After leaving his casting studio to pursue life as a freelancer, we sit down with TobiWan, one of the most iconic casters in the world of esports, to talk about his plans for 2018.
Toby ‘TobiWan’ Dawson has been the voice of the Dota 2 scene for years. He casts almost every major event, has multiple TI grand finals under his belt and is responsible for the voiceover of one of the most iconic moments in Dota history: the five million dollar Echo Slam. When it comes to casting the world of Dota, Toby’s done it all.
But at the end of 2017 he decided to leave his long time casting studio, JoinDota, to pursue other opportunities. He still intends to be a caster for all the big Dota events, but he also has other projects in the works, some of which are quite surprising.
His new main role is with the crypto crowdfunding platform BestMeta, a service that aims to give content creators, such as Toby, a platform to pitch their ideas directly to the fans and receive funding for them. To demonstrate the idea, BestMeta created Well Played, a quiz show featuring some of the biggest names in esports battling it out. At the filming of the pilot episodes of Well Played, we caught up with Toby to find out how he came up with the idea for the show, and how this new role will impact his casting career.
So first off, could you give us a brief overview of what we’re doing today and what your role is in the whole Best Meta kind of thing?
TobiWan: Well, what we’re doing today is a show called Well Played, which is a gaming trivia show. This was a concept of mine; I’ve been toying around for a while as an addict of all of the English gaming panel shows. I’m always just like, why can’t we do one of these things for gaming? And, that’s exactly what we did.
So is Well Played, and your work with BestMeta, kind of what you’ve been doing since you left JoinDota?
I’ve been working with BestMeta before I left JoinDOTA, so I was a consultant for them for the last three months, primarily looking at the platform itself and trying to bring people onboard. Well Played was something, which kind of more came to fruition in December.
You left JoinDota as you started doing this. Is this, [working with Best Meta] going to impact the amount of events you attend? Or, are we still going to see you at every single event ever?
I want to put more meaning to my time. So, I realise there are a lot of things that I want to do in the world. I’m getting a big taste for building something up, and I used to do that too – like when I couldn’t get a gaming group to commentate my tournament, so I built my own team of commentators. I’d build up my own teams when I was playing computer games. I would run ladders, I would try to organise all this kind of stuff. I kind of moved away from that.
I didn’t get as much of a thrill from that when I became a commentator because it’s very hard to match the thrill of being a caster. I’m getting a lot more of that thrill back in organisation and just creating something like this, being proud of a product like Well Played. That’s a feeling you don’t get when you commentate. You can be really proud of the game you casted, but with this, we built something, we created something. It’s much more meaningful.