With the dust settled, but memories still fresh in his mind, we sat down with EU Masters’ favorite member of the casters desk.
After two weeks of intense League of Legends action, many of those who tuned in for the European Masters 2018 would recognize Dan “Foxdrop” Wyatt. Although relatively unknown as a caster outside of his home region in the UK, Wyatt has secured himself plenty of fans after his time in the international competition. He quickly proved himself able to go toe-to-toe with the best talent in the scene, working together with LCS veteran Trevor “Quickshot” Henry, as well as many others.
Wanting to get to know him better, we invited Foxdrop for a chat. We discussed his road to the EU Masters, experiences there, the future of the UK scene, and what’s next for the up-and-coming caster.
Vie: First things first — I feel like most EU Masters viewers may have seen you before, but couldn’t necessarily put a finger on it. Shed some light on that, what was your road to the caster desk like?
Foxdrop: I’m a Youtuber and Streamer normally. One day a year ago, pretty randomly, the ESL Premiership (UK’s regional league) needed a caster and I expressed interest. Did a bit more casting, became a regular on the Prem this year, and got into the Masters.
Vie: For many, it may have been their first time seeing you cast, but the overall response from the community was really great. Ballpark it for me, how great of an experience these past few weeks have been for you?
Foxdrop: Dude, this event has been ridiculous for me. My main goal when I got into casting was to mostly just have fun and be “me”. I’m so happy that people were able to feel that and enjoy the games too, honestly, it made the whole thing unforgettable for me.
Vie: It’s been more than a year now since you first joined the ESL Premiership caster desk. What does it say on your business card these days — “YouTuber” or “caster”?
Foxdrop: Good question, I’d probably still call myself a YouTuber. It’s my main source of income, it’s what I spend most of my time doing, and what I’ve been doing for the longest. But that might change soon, who knows.
Vie: Looking back at the EU Masters — and it was pretty subtle — but I got this lingering suspicion that you may have been rooting for the UK. So what’s the verdict? How happy are you with UK’s results?
Foxdrop: Haha, I did my best to keep that a secret! Overall I’m happy with how the UK performed. I think I was expecting more from Misfits Academy but considering the UK scene is very small, no complaints.
Vie: I had an opportunity to chat with H2k’s Veteran on the subject and the topic shifted towards the highest placing UK team not actually having any UK players. What are your thoughts on the subject?
Foxdrop: This is a tough topic. exceL don’t have any UK players but the organization is probably the most invested into the UK scene — the only team with a gaming house, that salaries players and staff, etc. The team is still a domestic product at the end of the day. It’s hard to say though, it’s a very tough topic to break down.
Vie: Do you think xL’s success could lead to this unhealthy habit of relying on the foreign imports rather than investing in local talent?
Foxdrop: It could lead to that situation, in which case I think the rules would need changing. Thing is that the UK does produce talent, it’s just that they go overseas because that’s where the money is. So with more infrastructure, more money, I don’t think exceL’s situation would become the norm.
Vie: Let’s talk Origen — that has to be as close as you can get to the concept of “smurfing” in professional League. And they haven’t dropped a single match since their debut game, too. How do I put it, this has to be bullying, right?
Foxdrop: The story of Origen is one of the more interesting pieces coming from the EU Masters. They’ve looked far from solid in their games which is a good testament to the strength of the regional Leagues — but Froggen. Froggen is 100% smurfing. That guy is insane.
Vie: There were quite a few teams that really showed up this tournament. Which teams did impress you the most? Did anyone catch you off guard?
Foxdrop: Illuminar has to be the most impressive team. Considering making playoffs was considered good for them, going to the finals and smashing GamersOrigin in the semi-finals was exceptional. KlikTech also exceeded expectations — it’s impossible to quantify the strength of regions without international tournaments, but the Balkan bros definitely proved their worth.
Vie: Now that the dust has settled, how well would you say the top EUM teams would fair against the LCS level teams? How big is the gap between the two leagues?
Foxdrop: I think top European Masters teams would struggle against LCS. Gamers Origin and MAD Lions would probably stand the best chance, but even they would be underdogs in a BO series against the lowest LCS teams.
Vie: Does that say more about the current level of the LCS teams or the shortcomings of the EU Masters teams?
Foxdrop: I would say it says a bit of both. Historically speaking, you would need a really bad team to get relegated out of LCS, or a really good team to get promoted. I think GamersOrigin or MAD Lions are close to that but not sure that the bottom LCS teams are that bad right now. At least in EU.
Vie: We got to see a lot of new, young talents who don’t get so many opportunities to play on the international stage. Any future stars we could be seeing in the LCS soon?
Foxdrop: There were a lot of standouts in my opinion. Tynx from GO stood out a lot. Milica and Sacre from Kliktech too. Icebeasto from Illuminar. Selfmade and Werlyb from MAD. A lot of good players.
Vie: Some of these young players have insane macro, but they might be lacking in any other aspect. Do you believe the national leagues, where the level of teams can vary tremendously, is the best environment for these players to grow?
Foxdrop: I think the regional Leagues that have good infrastructure are a good place to develop and grow. Not to mention it’s where the LCS teams scout their players, increasing your chance of being picked up. France and Spain are the best examples of those Leagues in my opinion.
Vie: Mid-Season Invitational is almost upon us. Hit me with your boldest prediction.
Foxdrop: NA makes the finals again.
Vie: Okay, so what’s next for Foxdrop?
Foxdrop: My future is really up in the air right now. The next few weeks will determine a lot. Whether I stay and focus on Youtube and streaming, whether I go and do more casting. Really hard to say right now, but I definitely want to cast more.