Tracie (MissMagitek) is a long-time gamer and journalist who has worked for Red Bull, Ubisoft and MatchGrade. She’s also a streamer, focusing mainly on SC2, but she also plays Overwatch and Rainbow 6: Siege.
Sarah Gaulin: First gaming-related memory?
T: My first memory I guess is playing Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on N64. I guess just a lot of N64 games in general were a big memory to me. I mean, that console really changed the way I viewed gaming, where I took it, and really it became a passion of mine and something I really loved to do. I think Ocarina of Time and then GoldenEye on N64. And also, even StarCraft on N64, which everybody makes jokes about that game, but that game introduced me to StarCraft and to this day, I still am in love with that game! So StarCraft on N64, Ocarina of Time, just the N64 in general.
S: Favourite game as a kid?
T: Ocarina of Time, definitely! I mean, that game was… So many people will say this, obviously, but it’s such an impactful game. One of the best Zelda games. It just changed the way I viewed gaming. I loved it so much that I just continued to play games all the time, especially Zelda games. So Ocarina of Time was definitely a first favourite.
S: Favourite recent game?
T: Uhm… It’s hard to say. I mean, most of the time, I’m playing Legacy of the Void (the last SC2 expansion), which is pretty recent, it came out in November last year. It’s gone through some changes since it came out. A few patches. At first, when it first came out, everybody was really excited and I think lately it’s been a little… It’s been going through some changes and people are complaining about balance issues, which is always a problem in SC2, but it’s the one I’m playing the most, so out of all recent games, I’d have to say Legacy of the Void is my favourite. Also, Overwatch, it’s another one that I play a lot. I’ve played the beta for months now, so I’m ready. I’m ready! (laughs)
S: How did you get involved in gaming?
T: I’ve been gaming my whole life and I just enjoyed it so much. When I was in college I got more involved with PC gaming, more so than console, so I did a little bit of both and I really got myself into PC gaming, playing some MMOs like WoW and Star Wars: The Old Republic. I wanted to get more involved with the content side, like YouTube. Not yet streaming, but just to start off, with general content, blogging as well. I got active with online community, the FragDolls community. They are no longer a thing, but they still have a community of people that are still around. I joined that gaming community and I was able to talk with people who had the same interests as me and a lot of girls as well, you know, people I could relate to. It was so cool! So that’s where I got my first taste of good gaming community. I always prided myself that I was able to make a really great group of friends to play with, as well.
S: How did you discover eSports?
T: Again, I played a lot of SC2, so when Wings of Liberty… I actually didn’t really follow StarCraft: Broodwar, that eSports scene at all. I always played that casually, I was young back when it was out, so I didn’t really follow that scene. But when Wings of Liberty came out, a year after it came out, a friend of mine played SC2 a lot and he told me that I really should follow the eSports scene of that game, that I could learn from the pros and you know, it was really big back then. So I said, alright, I’ll just start watching. So I started to follow some of my favourite players and that’s what introduced me to eSports and now I follow so many other games, but I really think SC2 paved the way for me as far as following eSports and being passionate about it.
S: How did you get involved in eSports?
T: It was basically watching SC2 and then I moved on to being active with Ubisoft, when I first started with the FragDolls and I’ve worked with them for years and then they decided to make a new team for Rainbow 6: Siege and asked me to join, and I said, yeah, I’d be down to do that. I’ve played a lot of Rainbow as well, so that’s how I got involved with eSports more professionally. I got to actually cast some of the games on the launch date. So it was SC2 that got me interested in eSports and then I just continued on from there!
S: The scene has been evolving rapidly in the last few years. How do you feel about it?
T: Well, it’s crazy to see big-name companies trying to be involved with eSports, like ESPN and Yahoo!, who now has an eSports site. So you can see that people notice that this is a popular thing and thousands of people view these games online. It’s crazy. I think it’s growing so quickly that people don’t really know what’s going to happen with it, but at the same time, people want to get more involved, big sponsors are all over at these events, things like that. I think it’s really cool and I’m excited to see where eSports will be within the next five years, but honestly, I don’t know what to expect. I don’t know if it’ll become super mainstream, you know. Another funny thing is when you see regular news reporters try to talk about eSports, they just don’t really grasp that concept yet. Even when I try to explain to my own family what eSports is, it’s difficult. I mean, even when I mention my boyfriend, he’s a commentator, and I have to explain that it’s like sports, he commentates a game just like you would commentate a hockey game or a baseball game. It’s the same thing. But they can’t really wrap their mind around that. (laughs) But I’m wondering in the years from now, if that will be something like everybody knows what eSports is and it’s not a weird thing for the mainstream world.
S: What do you love/hate about the eSports industry?
T: Uhm… I haven’t been to many LAN events, but every single one that I’ve been to has been very exciting. There’s a lot of passionate people, there’s a lot of fans. I think that even at DreamHack, it’s cool, because you get to be up and close with some of the players, I mean, they’re all right here, just hanging out, practising, things like that. I like that opportunity that’s presented, where people who are huge fans of these players get to feel like they are part of everything. As far as DreamHack goes, I really like that.
I don’t really know what I hate about it yet… Nothing in particular. I’ve been having fun so far here, I really enjoy it, I like the atmosphere and it’s just cool to see a lot of passionate fans!
S: Any game that is a guilty pleasure?
T: I occasionally like to play… I always call my handheld games guilty pleasure – on my DS. I play Harvest Moon and I know everybody plays Stardew Valley nowadays, which is cool, but I’m still a huge Harvest Moon fan, I love my little farm life. When I’m travelling, I always pick it up on my 3DS and play it. I guess also The Sims is one of my other guilty pleasure games, because I just have so much fun. When I’m just not in the mood to do anything too strenuous, like SC2 or even Overwatch sometimes, I’ll just play The Sims and just chill, make my family and it’s always fun. (laughs) I don’t always tell people that I play Sims all the time, so I guess it’s my guilty pleasure also. I love building and decorating! And in Sims 4, I almost forgot, they just have so much more stuff. The Sims have really evolved, with building and decorating! You could spend hours, just building, never mind the family.
S: Any stream/streamer that is a guilty pleasure?
T: Uhm… I’m trying to think. I mean I mostly watch SC2 streams. I am the most boring person to interview, I’m like SC this, SC that! (laughs) I mean, I watch all of my subs, so everybody I’m subbed to, I go watch. Those are my favourite streamers, Rotterdam, Nathanis, Fenner, and Fredsauce. Those are my four, I always watch them. But other than that, I don’t really. I mean, the Twitch scene, I don’t really follow it too much, I don’t really watch streamers outside of SC2, so I mostly follow that scene. But I know there’s a whole other world of variety streamers, HS, CS:GO, etc.
S: How many events like this have you been to?
T: Well, I’ve been to so many regular gaming events, like PAX, E3, even like Comiccons have gaming stuff now and I’ve worked so many of those events, but it’s different from an eSports event. So I’ve only been to a few of those, mostly SC2 eSports events, like Red Bull BattleGrounds, Blizzcon and now DreamHack. It’s different. They have the show floor, which you would see at a regular gaming event, but then there are all these stages and arenas for people to actually watch games and that’s not something that you see at regular gaming events. I mean, you see it a little more now, but it’s very different, but it’s also cool. It’s kind of the same crowd of people, the same nerds, you know, excited, gaming fans, passionate people. It’s the same atmosphere, but just a little bit different in some ways.
S: Is this your first DH?
T: Yep, this is my first one, since they’re all in Europe for the most part. I’m so happy that they finally are adding some in North America. A lot of the people that I talk to that are North American tell me that it’s their first DreamHack and a lot of people have the same sentiment as me.
S: What do you look forward to the most for this event?
T: Again, SC2 is my main thing. (laughs.) There are a lot of games that they’re playing this weekend, they’re in the round of 16 right now, they had to do eight best-of-fives today (Saturday, May 6th), which is a super long day. But there are a lot of non-Korean players this weekend, so that has a lot of people going: “Wow, this is a little bit different.” You’re used to seeing more Korean players and now it’s just giving a lot of the foreign scene and the Europeans a chance to show their stuff. I’ve been enjoying them strut their stuff and they’re all here, they all come from Europe, they’re here in America, they’re ready to play. And a bunch of them are going to DreamHack Tours next week. So it makes me realize that, wow, the life of a pro-gamer is really crazy. They’re travelling a lot and I get to see how they bring all of their equipment and set everything up. It’s been really cool, I’ve been enjoying all the SC2 games so far, but there’s still a lot to go.
S: Your best memory of gaming/eSports?
T: I would probably say doing my first cast, last year at the launch of Rainbow 6: Siege, which was November last year. They had this big launch event called Siege Day where all of these players from all of these big gaming events came together and they did a big tournament. I wasn’t supposed to cast it originally, but one of the guys had to drop out, so they called me a week before, asking me if I would be able to cast the Siege Day event. I was super nervous, I had never done anything like this before. I’d done interviews and on-camera stuff, but I’d never actually done a live cast, so I was very nervous, but it was so much fun! I got to be introduced a little to the world of casting a FPS competitive game for the first time. It was really, really fun and I would love to continue with something like that. Even hosting events, like just hosting or casting, that kind of stuff is fun. It’s been a really fun and exciting day and it’s probably my favourite memory for sure.
S: Other hobby/passion not related to gaming?
T: I am a big sci-fi nerd. I mean, yes, definitely in gaming, I’m a big sci-fi nerd, but outside of that, I love to watch sci-fi movies, read sci-fi books, or watch shows. My favourite show, Battlestart Galactica, I love that show. I love Star Trek. I like to watch some of the older shows. I’m a big, big nerd as far as that goes. The Dune trilogy is one of my favourite reads. So, big sci-fi nerd outside of gaming! (laughs)
S: Final words?
T: I guess I’m very excited to continue this year. I have some cool things coming up for the summer with Ubisoft, still working with them. So I’m actually really excited about that. It should be a very eventful, maybe even stressful year, but I’m looking forward to getting more involved with some more Ubisoft titles in the future!
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