If you haven't watched a great deal of Counter-Strike before, let me fill you in on a little secret: there's an awful lot of downtime. That's especially the case if you're watching events that aren't being hosted at a major conference or convention. In those cases, the break between halves, pauses or just general downtime often involves just staring at a motionless player.
Fortunately, the lack of action has given rise to something brilliant: DJ Prius. He's one of the observers who controls the spectator camera for ESL/ESEA broadcasts, and he's a bit of a legend.
Whenever there's a large downtime, or nothing happening before or after a match starts, DJ Prius comes into his own. Instead of just taking music requests from the audience or simply doing something quirky, DJ Prius takes a song and synchronises the camera changes to the beat.
It's pretty awesome.
DJ Prius, whose first name is David, told me that he first got into broadcasting over three years ago. "When I was first broadcasting, my internet wasn't good enough to stream," Prius said, "so I would tether off of my cell phone service (Verizon) because I had unlimited data and their upload speeds in my area were fast enough to stream on."
"My first broadcast was a League of Legends tournament and I got like 14,000 viewers ... after that first broadcast I did, I began to love it. Everything about producing a stream and having the chat react to my success and fails was great."
Before too long, he began picking up paid broadcasting gigs and a change of internet providers allowed him to stream without having to tether through his phone. "I then went on to produce weekly tournaments for NACL (North American Challenger League) out of my house so I was always upgrading my setup."
"I would normally put on music like 'A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton'. Chat would react to it by singing it in chat and everyone who was working for the League really loved it," DJ Prius went on.
— DJ (@prius707) November 13, 2013
But how did the beat syncing begin? DJ Prius told me it was nothing more than a good old fashioned case of boredom. "I really like music and I got bored one day when a Monstercat song came on during warmup so I switched to in-game and started pushing the buttons," he explained.
You'll hear Monstercat productions pretty frequently on Twitch, thanks to a policy established in early December that allows Monstercat music to be streamed without violating any copyright restrictions.
The best part of all of this, however, is the fact that it's completely manual. Rather than being clever and coding a script beforehand to perfectly hit the beat of every song, DJ Prius sits there and times the changes with a proficiency that would make an Osu! player proud.
That's best showcased in his crowning achievement to date -- as far as the community is concerned, anyway -- Dragonforce's Through the Fire and Flames.
Being a huge fan of CSGO, I asked DJ Prius what more Valve could add to the iconic shooter to improve things for him and his fellow broadcasters. He replied by saying that the size of the numbers in the HUD could be more legible, on the minimap and the overlay. "Something else that also bugs me for example is on Mirage, when a player is on short and in underpass, they look like they're both next to each other on the minimap," DJ Prius added.
"Something that can fix the confusion is maybe changing the shade of the person's dot depending if they're on an upper or lower level." He added that the game doesn't properly account for the end of knife rounds and warm-up periods, which throws off the numbers and forces the production team to turn the in-game stats off to avoid confusion.
DJ Prius said he's contracted to help out with the rest of the ESEA/ESL Pro League, and hopefully more organisations and tournaments bring him under their wing going forward. His efforts have livened up many a downtime, and the community will undoubtedly look forward to seeing what songs he tackles as the league rolls on.