moses and Dinko link up as commentary duo
The two will debut as an official pair at IEM Dallas.
Jason "moses" O'Toole and Adam "Dinko" Hawthorne have joined forces as an official commentary duo, revealing the information to HLTV during an exclusive interview conducted during the BLAST.tv Paris Major.
The two previously paired up during IEM Dallas 2022, including a playoff match cast, and have now made that partnership permanent after moses and Anders "Anders" Blume began discussions to switch up their partnership at the start of the year.
"The conversation happened in January, but schedules have worked out this way," moses said regarding how the partnership came about. "Anders and I had a conversation after Christmas, sometime in the first two weeks of January, about how we were going to approach things moving forward.
"We talked about a few different options and ideas and the two of us just came to an agreement and to a point where, with everything that was going on at the time, we would just split off and this was a good time to investigate some new partnerships and casting with new people. You know, your traditional husband and wife breakup — me being the husband."
moses explains that he reached out to Dinko at that point to see what his status was with Henry "HenryG" Greer as the two had been commentating together at the time, and discussions to link up unfolded from there.
"Henry and I had started casting events together as he came back a little bit, but we hadn't gotten the ball rolling with that," Dinko explains. "It didn't look like there were going to be big events on the horizon, we missed out on some big ones and it didn't really look like it was going to take off.
"When Jason came to me it made a lot of sense for the long-term to be with him because he's one of the best to ever do it. We casted a few events last year together, like Dallas, and I really enjoyed that and thought it was really good. The future looked a lot more stable and I think we're going to work well together for the future."
With regard to how some tournament organizers have established relationships with certain caster pairings and how they see their future with that in mind, both moses and Dinko stated that their objectives weren't to align with one or another — "ideally both," as Dinko put it — but rather to focus on becoming comfortable as a duo and establishing themselves going forward, specifically with working on their casts for group stage games.
Dinko added that his goal has always been to be a play-by-play caster, but because of how many duos are already established, it has been hard to break through. "Sometimes if you want to be involved at events, you just have to do other roles. When the opportunity came along to do interviewing with BLAST, that was obviously something I wanted to be involved in, but being a play-by-play caster is the only thing I want to really do moving forward."
On moses' end, he said he is looking forward to the challenge of establishing a branded duo that is of its own stature. "With the way that I bounced around between different roles and different partners early in my career — I've probably casted with more people than anyone in Counter-Strike and done a good job with all of them — but even casting with Anders for 3-4 years straight, there was always that comparison to Anders and Semmler. Casting with Matt [Sadokist] for a year, there was that comparison to Matt and Henry.
"For me, it felt like a good opportunity with someone that I think is good enough to make it happen to actually just say, you know what, I want my own duo and see if we can build that up into a branded duo that can be known as one of the best. Instead of coming in, taking someone's place, and obviously doing a good job and delivering, being able to build it from the ground up, which also involves doing a bit more 'grunt work' versus doing every single big event. For me it was a challenge to see if we together can build this duo and partnership into something that becomes a very popular one for the Counter-Strike community."
Similar sentiments were echoed by Dinko, who said it would be "a real relief" to have something to build upon after two years of slotting into different roles. "I'd like to be a piece of my own masterpiece rather than a piece of someone else's puzzle every single time," he stated.