gaming

LifewithPanda Chats About His Journey and Being an Esports Caster

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LifewithPanda

Have you ever watched a professional Fortnite tournament on a streaming platform? If so, you probably have not only seen but heard the voice of the talented esports caster LifewithPanda. As the viewer, it’s important to be entertained and have a good experience while watching. Furthermore, if a person is observing an esports tournament and doesn't hear any casting going on, it’ll make it stale and boring. Even though casting is very tough to master, LifewithPanda makes it look like a piece of cake. In this feature, ONE37pm picks the brain of LifewithPanda, and he chats about his journey and what it’s like being an esports caster.

ONE37pm: Did you play a lot of video games growing up? If so, which ones?

LifewithPanda: Video games for me when I was growing up were an escape and a learning tool. I’d load up into a game with no direction and try to find success. Honestly, probably why I have decent problem-solving skills 🤣. As far as games go, I played everything from every console. My main games though were Halo 2, Sonic Adventure 2 Battle, and COD MW2.

ONE37pm: What was life like before becoming a professional esports caster?

LifewithPanda: Before I was a caster, I developed a successful career in hospitality and real estate. I’ve worked for companies such as Disney, Marriott, Publix, and more. While with the companies, my focus was on training. I’d spend my days speaking to large groups within the companies and giving direction on whatever the training topic was that day.

ONE37pm: When was the first time you ever casted?

LifewithPanda: My first ever event was with NerdStreet. MonsterDface was helping me break into the space at the time and he helped me get that show. It was crazy because my duo was JacobPR, who I just got to spend the last FNCS season with on NAW. It was a full-circle moment for sure!

ONE37pm: How did you realize that you were very good at casting?

LifewithPanda: As a caster, I’m not sure if I’ll ever realize if I am “good” per se but I always strive to be the best I can be every day.

ONE37pm: What led you to making esports casting a career?

LifewithPanda: In High School and the years following, my best friend Jake always said "You should make a career with your voice." I’d always laugh and say "that would be cool!" Not thinking it would ever happen. Jake and I went to the Fortnite World Cup and he raised the question "What about casting?." At the time, I thought it would be impossible for me to do. Then COVID hit in 2020, my work life went remote. This allowed me to spend more time dabbling with esports. I’d spent some time streaming before this but never fully committed.

One thing lead to another and I got connected with MonsterDface. This being the guy I’ve looked up to within gaming since I saw him on stage at the World Cup. Him being the incredible person he is took me under his wing and made me a co-host on the number #1 Fortnite podcast in the world! He saw the potential in my voice and natural flow. Then he asked, "Have you ever thought about casting?." This was the full-circle moment that changed the trajectory of my life forever.

ONE37pm: What does your daily schedule look like?

LifewithPanda:

  • 7 am: Wake Up, Watch Educational Content, and Coffee
  • 8 am: 30 min Walk
  • 8:30 am: Shower & Eat
  • 9:30 am: Office on, Start on TikToks
  • 12 pm: Have three TikToks complete/Lunch
  • 1 pm: YT Video/Pre-Planning/Meetings/Voice Over Recordings
  • 4 pm: Wind down/Optional Workout Time
  • 6 pm: Games/Livestream/Spend Time w/ Mrs
  • 8 pm: Optional Workout time
  • 10 pm: Sleep

ONE37pm: Your online name is very unique, how did you come up with "LifewithPanda?"

LifewithPanda: So I wanted an IGN that was good and had solid branding potential. This led me to the name "LifewithM. "So I registered the name on PSN and got it ready. Then I hit a snag. Apparently, I’d made it on the UK website for Sony and not the US. Called Sony, but they couldn’t help. So instead of starting from scratch, I decided to incorporate an animal into the name. One that I loved the coloring of and the videos I had seen. At that moment, LifewithPanda was born.

ONE37pm: There is a good amount of toxicity within the Fortnite Competitive community, how do you deal with it from a caster’s point of view?

LifewithPanda: I’m naturally a very positive person and always like to look at situations from multiple perspectives. This allows me to understand player frustration and behavior with it creating a negative mindset for me. So I use that to build stories and narratives while casting that convey the players' feelings but in a more positive way.

ONE37pm: How do you envision the Fortnite Competitive scene growing in the next five years?

LifewithPanda: The next five years of Fortnite Competitive will define its future forever. If I had to guess, the FNCS Invitational is just the start of in-person events returning to Fortnite. As long as this event goes well, we could see multiple more to follow in the coming years. In an ideal scenario, it would be two seasons of FNCS in one game mode with a mid-year In-person event. Then switch the game mode for the last two seasons and have an end-of-year in-person event.

ONE37pm: What advice would you give to an aspiring esports caster?

LifewithPanda: The best advice I can give is the same advice that was given to me when I started "Just do it." Record yourself casting over games, study other casters, and most importantly, put your cast out there for the world to see. Eventually, the right person may just see it. Networking helps some as well! 🤣

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