Commentator Agreement and Guidelines

The Oceanink Stream Team consists of Streamers, Recorders and Commentators working together to exhibit players in streams and recordings for the Oceanink Series. The main goal of all Oceanink commentators is to breathe life into the matches exhibited on stream for the enjoyment of the audience.

This being the case, commentators are expected to have a basic understanding of the base game, the ability to properly work with assigned commentary partners as well as be able to effectively communicate ideas to a wide audience.

Being a commentator, you are also often the face of the stream and are thus expected to properly conduct yourself when in the public eye. Below is an outline of what is expected of Oceanink Stream Team commentators.

This page outlines what is involved in commentating for the Oceanink Stream Team. If you are interested in a position as a commentator, please read this page carefully then follow the instructions on the Stream Team page.

Commentator Agreement

The following guidelines apply to all official Oceanink tournaments and are provided to help casters understand the standards expected of them when they represent the Oceanink Community in a public-facing manner.

  1. Casters are expected to abide by the Oceanink Code of Conduct.
  2. Default to referring to players as “they”. If you have spoken with a player about their preferred pronouns you may use the pronouns that they have nominated.
  3. Keep things all-ages, avoid swearing and do not use words that have harmful meanings.
    • For example, don’t use the term “cancer”/”cancerous” to refer to gameplay elements. Not only can it be insensitive, but it’s also a “lazy” way to communicate an idea. Think about how you can explain why you think something is “cancerous” instead.
    • If you slip up it’s ok to briefly acknowledge it and then move on. For example, “Sorry, should have chosen better words”.
    • If you say something that someone takes offence to, it is never appropriate to tell them to “get over it”.
  4. Try and keep an upbeat and positive attitude.
    • For example, rather than talking down players for failed plays talk them up for good ones.
  5. Use official terminology for in-game elements and try to avoid obtuse jargon.
    • Prefer “splat” over “kill”.
    • Nicknames like “chicken” for autobomb are ok where the context/name appear self-explanatory. Introducing an audience to a concept early, for example, “autobomb chicken” or “chicken bomb” will help them to understand later.

Technical Requirements

  • A decent microphone and environment (i.e. audio is clear – not buzzing or randomly cutting in or out, minimal background noise or echo).
  • Internet that can handle doing the following concurrently:
    • Being in a Discord VC with 1-2 other people without audio stuttering/dropping out/becoming robotic (for co-commentating and being recorded).
    • Playing Splatoon (as a spectator) or watching a match stream without disconnects or lag negatively affecting your ability to keep up with the matches.

Knowledge and Skills Requirements

Wondering what you need to know to become a commentator? Here are some basics:

  • Be able to explain each Splatoon 2 mode at a basic level. For example: if someone in chat hasn’t played Rainmaker before, can you tell them enough that they can follow what’s happening?
  • Know all of the maps at least well enough to know objective paths (or zone placements in Splat Zones) and how they differ in different modes (which helps with understanding and describing what a team is doing and predicting game events).
  • Some basic callouts for all the maps so you can describe what’s happening in a match. A helpful resource is the appendix of flc’s Callout Guide. Note: using more complex callouts can confuse viewers so sticking to simpler callouts is good!
  • Know the names of all the weapons (even if we sometimes blank on them when we’re on stream) and at least the kits of the more common weapons.
  • Be able to watch the inkling/octoling icons at the top of the game screen to know how many players are up (so that you can call wipes, changes for pushes, etc.).

Memorising the kits of all the weapons in the game is a nice optional skill to have, especially if you want to specialise more into analytic commentating than “colour” commentary (also called “shout casting”). It can also be helpful to learn common compositions and strategies teams might use so that you can talk about a team’s play in reference to it.

Knowing trivia about the teams you will be commentating (roster, history, recent results, how to pronounce players’ names) can be very helpful too but this isn’t required either (and can be hard to collate!). Though if you don’t know something about a team, we recommend trying to avoid speculating about teams and players (outside of what they’re doing in a match) if possible.

And finally, don’t feel pressured to be constantly reporting on events. Splatoon is fairly easy to watch, so you don’t have to explain everything that happens. Your commentary is there to provide an extra layer to what the viewer can already see!