Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Saturday, March 15, 2014


It's definitely not my intent to beat anyone up. But I call them like I see them. So, I'm going to keep this post to the point, stating my opinions and why I hold those opinions. Ready? Here goes: I think it was a mistake for CCP Bro to take on the hosting duties for the second New Eden Open.

First, let me get my biases out of the way. I really really like CCP Bro, both personally and as a CCP employee. I recognize he's in a difficult job at CCP. It's his job to generate excitement for EVE-based eSports and maybe in the future, all CCP's eSports. He's having to do this difficult job on what feels like a shoe-string budget with less-than-stellar support both from within CCP and from within the EVE community. And I admit right out of the gate that I was biased... not really against Bro, but for someone else. I really wanted CCP Guard in that chair.

Guard is affable, smart, has an excellent camera presence, and can control a discussion without seeming controlling. I've seen him do it dozens of times on EVE TV at Fanfest and other events. Hell, I've been interviewed by the guy myself.

Now that said, I'm trying to fight past my own biases and give Bro a chance, but he's serving two masters right now and I'm afraid it shows, and shows painfully:
  • His job is to generate excitement for and expand the audience for eSports; but,
  • his job while hosting a tournament is to be a central, guiding, unifying presence.
In the process of trying to do both of these jobs at once, he's having difficulties with both.

In particular, it's a terrible mistake for him as the tournament host to show what is an unseemly bias for one of the participating teams, WeHURT. I know it's his job to expand the tournament audience. In this job as coordinator for EVE eSports, it's his job to back new exciting teams -- particularly a new team that brings its own audience as the WeHURT team does (made up, as it is, by streamers). Still, it's directly hurting his performance as the NEO host.

This showed up most painfully when the WeHURT team got full-on face-rolled by the Warlords of the Deep team today, twice. CCP Dolan and CCP Fozzie were having a little fun about this, making jokes about armored bullet trains smashing the WeHURT hype train and even the background guys got into the act, playing little videos of trains getting smashed up. And there's Bro off to the right, looking disappointed and pained that "his" team did so poorly. It took him way too long to shake it off and remember what he was there to do. At no point was he leading the discussion; he was just letting it roll over him.

One more thing: the whole hype train thing isn't even an EVE gimmick:

Maybe Bro is familiar with this and maybe he isn't, but the similarities pile up fast: the hat, the passing out of "tickets", the cry of "all aboard!" last week when WeHURT was about to take the field... it's all a mistake. You'll notice the host in that vid is properly staying above the fray. The impression we got today was that the other people involved were waiting for an opportunity to troll Bro. I have to admit I didn't care for it... even if it was pretty funny.

Finally, even if Bro weren't showing a bit of team favoritism here, I'd be concerned about his engagement level. A lot of this comes down to experience; ex-CCP Soundwave used to make this seem effortless (example). He'd start the discussion, guide the discussion, ask leading questions, turn to the camera and let the audience know that something was happening, then immediately turn back to and continue guiding the discussion. Even when he was getting information from his earpiece, he would never say so; he'd just give the information like he was omniscient (as we knew he was ;-) ). Engagement and involvement in the discussion... guiding it where you want it to go... is so important in the hosting job. Right now, Bro's working from a checklist. It's not a terrible first step but now he needs to put it aside and lead.

I'm certainly going to keep watching... none of these flaws are fatal. And it seems likely that Bro will get a second chance during AT12 later this year. Heaven knows I was initially very hard on Dolan and he's improved tremendously over the last few years. Let's hope these are growing pains and that Bro follows the same track.


  1. Well, much like Dolan, I doubt things are going to change. Dolan was terrible when he started commentating and he's still bad now. At this point I mute the pre-match commentary and alt tab to another window just so I don't have to listen or see Dolan.

    I have little reason to believe it won't be CCP Bro hosting ATXII either. He's a little weak, the whole wehurt gimmick is getting annoying, but he's not bad. Certainly not Dolan levels of bad. Not outstanding, but tolerable and I'm sure he'll eventually grow into the role if he keeps at it.

  2. Jester, you come off like a CPP apologist. The talent sucks and Its painful to watch. CPP needs to completely upgrade the talent both in front and behind the camera if it wants any shot at eSports legitimacy.

    Stop dodging here and call it out

    1. Funny that I can bash the poor guy into the ground and still be a CCP apologist. Wouldn't a CCP apologist emphasize the good parts of his performance and ignore or minimize the poor parts?

    2. i actually don't care if the "talent sucks" since it's the newest tactics & weapons being used that keeps me watching close, even if most of the stuff is way beyond my paygrade.

  3. I always find Dolan to have been the best commentator.

    1. as a tangent, and off topic to CCP Bro's obvious stilted performance (compared to soundwave) and Jester giving us background explanation of WHY he was so hamfisted, I'd like to say that Dolan has consistently been able to spead real time to what's happening - rapid fire - and then shut up so that they can keep up the commentary.
      I could probably point out the flaws of the vast majority of commentators in how they would be blabbing away about bullshit unrelated to the actual weapons & tactics and completely miss/ignore something happening right before our eyes that deserved fleshing out.

  4. I'm happy that I'm not the only one who finds CCP Bro's behavior highly irritating.

    Even though I don't buy into the whole "esport" thing, I seem to follow EVE tournaments (and only those) like I follow real sports: I watch the football world cup and maybe the euro cup, and the olympic games; nothing else interests me.

    Because of that, I don't even know who WeHURT is, but I hated them from the first second for the extremely irritating behavior of their fans. (Good thing I rarely look at the twitch chat...) And for the "moderator" to show such annoying behavior, what with the stupid hat and all... it's highly grating.

    I think the other two (rotating in and out from Rise, Fozzie, and Dolan) are doing a decent job, especially considering their nonstop performance. They're mentioning on the stream how the teams are under a lot of pressure because they only got 20-40 minutes after a match before they have to do the next one, but those commentators don't get any breaks at all. I'm not sure that's a good idea, give the guys some breaks! The only reason why you'd want to do this is to keep labor costs low, I guess?

    I'm really looking forward to the Alliance Tournament, where hopefully, CCP Bro will either have snapped out of it or gotten sacked, and where we'll see more rotation and variation between studio discussion members and fight commentators.

    Oh, also bring back Shadoo. He might not be the best commentator in the world, but I really miss his exuberant excitement. And even he showed less bias towards PL than Bro's showing towards WeHURT. Go figure.

  5. After watching Dolan on Day 5, the CSM is of the unanimous opinion that he should not be allowed to have anything to with the counting of the votes in the CSM election! :)

  6. Dolan is doing fine now. I found his person annoying a tournament or two ago, but he's most set that aside, and his obvious knowledge is an asset. Fozzie's the one generating the excitment and keeping things flowing. Bro just looks out of place.

    I liked Bro's obvious partiality, though.

  7. And here I thought the days of T20 were behind us. Who knows what else WeHURT are getting from CCP BiasedBro besides verbal support.

    1. Just because he likes them, there is no reason to insult him.

      There is a big difference between a lack of controlling your biases and abusing your powers.

  8. Ya, Bro is the weak link here

    1. To add to this, his hat is utter ridiculous looking. Epic troll to let him wear that and not try to talk him out of it

  9. Wow and here I thought I was the only one who found him irritating and dull. where was the energy? to me it seems he continued to pull the other commentators down as they got excited. at times you could even see the friction between the two groups.

    sadly this annoyance kept me from getting excited about the tournament and instead found it irritating.

    I truly fear for the alliance tournament. if there are no changes I likely will not be watching there are better things to.

  10. Kinda of late to the discussion but I don't think it's fair for any of the commentators (if that's a word) from CCP to be compared to the ones from RIOT, those guys do it between 3 to 4 days a week for at least 6 months a year and even so every once in a while one of the says something that would have been better off not said, especially the ones on the challenger series.

  11. I would say with more tournaments also hosted by players you might also get more experienced commentators. There might also be the possibilty to hire them but having the knowledge about EVE makes this maybe a bit limited.

    As for Soundwave I looked at the video you linked but also didn't find him very exciting as a host either (also 4 ppl on the table is too much). Guard might have been better than both, I think.

    As for the bias, yes, Bro was too much pro WeHURT, but Dolan on the opposite was maybe too much contra WeHURT. A more neutral position from everybody would be good here. It's ok of course to do predictions based on the perfomance in the past but too much faboyism or hate is maybe not that adequate for commentators and hosts.

    All in all comparing the video from AT11 and this one I see some progression though in terms of production value. Just don't put that robot up again, that's just silly and became annoying to me rather quickly (also it used to talk over people).


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