Born Name: Daniel Stemkoski
Date of Birth: April 6, 1983
Place of Birth: Salem, New Hampshire, United States
Residence: Seoul, South Korea
Education: Salem High School
Other names: "Artosis"
Occupation: Esports commentator
Spouse: Tara Campbell (m. 2013)
Daniel Ray Stemkoski (born April 6, 1983), better known by his nickname Artosis, is an American professional Esports commentator. Together with Nick "Tasteless" Plott, he provides commentary for AfreecaTV Global StarCraft II League games.
Stemkoski was raised in Salem, New Hampshire. In his youth, his interests included skateboarding, basketball, chess tournaments, and competitive strategy games. Sports were his primary interest before he found competitive StarCraft. His consuming interest in playing and studying the game interfered with his high school education, where he failed many of his classes. He graduated from Salem High School in 2002.
Stemkoski was 14 years old when he was introduced to StarCraft at his best friend's house, where he watched his friend play. He received a copy of the game for his 15th birthday and played it casually with friends. When bedridden with a broken ankle and metal implants after a trampoline accident, he began to play StarCraft competitively. While his friends lost interest, he continued to compete over the Internet. Stemkoski has said that after his first year, he had spent about 1,200 hours in-game, up to 16 hours a day, and knew he could play in tournaments. As his StarCraft habits began to affect his life, his parents confiscated his dial-up modem and computer peripherals, which he circumvented with replacements. Despite his parents' requests to desist, Stemkoski decided in high school that he would pursue the game as a career based on the game's popularity in South Korea. At this time, he was ranked as within the top three American StarCraft players. He represented North America twice at the StarCraft World Championships, and competed in the United States finals eight times.
He began a StarCraft tournament in New Hampshire, and was motivated to commentate on the matches by the dearth of English-speaking tournaments. Stemkoski has said that he felt like the game's community deserved more professional commentary, and decided to do it himself. His broadcasts were recorded to a computer and uploaded on the Web. Stemkoski was later approached by Korean broadcasting company International e-Sports Group (IEG) in 2008, and accepted their offer. He was the second Western StarCraft commentator, or caster, in South Korea, after Nick Plott.
In Korea, Stemkoski shared a small apartment with 15 teenage pro gamers. As StarCraft II's launch neared, Stemkoski and another American commentator living in Seoul, Nick "Tasteless" Plott, had individually amassed significant followings, and had the interest of commercial broadcast networks. The two began casting together and became known by a portmanteau of their nicknames, Tasteless and Artosis, as Tastosis. Before this partnership, the two knew each other through their former competitive gaming careers, but became friends in Korea. Polygon attributed their success to their "magic" dynamic from complementary personalities, with Stemkoski encyclopedic and analytic, and Plott bold and sociable. In July 2013, Polygon reported Tastosis to be "the most well-known StarCraft 2 casting duo in the world", both broadcasting for GOMTV Global StarCraft II League. PC Gamer's Rich McCormick cited the pair in 2011 as examples of how the electronics sports profession is developing celebrities. The Verge's Paul Miller referred to Tastosis as "the primary practitioners of StarCraft casting". A crowdfunded documentary about their careers, Sons of StarCraft, was released in early 2013.
Stemkoski and Plott prepare separately, with Stemkoski constantly watching StarCraft matches and Plott studying commentary from non-traditional sports and major StarCraft news. Together, they incorporate team histories and their respective strategies into their commentary. Plott has said that he considers Tastosis's nuanced readings of player tactics and their eventualities as a "gateway" for bringing unfamiliar crowds into StarCraft.
Stemkoski cast alongside Plott at the 2012 StarCraft II World Championship Series Europe finals, Australian and Oceania finals, and UK nationals, DreamHack Winter 2011, IGN Pro League Season Two, and Major League Gaming 2012 Spring Arena, Raleigh, and 2011 Orlando. Stemkoski cast solo at the 2013 DreamHack Open in Stockholm.
Two in-game Easter egg characters in StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm are named after the casters.
Artosis began playing the Blizzard Entertainment online collectible card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft during its closed beta in 2013, and began publishing Hearthstone podcasts in September 2013. In November 2013 Blizzard invited Stemkoski to participate in the Innkeeper's Invitational, a Hearthstone tournament hosted as part of the annual BlizzCon convention. On November 8, Artosis won the tournament and was crowned "Grandmaster of the Hearth".
Artosis regularly is a caster for gaming tournaments that occasionally includes Hearthstone content, and was featured in the ESports Global Network's Fight Night Hearthstone shows, as part of Team Dogehouse and at the 2015 Seatstory Cup. He streams on Twitch and afreecaTV.
Artosis is married and lives in South Korea with his wife and four children. His daughter, Aria, was born on January 14, 2012,, twins Elise and Malcolm were born on April 28, 2017, and daughter Maeve was born on September 3, 2019
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