Sheffield Hallam University student Joe Burton (@NotJoeBurton) is currently president of the university’s esports society. Since starting out as a player, Joe has since discovered his love for casting and has now gone on to work with big names in the esports world such as the NUEL, British Esports, and Esports Wales.
How did you first become interested in esports?
Well, I used to play quite a lot with friends when I was in sixth form and they would always mention the pro level of playing esports. I never really followed it at this point so I didn’t really see the hype until they forced me to get into it. The first pro game I remember watching was Call of Duty and I was a really big fan of the game at the time so it was exciting. The next game I got was Overwatch and I then started to watch the overwatch league. When I first moved to University, I remember one of the first events that I came to was watching the Overwatch World Cup with the esports society and I remember watching team UK beat team USA in the first round. From then on, I began to make a whole lot of friends in the esports world and we started playing a lot more together and started making rank.
Eventually, I joined the university’s esports team and then moved over to casting and had a lot of fun doing mock casts with friends. Since then, I and my friends have moved into running our own tournaments which we produced, cast, and put everything together ourselves.
“I’ve learnt not to take everything too seriously”
Which esports games do you most enjoy?
That depends I guess. For the actual game itself, I think that would have to be Overwatch. It’s the game that I’ve invested the most time in, the one that I understand the most and it’s the one that I commentate on as well. I really enjoy watching how other people interpret the game because I can then apply that to my own casting. For the content that is produced around it, however, I have really been getting into League of Legends for the past couple of years. The content that the LEC put out is always great fun to watch and it includes not only the serious analytical content but less serious things like the mediocre rap battles, the songs that they put out, and the skits. It’s just really interesting to see that side of esports with everyone not taking it 100% all the time.
What would you say are your top skills?
I think my best skill is probably communication, I do a lot of work with a lot of different companies and I play and cast a lot so I have to be talking to people all the time. Time management is also another skill that I’m proud of – within esports anyway! I’m able to time things and ensure that I have enough time to play and cast whilst still being able to go through my reviews. Finally, I’d say humour, I’ve learnt not to take everything too seriously. If you are going to be in esports – at the end of the day, you are playing video games. Getting so worked up all the time will happen a lot especially when it comes to championships and wanting to win but sometimes you need to take a step back and realise that gaming is meant to be a laugh and fun to do.
What is your dream job within esports?
I would have to say casting for the overwatch league. That would be the ultimate dream for me. I have put so many hours into streaming and playing overwatch and it’s the first game that I began casting with. If I was able to take that to the highest level, that would be incredible. The players are absolutely amazing and the casters to list a few: Uber, Mr. X, Wolf, and Achilios – are some of my idols, and being able to work alongside them would be incredible.