Interview with Hazza, Valorant Caster & Host
Yoann: Hey, hello everyone! Today I’m with Hazza, Valorant commentator and host!
How would you introduce yourself?
Hazza: Hey! Pretty much how you said it! I’m doing esports commentary and hosting, but I would also add content creation into the mix! I’m hosting my own interviews, so it’s interesting being on the other side for once!
I’m all round easy-going, and creating silly stuff that people enjoy!
Yoann: Cool! When and how did you get into Casting? And why in esports?
Hazza: I’ve always been a fan of Football and figured that it would be cool to do commentary at some point.
When I joined the University, around the lockdown, Valorant came out and there were a lot of leagues where my friends were competing, and I tried commentating on their games, I wasn’t very good when I started, but that’s how I began casting!
Yoann: Nice! You casted Valorant Tier 2 Challengers, what can you tell us about this experience?
Hazza: Casting Challengers was a fantastic opportunity, it was the first time that I’d had the chance to cement myself on that level of competition and get a chance to be part of the storylines.
It really felt like I was joining a community, and I felt very welcomed by everyone!
When I started out, my goal was to do both of the splits, I’ve had the chance to cast the playoffs, and the grand finals and send Apeks to the Ascension tournament. I’m very grateful for it!
Yoann: That’s awesome! Who is your caster duo, how did you guys meet?
Hazza: I believe you’ve already interviewed “Mr. Casts”, as I like to call him, Kairo. We met at an event in the summer of 2021, it was a bit of a mess with a lot of issues, as it was online.
So we spent most of our time in between broadcast segments getting to know each other. When you’re starting out, it’s really good to have a duo. We always put our names forward for any event that we’re looking to work in!
We did a Scottish LAN together, we got to meet in person, it was great! I’ve kept in contact with Kairo, Pal, and Billie, whom I met at the event, since then!
Yoann: Great! Do you have a common preparation routine before matches?
Hazza: Yeah, when I started out casting University games, there weren’t always rich storylines as I’ve been lucky to have in Tier 2.
For the Polaris tournament, I’m always looking for stats that I want to use to add value to the pre-game analysis. It helps you look at the game more in-depth.
Yoann: Which type of tournaments are you currently, or will be working on?
Hazza: Right now, we’re in the Off//Season, so I’ve been working on some CS-GO tournaments with Retro, another caster for Polaris. I’m still looking for opportunities on Valorant, but I have a few things coming up in the next few months!
Yoann: What is your favorite team to cast?
Hazza: This requires a little bit of thought! In terms of storylines, and who’s the most fun to cast, I’ve always really enjoyed the Next In Line vs. CTRL games that we had in the beacon circuit, the Tier 3 promotion tournament. These two teams ended up playing each other 5 or 6 times, which created a rivalry between the two, but they all got on well outside of the server, they’re a great group of people!
I think the highlight of that saga was when I did Insomnia 70, and they had a stage game against each other, it was great to see them in that kind of environment!
Yoann: Of course! Let’s now move on to the quick questions part! I will ask you 10 quick questions, and you’ll have to answer as fast as possible, ready?
Yoann: Phantom or Vandal?
Yoann: What's your favorite map?
Hazza: I’m actually not sure, I would say Haven!
Yoann: Who’s your favorite agent?
Yoann: What's your favorite skin collection?
Hazza: I don’t think I have any collection I like, I’d say Oni!
Yoann: Who are your favorite teams in each region?
Hazza: In Americas, Loud. In EMEA, I’ve always liked Fnatic, but if the rumors are true, it might be Team Liquid! And for Pacific, it’s the easiest one, Paper Rex!
Yoann: Great! Can you name the eight teams that won an international event?
Hazza: Sentinels won Reykjavik, and then it was Gambit, Acend, Optic, FPX, Loud, Fnatic, and EG!
Yoann: Perfect! How often are you playing Valorant in your free time?
Hazza: I wasn’t playing very much, I had this excuse that I was casting. But now that I’m not casting, I have no excuses, so I’m still stuck in Diamond!
Yoann: What's your favorite play you ever commentated on?
Hazza: Oh, good question! I would probably say Yaboilewis’ ace clutch on the B site of Lotus in the pistol round!
Yoann: What's your favorite memory as an esports commentator?
Hazza: It would probably be going to Ascension, seeing everyone in Berlin, hanging around with the players, and everyone working there! It felt like the cherry on top after what has been a pretty good couple of splits of me casting!
Yoann: And the tournament was super cool to watch!
Can you quote a voice line from your favorite agent, Phoenix?
Hazza: I always say this one to Kairo when we’re playing: “Stay out of fire yeah? Super high-level tactics, remember that, yeah!”
Yoann: Haha awesome! Let’s now get back to the standard questions!
What are your hobbies or passions besides gaming?
Hazza: I feel like the easy answer is listening to music and reading books, I think you need a bit of this to have mindfulness about you. I’ve been running a lot more, sitting at the PC all day long is not going to do you a lot of good.
I’ve always been a fan of traditional sports like Football, I think esports can learn a lot from that.
Yoann: Yeah for sure! How do you feel about the new map rotation?
Hazza: I’m not too sure, I feel like Sunset will be good at the pro level, I think Cypher will be good on this map. The biggest thing will be to see how teams interact with mid.
The same can be said for Breeze, it’s more compact, I’m not a big fan of the new design. A is good and remains unchanged, but the new boxes on B give you so many weird angles. We’ll see how it goes!
Yoann: What would you change to Valorant if you were a developer?
Hazza: Something I’ve been speaking about lately is that some maps are fun to play in ranked, and others are good to have in pro play. In an ideal world, there would be a separation. Ascent for example doesn’t benefit pro play too much, with a very standard meta composition. On the other side, Fracture was fun to watch in pro play, but I would hate to play it in ranked for example.
But you don’t want to divide the player base too much, I think that’s the main idea Riot has for the game.
Yoann: What would be your dream roster?
Hazza: I’ve always been a big fan of nAts and Chronicle, and the Gambit team overall! So I’ll take these two, add Aspas, and Enzo as the IGL, and I would take Mistic as the controller! I really liked the Apeks team!
Yoann: Interesting! What would you say to someone aspiring to become a commentator in esports?
Hazza: I think it goes similarly to what you would say to an aspiring player, have a good work-life balance, but at the same time, go back and review your work and be self-critical.
When you’re starting out, find as many gigs as you can so you can practice, keep going at it, know what you want to improve, speak to people around and above you, and try your best!
Yoann: Awesome! What are your short and long-term ambitions on Valorant?
Hazza: From a player perspective, I want to get to ascendant before the end of the act!
In terms of commentary, I just want the season to come back, come back to casting. And being able to do more cast consistently throughout the year with Kairo.
Hopefully, we’ll get to cast the Ascension tournament as well!
And obviously, everyone has the dream to cast the VCT, I hope I’ll get the opportunity to work there in the future!
Yoann: For sure, that would be great!
Is there anything else you would like to say?
Hazza: I think there’s an open market around the gaming University scene when it comes to casting, learning a new skill, having a fun time casting, and enjoying is the most important part!
Content creation-wise, I’ve been lucky to do some of the things I wanted to do, but at the same time, there’s not much content out there for the Tier 2 scene.
I’m grateful for having the opportunity to do an interview with you!
Yoann: My pleasure! I wish you the best in the future!
Hazza: Thank you!
Twitter (X): @HazzaJC_