Interview with Ne0Kai, CS & Valorant commentator and analyst
Yoann: Hey, hello everyone! Today I’m with Ne0Kai, Valorant, and Counter-Strike commentator and analyst!
How would you introduce yourself?
Neo: I think you pretty much nailed it! I’m casting CSGO, Valorant, and other esports games. I’m also a content creator, I’m generally very involved in esports!
Yoann: Great! When and how did you get into Casting? And why in esports?
Neo: I feel like I have a very different root than most people. I never really thought about being a professional caster, it was never a plan! I’ve always played Fifa quite competitively, and I started watching and playing CSGO in 2016.
In 2020, during lockdown, I just started a new job, but I got bored very quickly. One day I had a friend playing an ESEA game, and I decided to start a stream and react to his gameplay!
It was quite fun, so I decided to take it more seriously, and someone who was watching my streams emailed me asking me to comment on some CS games for something like 10£ a map! I accepted it was very fun!
One year later, the same guy who emailed me got promoted, and he asked me to cast again for a bigger tournament! It started a bit as a joke with some friends, and it ended up being something I do full-time today!
Yoann: That’s awesome! You are both casting CS and Valorant, how different are these two games to cast?
Neo: Fundamentally, they are quite similar, but they have a lot of niches, and the pace of the gameplay is very different too. For Valorant, you really need a lot of knowledge on the abilities, of the agents, it can be very chaotic and difficult!
I find CS more fun to cast because things are simpler. I also think CS still has the best esport scene.
Yoann: That’s interesting! Who are your caster duos?
Neo: In CS, I work with my friend Skriv, he has a lot of experience, he’s done a lot of high-level stuff, and we have the same sense of humor! It’s an important thing for me, esports is an entertainment product, and I like to have a bit of fun on the broadcast!
But at the start, I didn’t have a duo because I wanted to work with everybody, as a play-by-play, or color caster comfortably.
In Valorant, I work with my friend Twiggy. We did the Insomnia lan recently, it was our official first gig together, but we’ve been working together for a couple of years.
Yoann: What’s your preparation routine?
Neo: As a color caster, I like to do my own preparation. Before a tournament, I prepare a big Google doc breaking down every team, their stats, players, performances… But the most important thing is storylines, and player interviews help a lot with that!
Then, it’s important to meet at least an hour before the match, just to discuss the game and get ready!
Yoann: Which type of Valorant tournament will you be working on next season?
Neo: That’s a big question, it’s complicated with Valorant. The tier 2 is not as fleshed out as in CSGO. As a commentator, you could live comfortably in CS’ tier 2, it’s not the same in Valorant.
The end of 2022 was very good for me in Valorant, I’ve done VRL Berlin, the Polaris Lans, and the Blast Spike Nations. But it changed coming into 2023, it feels like if you’re a CS commentator, they don’t really want you to work in Valorant.
I don’t have any plans at all for Valorant at the moment, which is a shame, because I really love Valorant.
Yoann: Oh, that’s unfortunate. Let’s move on to the quick questions part, I’ll 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?
Neo: I love how Lotus looks!
Yoann: Who’s your favorite agent?
Neo: Probably Breach!
Yoann: What’s your favorite skin collection?
Neo: Prime series 1!
Yoann: Nice! Valorant or CSGO?
Neo: CSGO all day!
Yoann: Who are your favorite players of all time?
Neo: On Valorant, probably Boaster, what he’s done for the game is incredible!
In CS, my two favorite players of all time are Tarik and Stewie, they made me fall in love with CS back in the day!
Yoann: Can you name the 8 teams that won an international event?
Neo: We have Fnatic, Sentinels, EG, Loud… Acend, Gambit, FPX, and Optic!
Yoann: Yes correct! What’s your favorite team to cast in Valorant?
Neo: I’d say this year’s Apeks or FUT, are very fun to cast!
Yoann: How often do you play Valorant in your free time?
Neo: I don’t enjoy solo queuing, so I play mostly in 10 mans, or when my friends are playing. I’d say a couple of times a month!
Yoann: Can you quote a voice line from your favorite agent, Breach?
Neo: “Let’s gooo!” or “Off your feet”!
Yoann: Haha great! Let’s now get back to the standard questions.
What are your hobbies or passions aside from gaming?
Neo: Sports has always been my thing, I’ve played football and volleyball at a pretty high level, and I went to a good sports university. I play a lot of golf in my free time as well, and I try to go to the gym 4 or 5 times a week.
Aside from that, I’ve been playing the piano since I was 5 years old, I also listen to a lot of music while I’m gaming!
Yoann: That’s nice! What would you change to Valorant if you were a developer?
Neo: I saw the rumor that they wanted to add a new scoped gun, I wouldn’t add that for example! But at the moment, I’d want to change the pace at which you take fights, the rounds can sometimes be extremely slow.
I’d incentivize less saving, it also affects CS in a way. It would make the viewing experience a bit better.
I’d also like to see Phoenix get buffed, I think he’s a very cool agent, and I’d like to see him more often!
Yoann: What would you say to someone aspiring to become a commentator in esports?
Neo: In Valorant, it’s probably a bit harder, because there are fewer opportunities compared to CS. I would recommend getting into the university tournaments, it’s a very easy way to get started!
You also need to build a brand, especially on Valorant today. Create content, stream, watch parties, keep trying to network, and create a showreel to highlight yourself and what you can do!
Yoann: Great! What are your short and long-term ambitions?
Neo: My short-term ambition would be to work at an S-tier lan! And my long-term goal would be to work in CS2 full-time, to be a tier 1 talent!
The big thing for me is continuing to grow consistently, I’m quite happy about my growth these last few years, and I want to keep going!
Yoann: Awesome! Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Neo: Thank you for having me on, it’s been a pleasure! If anybody ever wants advice about commentating, my DMs are always open!
Yoann: Awesome, thank you so much for your time, I wish you the best!
Neo: Thank you!
Twitter (X): https://twitter.com/Ne0Kai