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This is the eighth entry in the Casting the Games series.
Day. The Man. The Myth. The Thought Hammer.
Day (aka Sean Plott) is a full time professional StarCraft shoutcaster and also the man behind the Day Daily, an internet television show centered mostly around StarCraft II. It airs live every Sunday through Thursday at 7PM PST at twitch.tv/day9tv. (Warning: some videos contain profanity)
A bit of background information: Sean Plott was born in 1986 and raised in Leawood, Kansas. Early in life, he and his brother Nick “Tasteless” Plott developed a love for the game StarCraft which was released in 1998. Both Nick and Sean spurred each other to get better at StarCraft and it was something that they both eventually turned into careers (I’ll be talking about Tasteless in a future Casting the Games). Sean then attended Harvey Mudd College and got his undergraduate in mathematics and then pursued a masters degree in interactive media at the University of Southern California. While still in college, Sean began creating what would become the Daily. Also during his college days he participated in a great deal of tournaments notably doing well in the World Cyber Games from 2004 to 2006. He is now one of the rising stars in the world of eSports. Sean has been featured in Forbes and also appeared on Forbes’ ‘30 under 30’ list. He’s pretty great.
I’ve made it no secret in past Casting the Games that Day is one of my favorite shoutcasters/video game celebrities out there and I am overjoyed that I get to tell you why.
1. He is funny.Sean Plott is one funny dude. Notable lines from various Day Daily’s include: “Boner Amanda.” “That's a terrible proxy! That's so terrible, my grandpa could proxy better than that. He has arthritis too. And he's dead." "Probes are a lot like popcorn to banshees, if you eat popcorn with missiles." "For the record, I am wearing pants. But you don't know that. I would never lie to you, but I might not be wearing pants." If you didn’t understand any of the StarCraft related quotes, you’ll understand this video:
2. He is good at StarCraft. Day is a boss at StarCraft and StarCraft II, no matter what he might say to the contrary. He began his career in StarCraft II as a competitive gamer, participating in many tournaments and winning the World Cyber Games in 2005 while playing StarCraft: Brood War. He hasn’t returned to the competitive circuit since beginning the Daily in 2009. 3. He is just a guy.As weird as it might sound as a reason to enjoy a shoutcaster, it is really refreshing to see a person who is not afraid to simply be their self. Though he does focus on StarCraft II, he is not afraid to talk about his own life (although sometimes altering names so people aren’t stalked). He will take small breaks in the middle of his show and relate a StarCraft strategy to a relationship or awkward moment from his past. He doesn’t come across as some distant teacher living in his ivory tower on the moon. He’s just a guy who knows more than you and wants to help you get better and make you laugh.
4. He is committed and hard working.One thing that people usually say when I tell them that there is actually a job where people provide commentary similar to sports commentators is that it must be a wonderful job. While I agree that it is probably one of the most ballin’ of ballin’ jobs, it takes a crazy amount of work to set yourself up to work that job. It is important to remember that Day doesn’t make tons of money off of shoutcasting at tournaments, and even less doing the Daily. As he gets more well known, he does make more money, but he has made hundreds of videos on a consistent schedule for years and is only now able to make a career out of it by making money. By being consistent and working hard he attracts loyal viewers. In fact, a portion of his income comes from donations from those viewers.5. He has a brilliant laugh.
If you have never tried I’ll tell you. It is really hard to describe a person’s laugh. The best I can do in the case of Day is that his laugh is incredibly infectious. Below you will find a great example of what I am talking about:
To date, the Day Daily has over 420 installments and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. That is not counting all the other non-Daily related content that Day puts out like casting tournaments at events like MLG or his own events like the After Hours Gaming League, commentaries over other games that aren’t StarCraft related like Skyrim or Amnesia: The Dark Descent, and even philosophical musings. These are all terribly interesting to listen to and watch, trust me I’ve watched it all. A good way to describe the Daily is as an edutainment webcast. It both entertains and teaches valuable StarCraft skills. Another fun fact about the Daily is that it is rather popular. The kind of popular which garners around five million views a month. Now I know how much everyone loves lists so here are the reasons you should watch the Day Daily (along with a second list):
1. It stars Day.See the last list.2. It is live (mostly).For the most part, Day does his show live and puts the recording in the archives over on blip.tv or on his YouTube channel. When his schedule doesn’t permit, he sometimes records an additional Daily to fill the gap in the broadcast schedule. What is great about watching the Daily live is being able to interact with Day through the chat and watching pre and post show exchanges. Having a show live brings out slip ups like the infamous “number J” slip-up that is now referenced in awesome captions across the internet.
3. It is free.One of my favorite things in the universe is free things that don’t suck. The Day Daily falls under that category. In fact, it doesn’t suck so much that I actually pay an optional subscription fee to be a premium member in the live stream chat. To reiterate: I pay for something that is otherwise free, simply because I like it so much. If you find that Day isn’t your cup of tea, it is free. You lose nothing by checking it out. Go watch it.
4. It pushes eSports coverage.I love watching eSports. For those of you unfamiliar with it, eSports is competition in the realm of video games. This encompasses Halo, Call of Duty, League of Legends, and StarCraft II. It is exciting. It might not have the sweat and blood and grass stains like your typical sports, but it could be likened to mental combat. To me, StarCraft II is like chess. Except in space. And both players are playing at the same time. And you can’t see what your opponent is doing. And it has explosions. It is all about strategy and outmaneuvering your adversary. The Day Daily brings more attention to this lesser known aspect of gaming and I like that.
5. It makes you better at StarCraft.Each week has a few recurring segments: Funday Monday, Newbie Tuesday, and (on occasion) Friendday Wednesday. Funday Monday places optional restrictions on players that stretches participants their skills and tactical abilities (as well as spawning a rather large shipload of hilarious replays). Newbie Tuesday is specifically made for people to watch and get better at StarCraft II. Viewers send in replays of themselves playing normal games that meet the criteria of the week and the thought hammer gives tips and advice on what is going wrong and advice on how to fix the problem and avoiding it in the future. Friendday Wednesday is an opportunity to learn from a practicing professional player who would guest on the show. I can say from experience that watching the Daily and absorbing the information does improve your StarCraft II game. When I started watching I was a bronze ranked player and after watching for two months I had moved up into gold.
I reached out and was able to get in contact with Day’s people and through a relay of emails he agreed to answer a few of my questions.
Read the Q&A with Day after the jump!