The Nationals, the Philippines’ biggest esports tournament, has allowed quite a variety of talents to show the nation what they do best. From the different players to the VJs, correspondents, and casters, each has shown their passion and love for esports and their respective craft.
One of these casters is Paul Gabriel Fuentes, or better known as Poru. The Tekken 7 caster began casting since the game came out and hasn’t stopped since. But his experience in Tekken, began in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 where he started competing in various tournaments.
While he was a fan of international and local tournaments, Poru’s casting career began on fateful day in PlayBook while he was watching a tournament. When asked if he was willing to do a cast, he decided to take a leap and the rest is history.
“By some random chance, I was watching a 5v5 at PlayBook and Richard, the owner, approached me and asked, “Do you want to cast with Spooky?” because at the time, he was alone. I took the jump. It was an opportunity and that’s where it started. I suddenly got into casting the next couple of tournaments for PlayBook.”
While he didn’t quite train for casting, he attributes two things that helped him out. One of which are the declamation contests he’d join as a kid. While the second is his knowledge in Tekken, a game that he’s been playing for many years.
Because he eventually became quite active in the local fighting game community, Poru found it relatively easy to connect with the community especially when casting. The connection helped him ease into his new role.
“To some degree, I think that having a connection with the community is very important because you need to know who you’re talking about. You need to know things like who someone is facing and if there’s relevance for the player, and what it means to the player. But at the same time you need to separate yourself from the community, as well, so there’s no bias in your commentary. It’s about balance both when you’re casting.”
Preparing for a cast for Poru, like most casters, involves watching the players’ previous games. This review not only gives him vital information like player tendencies and comfort picks but it also gives him a point of reference when new things are done and tried.
Along with watching the VODs of players, Poru admits that he has been hard at work in training to manage and control his nerves better. He mentions that by nature, he’s quite a nervous guy. While he’s gotten used to casting and the pressure that comes along with it, we couldn’t help but ask how he deals with it. With which he answered:
“Sometimes you just have to stop. While dead air is frowned upon, when it comes to commentary, sometimes taking a brief pause and re-aligning yourself real quick with what exactly is going on is a good step into preventing emotional bias when it comes to commentary.”
A typical cast, even in Tekken 7, is done in pairs, sometimes more but at the end of the day, is all about a partnership between the two. This partnership has helped him cope with nerves as well.
“Since we cast in pairs, we both have each other’s backs. So when we know that the other guy is having trouble, we kind of catch them. That’s a really nice thing. The casters that I’m working with are really good at that. But I also support them when they need it. I’m really happy to work with those guys.”
Poru will be one of the voices we’ll be hearing while the action is going down in The Nationals. The tournament for Poru is a dream come true, for players, talents, and the esports scene in general.
“I think The Nationals is great. It’s really great. Not just for Tekken, but also for the other esports titles. This is a dream come true. It is THE dream for any gamer. Tournaments like this have been present in other countries now for the longest time. But it’s finally here. It’s an official sport that players can choose as a career and they can plan for it now for their future. I think that’s an amazing thing.”
Catch Poru and the rest of the Tekken 7 casters and courtside reporters at The Nationals, the biggest esports tournament in the Philippines.
Catch the action on 5 Plus, the home of esports on free TV every Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. You can also watch the livestream via the 5Plus website, and on OneSports via CignalTV for paid TV.