GGRecon caught up with the LEC caster during the NeoSurf cup to talk about streaming, issues with travelling and the LEC.
Dan "Foxdrop" Wyatt has been creating content in League of Legends since 2012 but his passion has taken him further than he ever could have imagined. From streaming to casting the LEC, Foxdrop has had an impressive career and is loving every moment of it.
GGRecon caught up with him at the Neosurf Cup to talk about his years of streaming, his love for the community and trying to overcome his difficulties travelling.
Sorry this might be a bit of a tricky one to start, how do you balance casting and streaming?
No that's fine, you've got to come out of the gates swinging. It's difficult because both of them are kind of freelance to an extent. With that kind of thing, the more you put in often the more you get out. The more hours you churn out on stream the more it will grow, the more events you go to you're putting yourself out there and networking which gives you more chances to cast too.
It’s tough. I was fortunate enough that when I was first got into casting I was mostly doing YouTube stuff. With that, you can spend a whole day making a bunch of videos and then space that out over however long you're going to be away for at an event. Now I'm streaming but I'm under contract with Facebook and that's been really helpful because then I just have goals to hit and it's more like I get paid a certain amount every month. I still have to stream and do work but having done this since 2012 it's so nice to know how much you're going to earn.
That's a long time to have been creating content, how do you keep it fresh?
Fresh is a generous term for how I keep it! I think you've got to enjoy what you're doing, whatever it is. I mean I'm not preaching, I don't know Jack sh*t about life but one of the few things I feel confident in at my ripe age of 26 is, if you enjoy something you can do and you can do it a lot. It has to give you something and let's be real it's either money or it's passion. I think if you're just doing it for money you burn out but everyone can at some point, I do every now and then as YouTube isn't doing too well. Casting is hit and miss as well. But I really enjoy what I do, League can be annoying sometimes but I still love playing the game and honestly I love the community around it.
I try to present myself in a way that people can relate to, I feel like I built up a community of just regular people and I love that, I'll give you a great example. I got ill on New Year's Eve, I was laying in bed dying and I couldn't even play video games because it was too much. So I just watched a lot of YouTube videos and I ended up watching all of these old let's plays and walkthroughs. It made me really appreciate that there is something comforting about sitting on your arse, watching someone else play video games. And if it's a YouTube thing you can make a routine out of it, you can get a bowl of muesli in the morning or spaghetti in the evening then you sit down and watch bob123 playing Skyrim episode 5001. It made me appreciate how comforting that is as a consumer so I've been doing that as well, I've got a second channel where I've been playing Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, it's a banging game. It gets crap all views, I'm not going to make a lot from it but I value that sh*t because I know what it's like to be on the other side of that. I used to play Dark Souls and I still have people asking me to play it and now I know what it means when they say they miss that because they had a routine. That's what I value now because that can be helpful to people for a lot of different reasons and that's what makes me happy.
Meanwhile casting probably gives you a different buzz?
Casting you're more on the spot, I guess it's similar to streaming because it's also live but still you're in control at that point. You're just doing your thing, you're playing the game, you're talking about yourself it's all you, you're controlling the flow. In a cast, you're part of a broadcast, you're part of a team, there's producers, sound guys, lighting guys, every kind of guy under the sun. That has benefits though because it gets terribly lonely streaming in your room, so it's good being able to come out here and be social.
I love all the guys I've ever worked with, whether it's ESL, Twitch, LEC or Excel, I've just really enjoyed it. You get to connect with people and you realise when you're working with people, this might only be limited to esports I'm not sure, everyone is passionate. I love the fact that I get to meet people who are passionate about what they do. I met someone who has a bloody tattoo on his tit of the logo of his business, he's an esports consultant. It's so nice to meet people who are happy with what they do.
Sticking to casting, what was it like working on the LEC?
The funny thing is right, I get nervous about travelling. Even doing this, it was a two and a half hour train journey to Twickenham and I'm staying overnight, that is out of my comfort zone. But the casting itself, is fine even in the LEC I don't really get nervous. I just know that I go up there, I chat rubbish, have fun and that's it. That's the secret formula. I think if you're having fun, people have fun watching.
Despite the fact that travelling isn't easy for you, do you still hope to work with the LEC again this year?
I'd love to work with the LEC again. I spent a bit more time in 2019 to try and really understand what was going on, my mental health state and stuff like that. What I've been able to do is put a label well, literally a diagnosis on it. I find once you know you know what it is you're up against you can start formulating strategies to overcome it. It's a process but I'm on that and things are getting easier for me like doing this for example, that'll be a big thing for me even if it would be little to most. LEC is something I want to do again, I love it I really do. The community, the social side of it, the actual casting itself, I just have so much fun and that's what it's about. I don't know if I'll be on the LEC still, I have to figure things out. If it's my choice, I'll be there.
The LEC begins on Friday the 24th of January @ 6pm CEST here.
Images via Riot Games