Written By: Steve Vegvari
Brody “Liefx” Moore is lending his analysis and casting insights during WorldGaming Network’s Rocket League Canadian Challenge on August 19th.
Brody is a longtime voice of the community. He began casting for small grassroots tournaments and created his own Rocket League centric podcast; The Rocket League Dojo. Presently, Brody is a regular caster for the Rocket League Championship Series and a host on the daily Esports television show Heads Up Daily.
I was able to speak to Brody about carving a path as a caster and the witnessed evolution of the pro-level scene.
Steve: For those who may not be familiar, can you introduce yourself?
Brody: I’m Brody “Liefx” Moore. I’ve been a gamer for a really long time, Pokemon is probably when I first started getting into it. I got into Esports through Smash Bros. and eventually got into casting. Now, I cast for the Rocket League Championship Series as well as host and produce for Heads Up Daily.
Steve: When did you get into Rocket League?
Brody: I actually saw a GIF on Reddit. I thought it looked really neat and the top comment was someone saying “This game is free on PlayStation if you want to check it out.” So I downloaded it, did not play play it for the first week. Once I played it though, and it is probably the same story as most, it was an almost instant addiction and I could not stop playing.
Steve: How did you get involved in casting?
Brody: I’ve always wanted to do casting to a degree. I grew up watching Chris Puckett and his Halo replays. To me that was really cool. I always looked forward to watching after school. I always thought it was awesome how Puckett brought so much energy to it with his voice and commentary.
So I started doing YouTube stuff, it was really bad but I leave it up there for clarity. But I really wanted to do it. I wanted to be able to listen to my stuff so I said “Who could I look up to? Ah, Chris Puckett!” I started studying his voice and inflections. In the beginning my style was very much like his. I began to find my own humour when it came to jump-cuts, but now it’s pretty standard for most YouTubers.
That was when I was 18. I always had commentary in the back of my mind, but the games I was dealing with was Smash Bros. and I didn’t know Melee well enough. So I never got on the mic, I just ran events. When Rocket League came out and I started playing it, the game reminded me of hockey. I played hockey my whole life so I understood it. So I thought to myself “Why can’t people rotate like they do in hockey? I could help people with this!”
I started looking online for tournaments, this game was built for this. There was the RLC which is run by CloudFuel and I asked if I could cast. They asked for a tape, which I had never done before but I tried. I casted solo and sent them a tape. They seemed to like it and the rest kind of ramped up from there.
Steve: When Rocket League released, did you think it would take off like it has?
Brody: I don’t think anyone truly believe it did not have the potential. I actually had long discussions with CloudFuel all the time, sometimes six hour discussions about the potential it had. We saw players get better and better and new things being discovered. As simple as it is, there is so much to the game.
I always had faith in it. It was always something you felt certain about. At the same time, I would be the first to say why it wouldn’t too. You have to be skeptical especially when you put a lot on the line. You don’t invest unless you look at the cons. Regardless, I enjoyed it! It took over a lot of my life. Thankfully I was single at the time because all my time went into Rocket League and when it wasn’t, I was casting and watching replays.
Worst case I had some fun along the way, but I really did think it was going to be big.
Steve: How have you seen the pro-level playerbase evolve over the past three years?
Brody: From the beginning you were top-level if you could fly in the game. In the beginning, if you had these mechanics you could easily win by being the best member on the team. You’d be able to touch the ball when no one else could. It was almost unfair.
A lot of us discovered you could do aerials and more people could get higher up in the air. Season One had a lot of players whiffing and touches that really went nowhere. The ball would be passed but no one thought “What do I do after I touch the ball?” I remember talking to Gibbs at the time and we talked about how hard it was to think two or three steps ahead, and he was right.
Around Season Two and Three the skill got a lot better. Players really embraced passing a lot more, even though they were simple passes. A lot of it was backboard stuff, hit it off the backboard and the defenders did not know how to react. That was why We Dem Girlz (Northern Gaming) was so good. Eventually, everyone started playing with the backboards. You would be able to get these clears, you could score off shooting on your own backboard!
Come Season Four, Cloud9 and a lot of European teams made in-field passing the most efficient thing. Faith-built passing, where you could trust your teammate enough to pass and know even though you could not see them. Season Four and Five really embodied teamplay. It has not been as relevant as it has now. You used to be able to get by with solo-plays or 0ver Zer0’s wall dribbles. That really does not happen anymore unless you have disrupted your opponents rotations.
These guys have grown a lot as people, given that a lot of players are still teenagers. The community itself has evolved into a close family especially during LANs.
Steve: What are you anticipating we see during the Canadian Challenge finals? Any players or teams that stick out to you?
Brody: There is a few. My first shoutout has to go to Leatherhead. What’s cool is when this tournament was announced he really started grinding. Which is cool to see.
The teams I’m really looking at are Incognito and Croissant Bois. They are the two I feel are contenders for the top spot. Incognito running with players from the RLRS. Another shoutout to Poutine, because of Leatherhead. I have not seen LjRH (Dauntless) play in a while, but I know he is great. Also, looking forward to Dareyck playing because he is a memer, 3 Memes 1 Dream!
Steve: At this point in the Rocket League pro-scene, what makes a team excel above the others?
Brody: One word, and it is your typical cheesy office word; synergy. You need it not only in Rocket League but in real life. Being able to talk to your teammates helps a lot going onto the field. If you think your teammates are judging you or getting mad at your mistakes, you’ll just circle on that and it will snowball and you’ll play worse and worse.
On the outside, you have to understand the tendencies of a person. What days they’re good or when they’re bad. That is why I like to see more roster-locks. I do like seeing seeing rosters that have locked and the ones that have are doing well. It is really important to make sure the people you are playing with a not only good, but people you are friends with. You are going to be spending a lot of time with them.
Steve: What are the most important aspects of casting a Rocket League game?
Brody: For me as commentator, and this is not a pretentious thing, but there are a lot of things a caster has to do. We are trying to tell a story, which is the most important. Stats can back up a story but casting does not come from railing off stats. Good casting comes from telling a story and backing it up with stats.
You are also creating an energy. Sometimes there are things you might want to say but it won’t fit the energy of the audience that is watching online. Now come to a live event, that could have a different vibe. You have to be aware that there are two audiences with potentially different biases watching the event. You have to cater to both.
You’re also dealing with lights, cameras, a director in your ear. Your co-commentator could be out of things to say so you have to pick it up. You have to be aware that maybe you’ve been joking too much and bring it back to seriousness. When is the right time for seriousness and joking? What story is emerging? Is there a story emerging and can we both be on the same level to tell the story? Plus do all that and sound good.
As a caster, I am there as a tool for the entertainment. The thing I may want won’t always be for the betterment of the entertainment. So I have to put that on the backburner and do what the show needs me to do. That really helped me become more versatile.
Steve: Where can people keep up with you online?
For more Rocket League Canadian Challenge interviews, keep it locked to Inside WorldGaming Network.
About The Author: Steve Vegvari
Steve is based in Toronto, Ontario. His enthusiasm and adoration of the video game industry go back to the days of SNES. Find him on Twitter and join in on the escapades.
Check out our other interviews with the Canadian Challenge Finals Casters: