Post-RWF Perspectives: The Casters

Guilds are still battling away in Mythic Castle Nathria, but the top 10 spots have all been claimed, and the Race to World First (RWF) Events that we saw take place have unfortunately ended. As viewers and fans, it was an incredible experience. What started as a small experiment by Method in Uldir has exploded into a massive world-wide event with huge production value and quality. Now that we have our top 10 winners, we are taking a look back at various facets of the Castle Nathria RWF. Today we bring to you an inside look on what it’s like to be a caster for the RWF!

We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to speak to a number of the casters and hosts that took part in RWF Events for Castle Nathria. Not only did the number of events grow an incredible amount, but so did the amount of talent involved. The BDGG RWF Stream itself had over 15 casters! The RWF is such a unique kind of event in the esports world, and we wanted to learn more about what it’s like to be a caster or host, so we went direct to the source!

We asked for some brief background information from every caster or host we spoke to, so after we introduce each of them, we’ll get into the questions!

Meet the Casters

From the RWF Event for World First Champions, Complexity-Limit:

Eiya: Hello! My name is Eiya/Gillian. I have been playing World of Warcraft since early Burning Crusade when my dad brought it home. I made a Night Elf Druid named Eiya and futzed around in Teldrassil for a while before realizing I was already addicted. I certainly wasn’t the best player ever, but I couldn’t even imagine that a part-time hobby could turn into a full-time career that I love so much. After I graduated college, I was helping GCDTV as a tournament admin and doing some video editing. I fell in love with esports and knew I wanted this to be my new path. Three or so years into it, Blizzard was looking for someone to interview the players live on stage and even though the thought terrified me, I knew I had to shoot my shot. I sent in an audition tape and I was given the opportunity to be the Sideline Reporter for the AWC Spring Finals. Following that event I was given even more opportunities to host and now here I am!

Jet: I was a founding member and former GM of Limit. Max, Tagzz, and I were officers in the guild when it was first made with Truefire as our GM. In Legion, Truefire quit and then I was GM of the guild until the end of Tomb of Sargeras. I quit for Antorus and raided with the guild for Uldir and Battle of Dazar’alor. Since then, I’ve raided semi-hardcore and I am currently in Instant Dollars. My only experience casting is for Complexity-Limit’s RWF events starting in Eternal Palace.

Crzypck: I’ve been playing WoW since 2006, about halfway through Vanilla. I’ve been raiding at various levels since BC, and currently raid with Noted on Akama. According to Raider.IO, we were US91 for Ny’alotha. As far as casting background, prior to Ny’alotha, I didn’t really have any at all.

Dratnos: I’m Dratnos, raider and officer in poptart corndoG, and creator of the Weekly Route article series here on Raider.IO. I’ve been involved in casting both the RWF and the MDI since early 2020.

Tettles: I feel relatively new to the WoW scene in general, having started only in Warlords of Draenor. I just really enjoyed playing WoW and moonkin, so I was instantly hooked. Come Legion I started doing a lot of Mythic+ dungeons and started creating content and streaming more because of it. That pushed me into BFA where I kept up the YouTube videos, got the Balance Druid Wowhead Guide Writer job, and streamed more hours. Once I started getting myself out there more, that opened me up to getting contacts with Method. I got asked to cast one of their RWF events and now I have been casting the RWF events since Battle of Dazar’alor. Little known fact: I’ve casted for the guild that won the RWF since I started! On top of that, I now cast the MDI for Blizzard and love every minute of it.

Kalamazi: I have been playing WoW for too long (13+ years) with most of my interests lying in PvE based content. As far as casting is concerned, I casted the Complexity-Limit RWF event for Ny’alotha in early 2020. It was my first official casting gig but it felt sort of natural due to having created YouTube content and streaming for a couple years.

Casting for the World Second guild, Echo:

Cayna: (who also casted for BDGG!) My name is Robbin, but I go by Cayna. I am 23 years old, and I have raided in the Race to World First myself for 4 years and achieved 3 World Firsts (Trial of Valor, Battle of Dazar’alor, and The Eternal Palace) and 1 World Second (Crucible of Storms). I have casted 2 KeystoneMasters tournaments, and now 4 Race to World First events.

Kexman: My name is Kerren “Kexman” Lippett, and I’ve been playing WoW for 16 years now. I started as a Tauren Warrior and I still have that same Tauren Warrior as my main, playing through pretty much every aspect of the game. I got my start in creating content back when Warcraft Radio was first around, with Athalus, Totalbiscuit, Jesse Cox, etc. When the station ended, I tried my hand at a few other things, went to University, and tried out some jobs. Now I find myself back with Warcraft Radio in its new form, as well as streaming full time! I was approached by MrGM about potentially casting the RWF for Echo and it was something that I had always wanted to do, after watching the previous events. I jumped at the opportunity and it was one that I would do all over again!

Alex (Fatboss): I’m one half of the FatbossTV YouTube channel. We’ve been making raid guides since Cataclysm, writing the Wowhead raid guides since Legion, and we’ve been raiding for even longer! Aside from one event in Throne of Thunder where Loz and I casted a raid race, I’ve had no prior experience with casting.

Barokoshama: I have been playing WoW since I was very young. I started playing back when AQ40 was released in Vanilla, but I didn’t have my own account - I just played trial accounts back then until I reached the level cap or the time ran out. That was the game for me back then until I got my own account when BC was released and I leveled to max as a Night Elf Hunter. Skipping to today I am now considered a top rated player in my respective class (Shaman) but no one really plays it… This was my second time casting the RWF, my first time being for Ny’alotha. I learned a lot from my first event being so new to the casting scene and I soaked up as much knowledge and expertise as I could from the veteran casters and learned how production can make magic happen behind the scenes.

MrGM: Hey! So my name is Dan, but online I go by MrGM. I started playing WoW back in 2006 and have been playing ever since. As of 2011 I’ve been creating content online for the game and I’ve been lucky enough for this to have become my sole income as of 2018. My casting career started in 2019 when I casted the Redbull Race to World First event in London where we had Limit and Pieces in the building with us. That was such a great event and I really owe everything to Redbull for giving me the opportunity. Since then I’ve casted a few RWF events for various different organizations.

Part of the massive BDGG event lineup:

JdotB: I’ve been playing WoW since Vanilla. I was a multi-glad r1 PvPer and raided with Blood Legion for several tiers in WotLK and Cataclysm. I’ve been doing primarily Mythic+ since it was released in Legion and I have captained my MDI team for the past four seasons. I hadn’t done any casting until Method asked me to work on their production in Battle of Dazar’alor, and I’ve since casted the RWF each tier in some capacity.

Bloo: I started playing WoW in 2005 and I’ve been raiding at a competitive level since about 2010. I’ve always hoped that something in gaming would be a career for me, but seeing the guild in this world setting is just surreal. I’ve been working on BDGG for 5 years now, but after stepping down as GM in 2018 I focused on turning our brand into a real business. Linking up with Golden Guardians has been an amazing opportunity, and they’ve been an amazing team to work with. Until this event, I’ve only done some light casting. Mostly for local Smash Ultimate tournaments, but I’ve also been creating YouTube guides and streaming for a long time, so casting felt pretty natural.

Darkmech: I’ve been playing WoW since 2005. I started off as a warrior raiding in a top US guild from Molten Core to Naxx where you could say this game swallowed me into its rather large and inescapable maw. I stuck to high-end raiding until MoP where real life and working commitments made me step back from raiding in a formal capacity. From there I fell in love with 5 man content and the flexibility it offered, first with Challenge Modes and then Mythic+. I then wanted to make YouTube videos to help people achieve the things they wanted to in game. I wanted people to feel comfortable and confident to approach content and show that you didn’t need to have the best gear or play the best class for those things to be possible. I’d had no experience in casting until the 2020 Keystone Masters Experiments Tournament where Cirra gave me a chance. I was very fortunate to work with some amazing individuals such as Cirra, Psybearslat, Lythi, and Dratnos, who were all a tremendous help in my introduction to casting and giving me tips! Fast forward to the RWF where BDGG gave me an amazing opportunity and I still can’t believe it was something I was a part of.

Steakloins: I started playing WoW back in late Burning Crusade after seeing the Ozzy Osbourne ad for Wrath of the Lich King, which was releasing soon. I thought the game looked cool and I got addicted to the trial. Over the years I have just gotten better at the game and now I like to play the best I can around the semi-hardcore level. Since picking up streaming I needed a game I knew I could play for ages and returned in WoD to play again. I have had no experience casting in the past and was brought in by BDGG to cast this race.

Undad: I’ve been playing WoW since just before TBC launched. I played pretty hardcore in TBC and then went casual over the years up until mid-Legion when I began Mythic raiding. From there, and in BFA, I made an effort to learn Mythic+ and ended up playing in all of the MDI competitions in BFA, and now here we are in Shadowlands! As far as casting goes, I haven’t really done much. Cirra gave me a shot during the final KSM tournament of BFA, and then asked me back to cast the SL Beta tournament for KSM as well. I had a blast during both so when Comfy reached out about the BDGG RWF Event, I was psyched to have another chance to cast!

Moofzy: I’m Moofz =) I’ve been playing WoW since TBC. Most people know me for my Hunter gameplay, and I write a bunch of the Hunter stuff for Wowhead. I also help to run Keystone Masters, which is a grass-roots Mythic+ organization that puts together tournaments and other fun community events. I raid at a fairly high level and have competed in a couple of different MDI tournaments over the years. I also stream on Twitch! I started casting a couple of years ago, when Method approached me shortly after the RWF events started. Since then I’ve casted a bunch of events for them including multiple RWF events, the Classic Launch event and some smaller ones. For this most recent Castle Nathria RWF event, I casted for two different organizations. I was fortunate enough to hang out with the OTK guys for their first event and I had the pleasure of casting for BDGG as well, both of which were great experiences.

A big part of the puzzle, these wonderful folks casted the Pieces event:

Psybearslat: I’ve been playing WoW since the beginning of Vanilla. A Night Elf Hunter was my first character, obviously, but I quickly realized “why tame the pet when I can BECOME the pet?” and that’s when I went Druid in late Vanilla. Since then I’ve played every expansion and started streaming at the end of Legion. From there I quickly realized I was interested in casting and quickly made it my mission to one day cast for the Blizzcon MDI. I started my casting journey by helping out BDGG with a charity event and not long after got involved with the DMM and KSM, which were both amazing experiences. I now host the Pieces talkshow, Piece of Mind, which ultimately led to me hosting the Pieces RWF...maybe they had limited options?

Waith: I have been playing WoW since Vanilla, and I have been playing PVE for most of my time in the game. I have been raiding both hardcore and casually ever since then. Ever since Mythic+ was released in Legion, I have been enjoying pushing keys and finally having some kind of end-game content other than raiding. My first tournament experiences started in the end of 2019 with the Dream Mythic Masters (DMM), where I was lucky enough to play with Divine and the Dirty Four and actually win the tournament! This really opened my eyes to how fun it was competing in WoW. We subsequently played in the DMM Season 2, but only managed to get third place. However, this opened me up to the opportunity to cast for the first time, where I commentated two of the five games in the finals, one with Psybearslat and one with Gingi. This was a tremendous opportunity and a lot of fun since both Psybear and Gingi are delightful people to be around. After DMM Season 2, two of my teammates couldn’t play the KSM tournament, so the rest of us teamed up with Herudra and Chizix, and we ended up winning the final KSM tournament of 2020. Following my casting at DMM, Pieces contacted me and asked if I would be interested in casting their RWF event, and I happily accepted their offer!

JustRuss: I'm currently a full-time streamer on Twitch. I've been playing WoW on and off since late Vanilla, only really starting to take the game more seriously in Warlords of Draenor, when I began raiding. I started raiding casually and it bit me hard, my self-improvement craving kicked in and I just wanted to improve as a player to the best of my ability. So naturally I began climbing the ranks in raiding. Over the years, I've raided in just about any kind of guild you can think of from casual to the more hardcore end of the spectrum, with my highest rank being around 120 in a true 3-day raiding guild back in Legion. I have since stepped down to focus on streaming and content creation in general, although I do like to raid with decent, like-minded players still, but on a more casual raid schedule. Casting is something I've been interested in trying my hand at for a while now, and this RWF was my first ever experience with casting. I'm very thankful to Pieces for giving me the opportunity to try it out!

And last but not least, solo-casting/hosting the Lazarus Imperative event:

Zzxq: My name is Kyle Vognsen, and I am the General Manager for Lazarus Esports. I also have around 7 years or so of professional casting experience, however for World of Warcraft this was my first event.


Q: What is it like casting an event as unique as the Race to World First?

Tettles: RWF casting is more like podcasting, and there is only so much time you can rehash boss mechanics before you lose your sanity. You have to be able to banter with co-casters and meme a lot. It is also a great time to talk about anything WoW related.

Steakloins: A bit exhausting honestly. Personally I wasn’t too nervous because it’s really just like a stream with more viewers, but it was very tiring on top of work and my own raiding schedule. Overall the coolest thing about it was actually making new friends. As corny as it sounds, it just feels like I met a whole new group.

Psybearslat: For me there’s no other experience like it. It’s wildly different from M+ casting because RWF is a marathon, not a sprint, and the aim is to keep conversation flowing and engaging for hours. It definitely had its hardships though, early mornings and late nights took their toll after 8 days. There’s a lot of research to be done as well but the great team behind the scenes help with that burden. Ultimately, it was amazing to be a part of and I can’t wait for the new raid tier and hopefully another chance to host!

Moofzy: The RWF in particular is typically way more lax compared to some other events. Since it’s a third party event, the production isn’t as strict as some others I’ve been a part of. We’re able to meme and have fun a bit more and it makes casting and interacting with others on set way easier and more natural.

Kexman: The best way I can describe casting the race? Unexpected! Going into it, we all have ideas of which bosses will be the toughest, which classes will do the best, etc. An example of how this affects casting: I never thought Echo would be stuck on Council of Blood for as long as they were, especially after seeing Limit get the kill so quickly the night before. I had done all of this preparation for Sludgefist, only to be casting Council for hours! You’ve got to be ready for anything in the RWF and it’s part of what makes the race so exciting!

JdotB: Casting the RWF is a bit different than any other competition owing largely to how long the race is and how sporadic the exciting bits are. Casting the race requires a lot less play-by-play and a lot more time-filling, which is why I think you see so many streamers in their element during the RWF. No one can talk about absolutely nothing better than a streamer.

Darkmech: It really exposes you to just how much the raiding scene has evolved and what levels these guilds are on. I don’t think anyone from the outside ever really had an idea of what actually goes into world first raiding and now thanks to so many guilds streaming and sharing, opening up about what is involved, it’s an all access pass to the best guilds in the world. I was lucky enough to get to ask questions and see the raid from a whole new perspective.

Crzypck: RWF is an incredible experience to be a part of. It’s a marathon of an event, and any shift you have could be an opportunity to cast a boss kill. Conversely, you might have to cast 6 hours of Stone Legion Generals progression, sitting there watching hours of wipes on a bugged boss, and your job is to fill that gap and still make it an enjoyable experience for the viewers.

Eiya: It feels amazing to be part of such a large community driven event. The passion of everyone involved from the players to the viewers is extremely evident and I feel immensely honored to be a part of it. So many guilds produced their own shows for this RWF with their own unique twist, which has been such a delight to witness. Complexity is an amazing organization with some incredible and passionate people behind it. Working with them has been wonderful (shoutout to Fantasy, Beef, and Azorea in particular for the work they do!)

The RWF is the longest event I have ever been a part of. It lasts for more than a week and typically commentators won’t have to work that many days in a row. So it can be EXTREMELY exhausting because when you’re on camera, you can’t act like you’re tired - even if you are. Being a fan of Complexity-Limit myself, and following their progress so closely every day as a commentator, you really get SO personally invested in their success. I am sure every viewer/commentator would say the same.

Waith: Casting for Pieces was an absolute pleasure. Everything from my end was so seemingly effortless, because of the massive amount of work going on behind the scenes, and they did a wonderful job. I was a bit nervous at the start, as I was unsure whether the material I had to offer would be up to the standards of casting for the 3rd best guild in the world, but after beginning the event, and having Psybearslat as the host, the whole event was just wonderful.

Justruss: It was intense at times, and chilled out at others. I felt quite out of my depth for the first day or two of casting but I soon got into the swing of things. When there was less to talk about the raid, we just ended up making fools of ourselves with the occasional comment about what was happening on screen. I loved it. It really gave me a chance to see the different dynamics that casting can offer, other than just analysing the raid in-depth the entire time (or trying to!).

Q: How did casting the RWF compare to other events?

Jet: I casted Eternal Palace and Ny’alotha. I’d say this one was both great and not great. I’m still very close with the Limit members and part of casting these events is getting to see them, but due to the circumstances we live in today, we had to do the event remotely. The race itself was incredible due to how close it was and I was so incredibly nervous trying to cast while watching them wipe at 1% on Sire Denathrius over and over again!

Dratnos: I casted the Ny’alotha RWF, which was in-person rather than remote. The experience of being there in person was incredible and I can’t wait for that to be possible again, but the remote production setup we had this time was great and it’s nice to be able to sleep in your own bed. Our remote production was handled very well, the main challenge as a caster when casting remotely is that you don’t have as great of an idea of when your fellow casters have or don’t have something to say. In person, you have all the same tools that people normally have during a conversation to indicate they want to break in, and you don’t have any lag. When you’re remote you can’t see someone gesture or look like they’re ready to talk, and there’s an extra half second or so between everyone. You want to minimize the amount of hand-offs between two people and make it very clear when you’re done with a thought.

Kalamazi: My previous RWF casting experience was for the Ny’alotha tier where we were all on site at the GameStop Performance Center in Texas. I actually joined the team for week two of the race which meant pretty much just N’zoth coverage, but this time around I was there for the entire event! It was certainly a lot of work but I would do it all again in a heartbeat!

Cayna: I have attended every single RWF event to date. I casted full-time during Uldir and now Castle Nathria, but only part-time during Eternal Palace and Ny’alotha as I was needed to raid for some of the bosses. BoD I was in on every boss so sadly I did not get to cast. How do they all compare? It’s gotten so much bigger! Uldir was 3 players, 3 casters and a small production, all in a small room. For BoD we had 7 players on site, more casters and a bigger production. Eternal Palace was even bigger, and we also saw more guilds joining in. In Ny’alotha, Limit partnered up with Complexity and we got even bigger and better productions. Castle Nathria has definitely been the biggest yet!

Barokoshama: This was my second time casting the RWF, with my first being the Ny’alotha raid tier back in February of 2020. It feels like so long ago honestly with how this year went by. I was so excited to be invited by Echo for the chance to cast again. I guess I showed that I have a natural talent for the role as even the first time I was invited to cast, someone took a chance on me and I will forever be grateful! Casting the RWF is honestly a really energetic experience. Of course the Redbull sponsor may help with that a bit, but I am more referring to the energy of the event.

MrGM: I’ve been lucky enough to cast the RWF every tier since Eternal Palace. This one has been super weird having to do it from home, but it’s still been just as enjoyable to cast. It’s different, but not necessarily in a bad way.

Bloo: I have not casted the RWF before, but for those who watched I think it’s easy to say that BDGG put on an event that was unlike any other. The art direction, the skits we had for each boss, the unique caster line-up, and the story of our first serious tier, all made it a massive success in my eyes. I can’t wait to cast more in the future!

Undad: This was my first time casting a RWF so I can’t compare it to that, but when compared to dungeon tournaments, casting the RWF was much more relaxed and fun.

Zzxq: I personally got my start casting a FPS game called Crossfire. I have casted several large scale events outside of WoW, but for me getting deeper into a game like WoW has always been appealing, and with Lazarus partnering with Imperative it felt like a good time to get more involved. At the same time though, I think the way we approached our production was also quite nice, since we wanted to put focus on highlighting raid comms during the key moments on boss fights, which I think is important since at the end of the day, the players have the best insight on any given fight. They also deserve to be in the spotlight when they secure a well-earned kill! I haven’t casted a RWF event before, but judging by the audience turnout this time around, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was one of the most viewed raid tiers to date.

Crzypck: I casted the Ny’alotha RWF for Complexity-Limit as well, which was my first time doing casting work. This was pretty dramatically different, as you’d expect, due to the pandemic. In Ny’alotha, all 7 casters were in the same hotel as the players. We’d wake up and eat breakfast together, talk to the players about their thoughts on whatever boss they were working on, get insight on strategies and concepts, stuff like that. We also got to talk to the players throughout the day at the Gamestop Performance Center, home of Complexity. It created this environment where the casting team always felt informed of what the guild was working on internally, and be able to offer that insight to the viewers.

Tettles: I think the RWF being online definitely impacted my energy levels as the event went on. Being in person and hanging out with the raiders definitely brings a different level of energy than being online.

Darkmech: The only other event I had casted before this RWF was a KSM Tournament. This was a very different experience, mainly because I wasn’t shi**ing myself this time! The first time you cast an event you have no idea about Vmix calls or production talking in your headset while you are speaking, and you’re worried you are going to say the wrong thing. During this RWF, I was pretty chilled to be honest, and I think that had a lot to do with who I was casting for - BDGG had a very fun and loose element to their casting lineup and show, and I very much just felt like I could be myself and enjoy the ride.

Q: How did you prepare for casting an event like the RWF?

JustRuss: To be honest, I sort of winged it. I watched a bit of the NA coverage on the first day while trying to piece things together using the dungeon journal. Sometimes it can be hard to see exactly how a fight might or might not play out just by reading about it. My prep was pretty much hyping myself up to be a “hype man” and getting a good night’s sleep!

Zzxq: In terms of casting preparation, it was mostly just researching and understanding more about the high-end raiding scene in WoW. Coming in as someone with little experience in that level of raiding, my goal was just to provide the best insight for viewers from my research that I could.

Alex (Fatboss): I do a lot of boss investigation before the tier for our other work, so that was largely covered. Aside from that, I asked other casters or anything that I should be prepared for, like HC splits, or mistakes they’ve made before which helped me be better prepared.

Waith: I played A LOT! Not so much the raid, but more to figure out what the different classes excelled at and in general just acquiring in-game knowledge, in order to give the viewers the best experience possible. My problem has never been speaking in front of an audience, as long as I know my material is solid and that I have something of value to offer. A lot of my time was spent researching the bosses, how classes work in Shadowlands, and who my co-casters were. Sometimes, when the team would be stuck on a boss or re-clearing the raid, it could also be finding funny or otherwise interesting talking points.

Undad: Well, I raided! That’s how! I was pretty busy with my own WoW agenda leading up to the RWF and used that knowledge and experience as my prep.

Eiya: I do not have a high-end raiding background, so my first task when I was initially brought on (as a host, not a caster!) was learning as much about the history and culture of world-first raiding as I could. I dug deep into previous raiding tiers, old legendary raiding guilds such as Paragon and Blood Legion, as well as the history behind the top guilds at the time such as Complexity-Limit, Method, BDGG, FSY, Pieces, etc. Then of course there is studying up on the encounters themselves. The Ny’alotha RWF was my first look into high-end raiding and I actually ended up joining a raiding guild myself towards the end of BFA because of my positive experience with the RWF!

Barokoshama: Can I say I just winged it?? For real though, I did look over the boss fights on mythic difficulty a lot more than I would have going into my own guild’s raid...Knowing the players ahead of time helped out a lot and since the Echo guild roster is so familiar to a lot of us it was easy to talk about them individually as players.

Cayna: I think my preparation might be a bit different than others. When casting I like to go really in depth on the bosses and mechanics. For me it really starts with PTR testing - testing the bosses myself on Heroic and Mythic makes a massive difference. It is way easier to apply thoughts when you have seen and done the fights before yourself. Then of course, playing the actual game...knowing what the grinds were, what classes the players have been playing, how class balance is, etc. During Heroic week I made sure to watch the streams of the Heroic clears. It tends to give a good idea of what people are playing and the comps they seem interested in.

Darkmech: A big, big, BIG google document. I wrote a 24 page google doc with boss notes, I watched Mythic raid testing videos, I read the Wowhead guides and I got as far as I could into the raid and fights on the lower difficulties myself to at least have a base understanding of them. Twitch chat can be a really cruel place if you say the wrong things, so I always like to at least know what I’m talking about, or try and make it at least seem like I do!

Kexman: I made sure that I was keeping my voice in good condition. My big secret was a warm mug of tea with a little bit of honey in it, you’ll see me drinking from it most of the casts I did. I also made sure to take a walk before casting. I felt as though staying at my PC all day meant I could have been lethargic during the casting and I wanted to avoid that.

Moofzy: My biggest issue is knowing the names of all the abilities. When you’re casting, it always sounds more professional to say “Sanguine Ichor Pools” vs. “red puddles on the ground”. While the latter is fine, you don’t want to do that 100% of the time, so I usually brush up on all the names of abilities and NPCs a bit before I cast.

Steakloins: The last thing I’d want is to be the cause of dead air. I watched a few VoDs in the past and paid attention specifically to casting to try and understand what they do and why. I also spent hours beforehand researching the fights to make sure I knew what I was talking about. One of the most helpful things I did was message Cayna who has a lot of experience and bombarded him with questions. Thinking back now I spent a lot of time making sure that I didn’t look like an idiot.

Q: If you could change anything for the next RWF, what would it be?

Psybearslat: Definitely having the event in a live studio with the players and casters on site. Apart from that I’d like to have had the opportunity to appear on multiple organization’s streams because the beauty of the RWF is how the whole community comes together. Jumping from one stream to another would have been a lot of fun and teaches you a lot about how you can be better - something we should all strive for! Also, I’d love to see Blizzard take a more active supporting role as the result of the race was soured due to community bickering. A referee would be greatly appreciated!

MrGM: I know this is something that gets mentioned every time, but I would love to see Blizzard go ahead and make the raid a global release. I also hope the world is in a state where we can finally get together and do these events in person again. Nothing beats that feeling of hanging out with my friends on a couch watching the Race to World First.

Moofzy: Get rid of Covid so we can cast in person! I look forward to the social aspect of these events, getting to meet and hang out with everyone is probably the best part and unfortunately we can’t really do that this year. Hopefully we’re able to get back to normal in 2021!

Zzxq: In the future I think a global release could make things more interesting and more competitive, but other than that I think this raid tier was presented pretty well!

Kexman: You hear a lot about global release and tournament realm from both players and viewers, but for me the most important part that needs to be introduced first is a set of rules. I feel as though all of the guilds have an agreement of things they will and won’t do, but if we do go down the road of a global release or TR, there has to be something there that gives “legitimacy” to the race.

Kalamazi: I think the best answer here is easily a worldwide raid release. The idea of tournament realms and such for the RWF event is definitely an idea, but I don’t think it is a perfect one. It removes a great portion of the community involvement within the race itself, as well as invalidates all prep and small, niche innovations that world first guilds find in the days leading up to the race.

Jet: Hoping we don’t do it remote again! It’s unlikely if the next tier happens in the first quarter of the year, but it would be nice to see everyone again.

JdotB: As for future RWFs, I think the thing everyone wants to see is a more centralized race. Obviously each organization wants to focus on their own guild, and no guild wants to cede control over their production to a third party, but viewers definitely want a place where they can see all the action simultaneously and feel like they’re at the center of it. It’s hard to have that kind of experience when there are so many competing productions.

Bloo: A lot of people are really interested in a global release, but I think there are huge technical and logical hurdles in making that happen, so I am not holding my breath. I would give anything for Blizzard to never ever do a holiday raid tier again.

Dratnos: The biggest thing I’d love to see changed about the RWF is some of the community discourse surrounding it - stuff like the EU vs NA rivalry is a compelling storyline but often becomes very toxic in twitch chat and basically every guild would rather you cheer for them than against their rivals. I’d love to see a global release or some other solution to the staggered start problem, but Blizzard has pretty clearly and repeatedly stated that’s not going to happen so I think it’s on the guild to sort out if they want to see anything change. My suggestions would be to either have the top EU guilds move to the NA servers and play from a site in the Eu with acceptable ping, or for the guilds to agree upon a set of rules that include timing constraints, and perhaps requirements to stream 100% of progression.

Darkmech: I’d love to see more insight into the guilds with player interviews. Also if we could have game developers getting involved and coming onto broadcasts to talk about what their goals were with a certain encounter, how they felt the tuning was holding up, etc. I think it would be really good to see Blizzard throwing more weight behind that side of the equation.

Crzypck: Let’s all get vaccinated and be on-site again! I’ll echo what many others say - please let us have a global release. Outside of that, I don’t think Blizzard should change anything else. Let it continue being community run and keep it on live retail servers.

Eiya: It’s very disappointing seeing fans of different guilds flame each other. This race wouldn’t be what it is without any of the guilds competing. At the end of the day, we’re all just World of Warcraft nerds that want the same thing and I think we should be rooting for ALL of the guilds to do well. The WoW community has been through so much this year on top of a global pandemic and I wish we could be kinder to one another.

Alex (Fatboss): It would be awesome if there was a global release, even if it was just to put the NA vs EU argument to bed. Having more players join the cast, such as those on the bench or during a prolonged break, would be nice as it gives amazing insight as to what problems they are facing and how well they think they are doing.

JustRuss: I'd like more screen time honestly! I loved it, even more than I thought! That and hopefully when we are through the covid-times to attend a live event in a studio of some kind. I think it would do wonders for casting to be able to see people's facial expressions and hand signals in person regarding knowing when and when not to talk. And as I mentioned earlier, to be able to mingle a bit more with the other casters and personalities (and even some of the raiders) in downtime off stream. Of course I'd also love to see Pieces take home the win!


About the Author

Hulahoops has been playing WoW since Vanilla. If she’s not leading her Mythic Progression guild TBD through raids, she’s probably practicing for the MDI with her team Angry Toast. Hulahoops is a Holy Paladin in every sense of the term: she moderates the Hammer of Wrath Paladin Class Discord, and she was a practicing Lawyer for the last 7 years. Judgment isn’t just a spell! Hulahoops recently decided to put the law books away and follow her passion for esports by joining the team at RaiderIO as the Events and Community Coordinator. She is also passionate about making Azeroth an inclusive, welcoming space for all gamers and is a proud co-founder of the Defias Sisterhood community.