The Nationals, the Philippine’s biggest esport event, is now underway with its first Dota 2 conference, which features some of the best Dota 2 teams and players in the country. But apart from all the professional teams and players across its three featured titles – Dota 2, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, and Tekken 7 – The Nationals also includes other talents in the industry such as casters, hosts, correspondents, and more.
One of the people sharing their talents for The Nationals is Dota 2 caster Jaz “Heneral Tuna” Comoda, who hails all the way from General Santos City. We spoke to Heneral Tuna to find out how he started out in the industry and his thoughts on the The Nationals.
Heneral Tuna began casting in his hometown, casting Dota 2 games in computer shops and mall events to hone his craft and get recognized. He eventually found his way to Manila through the Tier One Entertainment talent search and soon became a core part of WomboXCombo. His decision to become a caster was rooted from his desire to be part of the esports industry while also understanding that becoming a pro player wasn’t his calling.
“I’ve been a shoutcaster in General Santos city for two years. I started shoutcasting in computer shops and then later on at mall events with zero to little talent fee. I don’t really play a lot of Dota and as far as I know I’m not really good at it so the only way for me to be famous in the esports scene is not to be a pro player but to be a shoutcaster.”
Taking inspiration from the likes Tobiwan and ODPixel, Heneral Tuna’s energetic style of play-by-play casting has earned him the nickname “Rap God Caster” within the local Dota 2 community. And its this support and passion from the community and players that Heneral Tuna believes is the best part of his job as a caster of Dota 2.
“The best part is the support from the community. The passionate people playing Dota 2 and, of course, I get a lot of respect from my friends and family as well. As they all say, Filipinos are the most passionate Dota 2 fans. It has something to do with Filipino pride, that they all-out support everyone who’s Filipino, half-Filipino, or whoever it is.”
According to Heneral Tuna, the Nationals gives talented players of all origins a chance to be recognized in the esports industry, from those who are already part of the scene to amateurs who have only played at computer shops. He adds that The Nationals also gives esports talents, such as casters and hosts, an opportunity to be seen beyond the local esports industry.
“I think there are a lot more opportunities than before. If you want to be recognized in Dota you have to be good and, at the same time, you need to have a lot of connections. But here in The Nationals, even computer shop players who are good get a chance to be recognized. And as far as talents are concerned… The Nationals gives them a chance to be recognized not only in the local esports scene but also the scene outside the esports industry.”
Lastly, Heneral Tuna believes The Nationals will help esports gain the recognition it deserves, thanks in part by the support of the government and big media outlets, and will give amateur players the opportunity to begin and grow their esports careers.
“People will take the esports scene more seriously because it’s backed by the government and the big media outlets. It’s an avenue for amateur players to be drafted into a good team and playing for that team gives them the experience that may someday lead them to play for bigger organizations.”
Catch Heneral Tuna and the rest of the DOTA 2 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 Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. You can also watch the livestream via the 5 Plus website, and on OneSports via CignalTV for paid TV.