East’s Corner 05: The Problem of Homogenized Talent

I’ll be honest, I was very hesitant to write about this topic, because it can easily be painted in a light so dark, that vantablack would seems bright by comparison. I want to start by saying, people who are talented should be paid for their talents. Plain and simple. If you are a good commentator, dammit, hustle hard and get gigs to do it, and make a career out of it. I think Mike Ross once said something that holds very true in my mind: Do what you’re going to do, but never take food out of someone’s mouth.

Over the past year tried to start doing more commentary work. I recognize I’m a small and crappy fish in a much bigger pond, but dammit you have to start somewhere. It’s something that I’m trying to improve and am taking more seriously, especially going into next year. As I’ve become more and more indoctrinated into the inner-workings of how commentary jobs are set and how talent is chosen, there has been something that really seems strange to me, and I’ll pose it to you in the form of a question: When you have regional talent that knows the stories, rivalries, players, and what’s really at stake in a region, why not have them tell those stories instead of someone who can’t?

Take for example, last year’s Dragonball FighterZ World Tour Finals. Half of the Saga Event winners and all 4 of the last chance qualifiers were Japanese. 75% of the World Tour Finals Top 8 were from Japan, and 0% of the commentary talent was from Japan. 0% of the people who interact with those 6 players on a weekly basis were on commentary. 0% of the people who understand the inner-workings of the Japanese scene were on commentary. Saying that, the commentary talent that was there was great. All in attendance killed it. We got some awesome storylines in the finals, but consider all the stories that were missed.

  • Did Dogura being GO1’s training partner have anything to do with him winning a last chance qualifier?
  • How did Kindevu even hang with these other top 8 when we rarely see him in tournament?
  • Who even was BNBBN and where did he come from?
  • What is Fenritti’s background and history with GO1?

Find out never, because the people who know the stories were nowhere to be found.

When you have regional talent that knows the stories, rivalries, players, and what’s really at stake in a region, why not have them tell those stories instead of someone who can’t?

I know that this whole thing could be easily taken as “Quit being jealous and just work harder,” and that makes the platform I stand on just a little bit murkier. That’s fine, I’ll take that and keep it in my back pocket for motivation, but to be honest, this isn’t even about me. If you want an example of what happens when things are done right and regional talent gets to shine, take a look at MajinObama at Guilty Gear XrdR Finals at EVO Japan 2018. As a spectator, don’t you want to see more of this?

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/223210099

As always, thanks for coming by and taking a read. Whether you liked it or not, please share this with somebody as it’s a problem that is often not talked about, but should be given some more light. You can also agree with me or yell at me in the comments below.

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