scenes?
Giniro: It's really cool. I think the passion that a lot of individuals have when it comes to Valorant specifically, and just the motivation that you're seeing, and the time that people are dedicating into making sure that everything is running smoothly. It's really inspiring to see because you're not the only person there that's doing it because they love it.
Everybody is doing it because they love it. And as a result, you get the best product possible.
Yoann: For sure! And I really think that having a set of casters and hosts is really important for the audience so we feel part of the family. Before a game even starts, you already know who the casters and the team behind the event is, and you know it’s going to be a banger.
Having good and consistent hosts, casters and the whole team behind is super important.
Giniro: Yeah, absolutely. And it's also like it gives you that opportunity to bond with the people that you're seeing on screen. It's not just like, Oh yeah, it's just another host. It's more like, as you said yourself, you're continuously seeing them on broadcast so you can relate to them a little bit more personally as well.
Yoann: Exactly, yes! I'm going to ask you ten quick questions. You’ll have to answer as fast as possible. Ready?
Yoann: Phantom of Vandal.
Giniro: Oh, it depends on the day.
Yoann: Alright, that works! What's your favorite map?
Giniro: I really liked Icebox. But yeah, goodbye.
Yoann: What's your favorite agent?
Yoann: Interesting! Do you prefer getting a clutch or an ace?
Giniro: A clutch!
Yoann: What's your favorite skin collection?
Giniro: It has to be Reaver.
Yoann: Nice. Can you name the seven teams that won an international event?
Giniro: Oh, I can say Gambit, Sentinels, Fnatic, Loud, Acend… There's more.
Yoann: There’s one from NA and one from Europe. Optic and FPX.
Giniro: True, yeah it was a while ago.
Yoann: What's your favorite Valorant team right now?
Giniro: I know a lot of people are asking this question. I'm kind of torn between two teams, so I really like Team Liquid, because I really liked Gambit. That was my favorite team. That was simply because of the players on the team and just the wholesome vibes that you're getting when you're seeing them. I also like Karmine Corp as well. But that's just more because like it's a French team who as a Moroccan I can feel a bit of national pride when it comes to the players and the French fanbase is just very wholesome
Yoann: Yeah, 100%. I feel like Gambit is a popular answer today, we all really loved this team.
Can you quote a voice line from your favorite agent, Reyna?
Giniro: “There you are you little shit!” It’s not a voice line from Reyna, but I really love this one from Jett!
Yoann: Haha perfect! What’s your best memory with the Valorant team?
Giniro: I think for me personally, it was getting breakfast before the show actually starts. It was really nice and wholesome. That was my first time doing VCT and I was a little nervous.
So having that morning with people and be like, No, it's going to be okay. You're going to be fine. It was really nice!
Yoann: Awesome! What's the kind of music you are listening to before a broadcast?
Giniro: Lo-fi! I know. It's crazy. You're supposed to be energetic, but I have so much adrenaline that I just need to calm down a little, or I'm going to speak really fast.
Yoann: Makes sense! Let's get back to the standard questions.
How often do you play Valorant in your free time?
Giniro: Not much to be completely honest. That's not just Valorant in particular, but all games in general. I know that people know me as an esports host, but that's not my only job. I also work like a normal 9 to 5 as a tech consultant, so technically working two full-time jobs doesn't unfortunately leave a lot of time to play video games.
Yoann: What are your hobbies and passions aside from gaming?
Giniro: I really like fashion. That's kind of like my hobby, especially vintage designer stuff. I like looking into clothes.
Yoann: That’s great! If you were a developer, what would you change to Valorant right now?
Giniro: I would probably change Reyna so that not everybody shits on her all the time, make her a little bit less selfish, play a little bit more for the team so that people I actually don't think you're trolling.
Yoann: That might help a bit with ranked for sure! What advice would you give to someone trying to become a host?
Giniro: I would say start. I know that's the dumbest advice that you can have, but like I said earlier, my first gig was because I took a whole broadcast I did two weeks before that, clipped it into like 2 minutes and turned it over and posted it as a reel. So if you have a little experience, even if it's hosting something on your own Twitch stream, nobody needs to know that maybe ten people are watching it.
As long as you can show that you're comfortable on camera, you're comfortable speaking into the mic, you know what you're doing, you're able to carry a conversation, put that in a reel!
Yoann: Perfect! What are your short and long-term ambitions?
Giniro: Short term would be to be back on VCT broadcasts consistently. long term is to be the representation In esports for individuals that have the same background as me
Yoann: Do you have anything to add to this interview?
Giniro: Yeah. Guys, take a shower, and don’t be toxic!
Yoann: Awesome. Thank you so much for your time! I wish you the best!
Giniro: Thank you so much for the interview, it was fun!
Giniro's Twitter: @Giniiiro
Giniro's socials: linktr.ee/giniiro