VALORANT First Strike: Europe – Meet the Casters
The stage is set for the VALORANT First Strike: Europe Main Event, and the teams are ready to face off against each other and prove that they're the best in the region. But there's another team that deserves a mention in all this – the casters.
Our team of hosts and commentators will be giving you all the insight you need to keep up with the action in these top-tier VALORANT matches, bringing their own expertise into the battlefield so you never miss a beat.
Read on to find out more about the amazing talent that'll be keeping your ears company during the First Strike: Europe Main Event.
Yinsu Collins – Host
A freelance esports journalist and presenter, Collins has been keeping a close eye on First Strike: Europe already through her Qualifiers recap streams with SUMN FC player Jake "Boaster" Howlett. She's also hosted streams for UK VALORANT's recent university tournament, and this year won Reporter of the Year at the UK Esports Awards.
"It feels absolutely amazing and almost surreal to be a part of the very first Riot-produced VALORANT tournament in Europe," says Yinsu. "There’s a lot of extremely talented people that work in and around the scene right now so I feel very grateful to be included in such an exciting and ambitious project."
"Having been involved in the scene since the beta, it’s really exciting that we have already reached a point where we’ll be seeing a top-level VALORANT tournament, not just in EU but on a global scale. But in terms of EU specifically, with 50 percent of the teams involved in the Quarter-Finals being unsigned teams, I’m expecting some pretty juicy upsets and potentially the dethroning of some of the more well-established teams. Hopefully we can see some creativity now we have a new map and agent as well."
And while she thinks the team to watch is SUMN FC, Yinsu is most excited to check out Team Liquid vs Team Heretics in the quarter-finals – "I reckon this will be the only quarter-final that goes to a third map and I think these two teams will really push each other, and there’s nothing more exciting than a close nailbiter," she tells us.
Lauren "Pansy" Scott – Play-by-Play Caster
Pansy is known as a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds caster, providing commentary on some of the biggest tournaments in the world.
But EU VALORANT fans will recognise her voice from the G2 Esports European Brawl back in April, and the European games of the Twitch Rivals: VALORANT Launch Showdown events. She's even appeared at international events, including the IGNITION Series' PAX Arena Invitational in July, which will no doubt give her broader insights into EU's place in the VALORANT esports world at large. “The main point of interest for me with this event, is using it to be the barometer of the first few months of work by these teams,” she says. “This is the one people will remember as the start of competitive VALORANT.”
Michael "hypoc" Robins – Colour Caster
A former pro PUBG and Overwatch player, hypoc has now turned his attention to VALORANT as a colour caster and analyst. You may recognise him from the Vitality European Open as part of the IGNITION series, or from the WePlay! Invitational, which featured several teams competing in First Strike: Europe.
He's a man with plenty of knowledge of the EU teams, and he’s been playing VALORANT since day one of the beta, and is sure to have plenty of great insights to share during play.
Jakub "Lothar" Szygulski – Colour Caster
More typically found behind the monitor than on the caster's table, Lothar is a full-time streamer and professional player for G2 Esports, which will no doubt give him a unique perspective on the team competing in First Strike: Europe.
He's even taken part in a VALORANT tournament himself, placing second in the Twitch Rivals: VALORANT Showdown EMEA with his very own Team LotharHS in April 2020. All this experience in the game is sure to make his commentary fascinating to listen to.
Mitch "MitchMan" McBride – Play-by-Play Caster
Another import from the CS:GO scene, MitchMan has already made himself known in VALORANT esports on the casting desk of both the WePlay! Invitational and the BLAST Twitch Invitational, the event that saw G2, FunPlus Phoenix, and Team Liquid facing off against each other back in September. If there's one caster who knows how much this tournament will mean to these established teams, it's MitchMan.
Jonas "AverageJonas" Navarsete - Colour Caster
AverageJonas has had one of the most unique routes to the First Strike: Europe casting table, as he actually participated in the Qualifiers as part of The Stream Team, and even managed to get through the first round before his team was knocked out by Ninjas in Pyjamas. You may already know all of this, of course – AverageJonas already has a pretty impressive following on Twitch and YouTube, and regularly makes fun videos and guides for VALORANT on the latter.
A former Overwatch pro, AverageJonas was even on Norway's national team for the game back in 2016, so if there's a man who knows the pressure of playing at the top level, it's him.
Now that you've got to know the casting team a little better, let us know who you're excited to hear during the VALORANT First Strike: Europe Main Event over on Twitter. And be sure to tune into the action on Twitch and YouTube from 16:30pm CET on 3 December.