Top Player Breakdown #3 Feat. Nekkra!

Hello everyone and welcome to the next installment of Top Player Breakdown! This is a series in which I will interview top players about how they approach the game, their mindset, tips for players looking to improve, breakdown of the current meta game and more! Today’s guest is none other than the commentary phenomenon, Nekkra!

I first met you back in 2014 at the US nationals when you were competitor and since then you have gone on to create an amazing career as a multi game commentator who seems to be on every major broadcast we see. I would like to start off by asking you a few questions regarding this amazing career you have built.

Nekkra: Great!

Most people don’t feel they have a knack for commentary when they first start, but some move past that and become pins in their community. What was the mindset you were in when you decided to begin taking the journey down this path?

Nekkra: When I first started I had a lot of support from friends, family, and other people in the industry which really built up my confidence. My first experience was at the 2015 Fort Wayne Regional Championship, and it never dawned on me that it was something I could turn into a career until I went to Blizzcon 2018. At that event I got to see what esports was really all about, big stages, big personalities, big crowds, and it showed me that there was a path I could take to do commentary full time.

What advice would you give to aspiring commentators who either just started or are considering the idea but aren’t sure where to begin or what they should be focusing on?

Nekkra: The best advice I can give is to just try it, and try a lot of different areas of esports. If you’re just trying to enter the esports scene there are a lot more ways to be a part of it than just being a commentator or competitor, such as being a social media manager, filming, or managing a team. You never know what is going to stick, for me I was a talent manager, then a community manager, then a commentator I also tried out the social media managing and it was commentary that ended up sticking. I didn’t go into it thinking I was going to a commentator, but as the gigs came in and I got more experience I started to realize that “hey this may be an avenue that I can carve out a niche for myself.” Outside of that I would always say know what you’re worth and make sure people aren’t taking advantage of you.

Should beginner commentators be thinking about knowing your worth in terms of being compensated for their time, or should they be looking to get as many gigs as possible even if it isn’t a paying gig to start getting experience?

Nekkra: Yes when you are beginning any experience you can get will be extremely valuable to your career. If you are doing it for free, know what you are getting out of it, whether that is experience, exposure, getting your name out there, those can only help you find the bigger gigs and make those connections.

When it comes to chasing any goal or dream in life do you have any separate advice from the previous question or do the same steps/mindset apply?

Nekkra: My advice towards chasing goals is don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone. There were a lot of times I got gigs that I didn’t think I was ready for and I would have imposter syndrome, but it only helped me become a better commentator and host. For example I had little knowledge of Team Fight Tactics when I was the desk host for the NA and that was a very daunting gig because I have never been a desk host before so I didn’t know what to expect. Pushing myself out of that comfort zone that was really influential in seeing myself doing bigger things in the future.

As someone who has experienced the online and live circuit as both a competitor and commentator do you have any advice for the newer players who have only played in the online circuit when transitioning back into the live circuit?

Nekkra: Online tournaments are great because it lowers the bar of entry for new players to get into the scene. I encourage all of the new players who have found this online circuit to be fun to go to a live event and play the game it was meant to be played which is staring down your opponent before turn 1 and meeting all these amazing people that are at the event as well as all the friends you made online.

I have seen many of the previously mentioned newer players express that they feel they have joined the game too late to be able to become a top level player. What advice would you give to those looking to make it big in the upcoming VGC seasons?

Nekkra: Keep playing in as many tournaments as possible and try to rack up as many successes and experiences as you can so that when the live circuit comes back you are fully prepared. You never know when you may get pulled up onto stream, or have your big breakout day and that’s when you really start to make a name for yourself. Online tournaments are great but live tournaments are where it really matters and you want to be as prepared as you can be for when your opportunity arises. 

Players Cup 4 is just a few weeks away and many players are grinding every day to find the perfect team. Do you have any teams, cores, or individual Pokémon that you expect to make a big splash in this event?

Nekkra: Yes I do! Some of the Pokémon I expect to be really influential are Grimmsnarl, Garchomp, Celesteela, Venusar, Togekiss, and maybe even Zapdos. I think those are going to be the heavy hitters especially when you look at the hyper offensive Spectrier/Celesteela cores, offensive Celesteela which is really making its way back into the scene. Thank you for no more Celesteela stall mirrors!! And then of course you have your double horse teams (Glastrier/Spectrier), Sun (Torkoal/Venusaur/Charizard), and looking at Grimmsnarl it is such a powerful and influential Pokémon that it will make a splash on many teams. 

Since you are a collector of Eeveelution plushies, which is your favorite eeveelution and why?

Nekkra: My favorite is Sylveon, the reason why is because the way it evolves by max happiness makes me so happy, and plus the style of the Pokémon really fits my aesthetic. 

If you haven’t already make sure to follow Nekkra on all of her social media platforms!






Thank you for reading today’s article! If you enjoyed please give this post a share, or consider checking out my social media for more VGC improvement content. You can find my twitter here, YouTube here, and my twitch channel here. I hope you enjoyed and I wish you a fantastic day!

Published by Primitive

My name is Michael, but if you know my from competitive gaming you probably know me as Primitive. I'm a life long competitor in various card games, and turn based games who still has the burn to compete and work to be my best. I have been on a health and fitness journey since February 2018 and it is now one of my burning passions, making one of my new major goals to become a personal trainer to help others see the benefits exercise and nutrition can bring!

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