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Mimi “aEvilcat” Wermcrantz’s mother never had to worry too much about how her daughter was spending her time. While some children struggle with finding an outlet for their abundant free time, trying out different sports or playing the same video game till 3 a.m., Mimi always seemed to have a goal, an ambition to master a new skill or to work toward an objective.
“That’s been kind of her personality since she was four,” Michele Hatchell, Mimi’s mother, said.
And it’s been no different in VALORANT. Whether it’s reviewing tapes of her previous cast, or showing up at her first LAN event hours before her scheduled call time, Mimi has demonstrated a drive to not just get better at her craft in the casting space but to master it, according to those around her.
From unknown to one of the best
Born into Midwestern life in Wisconsin, Mimi wasn’t keen on sports or broadcasting — the normal make up of an aspiring esports caster. The pale red head was more drawn to performance art and theater, with her closest sports analogues being roller derby and ice skating.
“Those were our sports,” Hatchell said. “We’re very much like an alternative sport family. We don’t really watch sports. We’re very atypical in that sense.”
But those drama activities built the foundation for her current status as a top caster, giving her public speaking skills without some of the pitfalls or cliches, like stalling words or tripping over their co-caster, that other rookie casters can fall into.
Rising to prominence within the Galorants community and making her mainstream debut on the Knights VALentines day broadcast, Mimi was already well polished and hungry to improve. Her easy-going cadence (cultivated from her time on stage) and well researched opinions on teams were showcased to her new co-caster at the time.
“Holy s***, she knows what she’s talking about,” Max “Keg” Tompkins, her co-caster for the event, said about meeting Mimi for the first time. “And I feel like that’s more than you can say about a lot of other people, especially during that time.”
Most casters below the top level are part-timers, and their commitment to the craft only goes as far as their love of the game. And unlike her contemporaries at the time, Mimi was constantly up to date on the game, which she maintained by doing all the little things that endeared her to the higher ups in the esports industry, her partners on the cast and on the production side.
“If you ask her to be at a meeting, she’ll be at a meeting,” Ryan “L4st” Krichbaum, a friend and former co-caster with Mimi, said. “If you ask her to study a couple of VODs, or to take notes on a couple of teams so that you can fill the other half of the notes, it’ll be done. There’s no worry that she’ll slack off on her half of the work, or her portion of what needs to be done won’t be done in time.”
The often spectacled teenager also seems to have no fear, whether she’s talking to thousands of viewers on a cast, bouncing off older heads on VALORANTING, stilt walking in parades or flying a plane thousands of feet in the air.
Missing flying right now 🥺 pic.twitter.com/Q5MLdYd04f
— Mimi (@aEvilcat) August 22, 2021
This also translates into her backroom dealings with casting, negotiating rates or working on the production end of streams. These aspects don’t phase her, according to Keg, which is not something most casters in their teens can say.
“She’s definitely helped me out with business sense,” Keg said. “I know that was like the big thing I was lacking going into our duo-ship. She can be very pointed when it comes to business engagements, like no bulls*** or anything which is something I appreciate.”
By all accounts, Mimi has proven adept at getting her face around the VALORANT scene, and knowing her worth when dealing with Tournament Organizers in the space who may not have her best interest at heart.
For fellow caster Gustavo “Upmind” Franco Domingues, he said he’s had his eye on Mimi for a while and has seen her grow professionally alongside himself and fellow teenage casting phenom Ethan “Sully” Tran.
“I appreciate the fact that when she was already coming out, she was focusing almost purely just on her casting ability and her hosting ability,” Upmind said about his first impression of Mimi. “So you can see, kind of, her grammar and her posture and or just her stature changing over time. And at the very beginning, she just had one of the more professional mindsets that I already saw at sort of a starter level or rookie level.”
The fun side of Mimi
For most people who absorb Mimi through her social media or casts, the recent high school graduate is one of the more notorious s***posters in the VALORANT scene. While professional around those who are unfamiliar with her and when discussing the business side of the profession, when it comes to being online or in ranked games, Mimi leads the charge on nonsensical humor.
“But personally, dude, Mimi is a f***ing like, she’s a degenerate,” Upmind continued on his first impression. “She’s a s****poster.”
Yo I want to rebrand away from aEvilballs and to just using Mimi. Any ideas on a Twitter @ that reflects?
— Mimi (@aEvilcat) October 14, 2021
Whether it’s describing play-by-play casters by making monkey noises or memeing on the most recent VALORANT scandal, Mimi always has her finger on the tweet button when it comes to Twitter and interacting online. Everything she puts out is something she has said to someone or typed into a Discord chat according to her Stage 3 VALORANT Champions Tour casting partner Tanner Metro.
“On broadcasts, I had introduced her as the always brilliant, and mostly meme-y, and her name is Mimi, but she is most of the time memeing about something,” Metro said.
She discovered that sense of humor naturally, according to Hatchell, taking her mother’s edgy humor with a zoomer twist on the wider world of the internet.
Mimi has small running gags with her friends and community members within Galorants, Nerd Street Gamers and the wider Twitterverse. She used to enter every Discord call, casual or otherwise, with a monotone “Hello team,” and has an old DVD logo bouncing around her facecam on stream. She even lets a little bit of her fun side out on broadcast at times, casually dropping in-jokes or getting Metro to tap into his more humorous side.
“She’s a bit more fun than I used to be,” Metro said. “Now she’s got me kind of out of my shell. She does a really good job of doing that.”
For those who consider her a close friend, it did not take long for Mimi’s “degeneracy” to show itself.
“In between two different series, like in between two best of threes, she randomly asked if I wanted to queue Spike Rush and I was like, ‘yeah, sure I’m down,’” L4st said about his first time casting with Mimi. “We queued Spike Rush and while we were playing against random people waiting for our next match to be ready, I think I realized, ‘oh, she literally has the same sense of humor as me.’”
Contemporaries and her future
There are few casters in the VALORANT and wider esports space to compare the young prodigy to. Not just for her calm and casual casting style, but due to the lack of women representation at the top level of esports. But, Mimi also hasn’t explicitly compared herself to anyone in particular. And, to Upmind, there is no direct comparison to her.
“To be honest, I don’t think we really have a benchmark for the kind of the over-successful, female representative in tactical FPS,” Upmind said. “I feel like she’s a trailblazer, and I feel like her generation are trailblazers in and of themselves.”
But according to veteran CS caster and current North American VCT stalwart Alex “Vansilli” Nguyen, Mimi, and the rest of the young VCT class, are comparable to a few of the legends in esports casting.
“I’m a firm believer that Upmind, Sully and Mimi are the next wave of casting talent,” Vansilli said. “Either it’s within VALORANT in the next few years, Counter-Strike 6 or Halo 12 down the road. They will be the next [Daniel “ddk” Kapadia], Sean Gares and [Lauren “Pansy” Scott]. Their work ethic is so good. You can see how much work they put into their craft.”
As of right now, Mimi has deferred her first year of school and is still in the process of deciding her future — or as her mother puts it, “in negotiations.” In her current downtime, Mimi has attended two different LANs for casting, guest starred on VALORANTING, Plat Chat and Press 4 to Defuse and she has filled her free calendar with as many events as possible.
Her mother and Metro say that getting an education should be at the forefront of Mimi’s mind, even if casting is her main passion. But for Keg, who casted Rainbow Six: Siege and VALORANT while earning his degree, the casting lifestyle and college were not a good mix.
“That’s not an easy task at all, especially as a color caster,” Keg said. “That’s a full time job pretty much, and whether you get a full time rate or not in the process is definitely a different story. Balancing the two was not an easy feat for an 18 or 19-year-old.”
For now, Mimi seems content living her current lifestyle. When not flying out to events, she splits her time between her parents, lives a comfortable life with her four cats and can spend her spare time in the clouds.
She also recently expressed an interest in the production side of esports tournaments, taking up the mantle of producer on some community broadcasts. There, she can work more directly with the up-and-coming back stage talent in VCT production like observers Nicholas “Yehty” Tesolin and Tasia “DazedDreams” McConkie.
Her ambition seems to know no bounds and, as VALORANT’s life cycle lives on, it’s more a question of when, not if, she becomes the face of VALORANT broadcasting.
Declan is an esports journalist and part-time editor for Upcomer. He is an avid gamer and League of Legends player. You can find him at the bottom of the leaderboard in most games or on Twitter.