Nick 'Tasteless' Plott Believes ESports Will Be Mainstream Within Five Years

An exclusive interview with StarCraft II caster Nick "Tasteless" Plott, half of the brother duo that dominates eSports.

In the world of eSports, there’s no more famous pair of brothers than Nick “Tasteless” Plott and Sean “Day9” Plott. The former StarCraft pro gamers now run their own separate mini-empires as casters and video entrepreneurs.

Nick Plott can credit his brother for getting him into the casting business. After Sean beat him at the 2005 World Cyber Games US Finals, Nick stepped in to cast for Radio ITG and ended up sticking with the burgeoning profession, in part, to feed his love for travel. He also happens to be really good at it. For the record, Sean went on to win it all at that WCG event and he too is one of the most famous casters out there today for StarCraft II. 

“Tasteless” discusses the rise of eSports and offers his opinion on the rivalry between League of Legends and SC2 in this exclusive interview.

How did you end up getting involved in eSports?

My mother eventually got Internet in our house when I was about 14 years old, which introduced my brother and I to online gaming.  The popular game at the time was Starcraft.  We got sucked in to first being the best in our school, then our neighborhood, then our state and finally our country.  I never expected eSports to be where it is today.

What was the competition like growing up between you and Sean?

We're both very competitive people by nature, but I don't think there was much competition between us when it came to Starcraft.  If one of us did better than the other we were always happy for whoever succeeded. We were also playing tons of other games competitively that the other one had no interest in.  

What are your thoughts on how Day9 has taken off?

It's awesome! I'm glad we are both doing what we love! I think it's a rare thing to see two brothers both kicking ass on such a new and competitive industry.

Why did you pick the name Tasteless?

I was 14 and had to make a new Starcraft ID because I had joined a team. I didn't know what to name myself so I took a dictionary, closed my eyes, flipped it open and put my finger on one of the pages. My finger landed on Tasteless.

What are the challenges of casting and is it a fair comparison to say it's similar to an NHL commentator?

At the moment I'd say it’s harder than casting NHL (although that's obviously not an easy job) because the industry doesn't have professional writers and stats analysts.  There's tons of down time that needs to be filled when casting an eSports event and that's usually handed to the caster. We are also speaking for longer periods of time with less commercial breaks.

What are your thoughts on the growing popularity of League of Legends in eSports?

It's great! The more games that gamers can make a living off of, the better.

Why do you think fans of StarCraft II and League of Legends seem to not get along?

I find it surprisingly similar to teens preferring punk over metal or hip hop over rap.  Most of the adults and professionals I know are fine with both games.  There will always be a chunk of gamers who will overreact or behave childishly about other games, just like there are always crappy football or basketball fans.

How important are multiple big games for the future growth of eSports?

It's necessary because different gamers like different games. There can never be only one eSport game because that will never match the appetite of every gamer.

What role do you see the growing number of Gaming Houses playing as eSports evolves?

If non-Koreans want to be competitive they need to adopt the Korean model -- get proper training houses.  They function to get the player motivated and focused, as well as surrounding the player with other top-level players with the same ambitions.

How did you get involved with eSports Management Group (EMG)?

They contacted me and pitched their vision for me about the future of eSports.  My goal as a caster is to focus on being the best possible caster I can be.  The focus of a professional gamer is to be the best possible gamer they can be.  EMG handles the rest.

Where do you see eSports five years from now?

It should be bigger than almost anything in five years from now.  Everyone my age or younger plays games. And that's not going away.  Esports should end up becoming as mainstream as gaming itself.  

With the popularity of streaming, what role do you see television playing for eSports in the future?

The old TV model seems like a dying market.  It's all about Internet TV now.  If I'm in front of my PC all day anyway, why would I watch anything on cable TV.  In general, I feel the old television model is going to have to adapt to the new generation.

What do you do for fun away from gaming?

I love reading. I read for at least an hour every morning.  I also love to travel.  It's actually how I initially started casting. I realized I could be paid to travel somewhere I wanted to check out anyway.  Beyond that, I just go get drinks with friends.

Featured Columnist

John Gaudiosi has been covering the video game business for over 20 years for outlets like The Washington Post, Reuters, Fortune, AOL and CNN. He's EIC of video game site

Published Oct. 21st 2013
  • Vrothgarr
    Featured Correspondent
    It's not mainstream yet, but whether it is or not isn't a decision left to the fans or the developers. It's up to the marketing departments at giant mainstream sponsors like Coke, American Express, Nissan, Samsung (all of whom have already started in on LoL). Once they sink their mighty teeth into a game like SC2 or Dota 2, or any game really, we'll be days away from seeing a Ryze or Zergling toy come with a McDonald's Happy Meal.
  • Ashley Shankle
    Associate Editor
    Man, I used to love Tasteless back when he used to cast SC:BW with Super Daniel Man on GOM. Best duo.
  • Coatedpolecat
    Featured Correspondent
    Great read man. No tangible feedback from me. Keep up the good work!

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