John Bain (game commentator)
Bain broadcasting at PAX 2012
8 July 1984 |
Newcastle upon Tyne, England
|Residence||Concord, North Carolina, U.S.|
|Other names||TotalBiscuit, The Cynical Brit, TotalHalibut|
|Occupation||Professional esports Caster and video game commentator|
|Known for||esports commentary, Video Game first impressions|
John Bain (born 8 July 1984), commonly known by his online alias TotalBiscuit, TotalHalibut and The Cynical Brit, is a British gaming commentator/critic on YouTube, and is known for being a professional caster for games such as StarCraft II and PlanetSide 2, as well as for his regular gaming commentary videos. According to Eurogamer, his video commentary on newly developed indie games and analysis of gaming news has led to him having a cult-like following. On 13 March 2013, he hit the milestone of one million subscribers on his YouTube channel, for which he released a half hour long video talking about many aspects of his life.
- 1 Biography
- 2 World of Warcraft
- 3 Notable series
- 3.1 First impressions
- 3.2 Series
- 3.3 News and comment
- 3.4 The Co-Optional Podcast
- 3.5 Discontinued Series
- 4 Casting
- 5 Popularity and accolades
- 6 Sponsorships
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Bain's broadcasting career started off when he was studying law at De Montfort University, where he hosted an extreme metal music show. In 2005, Bain produced the 'Blue Plz' podcast, which he described as being "the most popular solo hosted show about World of Warcraft on the internet." Bain also ran "WoW Radio", an internet podcast website dedicated to World of Warcraft, from 2005 to 2010. The radio got enough publicity to incite a reaction from Blizzard Entertainment, the developer and publisher of World of Warcraft, which invited him to the annual BlizzCon event in 2005 to provide coverage of the event.
In 2010 during the height of the Great Recession, Bain was sacked by his employer, a financial advisory company. His unemployment coincided with the beta release of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, and Bain started producing and uploading videos of himself talking over gameplay on YouTube hoping to earn money through the website's ad-revenue system. In the following weeks, popularity of Bain's videos skyrocketed. A StarCraft 2 commentator by the online alias of HuskyStarcraft approached Bain and invited him to The Game Station (now Polaris), a network of gaming channels on YouTube.
World of Warcraft
"Totalhalibut" (as his main character name was within World of Warcraft) frequented the Mazrigos EU server, leading raids for (among others) NWO (New World Order) and Lethe. During his active time as a World of Warcraft player, Totalhalibut would feature prominently on WCradio, as well as release various videos, some of which featured him exposing a cheating character/account and playing around with them.
WTF Is... is a series where Bain gives his first impressions of video games in beta and games that have been recently released, explaining what the games are about and showing viewers gameplay footage. The series' music was composed and performed by Charlie Parra del Riego.
There are different iterations of this series on occasion, such as WTF Is...Free Edition and WTF Is...WifeTF Edition, among others. These videos follow the same style as the original WTF Is... series, but with some minor tweaks such as reviewing a free game or playing with his wife, Genna Bain.
Terraria with Jesse Cox
On 22 May 2011, Bain began uploading a Let's Play of the game Terraria with Jesse Cox as the co-caster with whom he has become close friends. Bain has recently said that he hates the series, mainly due to the fact of its spawning "terrible" memes and catchphrases (for example "That's what he said about her!").
At The Game Station podcast panel @ PAX it was said during the Q&A section that the reason they stopped doing it is because they are going to be doing a new series based on a new game called Starbound.
It was verified by both Bain and Jesse Cox that their Terraria series would be continued with a new season when the new Terraria 1.2 update got its release on 1 October 2013.  On September 22 he announced that the series would resume even sooner than previously announced and the following day mentioned that recording had begun.
News and comment
Content Patch is Bain's topical gaming news show, where he rounds up the day's events in the gaming scene and gives his opinion and insight on stories. The first episode aired on 30 October 2012, after the conclusion of his previous series, The Mailbox. On the April 15 edition of Content Patch, the OC ReMix Track of the Day feature was added, closing out every show with video game music arrangements spanning a wide variety of games and genres. During Pax Bain does a spin off show called Content Pax that overrides Content Patch, which only includes information gained or released at Pax.
The Co-Optional Podcast
Bain is one of the hosts of The Co-Optional Podcast (previously named The Game Station Podcast), a gaming news and discussion podcast featuring members of the Polaris YouTube network, along with fellow YouTubers Jesse Cox and Brooke "Dodger" Leigh Lawson. The podcast usually features one guest host, which, after a sour incident involving a guest on episode 59 of The Game Station Podcast, was mostly restricted to other members of the Polaris (then called The Game Station) network.
Initially called "An early look at", "Alpha Strike" is a series in which Bain takes a look at video games that are in alpha/beta and are too early in the development process to fully critique. The term "Alpha strike" is a reference to the MechWarrior series.
From early December 2010 to Spring of 2011 TotalBiscuit had a series called Azeroth Daily, a daily Mon - Friday show about World of Warcraft. which showed news, The Daily Grind,'The Daily Blues'; a portion dedicated to finding interesting Blue Posts by community managers on the US and EU battle.net sites for World of Warcraft, the Mailbox where he would answer user submitted questions about World of Warcraft. There were also rotation features throughout the week. Which were, in no particular order, Court of Lore, Achievement Hog, Raid or Die, Machinimonday and Mod your WoW. There was also a segment named 'Postcards from Azeroth', in which he asked the viewers for Screenshots taken within the world of Azeroth based on a topic, and sent to his FB page in the allocated spot.
The Mailbox was a series of videos by Bain where he answered viewer-submitted questions and gave his thoughts and opinions on them. It was the direct successor to Azeroth Daily, replacing the World of Warcraft-centric show after John lost interest in the game. The audio for the videos was him reading the questions and giving answers while the video was footage from a game he had recently been playing. The series was discontinued in October 2012 at episode 200, when Bain decided most questions became repetitive in the way that they were becoming alternative forms of questions that were already answered in previous episodes. This series was replaced by Content Patch.
Total Digestive was a weekly video series by Bain, rounding up all of the videos he has uploaded in the past week. The first episode aired on April 28, 2013. Bain tweeted that the video series was part of an effort to improve the way that the channel provided content. The series was discontinued after 3 episodes, Bain saying that the series was "not well received" and he did not consider it worth the time and effort.
Dota 2 - Hyper-incompetent Single Draft Disaster
Dota 2 - Hyper-incompetent Single Draft Disaster was a series of videos where Bain plays the "single draft" mode of Dota 2. He is restricted to a choice of three of the game's heroes. As well as never playing the same hero twice, Bain would only use the default build put into the game by Dota 2's developer Valve, or one of the many user-created guides. Being able to only play a hero once means the series would end at some point (although there are over 100 heroes).
Why do I own...
Why do I own... was a spin-off of the WTF Is series. Instead of giving his impressions on games that are either recently released or close to release, he gave his first impressions on video games he currently owns, but has never played, in his Steam library. On 9 March 2013, Bain tweeted that Why do I own... would be stopped, because it is "inherently flawed" and that he has "come up with a better idea to replace it". Five days later, on 14 March, he announced in his vlog that the replacement series could show alternatives to new games. Only three Why do I own... videos were produced before it was stopped.
SHOUTcraft Invitational 1
An 8-man invitational tournament organised and cast by Bain. The event lasted a day, 12 June 2011, and used a single elimination, best of 5 format. The final game was a best of 7. 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th went to Nerchio, MorroW, MaNa and White-Ra respectively.
SHOUTcraft Invitational 2
An 8-man invitational tournament organised and cast by Bain, with Apollo co-casting. The event lasted two days, 23–24 July 2011, and used a single elimination, best of 5 format. The final game was a best of 7. 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th went to Socke, dde, Sheth and MorroW respectively.
SHOUTcraft Invitational 3
An 8-man invitational tournament organised and cast by Bain, with Apollo co-casting. The event lasted two days, 10–11 September 2011, and used a single elimination, best of 5 format. The final game was a best of 7. The tournament featured a "Tip Jar" allowing viewers to donate money towards the prize-pool or directly to players, $1314 were donated as tips. 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th went to Socke, dde, White-Ra and TLO respectively.
SHOUTcraft Invitational 4
An 8-man invitational tournament organised and cast by Bain, with Apollo co-casting. The event lasted two days, 14–15 January 2012, and used a different format than the previous three. Instead of being single elimination the contestants were divided into two even groups, A and B, and every player played a best of 3 against every other player in their group. The top two from each group moved on to the next round with the bottom two being eliminated, the groups were then mixed for the semifinals, 1A against 2B and 2A against 1B, and the tournament continued as normal. The semifinals were played as best of 5s, while the final game was a best of 7. The tournament featured a "Tip Jar" allowing viewers to donate money towards the prize-pool or directly to players. 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th went to Stephano, ThorZaIN, Ret and Grubby respectively.
SHOUTcraft Invitational 5
A 5-man invitational tournament organised and cast by Bain, with Mike "Husky" Lamond co-casting. The event lasted for one day. A round robin format was used wherein each player will face every player and the two players with the most number of wins will advance to the finals. In case of a tie, the map score of the two players will be checked. The player with the highest map score is declared the winner between the two. The round robin was played as best of 1 while the finals was played as best of 5. 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th went to Ryung, Crank, Heart, and MMA respectively.
Bain partnered with Sony Online Entertainment for the 2012 E3 event where he cast show attendees playing PlanetSide 2 at the SOE booth. He also broadcast the game at PAX 2012 and commentated the SOE Live Auraxian Challenge tournament in Las Vegas.
Popularity and accolades
The main source of his publicity comes from his primary YouTube channel where he posts what he describes as "variety gaming content", as part of the YouTube gaming network Polaris (formerly TheGameStation). He has been described by a Eurogamer journalist as being "champion of indie gaming" and YouTube's foremost "love him or hate him" personality. The same critic suggested his online popularity is due to his voice having a "tone of authority".
He was a runner-up in the Golden Joystick 2012, in category Greatest YouTube Gamer. He has been recognized on several prominent gaming sites including Technorati and Eurogamer. Bain won the 2012 Battle Royale organised by King of the Web and donated his $47,000 winnings to charity: water.
In February 2012, Bain announced that he would be sponsoring team-dignitas player BlinG, saying: "The StarCraft community has given a lot to me and in turn I've had the opportunity to give back with SHOUTcraft Invitational. Now it is time to take it one step further and directly support a UK talent that I believe has the potential to be one of the best foreigners in the world.".
The current Axiom roster consists of AxCrank, AxAlicia, AxHeart, AxRyung, and AxImpact. They banded together with Acer to form the team Axiom-Acer, to participate in the GOMTV Global StarCraft II Team League. On 25 February, Axiom announced SC2links.com as a new community sponsor as well, and on 17 March Bain and Axiom announced Sony Online Entertainment and their game Planetside 2 as the team's premier sponsor.
- Porter, Will. "The cult of TotalBiscuit". Euro Gamer. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
- Bain, John. "1 Million Subscribers Vlog". Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- JP McDaniel (2012-06-23). "Real Talk with TotalBiscuit". Retrieved 2013-04-07.
- "The Cynical Brit - Blue Plz". Callisto. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
- Bain, Genna. "YouTube Playlist Depicting Genna's Adventures Living With John". YouTube. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- Bain, Genna. "Orion Plays StarCraft 2". YouTube. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- "Terraria on indefinite hiatus as TotalBiscuit mentions Starbound"
- "Total Digestive - Episode 1". YouTube. 2013-04-28. Retrieved 2013-06-26.
- "Twitter / Totalbiscuit: As part of continuing efforts". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2013-06-26.
- "Reddit / Total Digestive died?". reddit.com. Retrieved 2013-06-28.
- Why do I own is an inherently flawed series, I've come up with a better idea to replace it Totalbiscuit on Twitter. 2013-03-09. Retrieved 2013-03-21.
- VLOG - 1 million subscribers on YouTube
- Why do I own… playlist on YouTube
- "PlanetSide 2 teams up with TotalBiscuit". 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
- Bain, John. "ShootMania Tournament - Match 1". YouTube. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
- "Golden Joystick Award Winners 2012". Retrieved 2012-11-13.
- "An Interview With John "TotalBiscuit" Bain - Technorati Gaming". Technorati.com. 2011-09-12. Retrieved 2013-06-26.
- Porter, Will (2012-11-14). "The cult of TotalBiscuit • Articles •". Eurogamer.net. Retrieved 2013-06-26.
- "Battle Royale 2012 results page". Retrieved 2012-11-07.
- "TotalBiscuit to sponsor BlinG". Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- "Crank Offered Sponsorship from TotalBiscuit for MLG Raleigh". Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- "Definitive esports news article- Axiom esports announced". Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- "Axiom Player Roster on Liquipedia". Retrieved 2014-02-03.
- "Axiom to participate in the GSTL". Retrieved 2013-03-28.