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Velly: “If any team were to beat G2 it’s gonna be Rogue”

Following his US Nationals analyst appearance last month, we spoke with Loviel “Velly” Cardwell about his history in esports and his entrance into R6S.

Best known as a Gears of War caster, Velly made his first step into the Rainbow Six esports scene last month after he won an open competition to find an analyst for US Nationals 2018 LAN in Las Vegas. Now, a few weeks on from that appearance, we caught up with him to learn more about him and his views on the R6 scene:

The US Nationals 2018 talent line-up
Firstly, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your history casting in esports?

What's going on everybody, my name is Velly, you guys know me from the US Nationals and I’m just a regular guy from California. I actually started off in 2017, I had a talk show for Gears of War, it was everything competitive, it was a community favourite, everybody came in and checked it out and it got a lot of buzz then next thing you know I get a DM to start hosting for Gears of War. So I went to my first event in California and I hosted and next thing you know I’m hosting the desk at the Major events as a desk host. I also commentate as well so every few Wednesdays a month I go over to New York City, go to the MLG offices and I commentate Championship games for our online tournaments for Pro seeding points and it has been amazing, it has been an amazing journey, I love every bit of it, I never saw myself being in this position, I was thrown at it and I’m obsessed.


How did you get involved in Siege as a player and caster?

So when I won that competition everybody was saying who’s Velly, he’s not in the community, he’s not in Rainbow Six, whatever, whatever. Alright, fun fact I love Rainbow Six ever since Rainbow Six 3. Rainbow Six 3 was actually my very first online game that I played on XBOX Live and I fell in love with the game, You couldn't tell me anything, I knew all the nade tricks, the G36C I was nice, my FAMAS single tap was disgusting but I have always been a fan of Rainbow Six and when the BETA came out for Rainbow Six Siege I jumped on it. I played it hardcore for a few months when the game was released and then i stopped and i focussed on the game i was working on, Gears of War, so i never played much of Siege after that. I’d jump on here and there and play on PC but that was pretty much it and I really had no past in Siege, it wasn’t a home for me. I always looked at your Major tournaments when you guys were killing it with 300,000 viewers and stuff and I’ve always loved the scene so I’m happy I’m involved someway somehow right now.

What would you say is the highlight of your casting career so far?

Alright, so the highlight of my casting career is not like anybody elses casting career but I actually commentated an amateur Call of Duty LAN in Detroit a few months ago and I was with my friend SpaceMan and we were watching this semi-pro guy named FA5TBALLA play and his playstyle is very unique, he basically just rushes at you non-stop, he doesn’t care if it’s a 1v5. He rushes at you and he was doing that but he was also getting kills and it was so funny that SpaceMan and i started cracking jokes on stream to where we were laughing so hard we were literally crying, we were crying on stream and that was the highlight of my whole casting career because I always have the belief that if you’re not having fun you’re not doing it right and the fact that we were crying because we were laughing so hard we were having the time of our lives and it was the highlight of my whole career. People thought we were on some type of drug but it was funny as shit, I loved it.

As a relative newcomer to R6S, what're the biggest changes/additions you’d make to improve the game and esports scene?
One thing I’d love to see in Rainbow Six in regards to operators is on Attack you have a lot of offensive operators that are really gun skill heavy like Ash and Zofia, I want to see a counterpart on the defensive side. I just want to see a brawler type, a nice AR, an ACOG scope, for the specialist ability I can't think of one at the top of my head for what they would have but that’s one thing I would change.

For the ranking system I would love to see a Pro League setting to where the bans are swapped, you can vote for maps where you have a pool of two to three maps where everyone can vote for which one they want to play on; I feel like that would be essential to the growth of the game, I feel like it would be fun and dynamic and interactive so you don’t keep getting random maps that everybody might not like.

In regards to the esports scene, I feel like what you guys do is amazing, I wouldn’t change too much at all. The one thing I did notice if you take a look at the numbers from 2018 the LANs that you guys had if it had over $50,000 in prizepool you guys had over 100,000 viewers so in regard to future LANs I feel like that should be tested a bit. The US Nationals was $50,000 but what if the stakes are higher, what if it was $100,000, would we get a lot more viewers than we previously had? That’s a conversation that I feel like has to be had. That's because I’m a numbers guy, I love looking at stuff like that.

The viewer numbers for the $167,000 Season 8 Finals LAN

Other than that I love everything you guys do your graphics are clean, your stages are phenomenal -- the one thing I would change is the player videos where were get to know more about them I feel like we can do better. I’m not saying that they’re trash but we can definitely do better in digging into that; the two games that do it best, in my opinion, would have to be #1 Gears of War, the Gears of War player videos are phenomenal... phenomenal. CSGO does it extremely well as well so I would watch those, take some notes and improve on that. Other than that you guys are amazing at what you do and your esports scene.

I saw the audition and I have a group chat with two of my caster friends - shoutout to Trooper and SpaceMan - and we motivate each other to do better and get to a point where we could do this full time because we love what we do and we really want to push each other to reach our goals and dreams. So I saw the audition for Rainbow Six and I immediately flipped out, i threw it in  the group chat and was immediately like “yo - we have to do this, we have to do it” and so SpaceMan did his, Trooper did his and I did mine on the last day of the deadline and I didn't think anything of it, I didn't think I was going to win, I never win anything - I never win anything.

Next thing you know I’m having a bad day and I go and lay down on my bed and I check my emails for some stupid- I never check my email - and I checked my emails and I saw “Congratulations You Won” and I was like ow shit -  but like i did that in my head, my body I didn’t know how to react it was weird, it was weird man, it was dope.

Not in a million years would I have thought I would have won that competition, there are so many other great choices in the community and I thought I didn’t match up to these guys so when I won it was great.

What made it stand out? I don’t know, I don’t know. If I were to point out I think it would probably be my energy. I’ve had a lot of experience on camera and I’m a very outgoing person when I’m on the stage so I guess my energy and me not really pulling any punches really stood out in my audition and I think my history kinda helped. I would hate to say that because I hope that I was chosen not because of that but I think that probably had a bit in it as well but I’m happy I did because when I won the community welcomed me with open arms. Yeah, people said who’s Velly? What does he know about the game? But at the end of that sentence, they would say we wish you the best man, we hope you kill it.

I had pros DM me, I had Lycan - Lycan in Vegas was saying if you want to you can watch our scrims, learn as much as you can. The casters and the analysts broke the game down to me and everybody was so welcoming and it was so refreshing to see that in a community and you guys made me fall in love from day 1 so yeah, all you guys out there in the Siege community, you guys are the shit, don’t change and you guys are gonna reach the top someday. Like it’s gonna happen - no doubt.

What do you think that R6 can learn from games like Gears of War as a game and as an esport?

One thing that Siege could learn - whoever does your graphics, its fucking dope, by the way, the graphics are clean and it's nice. The one thing I could say you guys can learn from my scene - my Gears of War scene baby - would have to be media. I feel like no one does it better than Gears of War and I’m not saying that as a bias thing if you really watch the Gears of War videos - from our post-event videos to our player interviews, our player videos and team videos - they are top-notch, top-notch. Gears of War learnt who their demographics were and they killed it - they killed it - and that would be the one thing Rainbow Six would have to learn.

Other than that the communities are different - Gears of War is a hard-ass community. Trash talk and stuff that everybody asks me about in Gears of War I just feel like I like what Fabian does, it brings a lot to the game with his interviews and just how he is about the game, you know “i’m the best in the universe” talks like that. I like when players are themselves and that’s in esports and sports in general. I feel like controversy, drama and being exciting and different brings in viewers. Know that there’s a line that you can’t cross but other than that have fun whenever you get the chance to be in front of a camera or microphone because you never know what you bring to the viewers whenever you make them laugh or smile by cracking a joke or just being yourself during an interview.

If you had to make a prediction, who would you say will win the Six Invitationals 2019?

Is this really a question? Alright, so, there's a team out there called erm, I think it’s like 2G? G2? The best team in the World? I don’t know. Listen they have a man named Kanto on their team and let me tell you about this man named Kanto, the most clutch, he’s dominant, Kanto is amazing, he is the best - Fabian I’m sorry, Kanto is the best, ok. Fabian’s alright too, he has great speeches but Pengu and Kanto I feel like they’re phenomenal man and just that team, their synergy, the way that they work together, their comeback against EG just shows why this team is so special because they never stop fighting even if their backs are against a wall and everything is against them. They have everything it takes to be the best team in the World.

Do I think that they’re beatable? Fuck yeah, they’re beatable. Extremely beatable but that’s gonna have to rely on the people that they go against. G2, they’re gonna win the Six Invitational but if I were to say if any team were to beat them I'm gonna say, Rogue. I really like that VertcL pickup and Rogue, they looked really good at the USN so, eh, we’ll see what happens - anything could happen.

Are there any future events we can expect you in?

Unfortunately, I’m gonna say no. So just so you guys know for the US Nationals I was the analyst and I had to leave during the first map of the finals to catch a flight back home because of work but as I was walking away and had said my byes to Parker and z1ronic and everybody it hit me that everybody here, they’re home, I'm not home, so once I leave these doors there’s a realistic chance that I might never be back and that hit me pretty hard on the ride to the airport I’m not gonna lie, it hit me extremely hard it was an emotional moment. So I reached out to the appropriate people and I actually wrote a really nice email saying that I had the time of my life and that I was pretty jealous that they were home and that they knew they were gonna see each other again and I wasn’t a part of that group. I’m obsessed with Siege now, you guys have a new community member for life and i told them that I want to prove that I have what it takes to be a great analyst at every future event from here on out so I’ve just been told to stay in the community, stay active and keep learning more about the ins and outs of the game and hopefully I get a call in the future.

Other than that I have nothing but if I had any wish in the world it would be to make Rainbow Six my home. I love the scene, I love the game, I love the players, I love the devs, I love everything you guys do and if I'm actually able to go to another event it would be a dream - it would be a dream. When I won that competition I didn’t expect it, like I wanted to cry, like deadass I was that happy I shed a thug tear by the way. If I do get another chance I promise you guys I will give you a fucking show every time I’m on that fucking desk. The games keep you in the game and after that, I wanna make sure you stay on the stream. I wanna make sure you have the best entertainment possible with the likes of z1ronic, with the likes of ramz. I wanna make sure that I make you laugh while you’re in the audience. I wanna make sure the audience is gonna cheer with my predictions. I wanna make sure you guys get the best possible show ever in between and after the matches cause that’s what I want to do. I want to entertain, I want to stay in the community and I want to be a part of this journey that you guys are currently in in Rainbow Six as shooting to be the best shooting game out there in competitive gaming in esports. So with all of your support you definitely kept me relevant in the scene since the USN, I want to thank everybody for that, all of the kind Tweets that I’ve had from all of the pros and the coaches and the casuals and the viewers. Just hopefully I get that call and when I get that call you can bet your ass I’m gonna be ready so you guys have not seen the last of me yet.

Velly on the US Nationals analysts desk

If I was to put out any last words out there it would be thank you because without the viewers and my followers and just everybody involved in Siege I’m a nobody - I don’t exist in your World - but you guys made me exist out there. You guys, your voices were heard and all of your compliments and all, it really meant a lot to this regular kid from California. It really meant a lot. And you guys really have a special scene, embrace what you have, do everything you can to help grow your game because I’m not lying, I’ve been involved with other games and you guys really have something special. So really look into that and think about that for a second and just keep grinding cause you guys are gonna hit the top someday and when it happens I want you to replay this clip because I know it’s gonna happen and every single one of you guys deserves it. So thank you all for the support, thanks for the interview you guys are the best and hopefully I’ll see you guys next time.

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We wish Velly the best of luck in his esports career and hope we’ll see more of him in 2019. You can catch his Gears of War podcast on Monday evenings on the UGC Twitch account with the referenced Six Invitational 2019 beginning on February 11th. Keep an eye out for more interviews and news updates right here at SiegeGG!