Interview with Karam “KYAN1TE” Kabbara, the guy who evolved from a casual commentator to the new face of NIP TV

So we got the opportunity to have a little chat with Karam "KYAN1TE" Kabbara, one of the rising commentators of CS GO today. Among many things we talked about his journey from doing casting for fun to becoming the new face of NIPTV, his thoughts on the NA scene , importance of an analyst in events and what we can expect from the new NIPTV casting duo or as we like to call them 'ChewwyN1TE' ! So without any further due let us begin ! introducing-kyan1te Zenith: So let’s start with the obvious questions that you have been asked a million times before! How did you get into casting, when did you start thinking about it seriously and How did you and Matt end up as a commentating duo ? IMG_1327 KYAN1TE: You hit the nail on the head regarding this being something I've been asked a gazillion times before haha, so I'm going to keep it nice and short. Basically, I played CS for a very long time. I used to mess around when playing with friends, imitating caster voices etc. Eventually I got asked to try doing it with my own voice, people liked it but I pretty much quit all CS related things to focus on real life. A few years later, I randomly got contacted to commentate i49 because someone dropped out and someone recommended me. It was a bit weird because I hadn't actually played CS:GO whatsoever prior to the event - I was calling the P2000 back then a bloody USP to put things in to context haha :D! But yeah, I got asked a few months down the line to then cast an epic LAN and then started mingling with some online streaming stuff and one thing lead to another I guess. As for me and Matt, I followed him on Twitter a long time back because he was a prominent COD caster and he followed me back. I eventually started tweeting out I think it was when I was going live and he contacted me and asked if he could cast with me since I was solo back then. So he started casting with me, we gelled really well both casting wise and personality wise and yeah... the rest is pretty self-explanatory really. Zenith: How did it feel to cast matches for ESL ONE COLOGNE, I think it’s safe to say that was one of your biggest events till date ? KYAN1TE:  It was pretty nice to be asked to be the secondary English stream. At the end of the day it's all experience and it all results in feedback and helps us both improve, as well as watch some top teams play great counter-strike! Zenith: As casters you guys have to devote a lot of time into online games and travel to a LAN events, how much does this affect your personal life? All the Pro Gamers I have interviewed say that they have had to sacrifice a lot in order to pursue their goals, but are casters affected nearly as much? KYAN1TE: Well most LAN events occur on weekends, so we have to obviously sacrifice our time, but at the end of the day casting is something we love to do, so it's not really time wasted! I wouldn't say it really affects my personal life, even though some people might find it hard to believe. Zenith: If you were to convince a person who doesn’t play CS GO to watch a match, how would you do that? KYAN1TE:  I'd tell them to watch Walle's ace clutch against Pentagram and if it doesn't excite them or make them feel intrigued to watch more, then they have no soul: D Zenith: Who are your favorite commentators in Esports? Who are the guys you look at and go, damn these guys are really good? 6489907223_b8a7dcd1b2_z KYAN1TE:  Pretty self-explanatory really. ReDeYe, Tosspot & Joe Miller... need I say more? I think it's fair to say that all casters look up to them as idols for obvious reasons and I always watch Vitriolic at Tex 09 for some great nostalgia! Zenith: How important do you think it is to have an analyst at a CS GO event, do you think it affects the viewer experience as a whole? anaylyst KYAN1TE:  Personally, as a viewer I love watching/listening to a Play by Play + Colour duo. As for analysts, I thought the Lurppis + Thorin duo was brilliant at the FaceIT S2 finals. The historical knowledge & statistics they bring really raises the viewer experience to another level and is intriguing even for those who have played the game for a long time. Some people aren't big fans of the whole analysis/statistical ordeal - but they're probably those people who pre-record Match of the Day and just watch the highlights and fast forward through the punditry - I'm not like that. I think the presence of analysts also helps to enhance the viewer’s knowledge too, so yes there are many great benefits and the analysts play a key role alongside the play by play casters and hosts. Zenith: With the recent iBuyPower changes and MLG finally getting involved what are your thoughts on the NA scene right now? Also what are your thoughts on the Asian scene of CS GO, so far no Asian team has been able to make any significant mark in the international scene. So if they were to truly start competing with NA and maybe even EU teams of CS GO, where should they start? KYAN1TE: The NA scene just keeps growing and growing. A lot of the players like mOE, Steel, Tarik, n0thing etc. stream a lot and all are interesting characters as well as being top competitive players so I think it's great they are starting to get more coverage and more opportunities to come over to Europe and flex their guns. We've seen some of them compete at majors and pull off upsets - as they are often viewed as underdogs for several obvious reasons - and I think we all end up wanting them to win because naturally we all always want an underdog to do well and simultaneously fans of these characters will want to see the people they like win. So yeah I think the NA scene is looking good and I think it's safe to say we're all really looking forward to seeing how things develop after the iBP reshuffle! As for the Asian scene, I can't really give any proper insight or informed reasoning on why I think CS: GO isn't as big over there, I've never really considered it in detail. My guess is that over there, free to play games are much more popular. We know that CS was popular over there once upon a time, so maybe if we can crack what the issue is, CS: GO can grow even further, which it should to be honest regardless of region.

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  • Hasib Hasan Shovon

    Wow! good stuff.

  • Steve Wreckers

    Good stuff, but I doubt they will be able to match the guys from RoomOnfire

  • Simon Henson

    Learned a lot about Karam always thought he deserved more than he got, not sure about chewy though. Then again that is probably because I hate cod

  • Simon Reckers

    Good Interview as usual, why was I not able to comment on the site before though ?

    • XGZenith

      Well we had some problems with the site due to excessive Spam, it is all sorted out now though. So yeah everything should be back to normal