Michael Williams, better known by his alias “Achieves,” is a 26-year-old professional Rocket League caster who is well known around the Esports scene for commentating Rocket League. He’s a commentator for RLC, RLCS, and CRL! Recently I had the chance to chat with him for a Q&A session!
What is your favorite team to cast from each region you have casted of all past and current teams?
Achieves: I’d have to say my favorite team all time? Probably Dignitas with Kaydop/VP/Turbo. At the time it truly was the peak of Rocket League when they were on top for a good year and a half, and every time I got to cast them I knew it would just be a fantastic showing from them in some form or another.
What LAN’s have you attended?
Achieves: My first LAN was Season 3 and my only LAN as a spectator, and let me tell you, the Wiltern was ELECTRIC. It only held maybe 5,000 people, but since it was so small it was LOUD, awesome spectator experience. Other than that I’ve gone to seasons 6–7–8 as a caster.
How old were you when you started casting?
Achieves: I was… 21 or 22? I believe when I started solo casting the weekly ESL tournaments for one of my friends teams.
What’s your favorite event ever that you have casted?
Achieves: Tough one, probably a split between my first ELEAGUE event in 2017 because it was my first “Mainstream TV” event type of thing, aaaand… the first season of CRL with Corelli and Jorby where we got the new set of the “living room” style vibe. Those two really are two of my favorite people and they make every single cast and hangout a true joy.
What game do you think you would have started casting for if Rocket League didn’t exist?
Achieves: Odd question, I really don’t think I’d have been able to find a game to really “get into casting” if Rocket League hadn’t been around. I suppose the games at the time I would’ve had the most reasonable knowledge in would have been League of Legends or Counter Strike but those games don’t really have openings for casters. Really it was just incredibly fortunate that RL came out and it was brand new and I was just getting into casting right when they started to make the push for it to become a professional league and not just community run events. But, I don’t suppose I could pick any other game than League or CS because I just don’t know enough about other esports apart from those ones to say I’d at least feel comfortable.
What do you hate the most about casting?
Achieves: Theres nothing I truly HATE about casting, I mean I get to geek out about a game I fell in love with when I first picked it up. The background noise around casting is the hard part to manage!
What do you love the most about casting?
Achieves: The people. Unquestionable to be honest. Every single person I’ve had the privilege of working with throughout the entirety of my journey through Rocket League has just been an absolute superstar. From all my good friends who ran Rocket League Central back in the day, to everyone I work with now, they’re all absolute class acts, and I really think you’d be hard pressed to find a more welcoming and friendly group of people in all of gaming in terms of a broadcast team. So a HUGE thank you to everyone who has helped me get to where I am and the people I get the honor of working with.
Do you have any secret advice for hopeful casters?
Achieves: This is a tough one, I’m not sure the path that I took to achieve my position is really all that viable, at least in terms of Rocket League. But I suppose the best advice I could give anyone trying to make it into any broadcast team would be to care. You have to care about the game, if you don’t enjoy the game at a core level that will come out in your broadcast, and people can pick up on that whether it be conscious or subconscious. People are drawn to passion, and your passion for the game will draw people in to the moment you’re all watching. You’re the voice of the moment, if you care about that moment everyone can pick up on that, and that makes whatever the outcome is all the more sweet!
How do you handle downtime?
Achieves: Really its pursuing personal interests. There is time for studying up on RL, and apart from that I’m quite fortunate with this job to have free time to do anything that strikes my fancy, golf is my current project!
How did you get into casting?
Achieves: I literally woke up one day and said “Ya know, I bet I could do that…” and so I had to borrow my roommates PC because mine wasn’t powerful enough to stream at the time and he was an absolute gem about it, and let me hijack his computer every Sunday for anywhere from 2–5 hours! It just came down to thinking I had a skillset that could mesh well with what casting entails, and finding a way to start actually doing it.
If casting wasn’t an opportunity for you, what would you be doing instead?
Achieves: What would I be doing instead, boy, I may have tried my hand at going to professional baseball Umpiring school and seeing if I could land a gig in the majors after 10–15 years of grinding. Maybe I’d have finished my Music Education degree and would be teaching in a music room, its tough to say, but those would be my best guesses!
Do you like casting 1v1, 2v2, or 3v3 the most?
Achieves: Back in the day I really enjoyed casting 2v2 because you got so much individual showcase and opportunities for teamwork. I’ve casted 3v3 for SO long since then though its probably become my favorite just from a lack of doing anything else! Very happy to be doing with Rage Quit with Jorby though to get back into 2v2!
What’s your favorite tournament format to cast?
Achieves: I’m not sure I really have one, the format matters a lot more to the players than it does to me, I’m happy to get to call the game, the format just facilitates the situation, and situations come and go. Group stage, single elimination, double elimination, I mean, what do I care? I get to see good Rocket League!
Do you prefer casting alone or with someone?
Achieves: Definitely with someone else, I can do solo but I think I’m a very reactive type of person to other people. I jokingly call myself a “social vampire” I really just enjoy other people’s energy and I feed into that.
What is your daily routine/schedule like on a normal day?
Achieves: Wake up, eat breakfast, sit at the computer for a couple hours studying stats, or graphs, or playing games. After that I sort of let whimsy take me, do I want to golf? I go golf. Does the missus want to do something? We go find something to do. My only real “routine” is just those first couple hours of the day and then I let life lead me where it will.
If you had to choose one co-caster, who would you choose?
Achieves: Tough one again! I really enjoy working with WavePunk as I’ve had so much time alongside him at this point that we really just understand each other. Not to mention that dude is smart as a whip, I think anyone could throw anything at that dude and he’d handle it with an amazing amount of grace and mental dexterity that is just so impressive to me. But if you didn’t limit me to Rocket League and just said “You get one person in the booth with you forever” I’ll probably end up picking Jorby. That guy always finds something to get excited about, be it in the booth or out of it. He is just so much fun to be around, and I love that energy he brings to everything he does!