The Twitter announcement that Wolf ‘Wolf’ Schröder posted on Easter shook the community. It seemed as if all the fighting that the community did to get him and Seth ‘Achilios’ King into the Overwatch League had just ended mere moments ago. Wolf and Achilios after COVID hit, became the faces of the APAC early morning streams. But, it was fitting for them to be back in Korea to cast the APAC games as they were the voice for many of the Korean contenders and APEX matches where they casted some of the most iconic moments. Wolf gave the audience a perfect mix of analysis, history, and player information. The Overwatch League not only lost an amazing caster by deciding not to offer him a position for Season 4 but also is doing a disservice to the Overwatch Community.
I was not offered a casting position in the Overwatch League for 2021.
— Wolf Schröder (@proxywolf) April 4, 2021
Wolf was one of the only casters that appreciated and supported the APAC region. It could be that he and Achilios knew as well as had cast these players from before the Overwatch League. He was a voice in an ecosystem that seems to always be strewn towards the North American teams. This was most prevalent during the Season 3 finals, where many desk analysts and casters said that APAC didn’t understand or grasp the meta. It was Wolf who defended the teams and stood up for those who overlooked them. And then he would bring attention to it so that it could start a dialogue.
I think it’s a bit crazy that there are so many analysts discussing whether or not Shock or Fusion are the best team in OWL without even mentioning Shanghai. Not going to name names…
— Wolf Schröder (@proxywolf) May 17, 2020
He was a voice that stood up for the APAC teams and region overall. He was one of the only casters who knew Korean and the culture. That could be a big part of himself and Achilios understanding the players and teams’ mindset. It isn’t that he wasn’t for the NA teams, but that he was able to see that just because APAC wasn’t doing what NA was, it didn’t make it wrong.
History in the Overwatch League is a tricky thing. Many of the players in the Overwatch League have their beginnings in Korea. Until recently, many North American fans might not have watched APEX or Korean contenders. Wolf was able to inform the viewers on the rich Overwatch history that wasn’t confined to the Overwatch League. No matter how much Blizzard wants the Overwatch League to be seen as the beginning, the APEX era has a lot of rich history and unique storylines. Wolf was able to make narratives without bashing players by using history.
Fleta wins a tournament against his old team, another one he never found success with. Void defeats Tobi, the last bastion of Lunatic Hai, old rivals. Fearless stands with a winning Shanghai. Best team in Asia. All after a 4map reverse sweep. Korean Overwatch is a fucking thrill
— Wolf Schröder (@proxywolf) May 24, 2020
It brought in another layer of the casting. To know that this was the map where the bridge was named after Tobi, or that players on either side used to play together made the downtime interesting instead of always having filler. It was something that other casters didn’t take advantage of. Hopefully, he will continue to drop those facts on Twitter or a companion stream, as to know the history of the players or teams can help new fans understand the rivalries or how big a win or loss actually is. This is something that the Overwatch League, in general, could take a look at when it comes to content to add to the broadcast.
The Voice to Humanize the Players
One of the most important roles that Wolf held as a caster in the Overwatch League was that he humanized the players. They were not machines that were just there to point and click. He did not makeup narratives that one missed headshot meant that a player was washed up. The Korean and Chinese players were able to be represented as humans and not robots. This might not seem like a big aspect, but it meant the world to many fans. For too long it has been an othering in the esport community in which the hard work and human error had been forgotten. Not only is helping the community as a whole see the players in a new light but also shifted it away from dehumanizing a player as a compliment.
Diem said in his first APEX interview (2017) he wanted attention, wanted to be noticed. Making a reappearance late in the season, Diem crushes childhood friend Carpe— Stays classy in his interview. NA fans, you notice him yet? pic.twitter.com/ls3Gm4ihRR
— Wolf Schröder (@proxywolf) October 8, 2020
This is a big contribution that he has brought to the cast alongside Achilios. It was especially nice, as the two were both the majority of the time casting the APAC region so that they were able to give a voice and personality to the players. No longer did it seem that the players’ hard work was being undermined by a false narrative that they were a robotic machine playing the game.
Wolf’s passion for the game and players will be missed on the official broadcast. If you want to listen to his casting he will be continuing with LCK. On his Just Chatting stream, he answered many questions (you can check it out here).
If you are interested in supporting Wolf check out his Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/wolf_schroeder
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