Ahead of the WorldGaming Call of Duty: WII Canadian Championship Finals on March 3rd and 4th, we spoke the casters and analysts of the event for an introduction.
Written By: Steve Vegvari
Joe “MerK” DeLuca is a former professional Call of Duty eSports player. For six years, MerK competed in over 40 tournaments and rose the ranks to Team Captain of OpTic Gaming before going on to play for Team EnVyUs and Team Liquid.
In 2016, MerK announced his retirement as a player. Transitioning from his time as a player, MerK landed a role as an analyst for MLG. Now, MerK is sits alongside fellow casters and analysts in many of the most prestigious Call of Duty tournaments.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
A: Joe DeLuca, 24 years old. From Columbus, Ohio. I work at MLG full time. I used to be a pro Call of Duty player for teams OpTic, EnVyUs, and Team Liquid.
Q: How did you initially get into eSports?
A: I found GameBattles and from the platform I was able to discover MLG. I initially was a huge fan of Halo and watched all of their events. I was grinding the Call of Duty ladders and played in some tournaments. Finally, in Modern Warfare 2 I qualified for their national championships and placed 4th.
Q: What pulled you into the role of a caster?
A: I became a washed up pro player…But on a more serious note, I was offered a full time position at MLG. I took it after graduating college and wanted to get into the business side of eSports. From there, they asked if I would be interested in being an analyst for an event and I kept doing it until I got here today.
Q: Has there been an influence that helped define your mannerisms, tone, demeanour, etc while casting?
A: For me, I’ve looked at the guys I started working with. Clint, Jack, MrX, Puckett were big influences for me. Of course, they did more on the casting side. For analysis, I watched other games and their tournaments to see if there was anything I could do to help me with my performance.
Q: What is the most crucial aspect a caster must keep an eye out for during a game?
A: For me personally, I think the mini-map is crucial in the story telling. If you use the mini-map well you can set up your observer so he can catch some of the most impactful situations in the game.
Q: What are you looking forward to the most from the Call of Duty Finals?
A: I want to see who is going to challenge Eunited. They are the team that stands out from the rest but there are a lot of teams who have a chance at taking the Finals.
Q: Are there any wild cards or players we should be keeping an eye on in the finals?
A: I want to see how Complexity performs on the big stage. They aren’t in the CWL Pro League, but I feel as they have a roster that can perform against the best teams in the world.
Q: Besides the WorldGaming Call of Duty Finals, do you have any other events planned?
A: Should be at all of the Call of Duty World League events and the Pro League, it’s going to be a great year!
Q: Where can people find you online?
A: You can find me on Twitter.com/JoeDeLuca, Twitch.tv/merk, and Youtube.com/merk
For more on Call of Duty, keep it locked to WorldGaming.
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.
Read our other interviews with our Casters:
WorldGaming eSports Professional Caster Profile: Maven
WorldGaming eSports Professional Caster Profile: CouRage
WorldGaming eSports Professional Caster Profile: Momo