This is Part 2 of the two part interview with Aidan “Zirene” Moon. To check out the first part where Zirene talks about the NA LCS Summer Playoffs, Worlds, as well as TSM and Cloud9, click here.
Casting Class, and who Zirene has worked with in the past
Zirene said “So I call it ‘Caster Class’, and it’s something that I’ve just done behind the scenes for a long time. Like I’ve worked with Medic, I got Vedius kinda started in the League of Legends scene; I’ve worked with Fish, I’ve worked with Captain Flowers, I’ve worked with Froskurinn, PiraTechnics, so many people across the globe.”
Aaron “Medic” Chamberlain, Andy “Vedius” Day and Devin “PiraTechnics” Younge are all casters for the European LCS. Medic and PiraTechnics are play-by-play casters and Veduis is, like Zirene, a color caster. Indiana “Froskurinn” Black is a color caster for the LoL Pro League, or LPL, where she covers the Chinese professional scene for League of Legends.
Zirene continues “Even in different games, on casting techniques from amateur to professional because nobody’s written a book for how to make the transition, and there’s a lot of amateur casters out there now who are trying to cast League of Legends, or other games, and what you do as an amateur is you build up a lot of bad tendencies that nobody tells you are bad.”
Bad tendencies for Amateur casters
“Solo practice, trying to do all the roles, talking too much, not trusting your partner, and one of the biggest ones is not understanding what a narrative is. Cause people pop open a game and they go ‘I know that Jax has this interaction with this champion.’ and you talk about what you know, which is champion interactions and gameplay. But what you don’t talk about and what you don’t have the luxury of, when you pop open a solo-queue game, is knowing all of the players over multiple weeks, like in a league, and talking about their stories and using the history to inform the future.”
“So I kind of teach people that and I’m critical about it because I was critical on myself and I stumbled a whole bunch when I made the leap from amateur to professional; so I kind of want to pass that on to other people when they don’t know exactly what to do. Cause I was so lost and when I sought guidance, it was kind of a nebulous, where it was like ‘You don’t do enough narrative,’ and I was like, ‘What’s narrative? What are you talking about? How do I process it? What am I supposed to do? Like give me a step by step on what it looks like.'”
“Nobody was really able to provide me that inside the casting team, outside the casting team, books that I read, so I ultimately came up with my own formulas and my own kind of system for it.”
Zirene began his casting career for Riot Games during the 2014 NA Challenger Series, and officially joined the LCS broadcast team Spring 2015.
What brings Zirene satisfaction in teaching people
“And I’ve been trying to teach people because one of the things that brings me satisfaction and it’s probably cause my parents are teachers is I love seeing people succeed with the tools I give them. That is the most gratifying feeling or like the best feeling that I can feel in my life is watching someone succeed because of what I am giving them.”
ZiReal Talks and Zirene’s community
Casting Class is not the only thing Zirene does outside of solo-queue games, he also has a segment on Tuesdays called “ZiReal Talks”, in which he opens his Discord and talks openly and seriously to his community. The person that Zirene speaks to opens up about the problems in their life, and Zirene will contribute to the discussion with his own experiences, and have an honest conversation with his community.
When asked about what having his community open up to him on his “ZiReal Talks”, Zirene said “It kind of means the world to me because my community, the people that come in there, I’m a complete stranger to them. They don’t know me, but sometimes people just need to talk to somebody else in their life that isn’t close to them without fear of pushing somebody away because of their problems. A lot of people don’t want to talk to a family member, a friend, because they feel like they will be a burden. And sometimes opening up to a complete stranger and just venting or seeking some advice is incredibly helpful because you feel like it’s a safe place, even though it’s one where you don’t know the people.”
“Because you have a sense of anonymity as well, and I want to help people there because I’ve gone through a lot. Having that community connection with them and kind of connection through almost joint despair in our lives is I think something very deep and makes a lot of lasting connections. My community is something that I love, so having them come together and support me as well as me support them is something that I kind of live for.”
Zirene’s brand and his fans
“It’s interesting cause I don’t like to distance myself from fans, like I don’t. And I’ve always thought maybe this is something that I shouldn’t be doing because I know a lot of brands are built on being something that people should aspire to be, being almost larger than life. Untouchable, like a lot of celebrities. But I want to build my brand on being somebody who is just very, very human, and very real and visceral. And I make mistakes all the time and sometimes I feel like I’m not worthy of fans, and I just want a lot of friends.”
“I don’t want fans, I want friends. I want people who are going to treat me like a human being, not somebody who is gonna like praise me. Granted, I understand people want to show that they’re thankful for what I’ve done and I appreciate that, but it’s like, I don’t want it to be one sided, which I feel a lot of fan interactions are. I like not just signing something, I like having a conversation with people. I’m literally not better than anybody who walks up to me and asks for my signature. And I personally think it’s a little bad to think that. I am not above them, they appreciate what I do, but I want to know more about them so I can appreciate them.”
One thing Zirene would like to say to his fans
“One thing I would say is the reason why I do my ‘ZiReal Talks’ is I’ve gone through a lot, like depression, I’ve had multiple suicide attempts in my life, I have ADHD, and it was undiagnosed for a long time. I have Ulcerative Colitis. I have an invisible illness that’s plagued me for over half my life now, over 14 years.”
“What I want to say to everybody who is out there struggling with something in your life, regardless of how big or small it is, there are people around you who care about you and who can support you. And if you feel like you need professional help, please seek professional help, and if you feel like you need to open up to a friend and get their opinion, please do not hesitate to open up to family members.”
Featured photo from lol.gamepedia.com
“From Our Haus to Yours”