Meet Gerard “Escape Artiste” Peters. He is 21 this year and just completed his studies at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) on Mass Media Management. He’s a Play-by-Play caster for Campus Legends League of Legends (LoL). Like Terence “Offnight” before him, we caught up with him as well to talk about his journey in this space.

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Player of 8 Years
Gerard has been playing LoL since Season Two. His favourite champions are Bard and Ivern.

“I like that they’re unconventional. When Bard came out, it was unheard of; what kind of ultimate is that, what kind of passive is that, going around collecting chimes and stuff. My friends were like, “Gerard, never play it again”, so I went “Okay guys, I’m going to get Mastery V on it.” I eventually got Mastery 7 on it. It was kind of the same situation with Ivern. “Gerard, never play Ivern again”, and I was like “I’m going to play Ivern”.”

In with the New
When speaking to Gerard, he was bubbly and was very enthusiastic in answering my questions. So I had to ask for his opinion about the LoL’s direction in terms of new Champions as well.

“Honestly, I think LoL is going towards an interesting direction. When you look at the Champions that have been released recently, at the very least their ultimates and passives are more and more unique. I think really from Bard onwards, it was starting to be different. You can go back in time and steal people’s ultimates. Even for Xayah and Rakan, releasing two champions at the same time that have special synergy is quite unique also.

I do hope that it doesn’t get too complicated. Currently it is still okay, but I hope they don’t dial it up too much. I was rather worried about Neeko as you could literally walk to someone else’s lane.”

Naturally, I also had to pick his brain about the overpowered Champions that were introduced recently, especially Zoe, Sylas and the reworked Akali.

“Personally, Akali, Irelia and Aatrox… after their rework, I just stopped playing Top lane altogether. I think the new champions are fine, but the reworks are not ideal. If you look at the number of times Aatrox is picked nowadays, it’s too much. So if I go into Top lane and I don’t play those Champions, I’m going to have a pretty hard time.”

Not a Fan of Ranks
Gerard isn’t a fan of ranked games. When asked what his current rank was, he surprised me with “Unranked”.

“I don’t think I’ve played a single ranked game this year. Usually I just play a few ranked games a year to maintain my Platinum border every season.” Platinum is pretty good if you ask me.

Unlike Terence, Gerard is in a unique position of waiting for National Service (NS). This means he has lots of free time on his hands, of which he intends to hone his casting craft. As for the rest of his free time, he had this to share:

“I just try to catch up on my social life. The last year of school was pretty intense and thus I didn’t have time for all of that. So I’m trying to catch up on that and sleep. I missed out on a lot of that as well last year.”

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Leigh Deman Smith and Joe Miller
Source: The Shotcaller

Inspiration
Gerard had a unique introduction to casting. “From the start, I was playing Maplestory and Runescape. My friends suddenly dragged me into LoL, a 5v5 intense game. I didn’t really enjoy the game. It was only until I watched the Season 2 World Championships. Casters like Leigh Deman Smith and Joe Miller caught my attention.

10 people running around the map, how interesting could it be? Watching them, I learned that it can be very interesting. Seeing them capture my attention and bring me into LoL, I decided to become a caster as well. I want to work in the media industry and also attract people into LoL.”

Unfortunately, Gerard’s friends had to endure his casts while playing 5-man stacks in normal games.

“I’ve been casting officially about a year, with big gaps in between. Unofficially, when I play with my friends, I randomly start casting. So… ever since Season two.”

Grandon ‘gamernissem‘ Oh and Daryl ‘HungryCasts‘ Lim

Mentors
On the topic of mentors, Gerard was quick to share his thoughts on the shoutcaster veterans Daryl ‘HungryCasts’ Lim and Grandon ‘gamernissem’ Oh as well as what he learned from them.

“I think they’re both pretty experienced. They’re good mentors. Daryl has been a good mentor, I see myself improving when I work with him. It’s not my first time working with him; we casted at FSL before, that was the first time I met him. He asked if I was going for this workshop, and I decided to go. I really do not regret coming for this. I didn’t know Daryl would be a good teacher. He actually is.

The first time I heard Grandon’s cast was when I watching my friend playing SGCL 2 years ago. My friend was playing for NYP as a support. He stole Baron with a Rakan Auto Attack and Grandon yelled into the Mic. Our ears got blasted. That was my first impression of him.

I think he’s probably the best local Play-by-Play caster. His voice is able to capture my attention in the game.

A big area I need to work on is listening to my co-caster. Sometimes I don’t know what to respond to them. It’s like he gives a lengthy explanation on why Sylas is better than Akali. So I’m like “That’s cool”. Another thing is that I need to learn using different words. Because sometimes when I start using a word I would keep using the same word multiple times in that game.”

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An Escape Artiste would naturally love the thrill of Apex Legends

Expanding Opportunities
If given the opportunity to try casting another game, Gerard will want to cast for Apex Legends.

“It’s the other game that has been able to capture my attention. I game because I want to play with my friends. That’s also why I don’t play ranked; we usually have 5 men and we don’t want to play flex. Apex Legends has been able to capture my attention more than other games.

I do wish that more people could play together [for Apex Legends] though.”

Stay Passionate
When asked for advice to aspiring casters, Gerard encourages them to pursue their passions.

“Stay passionate about what you’re doing. Personally, you should start casting a game that you’re passionate at. If not, you’re not going to get the initial grip you need. Don’t start casting a game because it’s popular. Cast a game you like first.”

Only Eyes for You
One particular team he has casted for the Campus Legends has caught Gerard’s eye.

“I think NYP’s roster is really strong. I’m not biased even though I’m from NYP. Their roster is really strong. Look at ScarletPetal, No.4 in Challenger, so he’s really strong. Two years ago, ScaletPetal was playing with Motionless, my friend. So when ScarletPetal joined my CCA, I was like “Wow, my junior is ScarletPetal”. That was pretty interesting.”

Acknowledgement
As for all his friends and people around him offering support, Gerard had some words of thanks to say:

“To all my friends who were subject to my casting in the middle of a teamfight, thank you for tolerating that. For everyone else, thank you, it really means a lot to me. I hope that I can do this in the future and it’s kind of double what I enjoy; I enjoy media and also LoL.”

You can find Gerard on Instagram at @theescapeartiste and Twitch at www.twitch.tv/escape_artiste.

” I stream every now and then. I expect to do more for the LoL scene in Singapore. I’m going to NS soon, but hopefully when I return I’ll be able to continue doing what I like to do.”

Our resident Escape Artiste will resume casting Campus Legends next Sunday, 16 Nov 2019 on the SCOGA Twitch channel