2023 has been a year of “pinch me” moments. When I received the call to ask if I wanted to desk host Intel Extreme Masters Cologne I actually didn’t believe it. I thought I was being punked. IEM Cologne is one of those incredibly prestigious Counter-Strike tournaments and I was so incredibly honoured to play a role in bringing the show to fans around the world. Especially considering IEM Cologne 2023 would be one of the last major CSGO events on the calendar before we transitioned to CS2. This is a quick personal recap of the event.
Having a chance to work with one of the best broadcast talent lineups in Counter-Strike was a dream come true. This was my first time working with Stunna and Sjokz. They’re masters at their craft and I was able to learn so much from them as we went through the Play-Ins and Group Stages. It was a very competitive tournament and the games were insane BUT I think, for me, personally, it was the freedom to really have input in our desk segments that I enjoyed the most. The IEM Cologne production team were so game to try new things and let me lean in to my very specific style. This meant a lot to me:
I’ve always had a bit of spunk to my hosting style but have tried to play it safe. Being allowed to really just lean into that style and experiment with it was incredibly fun and such a giant learning moment. I’m incredibly grateful to the team who were willing to guide me and allow me to explore this area of my craft. I was extremely proud of the desk segments we did throughout the week and am so glad I work with great analysts who are happy to go along with the banter and lean into it.
It has been an incredible 2023 for me, as I mentioned early. Working in Counter-Strike at the highest level has been my dream since I finally decided to pursue a career in esports 6 years ago. I really hope I’ll have more opportunities to work with these amazing crews of people and continue to contribute to these incredible tournaments that mean so much to me as a fan.
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