Tonders and theeviltwig join Silicon Sports!
Silicon Sports is happy to announce today the first two members of our Dota 2 casting team; Tonders and theeviltwig!
In joining the team, they will be the official casters for all Silicon Sports events moving forward, as well as providing plenty of other Dota 2 content. You’ll be able to catch them on the Silicon Sports twitch channel several times a week casting events from Oceania and abroad.
In this announcement feature we will walk through the process of finding casters, hear a little about themselves, and get an interview with them to see what’s in store.
Finding the Pair
When we first put out an open call to put together a casting team, we had no idea what to expect. We received a ton of fantastic applications from people all over Australia and New Zealand. I spoke to a lot of very passionate people who love Dota and love casting. We were looking for something to set them apart. When I spoke to Tonders, his knowledge and enthusiasm was brilliant, and when he explained that he had only started casting recently, I was shocked! We invited them to cast the Oceanic Cup, where we were blown away by how much they improved game by game. Ultimately it was Tonders and twig’s dedication, teamwork and personalities that really showed their potential as casters long term, and someone we wanted to work with in growing eSports in Oceania. After a couple more weeks of casting, we (virtually!) sat down with the pair and finalised an almost unwritten agreement at that point.
To those who didn’t make it this time, don’t be disappointed; we had an absolute stack of applications, and we were impressed by every single one. However, Tonders and twig just happened to stand out for us. The casting team at Silicon Sports will grow along with the rest of the organisation, so there will always be chances moving forward!
But enough from me, let’s find out more about the two of them!
Samuel “Tonders” Tonderleir
Hey Dota compatriots!
My name is Samuel “Tonders” Tondeleir, I am twenty years of age and live on the Gold Coast, Australia. I’ve always been into strategy games and when I was young I started playing chess for school and eventually I was good enough to travel all around Australia and also represent Australia overseas in Singapore and Malaysia. I started out my PC Gaming career on WoW and after a few years changed over to HoN.
My introduction to Dota was quite fitting, I got a call from a mate just over two years ago saying, “Come over and watch the Dota 2 International.” For some reason I said “sure why not,” and that was when my eyes opened up to the world that is Dota 2. From then on got myself a beta key and religiously followed the growing Dota 2 scene. I had horrible internet and a crappy laptop, but I still got by and slowly but surely I was able to upgrade to a desktop and decent internet (I know, hard thing to come by in Australia at the moment).
I thought to myself; well now that I have the means to create a difference in the Dota community, why not go for it? So I got my good friend Rob “Theeviltwig” Kershaw to start co-casting with me and we realised that we might have stumbled upon something that had the potential to be great one day. That is when I got in contact with Silicon Sports as they were looking for casters and they were more than happy to give us a shot. Now a few weeks later and a successfully casted Oceanic Cup #1 we find ourselves now official casters of Silicon Sports Dota 2 division!
Now to talk about the juicy parts; I love following the Dota 2 scene. I live it, breathe it, sleep to it. The whole world talks about the Eastern Scene (Asia) and the Western Scene (Europe/America), but they all forget the Australian Scene. We are slowly starting to thrive with more companies like Silicon Sports putting their hand up and saying that we eSports fans do exist down here! Australia still has good quality Dota; teams like Hans Reborn, Can’t Say Wips, Noxious Gaming and SYF who are all leading the way with new strategies and play styles almost every time we see them battle it out! We are finally starting to see tournaments in Australia using the DotaTV ticket system with “Defense of the Australians” being the very first tournament in Australia to do so. There are many big things in the works for eSports in Australia, the rumours of sponsorship deals always floating around the corner!
Huge shout out the guys from Silicon Sports for giving the never before practiced or seen casters a shot! I can’t give enough praise for what they are doing for the community with the Oceanic Cup, pulling money out of their own wallets to sponsor the event. Also everyone should keep an eye out for what is in the works for the future of Silicon Sports Dota2 Division!
Tonders’ highlight reel from week #2 of the Oceanic Cup
Silicon Sports writer Daniel “nForce” sat down with Tonders to find out more.
nForce: Welcome Tonders, thanks for taking the time to have a chat, give us an introduction to yourself?
Tonders: Well my name is Samuel “Tonders” Tondeleir, I was born and raised on the Gold Coast (Not sure how I got into gaming when there is such good weather haha). I’ve always had a strategic mind and that got me into chess when I was young. I was fairly passionate about the game and I was able to get to international level playing overseas but now DotA2 is where my passion lies.
nForce: What do you do outside gaming? Study? Work?
Tonders: I’m studying an online course in Property Management, handy because I can go at my own pace since DotA takes up most of my time. It is something to fall back on if by chance DotA2 doesn’t work out for me.
nForce: Do you have any hobbies outside of gaming?
Tonders: I have been writing a novel for the past three years, I feel as if it will take many more years to complete. The thing about DotA is that you need to live and breathe it for you to be successful.
nForce: Did you play any video games before DotA 2?
Tonders: I started playing WoW, funnily enough most gamers have been there at some point. I then moved onto HoN for the pvp aspects. Finally I moved over to Dota2 when I got a beta key :)
nForce: Favourite game of all time?
Tonders: It would have to be the first three Crash Bandicoot games on PS1.
nForce: What would you say are the similarities between chess and DotA2? (if any)
Tonders: The game is surprisingly similar. Both games require a certain ability to see ahead in the position you’re in. Your changing your plans accordingly with your opponents moves. We could be here all night if I could keep going…
nForce: What drew you into casting DotA2?
Tonders: Since I can remember I’ve always been an avid sports fan, so I grew up around commentary. I can also see what effect a good caster can have in the DotA community. I want to impact that community so that the brand, that is eSports, can grow in recognition all around the world.
You can find Tonders on social media here:
Twitch : http://www.twitch.tv/tondersdota
Rob “theeviltwig” Kershaw
My name is Robert “theeviltwig” Kershaw and I am an aspiring gamer, commentator and musician based in Christchurch, New Zealand. I found a fond appreciation for gaming at a young age competing semi professionally in the high leagues of ICCup starcraft 1 as Terran and high ranked ladder matches in Warcraft 3 as Orc. In the beginning I hated Dota, scrolling down the battlenet games list and seeing DotA 6.41 and no one hosting the old fashioned Line Tower Wars, Uthers Party or Dark Deeds maps. Because of this it took a long time for me to even play DotA but after playing my first game, I was hooked. Sometimes even playing fourteen hours a day instead of getting those precious hours of shuteye. In 2012 I started commentating friendly matches of my friends and replays through the DotA 2 client, now I cast live tournaments with teams varying from MUFC to Hans Reborn. I’m now under the wing of Silicon Sports hopes to showcase the Oceanic Dota scene in a bright light and let the players have an outlet to show off their skills.
I also play competetively in the Dota 2 scene accomplishing top rank in the Cybergamer amateur league and I’m focusing on improvement within my team ‘Takes two to Jango’. When I’m not glued to the computer screen I spend most of my time sleeping, writing music with my band Secondi, poetry, rock climbing or reading educational books with information that wont come in handy any time soon. I have played the electric bass guitar for ten years now and have accomplished three years of study at the Christchurch Jazz School. One of my recent notable accomplishments was completing a fully produced album called “I’m a Cyborg” with previously stated band name, Secondi. Having said this I spend most of my time indoors refining my abilities and aquiring more knowledge in areas of music, poetry, chess and DotA 2.
Daniel “nForce” steps in once again for a quick interview!
nForce: Thanks for taking the time to sit down and talk. Give us an introduction to yourself?
theeviltwig: Sure, my name is Robert ‘TheEvilTwig’ Kershaw. I’m from Christchurch, New Zealand. Pretty much always been interested in video games… be it Starcraft 2, Counterstrike, Warcraft 3 or DotA 2. It’s something about the competitive elements that make me buzz. I’ve been commentating video games for a couple of years now and I’m really enjoying it.
nForce: Do you study at all?
theeviltwig: At the moment I’m having a gap year. I finished studying at a school of music in Christchurch last year. I’ve played upright bass and electric bass guitar for about 10 years now. I have studied jazz piano for five years now. Now that I’ve finished that, I find that I don’t actually want to get a job in the music industry. Funny the way it works that way. hah. This year, and maybe next year, are DotA years for me.
nForce: What’s been your video game career? What sort of games did you start out enjoying and where did they progress?
theeviltwig: I played chess a long time ago and then my older brother started playing Starcraft 1; he was always better at it than me at when we began. This pretty much set into motion that I had to become the best Starcraft 1 player I could possibly be. I ended up getting to B+ ICCup. I guess mainly my favourite type of games are real time strategy games.
nForce: And what’s your favourite game of all time?
theeviltwig: Definitely Starcraft 1
nForce: What drew you to casting?
theeviltwig: Day did it. I also thought it looked awesome so I wanted to try it myself. I watched a daily of his and he said if you want something just go and do it/take it. So that’s what I tried to do.
Tonders and theeviltwig casting game 1 of the Silicon Sports Oceanic Cup grand final
Silicon Sports writer Daniel “nForce” sat down with Tonders to find out more.
Now that we’ve heard from the two of them individually, we brought them together for a group interview about casting, TI3, Silicon Sports and the Oceanic Scene.
On casting together;
nForce: I believe you guys started out casting individually?
Tonders: Rob started awhile back but I’m still the new guy in town so to speak.
nForce: How did you meet?
TheEvilTwig: I met Tonders through our DotA team, ‘takes two to jango’.
Tonders: I joined about 6 weeks ago.
TheEvilTwig: Our team has been going for about a year now. We’ve been steadily improving since we began. But yeah, Sam is the new kid and probably the best addition we have had :)
nForce: If people tune into your casts what should they expect to see?
Tonders: They should expect to see two guys who love DotA, making the game exciting and interesting to watch.
TheEvilTwig: A cast from DotA players for DotA players. Something friendly, informative and exciting.
nForce: what do you think your best casting qualities are? And what do you need to work on the most?
Tonders: We just make it fun to watch. We are both super keen on seeing what the players can show us next! Highly Energetic!
TheEvilTwig: I think we can improve on avoiding words like um and uh or repeating words
nForce: I see you have done some casts of TI3 matches on your youtube channel. What were your thoughts on TI3?
TheEvilTwig: TI3… man
Tonders: TI was an amazing tournament, where the west clashes with the east, and the best in the world come out on top with a hefty prize winnings. The play was great, new strategies, big wombo combo’s. I literally am itching for TI4 now…
TheEvilTwig: All the teams were so good in TI3. I was so sad MUFC did so poorly. I just find it interesting that this international in particular… none of the teams really did anything crazy, apart from maybe Na’Vi when they were desperate not to lose their games against orange. Very, very, exciting tournament though, cool to see so many people drawn to eSports from all around the world.
nForce: Can you see yourself casting at an International in the future?
TheEvilTwig: If I got the opportunity I would take it. It’s just a matter of getting to the level where I’m good enough to be selected.
Tonders: For sure, I am a perfectionist at heart and I know that if I put my complete focus on becoming the best caster I can be, then the sky is the limit.
On the Oceanic Cup;
nForce: The Oceanic Cup #1 just finished last weekend, was this the first tournament you have cast together?
TheEvilTwig: It was the first tournament we have cast to this magnitude. We called the AWC tournament in between which was pretty cool too.
Tonders: Yes, it was certainly the very first and I tell you what, the learning curve was huge!
TheEvilTwig: main lesson was that energy drink is a must after 7 hours of casting. haha
nForce: Reflections on the oceanic cup one from a tournament perspective? Teams to watch out for, any big plays?
TheEvilTwig: Hans Reborn, Can’t say Wips and Azure were the stand out teams.
Tonders: Everything was run extremely well. Azure is my team to watch in the next few months,
TheEvilTwig: I know a lot of the players on Azure and I see them practicing every day on DotA2. I think they are going to be a big team pretty soon.
Tonders: There were some really well executed plays from Hans Reborn, definitely the team to beat in Australia.
On the Oceanic scene;
nForce: I’d like to turn our attention to the Oceanic e-sports scene. Both of you play in a professional team, what’s good and bad about the current scene we have in the region?
TheEvilTwig: The lack of coverage is a huge negative as a player. At the moment there are a lot of tournaments happening though which is fantastic. It seems like every week something’s happening nowadays.
Tonders: All the players are always super grateful for the coverage we give them, which is cool.
TheEvilTwig: yeah, everyone in the scene is friendly generally. It’s pretty cool, I like how the oceanic scene seems to have its own ‘meta’ and hero pools.
Tonders: The bad could be that there isn’t enough money in the scene to keep the good players around.
nForce: What do you see for the future of competitive gaming in the region? Is it possible that the oceanic scene can be comparable to that of EU/NA/CN?
TheEvilTwig: I think it will require the players to work hard. Once there is a big player base and a lot of competition then the fan base will come and also the community will flourish more.
Tonders: To be able to compare with them you need to be able to play against them. With the oceanic scene being half a world away, it will always be very difficult to practice against the top teams in the world.
TheEvilTwig: I think it’s possible… but it’s not quite there yet. It would maybe require a couple of really top tier teams to be in the area to train or bootcamp against each other.
Tonders: And to be able to fly over to the SEA, China scene for the big LAN tournaments would be great.
nForce: Well, thanks for doing this interview. Where can we find you both, and any last shoutouts?
Tonders: Tondersdota on twitch, youtube, twitter and facebook!
Tonders: Big shoutout to Silicon Sports!
TheEvilTwig: theeviltwig on facebook twitch youtube :D
TheEvilTwig: shoutout to Ana.Mudkipz! and also grinko ^^
We are very excited about this announcement and moving forward hope to continue to grow the local scene. Look forward to catching plenty of casts and other content LIVE on the Silicon Sports twitch channel over the coming weeks!
Don’t forget to sign up for Week #1 of the Oceanic Cup #2 beginning this Sunday!