Hi, Marco Cañeda, your regular, run-of-the-mill teenage university student who plays video games, procrastinates, uses Times New Roman size 12 for essays. All my life, I’ve fallen under the eccentric “geeky gamer guy” category. Geeks and nerds were social outliers (at least, they used to be). Now, it’s like there’s a production line of geeky gamer guys. However, last year, I made a choice that allowed me to be different, to take “a path less traveled.”
No, I didn’t decide to stop being a huge dork; I love my video games too much for that. But I did choose to become more than just a player. I became an League of Legends e-Sports shoutcaster. If you don’t know what any of those terms are, “League of Legends” is a multiplayer online battle arena video game, similar to “Defense of the Ancients,” which many people may be more familiar with. eSports is competitive professional video gaming. A shoutcaster is pretty much a court or ringside commentator, but with guns and magic spells rather than balls and suplexes. It’s similar to a sportscaster on television, but for competitive video games such as League of Legends, DotA 2, and Overwatch. I narrate to the viewers and analyze the events of the game in a fusion of entertainment and information. I weave together and hype up the narratives of the teams, players, and the industry for people to enjoy the game more. “Gasp,” you exclaim, “I can make a living by playing games?!” No, not quite yet, at least not here. In South Korea, North America, Europe, even Brazil, it would be; but e-Sports in the Philippines is so young, vulnerable, and unstable. It’s a twice-obscure job, but I soldier on. I sit there talking for hours straight, narrating blow-by-blow thousands of moving pixels, having to think things on the fly, and I take it like a champ because I love it. For me, it’s a dream come true. I think that, along with building up the community of eSports here in the Philippines, gives me the drive and purpose to keep doing what I’m doing.
Much more important, though, is that I’m building up this whole new world in the Philippines, my home. I believe that’s what matters the most with what I’m doing, what we’re doing. It’s not enough to be different; I need a purpose. To be part of this growing, phenomenal community of players, casters, and fans, is electrifying. I can feel my blood fire up when I look at the crowd cheering for their favorite teams and players; the adrenaline rushing free as I howl word after word into the mic; and the catharsis after all the matches are over as I sit there, exhausted, thinking, “Yeah. This is definitely what I want to do.” Going down this road, I’ve learned and experienced so many things I’d never have imagined before, met so many wonderful, irreplaceable people, and uncovered secrets about myself and what I cherish. I know that I’ll continue to do so for as long as I keep going down this path, and I know that I won’t regret a single inch of it, literal or metaphorical. I’ve become part of something bigger than me, something beyond myself, something I, or anyone else, could never have created alone. This could apply to virtually anything: family, country, Life, the Universe, and Everything, the list goes on. The sky’s the limit (ding ding ding, bonus cliché line points!).
To anyone out there that has their doubts about themselves and what they want to do, I have a few things to say.
Just do it. Once you start, keep moving forward. Have a goal. Remember what you are fighting for, and all you’ve done to get to that point. Never give up. Don’t let your dreams be dreams. Chase opportunity, it won’t come to you by itself if you don’t give it a helping hand. Never back down. The second you give in to pressure, your ambitions go down the drain. And lastly, love what you do, even if it’s outlandish. It’s never worth it if you don’t love it.