Esports consists of more than just professional players, coaches and the organizations behind them. In our series, we want to look at the many ways to make money from esports. Today, it's about a job that pulls you in front of the camera not to play or stream, but to report about it. Phylicia "Flitzi" Whitney – an esports moderator talks to us on what it’s like being one and the steps you need to take to become a moderator.
One more short breath, a look at the notes. Notice anything? Yes. There is still time for some language exercises: "A, O, E, I, U". The vowels loosen the tongue. Then it's time, the spotlight calls... This is the everyday life of Phylicia "Flitzi" Whitney. She is one of the few German esports presenters and works for Sport1 and RTL, among others.
No different than any other field
Stand in front of the camera, smile, guide through the event. This is not as easy as it seems, whether it is an esports tournament or any other type of event. The most important thing is the journalistic aspect of it: moderators are usually journalists with additional training in language and moderation.
Here is how Flitzi describes part of her job:
"How do I look on camera? What movements do I make? What should I emphasize? Every movement in front of the camera is decisive. The most important thing is good preparation and practice, practice, practice."
Esports is also a rather dynamic industry. It's just constantly changing: new teams, new players, new games, new tournaments and tournament forms. To stay up to date here, you have to deal with the topic of esports every day. Of course, this works best if you like gaming as such.
Flitzi, who has her own format on Sport1, is considered a Sat.1 games expert. She adds:
"I got hooked on gaming and esports early on. In the past, the scene was less known and I made reports and reviews about it. The industry has grown, and so has the reporting."
The magic ingredients
So what are the magic ingredients for the job as a presenter? Flitzi knows:
"Development potential, training, stamina and a thick skin."
The industry is highly competitive and there are many who envy you on the way up.
"I used to tremble with excitement, my voice was breaking. But with time I found my way to be confident."
And you can see that in her last job. In front of the CS:GO ESL European Championship camera, she looks safely into the lens, smiles and pulls you into the hype.
There was an additional challenge: the coronavirus caused all matches to be played online. In other words, a studio presentation meant no stage and no live connection to the players. A dangerous construct, considering how "vulnerable" the German internet can sometimes be. But a moderator must of course be prepared for such cases – and Flitzi is. Luckily, the ESL European Championship goes off without a hitch and somehow manages to make a good substitute for a live event – which is probably also due to the charming moderator.
A job like hosting the ESL European Championship is something special for a moderator who is also an esports and gaming enthusiast. But you have to be careful not to get too carried away by the matches.
"Of course, when you’re invested into the game, there’s additional tension. Who will win? Sometimes you have your secret favorites, but I indulge them all. After all, my job is to provide professional, objective reporting."
Would she herself use a keyboard and mouse instead of a microphone? That makes the anchorwoman laugh.
"I think I might accidentally shoot myself in the knee or something embarrassing like that. I'll stick with the old, tried and true."
But Flitzi likes to play in private. Fallout (not 76, we hope), Fahrenheit, FIFA and Rainbow Six: Siege are some of her go-to titles.
She has already moderated events for R6, but the Six Invitational is at the top of Flitzi's moderation wish list. We here at EarlyGame hope her wishes become reality sooner than later.