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CS:GO - A Lesson from the NFL - #2

Hopefully you've had the time to read the first lesson CS:GO teams and players can take from the NFL. If not, take 30 seconds and give it a read and let us know what you think.

In this post, we'll talk about the coverage and "shoutcasting" of the game, and ways we can learn from the successful NFL model. Some of what has made the NFL viewership as popular as it is can be attributed to how the game is explained to the viewers by the commentators.

Good commentators will:

  1. Have a deep working knowledge of the game and its related strategies and are often times former players or coaches
  2. Know the teams and the players individually
  3. Share insight into both the teams, coaches, and the players during the course of the match
  4. Explain the "basics" of the game for the viewers, knowing it may be "stating the obvious" to some viewers
  5. Demonstrate or illustrate various elements of the game using the "telestrator" John Madden style
  6. Have the viewer "feel" the emotion of the game during incredible or big plays without coming off as fake or excessive
  7. "Hype" the game and the players up during pre-game (with highlights)
  8. Analyze the match in the post-game coverage

While some of the major matches and tournaments get "good coverage", where good coverage means someone writes an article about the match before it starts, someone  is talking while the match is going on, and spectators external to the match are able to watch and listen, the vast majority of matches don't get the coverage they should.

There are a handful of good (and generally well known) CS commentators out there (not a big fan of the term "shoutcasting"), and probably a few more that haven't been discovered yet. From past coverage, the items above are rarely balanced or well executed.


CS:GO has an advantage over games like League of Legends and DOTA 2 in its "simplicity" of for a new viewer. At the end of the day, it's a "Shoot the bad guys" game. Sure, there are a ton of details and strategy going on not visible to the new player or viewers eye. But by the same token, most NFL fans can't read a defense's coverage or understand a complex offensive package.

Then it becomes the job of the skilled commentator to help break down that down. So we'll ask the question: Who's going to be the John Madden of CS:GO?