Khaldor: eSport will blow up!
As any entertaining industry, eSport has its own celebrities, known and praised by millions of fans. Recently we spoke with one of them to deliver you a most interesting interview of a man with a very specific point of view. Meet one of the most famous SC2 and HotS commentators - Khaldor!
Khaldor cast GSL for three years in Korea. When Blizzard released a new game - Heroes of The Storm, he switched to a new title, but he still comments Starcraft 2 LAN-tournaments.
Thomas told us the reason why he decided to focus on HotS, about his youth and many other things!
— Hi, Thomas! Tell us please about yourself, you past, present and future.
— My name is Thomas Kilian, probably better known as Khaldor, and I'm an eSports commentator. I've started casting back in 2002 with WarCraft 3 (back then in German, my native language) and after I finished university and spend a year in Australia I started to commentate StarCraft 2. At first I continued to cast in German, but I soon became the opportunity to cast more matches in English and started to switch to English completely. A short while after I received the offer to move to Korea and cast the GSL/WCS. Originally it was supposed to be a 3 month stay but in the end I stayed for 3 years and just recently moved back to Germany. With the release of Heroes of the Storm I picked up the game and am currently casting most of the tournaments in the European scene for Heroes of the Storm and am also producing a lot of Heroes of the Storm content for you YouTube channel
— Why have you decided to turn to HotS? Was it because SC2 was dying as a professional esports title?
— Hahahaha no, definitely not :) I'm still casting StarCraft 2 actually but most at offline events. Online I made the decision to focus more on Heroes of the Storm since I wanted to put more time and work into my YouTube channel and there are already too many established StarCraft 2 channels on YouTube whereas Heroes of the Storm is just at its beginning. I actually think that StarCraft 2 is absolutely fine and don't think the game is dying at all. I simply think that most people don't realize that you can hardly compare the player base and viewership of a 1on1 game with that of a team game. It's like comparing Tennis to Football.
But to come back to your original question: I played a lot of DotA and DotA2 in the past, but there were always things that really annoyed me about the game. Especially the length of a match. I couldn't really bring myself to watch 4-5 hours for a single Bo5. So I already had a bit of a MOBA background when Blizzard started the Alpha of Heroes of the Storm. Since I'm a huge Blizzard Fanboy as well it was only natural to give the game a shot.
— Do you like other Blizzard games, e.g. WoW or Diablo? Do you play Overwatch?
— I played A LOT(!) of Diablo 1/2 and 3. I think World of WarCraft is one of the few Blizzard games (if not the only one) that I never tried. Back when the game was released I was at university and given how much time I've already put into WarCraft 3 and Diablo 1/2 I was pretty sure that it wouldn't be a good idea to start with World of WarCraft if I really wanted to graduate :P So I decided not to play it and never really regretted the decision to be honest ;)
I'm more of an eSports kid when it comes to gaming. Regarding Overwatch, I'll definitely give the game a shot. But right now I'm really happy with the way the Heroes of the Storm scene and community is developing. There's still a long way to go but I'm very positive when it comes to the future of the game.
— Many think that it is easy to become a well-known caster in HotS. Is it true? Which qualities should a caster possess? Humor, pleasant voice, what else?
— Hm why do people think that it's easy to became a caster in Heroes of the Storm? First time I've heard that statement to be honest. Right now I think we have very few casters in the scene that were able to make a name for themselves. I'm pretty sure that it will be growing but compared to other games the caster scene is still quite small in Heroes of the Storm. Personally I think a good caster has to have a good knowledge of the game but also needs to be able to entertain his audience and lead through a match/tournament.
Ideally you'll always have a commentator paired with a player though, especially for offline events. Simply because there are always additional insights that a professional player has. But you still need a strong personality as well that is able to lead the show.
— What is the basic problem of CIS scene at the moment? Why are there few teams?
— To be honest I don't really know. There some good CIS players out there I suppose and as you already said ASH is a very good example. I think with time we'll probably see more teams and players from that region emerge. Right now there are only a few countries that have an abundance of strong teams (for example Spain) but I'm sure that given time the community will grow and more teams and players from all regions will start to emerge in the eSports scene.
— Why do Dota players hate HotS in your opinion?
— I didn't even know that they do hate Heroes of the Storm. If that's actually the case I'd say it's probably simply the usual rivalry between games. Back in the days people were always arguing about WarCraft 3 vs. Command & Conquer, later you had various Shooter games that divided the scene and right now you have LOL/Dota and Heroes of the Storm. People always want their sport or game to be "better" than the rest and that's why there might be a certain natural rivalry.
— Will Blizzard support eSports similarly to Riot?
— Blizzard already announced their World Championship for 2015 with a prize pool of 1.2 million Dollars which I think is amazing. Especially considering that they announced it while the game was still in Beta. So yes, I think they'll support eSports, as they did with every single one of their games in the past, and I also think they'll do it on an even bigger scale than they did so far with other games. I'm really looking forward to it since I think Heroes of the Storm will have a massive audience and a huge player base as well.
— Is the acquisition of HotS squads by such organizations as Na`Vi, Fnatic and C9 positive?
— I think it's a very smart move of the big eSports teams to sign players early. It of course also helps the scene to grow and shows how serious the big teams take the new game. We'll definitely see a lot of change during the upcoming few months but with teams like NaVi, Fnatic, C9, SK Gaming and others entering the eSports scene you already have a certain stability that is very important. It definitely helps a lot and I'm super happy that all these teams are willing to commit to Heroes of the Storm!
— Have you ever wanted to be a pro-player?
— I thought about it back in WarCraft 3. I was a pretty good player but also getting involved with the organization of tournaments and started to shoutcast a lot more often. At some point I realized I had to make a decision since you can't do both properly. Casting was a lot of fun for me and I really enjoyed it, so I decided that I'd focus on my career as a caster instead. I also think that I don't have the mindset to be a professional player. And in hindsight I think I definitely made the correct decision, I never regretted it.
— Do you have a girlfriend? Does your family supports you?
— No, I don't have a girlfriend. I lived in Korea for 3 years and even though I had a great time there I always knew that I would move back at some point. So committing to a relationship didn't really make too much sense. I think most of my family still doesn't understand 100% what I do :D When I came back from Korea the first thing I was asked by my aunts and uncles was if I already found a real job now that I'm back in Germany. I took them some time to understand that I'm doing this for a living now ;) My parents though are absolutely ok with it and never tried to stop me. I don't really think they had a reason to since I never even thought about quitting school or university because of it.
— Do you like Korea?
— Yeah it's amazing. I really loved my time in Korea, it was an awesome experience and I'd definitely do it again. It's a very different mentality though and despite the fact that I really liked it there I would not want to live there forever. The culture is very different and while that's refreshing in some aspects it also has a few downsides. But if you ever get the chance to spend a few weeks or months in Seoul you should definitely take the opportunity!
— Wil HotS become a game as popular as LoL in Korea?
— Right now I think Heroes of the Storm is not as big in Korea as it is in other regions. But the game is growing fast and I'm sure that once Kespa or other esports organizations really commit to the game the esports scene for it will explode. It seems to be a lot more popular in China already though. I can't really compare it to LoL at this point but I think that in general Heroes of the Storm definitely has a chance to become as big or even bigger than LoL. But it will take time of course and the continuous support of Blizzard.
— Is Na`Vi the best team?
— Haha of course they are!!! But yeah, to be completely honest I think right now Na`Vi is in a pretty cool fight with TeamLiquid for the pole position in Europe. It's absolutely amazing to see those two teams go up against each other and I'm really excited to see how future matches between them will end.
— Favorite food?
— I'd have to go with Korean food there. Especially Bulgogi is absolutely amazing and one of the things I really miss
— Favorite music?
— I don't really have any particular type of music I favor. It's mostly a mix of songs from different genres. Usually it's Hard Rock or HipHop that I listen to. But I'm one of those guys that can listen to a good song for hours at a time until I get so bored of it that I will not play it for several weeks before listening to it again
— Favorite player?
— Difficult question. I'd say right now there are a few players that I like for different Heroes. Especially players that excel at Melee Assassins are always exciting to watch. Good examples would be Blackscorp for his Zeratul play or Lowell's Illidan. Another hero that I find very cool to watch are The Lost Vikings and I especially enjoy Vortix performance when — TeamLiquid is able to get them through the draft. There are a ton of other players though that are fun to watch right now, the scene is developing very fast and a lot of players are just now starting to make a name for themselves.
— Favorite team?
— I don't really have a team that I favor over others. I think the most exciting to watch right now is probably TeamLiquid. They've been dominating the European for a long time now and it's exciting to see them constantly being challenged by teams like NaVi, Fnatic and Gamers2. Just watching the top 10 teams in Europe going up against each other is a real pleasure right now.
— Your hobbies?
— Heroes of the Storm is thankfully not only a job for me but also my hobby :) So when I'm done casting or editing my videos for YouTube I usually still spend a lot of time playing the game or simply watching the streams of pro-players. When I'm not at my PC though I'm mostly working out at the gym, reading a good book or watching some movies or series.
— Thank you for interview! Good bye.
— Thank you!