For those who do not know me, I am Lord Christopher Ian “Tetcher” Ivermee. Did you know you can just buy lordships? I am an ex-StarCraft and Hearthstone caster, ex-player manager for multiple teams, and currently a caster for HGC China and the HGC EU Open Division. I am here to tell you what it is like to go to my first BlizzCon after seven years in the industry.

Blizzard sent me an invite to cast this year’s HGC Finals at midnight, September 6th. This isn’t unusual, because of how the time zones line up with Los Angeles. I woke up my housemate with my excitement then spent the night tossing and turning, thinking about what was to come.

Rehearsal day started off a bit rough. Room service came through and made me jump while I was shaving, which removed part of my eyebrow. Thankfully, my talent manager taught me how to draw on eyebrows. I wasn’t feeling great about it but a combination of sympathy and laughter from my fellow casters helped. Around this time, I was also asked to be on the panel with Jaycie "Gillyweed" Gluck, Kevin Michael Johnson, and Kyle Dates to talk about Orphea! I eagerly accepted.

We did the rehearsal, and afterwards I headed to the Con Before the Storm with Josh “Jhow” Howard. Oh my gosh, that was intense. I was mentally exhausted afterwards. Meeting so many cool people and hearing so many good things was both a huge morale boost but also incredibly humbling. I would be lying if I didn’t say I felt something similar to imposter syndrome, but I was having fun nonetheless. I popped into the community party shortly after, and then it was time to get some rest before the big show.

The Big Show

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BlizzCon morning, Wade “Dreadnaught” Penfold warned me that I was about to feel like a rock star for being able to skip the line outside. He was kind of right, but at that point my nervousness was growing stronger.

Jhow and I snuck into the crowd for the opening ceremony. The second the music started, I realized I was going to need a makeup touch-up. In that moment, it hit me. After seven long years, I was here. I was finally here at the biggest event of the year with people who shared my passion. I stayed for the Heroes announcement—the Heroes stage crowd went crazy for Janitor Leoric and it was awesome!—before heading backstage to get ready.

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It felt like I blinked, and I was on desk for my cast. Before we started, I looked behind me at the crowd, feeling terrified as Kevin introduced the teams. I looked to my right and saw Gilly, I looked to my left and saw Wolf "Wolf" Schröder and Skimmy. We shared some “good lucks!” and I looked ahead of me to the camera as Gilly introduced the show.

In that second, all doubts washed away. I was here next to my friends, about to cast teams I have casted many times before, to entertain an audience. I have done this before.

I casted TheOne vs GenG with Wolf and it was mayhem. The cast felt great and ended with hugs and thanks to the people around me who were incredibly supportive. They told me I did well and stopped my nerves from returning as I moved straight to my next mark as analyst.

After that game, I had some time off. I sat down with Gilly to discuss the questions we would ask in the Orphea panel—she is so prepared and easy to work with. Afterwards, I snuck off to play some Orphea to get some knowledge for the panel. I met and played with some of the QA team and had a lot of fun. Skimmy and I wandered off together to watch Australia play South Korea in the OWL World Cup. It was very entertaining, but I think I’m going to stick to Heroes.

The Final Day

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I watched the first match from my bed as I had a later call time and wanted to be rested. Team Liquid and Gen.G got me out of my bed, bouncing around my hotel room with excitement. I got dressed and had a quick chat with Gilly to iron out our final questions before it was time for the panel.

When you are a caster, you cast facing a camera with the audience behind you most of the time. When you go on stage and there is nothing between you and all those people, it is terrifying. I had trouble hearing because we didn’t have headsets, so I had to focus super hard. That took my mind off the thousands of people looking at my mug and my drawn-on eyebrow.

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The panel went by quickly and it was time to get ready for the grand finals. I had my notes, I had my stats, good lucks were shared between Jhow, Gilly, Dreadnaught and myself, and we were off. I was finally zen.

Game 3 featured Team Dignitas’s Jérôme "JayPL" Trinh on Stitches! I was so hyped, and I thought it could be the start of a reverse sweep. Dignitas begin to move to the core to put their first point on the board.

Gilly and I make our way back to the desk as Dread and Jhow called the action. 10 seconds later, Gilly and I looked across the desk at each other in shock as Gen.G moved across the map with 4% on their core. 10 seconds later, it was all over. Gen.G won, and we were all in shock of what we just saw, and excited to celebrate our two-time HGC champion.

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We composed ourselves and started interviewing the victors. I shared a quick hug with Jhow, because he had just finished his first BlizzCon finals cast, and because I was just so proud of him for doing such a great job. I shared another hug with Dreadnaught for killing it as always. Lastly I turned to Gilly for the final hug, but it was a bit unlucky for her as the hug timing lined up with my tears of joy (sorry Gilly). We all shared that event, that moment, before it was time to celebrate and event well done.

Seven years in the making, and I have now seen the convention and performed on the grandest stage Heroes has to offer. All the emotions of the joy of achieving that dream and the mental exhaustion just overwhelmed me.

I feel different after this experience. I feel a bit humbler, and more motivated. I want that experience again. I want to see it all again, I want the convention, the new content, the esports, the ceremony, the crowd, the music, the community, the family! I want it all again.

That’s the beautiful thing about BlizzCon, it’s a once in a lifetime experience that you can have every year.

I miss you BlizzCon, and my BlizzCon family. I hope to see you all soon!