BLU: ‘Hopefully, other big orgs can work with [DaZeD] and we can cast together’

We talked to BLU at the ELEAGUE Major last weekend about his goals as a caster for this year, working with DaZeD, and finding his niche.

The first week of the European League Championship Series (LCS) is in the books, and it’s taught an important lesson: to temper expectations

We talked to John “BLU Mullen at the ELEAGUE Major last weekend about his goals as a caster for this year, working with Sam “DaZeD” Marine, and finding his niche.

Thanks for talking to us today! Last year you casted at Cologne, your first major, and steadily moved up the ladder in the competitive CS:GO casting world. Do you have any similar goals for this year?

Blu: “I’d like to keep up my pace of growth from last year and be able to do another major. Unfortunately, last year I wasn’t able to cast any actual games in the arena. I only got to cast during the group stage, and I hope that I can do something in the arena next time.”

You’re very vocal about accepting community criticism. You made that Reddit post in June in which you were open to any criticism people had and looked to improve from it. How do you balance out listening to a typical redditor versus going with your own intuition?

Blu: “It’s not necessarily your own intuition, because that can be more balanced towards yourself, but more so looking at your peers and hire-ups as examples. That’s probably the best way to go about it, especially since they’re responsible for your employment, and they’ll always be the first one to give you good advice. So generally referencing to them is the best way to improve, then looking at patterns in community criticism rather than specific comments here and there as well as self feedback when needed.”

Continuing along those lines, are there any higher-up casters that you look up to as role models for your own casting?

Blu: “I think originally when I first started casting in 2013, it may have been people like Day9 in the Starcraft scene. But now, I’m mainly looking at Anders and Semler, since they’re just the go to duo. I’m also trying to establish my own thing, like I’ve been doing when casting with DaZeD, because most casters do a bit of a hybrid thing while I try to lean more towards play-by-play.”

Going off that point about DaZeD, most of the community seems to think you two go well together. Is it possible that Blu and DaZeD become the next big casting duo?

Blu: “We’ll have to see. DaZeD wants to continue to build up his stream and brand, and of course there’s the big hump of the two of us being able to work on anything tied to a major together, which we couldn’t do because of his ban. There’s always that to get over, but hopefully other big orgs can come around to work with him and we can cast together. For the most part, we’ve only casted during the online season of ESL Pro League and the one IBuyPower LAN, meaning we still haven’t done a big event together.”

As you mentioned, you’re trying to stick to the play-by-play end of the casting, meaning you would need someone like DaZeD to do the analysis end of the work. Are there any other casters you’ve enjoyed working with for similar reasons, or others you’d like to work with in the future? Anyone else you think makes a nice co-caster for your style?

Blu: “I always try to be as flexible as possible who I cast with; at the recent DreamHack Leipzig I worked with rizc, I’ve worked with Metuz at a bunch events, I used to work with Moses on Pro League before I was working with DaZeD. I don’t really have a big preference who I cast with, but in terms of flow and chemistry I think that working with Metuz is great not just for me but with everyone he casts with. I had a quite enjoyable time working with rizc as well, and hopefully I can cast with him again in the future.”