If you have tuned in to the Overwatch League this past season, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the iconic casting of Mitch “Uber” Leslie. Uber has casted some of the Overwatch League’s greatest moments and will forever be enshrined in some of our favorite highlights. This season’s casting performance has gained Uber recognition from Esports fans across the globe.
The best of the best
In 2018, Uber was nominated for On-Camera Talent of the Year at the Stockholm International Esports Awards, alongside his colleague Montecristo and several others. This is award ceremony highlights those who are paving the way as professionals in the Esports community and to receive a nomination is one of the greatest honors an Esports professional can receive.
To win an award, however, puts you in a class above the rest.
Uber now joins that class. This past week, it was officially announced that Uber won the aforementioned award. The jury concluded the following about Uber, per Metro, ”[Uber is] more than just a rap god, Uber has translated his enthusiasm and ability to articulate a match for fans of all levels of experience with the game. Casting alongside veterans and the big names of other games, Uber has forged his own unique connection with fans of Overwatch.”
Uber had some words of his own in his acceptance speech at the ceremony, making several references to his Australian roots and his origins as an Esports caster. That video can be found here.
After the news about the award broke, I reached out to Uber to talk about his road to becoming, “More than just a rap god” and what has inspired him along the way. His answers serve as inspiration for those who look to Uber as a role model for his casting and his character.
Q. Winning the On Camera Talent of the Year Award is a huge achievement. Who do you have most to thank for helping you get to where you are now?
It was a great honor to pick up the award, to be sure! Honestly, much of my thanks goes to the people who were part of my development at ESL. Joe Miller was the guy who gave me my start in the industry and thanks to him I was never short on opportunities to develop and prove myself. Jason Kaplan, Oliver Maxfield and Lauren Scott were all casting partners of mine back at ESL and they all taught me a lot about making a broadcast more than just a show, a couple of people in front of a camera, and also how to loosen up and be myself on the job. I have to thank Matt Morello for his hard work alongside myself during the OWL so far, together we have become much more than the sum of our parts.
Q. Who is your biggest inspiration or role model? Either someone currently in the business or someone unrelated to esports.
My peers generally operate as both my inspiration and role model. We have a fantastic group of people working on the OWL broadcast, and all of them have taught me something about how to embrace my craft with my whole personality. Their creativity, motivation and hard work all helped to propel the show to one of the most charismatic and effective broadcasts in esports.
Q. You are sometimes referred to as the “Rap God” because of your quick speech and eloquent vocabulary. What hobbies or practices have helped you to gain such a rich vocabulary and quick tongue?
I have been amused that so many people have expressed appreciation for this element of my casting when initially, it manifested as a technical error from me being unable to ‘let go’ of relaying some bits of information during teamfights. Since then, I have been able to refine it into an extra way to add gravitas to important moments, but most of my ability in this area comes from being an avid reader and consumer of pop culture. I wouldn’t even say that Rap is one of my preferred music genres; sometimes I just need to get all of the words out in a way that can be relatively well understood!
Q. How have Mr. X and the other OWL talent helped you to become a better caster?
Firstly, the other OWL crew set a very good example as hard workers that are dedicated to their craft. Sometimes I feel like I took the back-door into some kind of elite school of broadcasting where I get to observe the best at work and lift elements of their style to make them my own. Secondly, we are a group with very diverse backgrounds and are genuinely invested in each other and the show’s development. Feedback is easy to come by and always comes from a place of wanting to see each other succeed.
Q. What advice do you have for those who want to become casters and/or those who want to improve on their casting?
There are tons of ways to get involved these days. I always tell people that getting into the @BroadcastDotGG community is the place to start. Back when I was getting started, this kind of community that is designed to assist casters with their development didn’t exist. As far as advice for intermediate casters goes; be yourself, don’t try to copy other casters word-for-word, and if you can’t make it through years of unpaid work, you probably don’t have the drive that you’ll need to make it at the top level.
Q. Looking ahead, do you foresee yourself casting for OWL long-term, or do you have plans to move on?
Honestly, I will always go where the greatest challenge is. I have long since internalized that the greatest challenges herald the greatest growth opportunities. So far, developing the OWL has been that place and I see myself sticking around for as long as I can have an impact and continue to grow as a person and broadcast professionals.
The Game Haus and I want to thank Uber for taking the time in the midst of the chaos of free agency to sit down and talk about the award. It is absolutely well-deserved. Uber, I look forward to watching and learning as you kill it on the broadcast. We’ll all be mad hyped right beside you, mate!
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