Why are podcasters good for live coverage of WoTC Events?
With the expanded schedule of coverage provided to us by WoTC, allowing alternative hosts instead of BDM and Rich and Sheldon is something WoTC needs to look into.
The rise of podcasts across the mtg community has led to a wave of people who would be qualified: their knowledge of game, ability to interview, and has personality to match.
I will break it down into 3 sections: The current podcasters doing live coverage, which should be next in line for it, and podcasters off the radar that have the ability to do.
Current podcasters that are doing or did events for either WoTC or GGSLive or Canadian PTQ:
Joey Pasco, Marshall Sutcliffe, Sam Stoddard, KYT, and Gavin Verhey
Joey Pasco – Is the perfect example of what a host of an event should do: He’s calm, knows the right questions to ask, and from working with Big Head Joe on YoMtgTaps to be able handle unique personalities. At the SCG Invitational, I expect to see Joey there leading the coverage. As far as the current working podcasters on coverage he’s is my favorite.
Marshall Sutcliffe – Last weekend was a trial by fire, and he passed with flying colors. I had an interview with him before last weekend’s events. There was excitement and nervousness all together, which is completely understandable with the stage he was on.
What really helped Marshall succeed this weekend was his natural personality. His ability to work with BDM (who can be either the lead or color commentator) over the two days seemed like they had been working together for years. It also helped that he was in a limited format, considering that is what he known for. He interviewed some difficult personalities in the booth from Professional MTG players to people at WoTC. The ability to not have a list of questions to work with makes the challenge of doing an interview twice as hard. I would give him a B+ or A- for his first run of many in the booth (consider the fact I gave myself a D when I was in).
Sam Stoddard – His podcast in-contention on mtgcast, really shows his vast knowledge of the game. He isn’t going to causes waves with his personality, although he can get point across with subtlety. When he works on SCGLIVE this weekend, there is very little doubt he will be effective and be able to do either role of host or color commentator.
KYT – There have been plenty of us that have make jokes at his expense. The one thing KYT is spot on when it comes to ability to deal with changing situations: Either in the podcasting booth with EhTeam and that band of diverse personalities, or when he was working the Canadian PTQ circuit, and challenges they had there. I know in more professional run situation he could do good things. His knowledge of players that most of never heard of is remarkable, a true strength when it comes to casting in general.
Gavin Verhey – Gavin was Joey, before he left to go WoTC. Gavin’s all around knowledge and savvy with words put him in a place to be one of the best commentators out there. He has a gift for this, one I hope WoTC will use from time to time out on the circuit. Personally, I couldn’t be happier for him, because he’s living his dream of working at WoTC.
Who should be next in line for coverage?
TSG, MrScottyMac, Jon Medina, and Chris Lansdell
TSG – He works for CFB. His show Magic TV is must see every week, even when topics aren’t exactly the most interesting. If you have seen him interview people, you quickly understand of why he might be the interviewer in magic at this moment in time. The times he has been in the booth, he brings a natural energy (passion) for the game. In addition, he knows every major professional and can get them to sit down and talk to him about anything.
Even thou he has had to rein in his questions to certain people in MTG, he works around that and still gets the questions answers he looks for. It has been pleasure to work him on the Hardcast podcast, and when things get a little slower for him to get back a full time schedule would be nice.
This is by far the biggest miss so far by WoTC. I understand it is not the popular thing to call out the company that could be using me for coverage. There are certain times when you want what’s best for the game, and TSG is that person.
MrScottyMac from Ehteam podcast – Scotty has an outgoing and aggressive, yet professional personality (due to his job). SCGLive would be a great place for his talent. The devotion and time he puts into this game with Wife, 2 kids (one is a baby), and job that is really stressful. If he’s needed for two non-stop days of coverage, he’s got the mental fortitude to handle it. He did get one on one with Joey at SCGCIN, and with the right eyes watching (Evan, Glenn Jones), hopefully he can get his chance on SCGLive.
Jon Medina – He is a self-made marketing genius in the lines of Mike Flores (Although no one is better than Mike at doing this). Jon has a way of making a point and making you feel good about it even if your wrong. He doesn’t hesitate to laugh at himself, when he’s wrong.
With his strong background in card sales, being knowledge in both legacy and standard, this is a person who can use a home on tournament that you watch soon. I have full confidence that he can interview people with a way of making them relaxed.
Chris Landell – You know him from HoN, Monday Night Magic, and every other podcast on MTGCAST. Chris is highly opinionated and sometimes can rant on and on about issues he has a passion for. That is a duel-edged sword, because is great to have opinion, but the ability of knowing when to stop is another. He bring a lot to the table from being a rogue (if there is such a thing) deck builder, judge, player, and host. If you give him a color commentator that is more subdued, but direct to the point with answers (like JVL, Adrian Sullivan, Matthias Hunt, Zac Hall) or a host that is more in control (Like Joey Pasco, JVL, even me) it’s a formula for success.
Off the radar podcasters that one day should get a shot on coverage.
Amanda Stevens, Tangent, Chewie
Amanda Stevens – Here is a person that going to school, running a website (redsitewins), host of a podcast, and wants to do an interview podcast like I do. Amanda got the guts to take on the hard questions with people. That show that is forthcoming (last time I spoke with Amanda) it will be really good, and can fill a role within the podcasting community.
If you want someone that confident and willing to put in the time to do great things for a show, then Amanda is your person. I look forward to seeing this happen one day, before magic becomes a smaller role in life for her.
Tangent – People are going to say I am crazy for this. Yes, I worked a podcast with him (manascrewed) and without him I wouldn’t gotten into mtg podcasting. Does he take a lot chances? Yes he does, but it’s because he believes in it. If don’t believe in what you’re saying, why bother saying it.
Does he need a filter? Probably, but when he was asked to be opinionated and professional, he stood up and made it happen. I am hoping that his work in podcasting doesn’t cause him to be overlooked.
Chewie – He hosts both Monday Night Magic and The Mana Pool. He had to step in for Tom on Monday Night Magic and has done a great job. His natural ability to be a host is something that in world of opinionated people, he can direct them and make them focused on the task at hand.
What about you people will ask?
Of course I want back in the booth. I do interviews all the time. I am driving to Indy next weekend to do interviews. My first run at Denver was a challenge. I didn’t have my glasses (have a difficult time seeing far away without them) and I wasn’t prepared enough. Those are lessons I have learned and work on all the time when I watch coverage.
I put myself in the role of either host or color when I watch coverage and ask “What I say or do”, and when it comes to interviews I’m little more critical of questions asked, because of my show.
I’m working hard to get another chance at this, if I don’t get I want to make to the people out there that love coverage as much as I do to have a list of who in podcasting should be in the booth.