Catching Up With Devin “Hellbird” Rigotti

Mega8 caught up with local shoutcaster, Devin “Hellbird” Rigotti, for him to share his thoughts on everything from CS:GO, to Dota 2 to getting into the local eSports scene.

Mega8: Hi Hellbird. Thanks for chatting to us! So how did you get involved in the local eSports scene?

Hellbird: Well, I started as a competitive player back in the good old Dota 1 days, I moved over to Dota 2 as reserve for BVD and eventually represented Who is Hari, a highly respected international side that competed in SA events.After a while, I moved over to shoutcasting and joined up with nAvTV as a caster and later as a director, since then it’s been my primary goal to see those involved in the South African industry be able to turn a passion into a career.

M: Between Dota 2 & CS:GO, which is more entertaining to watch from a spectator point of view?

H: It depends on the spectator, it’s definitely easier to get into CS:GO as a casual viewer, since the over arching premise of the game is easy to grasp and it’s fairly easy to understand what is going on round by round.

Dota 2 is very complex for a new viewer, but it’s definitely a very entertaining game once you understand it.

M: As someone with tremendous experience in Dota 2, what’s it like covering CS:GO? Does having experience in casting Dota 2 help you more?

H: It’s been a big learning curve, I’ve covered quite a few titles at this point, but I have a special respect for CS:GO, it’s the “other big one” and although I feel I still have a lot to learn, I’m pretty happy to be here now and excited for the new challenge.

I think anyone who has earned their stripes in an eSports title has an inherent advantage when moving to another. People often underestimate the nuances of shoutcasting and often have little to no idea of the really technical stuff that happens before a cast and during. So, it definitely helps having that background.

M: How close do you think the SA scene is to competing on the global stage at a consistent and successful level?

H: We aren’t horrible, I think we often talk about regions and how good they are whilst forgetting that many of the countries inside that region aren’t really doing great either…But I am not saying we are the best of those less exposed countries…We still have a long way to go in all aspects, but we are gaining ground pretty quickly.

I think the most important thing right now, is generating excellent content, that may sound odd since often the performances of teams establishes a country, but in our case I think we need more gamers…

Get more casual gamers and non-gamers interested and I feel the rest will follow…It’s a numbers game right?

M: Advice to those looking to get into the local eSports scene, be it as a player or as a caster?

H: I often help out new players and MGO’s to find each other, the truth is no one is going to hand you anything though, you have to make a name for yourself…Pubstars are a thing, become one, be great at it on a South African and International level, earn that 5k to 6k mmr, perform in those CS:GO scrims consistently, and people will notice. You need a good team to shine, but just a decent team might expose you to a better side all the same.

As for casters, it’s just as hard, when you learn people will insult you, when you get better people will insult you and when you get good…Well…people will still insult you. You need to be a special breed to become a shoutcaster and an almost unhealthy passion and obsession of reaching the goal of being a personality that is consistently selected for events…because the reality is, even when you think you are good enough, there’s 1000 things you never knew that you still need to learn and you basically need to reach the point that someone who does know, decides you are worth investing the time in.

M: Anything else you want to add/say?

H: I’d like to thank Mega8 for the opportunity to work with them again and also thank everyone who has been helping me understand CS:GO better!

Lastly and most importantly, a special shoutout to all of you who have been supporting the South African scene, people often seem to complain about “needing more viewers” and “supporting local”, I think often we forget to appreciate that there are some out there that do just that.